Saturday, April 30, 2011

Beat Girl (1961).

"Dynamic drama of youth mad about 'beat', living for kicks!"

Here is the full film, streaming!  I am so obsessed with this B-grade tale of teenage angst and rebellion.  Rife with sexuality, corruption, neglect, and even... murder!  This film was a strictly low-budget British production from 1960 that made its rounds in the theaters in the early 60s.  Its actually hard to find any information at all about it, and it seems to have two names and two release dates depending on your source.  Its sometimes billed as "Beat Girl" (1961) (such as for this youtube video) but the only IMDB page for the movie is under the title "Wild for Kicks" (1960).  I believe the different in titles and dates are for the differing UK and US titles and release dates.

The teen star of the film, Gillian Hills (later having small roles in "Blow Up" and "Clockwork Orange"), is a young Brigitte Bardot... pouty and wild, painted up with heavy black eyeliner, but with a face as sweet as a dolly.  She's always throwing her step mother these sinister looks, and I think this actress has totally nailed the expression of contempt-- she must know it because she's doing it constantly.  She wants to cut loose and frequent the coffee bars and dank music caverns with friends, but the knowledge of her wealthy architect father neglecting her and mysterious new tarted-up Parisian step mother poking around is bringing her down.  In fact, her father is completely preoccupied with this notion of "City 2000" a design for a futuristic city promising isolation to each person living in it.  This reminds me so much of "My Father the Genius" a real documentary by a woman who's father is a self-proclaimed genius, but also was a real life innovator in architecture in the 70s,  who has been completely obsessed vision for a future city completely obscured everything else in his life.

One thing I really like about the movie is the little musical vignettes.  Trivia says that this was actually the first UK with a soundtrack album!  If only I could get my hands on that soundtrack... The music was performed by The John Barry Seven & Orchestra. It was the first British soundtrack album to be released on an LP. The film also features Christopher Lee as a strip-joint operator, Oliver Reed , and Nigel Green. It features the film debuts of Adam Faith (an early 60s British teen idol) and Peter McEnery.

"Strip, strip, hurray!  A de-luxe exploitation special!"

Here's the synopses:

Paul, a divorced architect, marries Nichole, a woman from Paris. His teen daughter Jenny has fallen in with the English beatnik scene and likes to hang out in cave-like clubs to listen to jazz and rudimentary rock'n'roll. Jenny takes an immediate dislike to her mother-in-law, who is not that much older than she, and goes out of her way to make life miserable for Nichole. When Jenny discovers that Nichole is a friend of one of the strippers from the dance hall across the street, she investigates and uses Nichole's sordid past to embarrass her father. Meanwhile Jenny attracts the lecherous eye of Kenny, the owner of the dance hall.
-From IMDB 

Before swinging London and the rock & roll explosion took over English youths, Britain's first teen rebel didn't have much of a cause but plenty of attitude. Pouty art-school student Jennifer (teen sex kitten Gillian Hills, looking very much a British Bardot) is the Beat Girl of the title, an alienated teenager who hangs out in coffee shops and underground clubs with beatniks and teddy boys. When her self-absorbed father returns home with a sexy French bride, the picture warps into lurid melodrama as Jennifer tracks a suspicion about her stepmom to a sleazy strip club managed by an even sleazier Christopher Lee, whose salacious desires she realizes too late. Director Edmond T. Greville, a craftsman of the old school, brings an unexpected, edgy grit to the low-budget picture, injecting the callow clichés of lost youth with a nervous energy and a genuine sense of desperation.    
John Barry's growling score gives the film a rumbling undercurrent, and the cheap, claustrophobic sets (often hiding in darkness) only enhance the sleazy atmosphere. The mix of teenage desperation, rock & roll music, and lurid sensationalism (complete with teasing nudity in the strip club) creates a strange hybrid: a teen exploitation film with a film noir soul. Costar Adam Faith sings a couple of songs and Oliver Reed appears in a few scenes as a drugged-up, funked-out teddy boy.   

"A tense dynamic drama of slap-happy beatniks and their insatiable thirst for rhythm, sex & sensation."

Friday, April 29, 2011

I'm ga-ga over Loved One.

The Loved One Slumber Party! from The Loved One on Vimeo.

See more of that lovely curly bangs gal named Chelsea and her adorable gal-pals in this dreamy dreamy promo for Loved One lingerie courtesy Hannah, of Hannah and Landon fame.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Curly Bangs.

So, curly bangs are *technically* a classic 'don't', but I think these photos are clear evidence that the old traditional rule can be clearly be shelved along with white pants after labor day.  These photos are of a lovely girl named Chelsea taken by either Hannah or Landon, the dreamy blog duo naturally called, Hannah and Landon.

I am personally very partial to this curly bangs phenomenon because I recently let my normally straightened hair go curly and cut some prominent curly bangs.  Despite a rapid increase of cat-calls on the street, I was still a little self-conscious being a pioneer of the fashion-forward possibilities of curly bangs.  I think they are just as tricky to get right as straight hair bangs are, there's just less example out there for how to do the curly bang variety and a lot more trepidation.  I don't think bangs are for every curly haired gal, just as they aren't right for every straight haired gal-- it has a lot to do with the shape of your face, not just the texture of your hair.

Noisy photos are quiet.

I love these quiet, mysterious photos, filled with white specks of noise, of 60s era Jane Birkin, with Serge Gainsbourg in the last one.   It looks like stills from a haunting ghost love story.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

kiki de montparnasse.

(Please comment if you know the source of this gif... I've lost track)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Album Covers of Miles Davis.

Muse: Betty Davis

No, not a typo.  She’s Betty Davis, not Bette Davis, née Betty Mabry– model, funk singer, second wife of Miles Davis, and influential muse of the 60s & 70s.   A model posing for ebony, seventeen, and glamour magazines, she was a 60s-70s scenester cavorting with Sly Stone and Jimi Hendrix (its rumored that an affair with Hendrix ended her marriage to Miles Davis), ever the party fixture.   Her tastes and lifestyle had a major influence on Miles Davis’ jazz fusion discovery, introducing Davis to the psychedelic rock, funk, and her youthful lifestyle.   The Miles Davis album Filles de Kilimanjaro included a song named after Betty and an amazing psychedelic photo of Betty was plastered on the cover. In his autobiography, he credited her with introducing him to hip young music from other genres.  Betty's taste in music, fashion, and art introduced an innovative edge of sex and defiance to everything she touches.  It was Davis’ idea, for example, to change the the title of Miles’ “Witches’ Brew” to “Bitches’ Brew”.  In just one year of marriage, she had completely changed the course of Miles’ work.

After the breakup, Betty moved to London to pursue modeling and soon after, began her own fledgling musical career.  Her raw, sex-focused albums were banned from radio play, but were popular among jazz/funk record collectors.  Though never breaking the underground ceiling, her three album repertoire has achieved cult-classic status and served as a primary influence and forerunner for liberated female acts of the 80s and 90s.   She made four albums in total before giving it up in 1979.  

Monday, April 25, 2011

Star magazine: Scheming teenage super foxes' guide to groupiedom.

When it comes to 60s and 70s rock, no one has given us a more interesting perspective of what really happened on the scene than the groupies that were pounding the pavement.  Check out this groupies muse post  for the general summary. 

The women of the rock scene of that era, largely wives, girlfriends, and groupies, have pulled the curtain back and given more insight into the era than any of the male rockstars themselves.  There are so many great biographies by women of the era that really dish the details the men didn't want to divulge, and probably couldn't do so in a way as entertaining or eloquent anyway.  But, most of the rock bios I've read by women of the era, for example, Cynthia Lennon's John and Pattie Boyd's Wonderful Tonight are down-right G-rated compared to Pamela Des Barres' I'm with the Band-- which I recently started reading.  But for all the delicious smut of I'm with the Band, it is equally so well-written, imaginative, bittersweet, and completely enthralling (and not in that trash-gossip way, where you feel a bit dirty after you put it down).  Its a very well-written tale of a young girl, enthralled by the music, and in a rapture with all of the rock gods that offered up their riffs. 

One of the crazy insights into the 70s Sunset Strip rock scene and groupies of the era is the scandalous teen groupie mag, Star.   There were hosts of so-called "baby groupies" frequenting the scene in those days and Star magazine not only reported it, but completely sanctioned it.  The pages are graced by teen groupies like Shray Mecham, Sable Starr, Lori Lightning, Queenie Glam and infamous venues like Rodney Bingenheimer's English Disco where 14 year old baby groupies snagged VIP status and went home with the likes of Jimmy Page at the end of the night-- or should I say, early in the morning.   The magazine was, expectedly, very short-lived, runing from February '73 to June '73 and has become quite a gem in the vintage mag collector's archives, achieving cult status among fans and collectors for its quirky rareness.

Thanks to Star collector Ryan Richardson who collected each issue, scanned them and made them available in an e-reader format-- and doing it all just for the love of the ephemera. 

On his Star website he explains:
"The first issue of Star hit the stands in February 1973. With its over-the-top advice and irreverent coverage of LA’s teenage groupie scene, it wasn’t long before Petersen Publishing was feeling the heat from “concerned citizens”. Five issues and five months later, publication ceased. A sixth issue was planned but never printed. Such controversy along with coverage of “new breed” Sunset Strip groupies (Shray Mecham, Sable Starr, Lori Lightning, Queenie Glam) and glam venues like Rodney Bingenheimer’s English Disco cemented the mag’s later cult status among fans and collectors.  After spending endless hours and a sizeable cash stack to secure all five original issues, there was only one illogical step left: do it all over again by making every page of this impossibly rare groupie mag available online."

At Ryan’s Star 73 website you can flip through the pages of all five amazing issues.   Its such an interesting read, and well put together in all its trashy glory.  Horoscopes, naughty comics, tips from older starlets, make-up instruction, and a who's-who of rock 101 will let you hone your super-fox teenage groupie appeal.  There are plenty of hot glam rock pin-ups and featurettes on the guys of the day like David Bowie, Marc Bolan, and The Stones.  

Read the issues in entirety here:

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Something about Pattie.

Clips of Pattie Boyd and George Harrison from the 1969 Beatles' music video "Something".

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Kids in 1982.

I don't know where I snagged these from.  Despite the late 70s appearance, I remember these photos were labeled as being taken in the UK in 1982.  I think they were just someone's personal snapshots posted online.  I love the carefree look: messy au natural + hard rock cred with a dash of hippy bohemian. Even with fluffy, frizzy messy hair complete with center parted bangs, thrown together/mismatched bagging pieces, and blue eyeliner-- all against the rules-- these kids have a great aesthetic. I love the look of that old film too... a little too amber and bleached out.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Another tea break with Ringo.

via fuckyeahrichardstarkey

Jerry Hall by Antonio Lopez from Paradis #2

David Hicks Interiors.

I really love 70s interior design books.  When I was a kid I would get lost in my mom's old design books.   The style of the decade is such a odd, exciting balance to me-- especially photographed in those muted 70s tones.  Interior design then was such a strange intriguing mix of swankiness, clean modernism, tacky glitz, organic earthiness, nebbish hues, and glamourous shine.  

Beatles' Women Biography Documentary Parts 1-4

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tales of a psychedelic cowboy: Lee Hazelwood

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Wonderwall in motion.


Gifs from the 1968 film Wonderwall, starring Jane Birkin. 
Soundtrack by George Harrison.

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