Sunday, October 19, 2014

Paradise Lost

Photographed By Ellinor Forje 

Claudia Traisac plays the character Maria, in the motion picture "Escobar: Paradise Lost" (2014). Whenever I hear the name Maria, I think of "West Side Story" (whenever I think of "West Side Story, I equally think of Carlos Santana), beautiful tango, salsa and flamenco inspired outfits or understated drama for lack of a better phrase, come to mind. That's exactly how Traisac dresses with ease. And with the fangirling done, I will now proceed.

Written and directed by thespian turned director, Andrea Di Stefano, "Escobar: Paradise Lost" tells the fictionalized story of; "Surfer boy meets girl on vacation, then meets her beloved beer-drinking uncle, Pablo Escobar."

It turns out however that el cariño Pablito is no Pollyana. Instead he's a pied-piping Pol Poterian Pusher. The rest, as they say, is a tragedy. A modern version of the greatest romance ever told; The Garden of Eden where Benico Del Toro fittingly plays the snake (please note that I'm not calling Del Toro a reptile per se. I'm merely alluding to the fact that he also voices the snake in the forthcoming animated version of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's "The Little Prince"). 

Di Stefano, who isn't a "documentarist" as he puts it, decided to focus on Escobar and his racketeering ways from a voyeuristic angle. Thus, the narrative arch of Nick, played by Josh Hutcherson, is the gate through which we enter the Medellín Cartel of Columbia.

Given the aspect that "Escobar: Paradise Lost" borrows part of its title from the epic poem by John Milton, it's titillating to discern the aesthetic prose Josh, Benicio and Andrea use to lay forward their respective points of view:

Hutcherson, "Nick had a naïveté about him."

Del Toro, "He (Escobar) seduced a whole country." 

Di Stefano, "The story about a man who thinks he found his own paradise." 

These guys. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

1844 Chocolat

Photographed By Ellinor Forje 

The word on the street is that I like chocolate. I know this because I put that word on the street. Bar au Lac, Zurich responded; "We will leave a 'sweet surprise' for you at the concierge desk which you could pick up after the visit of the press conference on Sunday."

Without further ado, I headed straight to the concierge desk upon my arrival at the hotel because, although I like to think of myself as mature and sufistikated - that spelling! I have the curiousity and patience of a five-year-old. I can never wait until after anything. 

The gift bag contained a handwritten card (love receiving them), wrapped dark and milk chocolate squares, and a box of the most delicious Pralinés classiques. And, I almost made it through the entire afternoon without sampling any of the treats.
I am after all mature and sophisticated. 

The squares were gone the next day.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Faranak Deeba

Photographed By Ellinor Forje 

The moccasins though.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Cate Blanchett

Photographed By Ellinor Forje

Acting is pretending. And Cate Blanchett is good at it. Pretending. She pretends to be a mere mortal. Like she'd bleed if she were pricked. I don't believe it for a second.

Clad in a low key Stella McCartney dress that tastefully revealed her arms and torso (I'll write a seperate thesis about her oxblood pumps someday, they had us floored), IWC Schaffhausen's brand ambassador, Blanchett opened the "Timeless Portofino" exhibition at the Zurich Film Festival on September 27, 2014. The exhibition which displays IWC's latest collection campaign was shot by photographer Peter Lindbergh, the man who - in recent fashion history's smartest move - persuaded Linda Evangelista to cut her hair.

The "Timeless Portofino" campaign further stars Christoph Waltz, Emily Blunt, Zhou Xun, YOO-uhn Muh-GREH-gur (that's Ewan McGregor, sorry Obi-Wan Kenobi, I couldn't resist), Adriana Lima and Karolina Kurkova - who said, "We had no hair and makeup. So that was quite, you know, pure. And very natural. Very raw, especially for a shoot."

The images, mostly in black and white, are raw yet polished. German expressionism at its finest. The finest of art. Or, Ordre des Arts et des Lettres to which Blanchett was made a Chevalier (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) in 2012:  Two years before winning her second Academy Award for playing Jasmine in Woody Allen's drama "Blue Jasmine" (2013), a role that would have been a defining moment for many actresses. But unlike many actresses, Blanchett defines every role, every moment.

Her performance in "Blue Jasmine" is no exception. As a matter of fact, within minutes of viewing the movie, it's clear that the nominations are going to come flying for both the director and cast members for a plot centred around the saying, "Oh, How the Mighty Fall". Jasmine's life in San Francisco, at her sister's apartment, after a forced relocation succeeding a divorce from her high roller Manhattanite husband played by Alec Baldwin, is very different from her ballin' days residing on the Upper East Side. It's also a far cry from the pittoresque landscape captured by Lindbergh up for inspection at the festival.

While on site, I take a closer look at Cate Banchett. I notice that she isn't really that attractive at all. She's outlandishly beautiful and human.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Karolina Kurkova

Photographed By Ellinor Forje

La  Kurková.