Friday, 11 December 2015

West Country Tour – Layby Stopover 3 … two films to see …

I saw these recently … and as Christmas is coming with the winter season, when we might watch films in the evening, I was really impressed with them – and thought some of you might be too.

They are documentary features … both works offer portraits of their subjects, but there is a marked difference between them.  I trust our Society’s Chairman's selection … and I was totally won over.

That’s because the film about Diana Vreeland fascinates by showing a truly unique individual:

Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel – 85 minutes

This film I was mesmerised by … there’s so many unique aspects to it … the way they’ve made it … Diana Vreeland has some incredible one liners … I honestly wanted to see it again immediately!

Two Vreeland covers for Harpers

I thought of you all in our blogosphere ... and just am certain you could all find something creative from the film … it was staggering.

It’s not about fashion … it’s story telling … Vreeland did her own thing and was her own person … within her own sphere she had the taste and the sensibility of somebody who deserves to be thought of as an artist - as our Chairman said, although he saw the film all of three years ago – it has stayed with him – then he brought it to us in the Society.

Just like me … I won’t forget this film … so if you feel inclined: hire it, or buy it – do see it … it’s great fun … wonderful repartee – loved it!!

Poster for the film
Ballet Boys gives us another look at life from the three boys growing up in the world of ballet – and supporting each other … again we see passion, friendships, ambition and identity … creativity to glean here too.

A Geopolitical Map of Norway -
showing counties/states
It is succinct in length, being 75 minutes long, but giving us an insight – an interesting portrayal – of the rigours of training for ballet with the strain that it imposes on bodies requiring detailed physical examinations of those wanting to participate.

There’s the mental aspects too – their determination to do their best – yet the Norwegian documentary emerges as universal in its relevance … to us as bloggers/ authors/ artists too.

Kenneth Elvebakk’s may not have planned to direct the film showing us the actual growth of the characters and how they adapt over that twelve years … but the film wonderfully shows this aspect - how the boys grow, develop, learn, keep motivated and take their opportunities.
Vreeland spent time with
Diaghilev - due to Russian
family connections

I do hope some of you will check these out – the Vreeland one I’m hoping will turn up in my stocking – or equivalent … might need to wait til the day, rather than a night-time chimney drop!  My early letter has reached Santa and been acknowledged!!


Diana Vreeland -The Eye has to Travel 

New York Times "Mapping a Path to Vreelandia" - September 2012 .. tells you more ... 

The Norwegian Film Institute - Ballet Boys: excellent synopsis here

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


mail4rosey said...

Thank you for the suggestions! I'm always happy to hear about new things. And the ballet story would interest me. I love to see the dancers live, and am sure the training they put in requires a LOT of passion and dedication.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Hilary
Sounds like good viewing. Not sure I can find either but I'll try. When there's a little more free money we're going to join Netflicks. Thanks for stopping by. I'm thrilled you liked my story.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Both of these movies sound inspirational. My kinda flicks! Thanks for the recommendation, but I don't know if I'll be able to find either one of them here. We shall see!

Cheers! Have a super weekend.

D.G. Hudson said...

I knew about Vreeland, but haven't seen this film. Opportunities increase when you have connections and money, and especially society connections and a well-known family name. Travel was easier when we didn't have such threats as we now see in many countries. It appears you have been watching some interesting films, Hilary.

I used to go the the ballet often, don't anymore, tickets too prohibitive. Saw Mikhail Baryshnikov. from the Russian Ballet in Vancouver in the early eighties. Now he is based in New York I think. He gave a brilliant performance in flash version (only on for about 15 - 20 mins). . .I was disappointed that he didn't dance longer.

Elephant's Child said...

Thank you.
They both sound fascinating and I hope the first lands in your stocking...

Jo said...

Sound interesting films, I have never heard of either of them. I wonder if they are available round here. Hope you get the first one in your stocking.

Realised where I had read about Cromwell and stained glass windows, it was in the Stained Glass window section of the Nativity Calendar.

DMS said...

Thanks for the movie suggestions. Although I hadn't heard of either of them before- it was great to hear your thoughts on them and now I will be looking for them. :)

Susan Kane said...

I, too, have never heard of them. So, I will do some searching. I hope Vreeland Video shows up in your stocking.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Rosey - that's great. How interesting the Ballet story reaches out to you ... it was well received here by the Society - enjoy it.

@ Nancy - they're both available in the States. That's good you're hoping to join Netflicks and I'm sure you'll get to do so. Your story gave me food for thought about space travel .. loved Hopscotch and his creative ideas - clever.

@ Susan - yes, they probably will appeal to a few, rather than the many .. they're available on American Amazon .. so should be available.

@ DG - yes, she did have connections and money .. but the concept I was trying to get over - she was very forward thinking and creative - and the other important point is the way the film is made ... that is fascinating, absolutely original.

How wonderful you were able to see Mikhail Baryshnikov ... that must have been an eye opening experience, even if only for that short time - and I'm sure you'd hoped for much longer. Still what a lovely memory to have - few of us will have that.

@ EC - they are both very interesting films ... and I too hope Santa remembers the Vreeland one.

@ Jo - well worth watching and they are available in the States - so would expect them to appear in Amazon Canada too.

Well that's good re Cromwell ... interesting you're picking up facts from the Nativity Calendar. The destruction of stained glass because of the stories they told was understandable ... but sad for us centuries later.

@ Jess - that's great to see .. that you'll be keeping your eye open for them.

@ Susan - thanks Susan - good to see you ... and I hope you can find them.

Thanks everyone - they are so well worth watching for a reflective state on life and educative one in a creative way ... cheers Hilary

Out on the prairie said...

I will have to investigate more about these films, both sound very interesting. I am going to a production of the Nutcracker tonight. It is a holiday tradition for over 25 years. I have to laugh being so charmed by it after seeing it so much. This is a local production and I will have a five year old granddaughter who is in her second year of dance with me.

Nilanjana Bose said...

The eye has to travel - what an intriguing title. that makes a great prompt! Thanks.

I just wanted to come here today and wish you a merry holiday season and a great 2016. My eye is going travelling sooooon :D

Best always,

Susan Scott said...

I haven't heard of either so will keep an eye out thanks Hilary. The Norwegian one is of special interest as I have Norwegian ancestry and was a ballet dancer in my youth ..

May Santa Claus grant your wish, and don't forget to leave carrots, milk and mince pies for the reindeer?

Joanne said...

I thought I was up on films, but you've got me on these two and they do sound exceptional. I shall check them out. Thanks

Deborah Weber said...

I've had the Vreeland film in my Netflix queue for a while, but you've inspired me to bump it up into the view now schedule. Can't wait!

P.S. I love that you've received confirmation that your list has reached Santa. Now fingers crossed the chimney dump is delightfully satisfying.

Inger said...

I will definitely check out the Vreeland film. Her son, Tim, used to come by our office at UCLA with his little Maltese dog. He was a very handsome older gent abd so nice too. Thanks for your long comment. I feel bad when I don't blog, but I think I will get better at it as all the rest of my life falls into place.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Steve - that's great and they are interesting films. Fantastic having that family tradition for 25 years ... the littlie will love it - I can feel her excitement over here .. must be building up to it now!

@ Nila - thanks so much for your thoughts and yes let's both, all of us, have very happy 2016s .. with a couple of weeks of seasonal cheer before the clock ticks over ... Happy travelling to you and your family ...

The Eye, the Mind all need to expand and be open to the world that's around us. My eye did travel as I watched the film, my mind too as I took it in ..

@ Susan - oh good that both films have enticed you to look out for them. How interesting about the Norwegian connection ... I can see the cheek-bone connection coming from your Norwegian ancestry ... and how interesting to know you were a ballet dancer years ago ... you'll enjoy Ballet Boys then.

Ah Santa Claus and wishes ... carrots will be fine - I'm providing those for Christmas Day, and the ponies are there and always have carrots on the go, the milk for breakfast for the dog, while the cat is pretty happy with fish-chocolate ... not so sure about the mince pies - Santa might get those! Reindeer on the South Downs ... not so sure!

@ Joanne - that's great ... they are avant garde, but to my mind well worth a watch.

@ Deborah - oh how interesting ... and that you've bumped it up into the view now schedule ... do let me know what you think - that's great you can't wait!!

I know - well Santa got the message ... whether he can read or press the right buttons we wait to see! Chimney dump shouldn't be too bad ... the only problem will be the lit fire in the grate!

@ Inger - they both appear in the film, as too other family members. He appears in the book apparently ... and I've now added the New York Times article on the film at the end of the blog post.

Inger - we blog when we do .. and sometimes it's just not on ... we need to step back ... I'm just so glad my connections are there - the bloggers kept me going at times. It will happen - and you've been through so much and experienced so much. Ease back in - when you feel you can ...

Thanks everyone - so interesting to see which of the two films it looks like you're going to watch ... do let me know your thoughts please! Cheers Hilary

A Cuban In London said...

Many thanks for the suggestions. As a dance enthusiast, I will definitely look out for the Ballet Boys. :-)

Greetings from London.

Vallypee said...

These look like wonderful films, Hilary. I think I would really enjoy the creativity they focus on. I'm definitely going to look out for them, so thank you so much for telling us about them!

Vagabonde said...

These films look so interesting, thanks for mentioning them. I’ll try to find The Eye has to travel. Diana Vreeland certainly was an influential person. I like one of her quotations: “The only real elegance is in the mind; if you've got that, the rest really comes from it.”

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ ACIL - oh how great ... a dance enthusiast ... I'm sure you'll enjoy Ballet Boys ... hope you find it!

@ Val - both films offer that creativity format - so clever and so inspiring to watch - I thought particularly the Vreeland one, yet the Ballet one got the most votes at the Film Society evening. Enjoy them ...

@ Vagabonde - the quote is a very good one isn't it - and so true ... if our mind is in the right place, then so are we. The Eye has to Travel ... such a fun title for a great docu-film.

Cheers to the three of you - and happy watching - Hilary

Patsy said...

It's interesting to get a glimpse into a life which is very different from our own, isn't it?

beste barki said...

The fashion, art and design world always interested me. I'd love to see both of these films.

Liza said...

Thank you for these recommendations.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Patsy - yes ... the society world of Vreeland - we sort of know about - the connections to the wealthy ... French mother, British father, living in France and meeting Russians escaping the Revolution and other movers and shakers - here we hear more of her life. The Ballet Boys - the world of hard graft to achieve their talents. It does open our eyes ..

@ Beste - as you describe ... I'm glad you'll try and see both films; and you'll have an understanding of different cultures etc with your Turkish connections.

@ Liza - that's a pleasure ...

Cheers and I hope you get to see them ... Hilary