Kill Your Friends  — First Teaser

Nicholas Hoult has come a long way since his days playing “Tony Stonem” in the first two series of Skins.  He’s come even further from his film debut in About a Boy, when he played Marcus Brewer, the kid with the Mr Spock eyebrows.

Next up for Hoult is Kill Your Friends, a dark comedy crime-thriller film about the British music industry in the 90s.  It’s based on the John Niven 2008 novel of the same name.

Audio NSFW.

At the very least, this should have a phenomenal soundtrack.

UK release date is 6 November 2015. No general US release date has yet announced, but there will be a screening at Mill Valley Film Festival next weekend.

Last Taste of Summer

Hurricane Joaquin didn’t have much of an effect on Washington, except for giving us a chilly, overcast weekend.   And neither rain nor snow would have caused the cancellation of the 22nd Annual Taste of Georgetown, sheltered, as it is, under the Whitehurst Freeway, near the Georgetown waterfront.  I spent Saturday there, sampling food from restaurants I’ve not yet visited.

Taste of Georgetown

Taste of Georgetown

The cool weather didn’t keep the crowd away.

Beef Bourguignon

Beef Bourguignon

The Beef Bourguignon from Maxime Steak Frites & Bar was exceptional.  I ordered a second portion to go, and added Maxime to my “Must Visit” list.

Fish and Chips

Fish and Chips

Fish and Chips, made with ale battered cod and hand-cut chips, from Rí Rá Irish Pub.

Duck Bánh Mì

Duck Bánh Mì

Duck Bánh Mì from 1789 Restaurant.  Bánh Mì, from Vietnam, seems to be everywhere these days.   Bánh Mì refers to the thin-crusted baguette used to make sandwiches.

Chili Mac and Cheese

Chili Mac and Cheese

J. Paul’s Dining Saloon had “Award Winning” Chili Mac and Cheese.

Pork Shank

Pork Shank

The Georgetown branch of Dean & DeLuca served an excellent Barbecue Braised Pork Shank w/a Lemon Orzo Spinach Salad.

Very pleasant way to end the day, and the season.


Fiola Mare

Fiola Mare

I took a little break from the festival, and walked the half block to the Georgetown waterfront.  The river was high.  That’s Kennedy Center in the background.

On the way, I passed Fiola Mare, which is currently one of the hottest restaurants in Washington.  It’s Number Four on The Washingtonian’s 2015 list of 100 Best restaurants.

I’ve only eaten there once, and, while the meal was excellent, it left me a little unhappy.

I know restaurants survive on the mark-up on drinks.  Fine.   But I was there for lunch, and only wanted a diet Coke.  I was given an 8-ounce bottle.

It cost $5.

Great way to alienate your customers.  I can’t recall the deliciousness of the olive oil poached rockfish served on a bed of quinoa and red peppers marinati, but can clearly remember the price of the drink, and the bitter aftertaste it left.

End of rant.

Sunday Morning — Victoriana of the Week

"Friday", by Walter Dendy Sadler

“Friday”, by Walter Dendy Sadler

Walter Dendy Sadler was popular with the British 19th Century public in much the same way that Norman Rockwell would become with the American public in the 20th Century.  Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about Sadler:

“He painted contemporary people in domestic and daily life pursuits, showing them with comical expressions illustrating their greed, stupidity etc.  His subjects were usually set in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth centuries with sentimental, romantic and humorous themes.  Before painting a scene he would create elaborate settings in which local villagers would often pose as models.  Indeed, as he often used the same props and models, these can sometimes be seen repeated in successive paintings in different guises.  The home, the inn, the lawyers office, the garden and the golf course all provide subjects for his wit and clever social observation.”

Change a few nouns and adjectives, and that paragraph could be a good description of  Rockwell.

Sadler was known for his humorous scenes of religious life.   The picture above, called “Friday”, shows Dominican monks sharing a rather lavish meal with two visiting brown-robed Franciscans.  If the picture’s title wasn’t enough, a look at the fish and seafood dishes lets us know what day it is, because at the time, Catholics were forbidden to eat meat on Friday.

"The Monk's Repast", by Walter Dendy Sadler

“The Monk’s Repast”, by Walter Dendy Sadler

Red wine with seafood?  Really?

"Thursday", by Walter Dendy Sadler

“Thursday”, by Walter Dendy Sadler

“Thursday” is a sort of prequel to the first picture.  In fact, it’s also known as “Tomorrow Will Be Friday”.  It  shows a group of Franciscans fishing for the next day’s meal.

The Last of Leighton

And now we’ve reached the end of the Leighton House-Ram Shergill collaboration, in which Shergill mapped selected paintings by Sir Frederic Leighton to his own work as a fashion photographer.  It’s made for some thought-provoking combinations.

I wrote yesterday that the match-ups seemed to be getting more literal as the week went along. Not today.  The only common element I see here is draped fabric.

“Looking at Leighton’s ‘Colour Sketch for Countess Brownlow’ from a fashion perspective, the fabric seems soft and sensual, almost like a sari, draped in a skillful way.  Perhaps the Countess travelled and took inspiration from the British Raj?   Or perhaps Lord Leighton had just traveled to Greece and returned with wonderfully fine cottons? Flowing gowns nipped tightly at the waist with a band can be seen on many runways today.  Alexander Wang and Herve Leger have predominantly showcased monochrome collections.  We can only wait for what Chanel might have in store for this year’s Paris Fashion Week.”
—Ram Shergill

The Five Days in Review

This Time. Sir Frederic Leighton Meets Alexander McQueen

The London Fashion Week collaboration between the Leighton House Museum and British fashion photographer Ram Shergill continues.   Shergill has been coupling his own photographic works with specific paintings by Leighton.  This is the fourth of five match-ups.

They seem to be getting more literal.

“I particularly like this image of Leighton’s ‘Head of an Italian model’ as it has a certain realness about it.  I love the darkness of it as it takes me right back to the time when I first started photography.  There is something quite dark and macabre about this portrait.The image reminds me of when Alexander McQueen showed me some of his art and photography books and said that he was into ‘the macabre’ – something that mesmerized me.  This image captures a ‘sensual’ macabre for me as it is a magnificent portrait of a beautiful profile. But there also seems to be something sinister in the way the subject is looking up as if to pray, or to perhaps reflect on something that he has done or is intending to do.  Since meeting McQueen, my work has always contained this edge. The palette is similar to some of the great paintings by Caravaggio who has inspired various works by me.  The lighting lends itself to the display of light-coloured fabrics in combination with the pale skin tones of the human body.”

—Ram Shergill

I spent the first two weeks of Spring in London this year, and one of the things that influenced my choice of time and location was the scheduling of two exhibitions that I really wanted to see: A Leighton House exhibition of 50 pictures from the Pérez Simón Collection, including Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema’ s “The Roses of Heliogabalus”, was in its final days…

…and an Alexander McQueen retrospective was opening at my favourite museum, the V&A.

It never occurred to me to link the two.