24 March 2009

La Nouvelle Smooth

A few weeks ago I posted a Stella ad (the one with the ice skating priests) on Facebook and then spent hours on YouTube checking out some of their other ads. I've always found their commercials extremely witty and clever, which makes me very happy because I love their beer. Now, however, they have exceeded all of my expectations with their new campaign, La Nouvelle Smooth, which reimagines La Nouvelle Vague directors such as Jean-Luc Godard and Francoise Truffaut shooting 24, 8 Mile, and Die Hard. More information can be found in this article on the Guardian website.

The video featured in the Guardian article is a hilarious "what if" Godard directed 24. It uses characters based on those from Pierrot le Fou and gives our hero, Jaques Bauder, the task of saving St. Tropez in 24 hours or else . . .

Saving the world is so . . . Bourgeois.

I thought that was hilarious, but then I went to the campaign's website to check out the other two.

Truly hysterical is a reworking of 8 Mile, here called 8 Kilometre, in which a pair of poets battle it out in a jazz club.

Monte Carlo in the house??!

Finally, in Dial Hard, a mysterious woman sends our hero (Inspector Jean Meqlaine) to a telephone booth across the street to answer riddles.

I have holes in my top and bottom, and in the middle, but I still hold water. What am I? Call me in four minutes with the answer or die.

The campaign was created by the agency Mother London and is worth every pound of their undoubtedly ridiculous fee.

And now excuse me while I go off to buy some beer.

11 March 2009

Shame on you Mr. Helg Sgarbi!

The extenuating circumstances of Mr. Sgarbi's attempt to extort millions of euros from BMW heiress Susanne Klatten make for fascinating reading. Was he really trying to exact revenge for the fact that his father, a Polish Jew, languished as a slave laborer in a BMW factory as this article in the The Independent suggests? If so, being paid €49 million is still a hell of a lot of money to collect for the suffering of someone who has long since died.

The point here, however, is not to examine the ins and outs of what type of revenge (if any) is appropriate in these circumstances--I'll leave that to the ethicists. No, the point here is to publicly chastise Mr. Sgarbi for screwing up the perfectly formed image of the gigolo I have carried with me since 1980, which would be this:

and definitely not this:

Image courtesy of ITN

No offense intended, but this guy looks my banker and not a gigolo. But then again, perhaps looking ridiculously hot is only important for an American Gigolo.

09 March 2009


Nope, fashion is not one the topics usually dealt with on this blog. There are some stories, however, that are just too shocking to pass up . . . like the piece on the Guardian website this morning about men's leggings, or meggings as they are now called.

Image courtesy of the Guardian

Well in a way I'm relieved to see that men can also be manipulated into becoming fashion victims. Perhaps because their victimhood is relatively new, however, they appear more tragic. But I say, "Right on Fashion Industry!" because if a guy is lame enough to buy "meggings" and think that that makes him cool, then I'm left with the hope that the industry will now turn more of its attention to making men--rather than women--look ridiculous.

That must be some kind of victory for women . . . right?

08 March 2009

RIP Horton Foote

Given that he was working with such great material, it is perhaps not surprising that Horton Foote created such a wonderful screenplay for To Kill a Mockingbird. That said, the experience of viewing a film adapted from a beloved novel can be so very painful, that I am inclined to give proper credit where credit is due.

Mr. Foote was a genius.


The High Noon Moment

While it is of course true that he was helped by a brilliant cast and one of the most beautiful film scores ever composed, Mr. Foote's contribution to the film can not be overstated.

It's not for nothing that To Kill a Mockingbird is quite simply my favorite film.

Thank you sir.