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Ankle-Breakers or Heels to Die For?: Short film on Platform Shoes from 1977
03.22.2012
02:57 pm

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Amusing
Fashion
History
Pop Culture

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The platform shoes to-die-for were Frank N. Furter’s in The Rocky Horror Picture Show - those bejeweled white heels made Tim Curry’s first appearance as the sweet transvestite the epitome of glam. And gorgeous he was too.

Elton John may arguably have had the best platform shoes, but his tended to veer into stage props, eventually leading to those sky-high Doctor Marten boots in Ken Russell’s Tommy. And of course, there was David Bowie, Twiggy, and a host of pop stars sashaying around London on pairs of ankle-breakers. Like Oxford bags, bell bottoms, high-waisters, and bomber jackets, the platform shoe epitomized the androgynous nature of seventies fashions. Originally devised as stage shoes in Greek theater, platforms have been in and out of style through the centuries, at various times used by prostitutes to signal their availability and profession (to literally stand out from the crowd), and were popular in the 18th century as shit-steppers, used to avoid effluent on the road. However, their greatest impact was in the 1970s, when they were the boot of choice for seemingly everyone under 30.

I had a pair of 5 inch heels, blue patent leather, divine to walk in, impossible to run in, and not the expected school uniform. This British Pathe featurette takes a look at the trend of platform shoes from 1977.
 

 
Via British Pathe
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘God on a wheel!’: Campy viral video sensation Royce Reed, RIP
03.21.2012
02:30 pm

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Fashion
Kooks

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I was saddened to hear that Royce Reed, co-star of the “Royce and Marilyn” viral videos has passed away. According to the Royce Obsessed Facebook page:

“She passed Tuesday evening. In her sleep they believe heart attack.”

In 2009, when I was guest-blogger at Boing Boing, I helped get the ball rolling on the Royce and Marilyn craze:

It’s hard to believe that this jaw-dropping series of videos of Royce Reed and Marilyn Hoggatt isn’t a massive YouTube sensation… but it will be. Take one (huge) part “Grey Gardens” and add a hefty dollop of Peter and Raymond from “Shut Up Little Man!” and you kind of get into the Royce and Marilyn territory. But not quite. It’s as unique as either and yes, it totally deserves to be spoken of in such esteemed context with these aforementioned FREAKS.

Royce and Marilyn are two elderly ladies from “another era” and these videos document their lives in a SRO hotel in Los Angeles’ downtown “skid row” area (where they share a bed). One of them is happy-go-lucky and content with her life, the other is totally haughty with delusions of grandeur and an ever present glass of bubbly. It’s one of the most tweaked things I’ve seen in some time.

Werner Herzog will plotz when he sees this! These videos are the best thing since medical marijuana.

And so they are!

Royce’s partner in crime—or straight-man in their comic duo—Marilyn Hoggart, died last year. Their YouTube videos will live on forever.

LA Weekly ran a lengthy profile of the pair back in 1999: “Forever Fabulous”
 

 
More Royce and Marilyn after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Stunning Boba Fett handbag
03.20.2012
02:07 pm

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Fashion
Movies
Television

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I hate saying the overused “Wow, just wow!” but this wicked handmade Boba Fett handbag by catpenfold deserves it.  Sadly, it’s sold. However, I spotted an equally amazing Doctor Who Ood clutch still available for purchase at her Etsy shop.
 

 
Via Neatorama

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘It Couldn’t Happen Here’: The Pet Shop Boys’ rarely seen feature film from 1988
03.18.2012
05:40 pm

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Dance
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Music
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‘What did you do in the 1980s, Daddy?’  For those who want to know what it was like to be young(ish) and middle class in Britain during the 1980s, then take a look at the Pet Shop Boys in their one-and-only feature film, It Couldn’t Happen Here. Originally planned as an hour long pop promo to accompany the release of their third album Actually, It Couldn’t Happen Here captures the style, the pretensions, the cultural obsessions and some of the most popular music of that decade.

The Pet Shop Boys are a hugely under-rated band, whose compelling, beautiful and catchy music by Chris Lowe, can often disguise the power and passion of Neil Tennant’s lyrics. For you see, despite what the music press claims (that means you NME), or the modes by which the band present themselves (daft hats and outfits), there is really nothing ironic about the Pet Shop Boys at all. They mean everything they do. Which is why It Couldn’t Happen Here is so frustrating. It could have been like The Monkees Head for the 1980s, with a hard, political edge, but it wanders without any sense of direction through a series of segments that revolve too literally around the songs.

That said, for a pop film it’s not all that bad, and the quality of the songs, and some of the eye-catching performances (Joss Ackland, Gareth Hunt, Barbara Windsor) make it almost passable. If only Derek Jarman (who collaborated on a stage show, and directed the promo for “It’s A Sin”) or Lindsay Anderson (the director of If… and O, Lucky Man! who would had directed the concert film of Wham, yes, Wham, in China) had been asked to direct rather than Jack Bond, then things might have been different. Even so, Bond made it look sumptuous and Neil Tennant found out he couldn’t act.

Time methinks to release the film on DVD.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘My idols are dead and my enemies are in power’: Does this image speak to you?
03.15.2012
06:15 pm

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Amusing
Fashion

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myidolsaredeadmyeneimesinpower
 
My dear friend, Paul Darling, posted this image on his page. Instantly, it attracted attention as so many different people seemed to agree with the statement:

My idols are dead and my enemies are in power.

Maybe it connected because we live in the UK under a Tory government? But friends in Europe also agreed. And yes, there is something alluring about this photograph, and something also quite French and existential. So, what do you think? Does this image speak to you? If so why?

While you have a wee think about that, here’s The Stranglers “No More Heroes”.
 

 
With thanks to Paul Darling!
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Paris: City of Fashion 1950-59
03.08.2012
05:05 am

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Amusing
Fashion
History

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Paris: City of Fashion is an elegant little featurette from British Pathé, which looks at a variety of women’s fashions from the 1950s, posed against the boulevards and avenues of the gorgeous City of Lights. Watching it makes me feel I should be Cary Grant wandering around markets on the lookout for a Swedish 4 shilling, an “Hawaiian Blue” or a “Gazette Moldar”.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Perplexing superhero tee-shirt spotted in Puerto Rico
03.06.2012
10:15 am

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Redditor HeavenSk8 spotted this wildly amusing tee-shirt somewhere in Puerto Rico.

You know you’d watch the shit out of this if it was a real movie. I like how it’s sleeveless and features the George Clooney incarnation of Batman.

Via reddit

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Everything is Perfect Until the Music Stops: ‘Disco Fever,’ 1978
02.29.2012
09:37 am

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Dance
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While looking up a suitable image for last night’s post on disco by Simon Frith, I came across a film called Disco Fever, a disco-exploitation oddity from the same year as the article, 1978.

As a fan of both disco music and cult cinema I was surprised to never have heard of this, and now I’m wondering if any of our readers have seen it? In case your memory needs jogging, it stars Casey Kasem and some dude called Fabian, and a lot of the action seems to revolve around a discotheque which is onboard a jumbo jet. Here’s the original trailer for further investigation (this film may just be so bad it’s good, or it may just be so bad): 
 

 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Art Against AIDS: The B-52s and Friends (1987)
02.23.2012
11:12 am

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Activism
Art
Fashion
Music
Queer

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In 1987, the B-52s produced an incredible public service announcement for AMFAR (The Foundation For AIDS Research) with the late NYC-based video artist Tom Rubnitz (best known for the “Strawberry Shortcut” and “Pickle Surprise” videos) and several of their closest famous friends. The colorful tableau vivant recreated the “Sgt. Pepper” album cover with the flowers spelling out “Be Alive”

Along with the B-52s, you’ll see Korean video artist Nam Jun Paik, Allen Ginsbeg, Dancenoise, “voguing” pioneer Willi Ninja, Nile Rodgers, Joey Arias, Tseng Kwong Chi, Mink Stole, ABC’s David Yarritu, “Frieda the Disco Doll,” John Kelly as the Mona Lisa, Lady Bunny, performance artist Mike Smith, Kenny Scharf, David Byrne and then-wife Adelle Lutz, model Beverly Johnson, NYC “It Girl” Dianne Brill and Quentin Crisp among many others.

If this isn’t eighties enough for you already, note the presence of “Randee of the Redwoods” (comedian Jim Turner) the acid-fried MTV “presidential candidate.”
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Brazilian drag queen recreates Madonna’s entire Super Bowl show and it’s amazing
02.22.2012
01:24 am

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Amusing
Dance
Fashion
Music
Pop Culture
Queer

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Drag superstar Alexia Twister recreates Madonna’s entire Super Bowl spectacle in Brazilian gay club Victoria Haus - a rather amazing feat considering this show was probably produced with less money than the cost of Cee Lo’s dressing room deli tray.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
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