Tomb Raider – A new Lara

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The high voltage, energy tone of this movie is reimagined, tight, exhilarating and relatable.

Strange Days, Tomb Raider starring Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft opens with a hipster living, street smart, 21-year-old, bike courier.

Lara is a gutsy, vulnerable lead female action hero, who in 2018 delivers food and bike races the trendy high-octane streets of East London, kick boxing in her spare time and barely able to afford the rent.

This Lara lives in a tiny flat, stubbornly refusing the extraordinary wealth of her Croft inheritance with its English Manor and millions and millions of pounds.

But her fierce independence is just a mask, a mask to hide her vulnerability and pain. For to accept her inheritance, she would have to accept the death of her father, Richard (played by Dominic West), an eccentric global adventurer, who disappeared several years earlier.

The plot takes a fantastic turn when Lara is handed a puzzle box, just as she is poised to sign documents – under the watchful mother-hen one eye gaze of her Aunt Ana (played by Kristin Scott Thomas)- and acknowledge the official end of her father’s life.

Lara’s hands intuitively click open the puzzle, revealing a clue to her father’s fate – she is after all a Croft – and this is the Lara we expect, as we plummet with her and dive into the unknown, of an epic adventure to a fabled unchartered island, somewhere off the coast of Japan.

On this island, a mythical 2000-year-old tomb, enshrouds a demonic Queen and a curse that will somehow wipe out mankind. A curse nobody wants to be near, but just like Pandora’s box, the curse is a rare commodity and is super attractive to those who wish to weaponize it.

Right from the start, the action is relentless and exhilarating.

In one of my favourite scenes, a hipster cycling pack – contemporary and diverse – there are no monochromatic, fluoro adverse sensible-lycra-clad-boys-club here – you swerve and fend from your seat, as the pack hunts its prey, upending the café strewn streets of East London. The thrill of the chase is urban, raw and real. I loved it.

The globe-trotting scenes are exotic and taut with tension. From London, to Junket leaping in Hong Kong, to an Island – somewhere off the coast of Japan – resplendent with a mummy’s tomb and even a WWII bomber carcase perched life-threateningly over impossibly high waterfalls.

Since 1996, Lara Croft as a lead female action figure has dominated pop culture and yes, I would love, along with thousands of other pop culture fans, love my avatar to have her skill set and physicality.

This is a new Lara Croft and following on from the success of Angelina Jolie as Lara, Alicia successfully claims her space, as Lara Croft, Tomb Raider.

Angeline Jolie as Lara has her Butler, her team, her robots to spar and train with and Croft Manor to train in. Angelina has been a Tomb Raider for a while and knows what to expect in a crypt or tomb.

Alicia as Lara is a mere fledgling, more ordinary person about to lead an extraordinary life – and so she captures us with her urban, girl-next-door accessibility, except for the fact that even when she’s smothered in pounds of 2000-year-old crypt dust she’s going to look like the statuesque kick ass action hero that she is.

Published by http://gomoviereviews.com/2018/04/tombraider/

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Director   Roar Uthaug

Producer   Graham King

Story      Evan Daugherty

Writers   Geneva Robertson-Dworet, Alastair Siddons

Costume Designer    Colleen Atwood, Timothy A. Wonsik

Starring    ALICIA VIKANDER, DOMINIC WEST, KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS, DANIEL WU, DANIEL WU

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3 Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri 5 out of 5 Stars

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Not since 1986 have I applauded out loud, in a packed cinema, for a movie that blew me away with the dynamic force of its female lead and its nuanced emotional and moral rollercoaster, of great cinematic story.

Published by Go Movie Reviews and shared for you here on my blog.

8 years ago, English/Irish, playwright/filmmaker, Martin McDonagh, wrote Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri in one single draft.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri is McDonagh’s third film, following the slow burning cult success of In Bruges and his darkly twisted, Seven Psychopaths.

Taut, confronting, tragic and pathos rich, the narrative tightrope of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is strung between tragedy and cathartic humour.

The story opens with Mildred (Frances McDormand), her terrible grief has no tears left as she stands beneath three newly pasted billboards, billboards she has hired, billboards that witnessed the rape, murder and torching of Angela her teenage daughter, seven months earlier.

Since then there have been no arrests and the local police department have no leads.

There is no word in the English language for the place that Mildred is left as the parent of a dead child.  When a child loses a parent, they are an orphan, when a parent loses a child, they lose identity, their face becomes edgeless without definition – there is no word for this place.

In this place, Mildred’s relentless rage, tears apart the small town, minding-everyone’s-business, complicit charm of Ebbing Missouri.

Unable to accept the paralysis of her grief and fueled by fury, Mildred embodies the fight or die quality of a lone cowboy making a last stand against the local police and emblazons what must be the largest victim of violence impact statement and directs its lethal force at the town’s much loved, Chief of Police, Chief Willoughby (Woody Harrelson).

Raped while dying

And still no arrests?

How come Chief Willoughby?

 

To arm the isolation and combative fury of her on screen performance, McDormand kept herself isolated from all rehearsals, cast and crew, only seeing the cast at final shooting. And it worked.

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McDormand is simply outstanding in this role. Simply dressed in one commando-like-overall with barely no facial expression, her seething and impact are latent and volatile and you just know that her lethal cocktail of fury, grief and a sense that justice has not been served, will suffer no prisoners.

 Injected with unforgettable-quote-worthy dialogue, humour and darkness straddle the tension in each scene.

Mildred strides into the Police Station – her town popularity at the bottom of the heap. Oblivious to a herd of police mulling about, Mildred confronts Officer Dixon (Sam Rockwell), –  a cop we’ve sized up already as the worst kind of cop. A cop that is stupid, racist and armed.

‘Hey fuckhead!’says Mildred.

‘What?’ says Dixon.

‘Don’t say what, Dixon, when she comes in calling you fuckhead’ says a watching Policeman, shaking his head.

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McDonagh’s script is ripe with racial taboos, social taboos and humanity. His characters, flawed, imperfect, dark in pathos, humour and humanity.

As a master storyteller, McDonagh’s  serves us lashings of unexpected and transformative humour, cathartic after scenes heavy in tragic sadness.

Dixon tells Mildred, they don’t do “n—-r torturing” no more but “persons-of-color torturing”. 

In a packed cinema we gasp together in horror, at Dixon’s racism and in a packed cinema we laugh out loud, together, at his stupidity.

The power of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri is in its straightforward truths. There are no ambiguous wonderings.

McDonagh serves a plate full of raw humanity and we love it.

We recognize the familiarity of our shared humanity, the shades of our despair, our common rage and tragedy but ultimately our ability to use humour from that dark place to release tenderness, hope and redemption.

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Martin McDonagh – Director, Producer, Writer, Playwright, Filmmaker.

Written and Directed by     Martin McDonagh

Produced by             Graham Broadbent, Peter Czernin, Martin McDonagh

Executive Producers     Bergen Swanson, Diarmuid McKeown, Rose Garnett, David Kosse, Daniel Battsek

Starring    Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Abbie Cornish, Peter Dinklage, Lucas Hedges, John Hawkes, Caleb Landry Jones, Sandy Martin

All images with thanks to Pinterest

Visage Villages (Faces Places), Chance gave JR, an iconic contemporary photographer/muralist with over a million Instagram followers his first camera. He found it, abandoned on a subway. Destiny introduced him to his biggest idol, legendary filmmaker, director, writer, visual artist, Agnes Varda.

Go see this heart expansive art, story, documentary by two of this worlds best photographic visual artists and filmmakers.

Oscar nominated for Best Documentary in 2018, Visage Villages (Faces Places) by Agnes Varda and JR, I was blown away by their vision of what is possible when life is appreciated through our senses first.

I watched this documentary with my 11 year old daughter, a budding photographic enthusiast and loved when she said at the film’s end, ‘that was a good movie mum. I liked it’. 

Chance gave JR, an iconic contemporary photographer/muralist with over a million Instagram followers his first camera. He found it, abandoned on a subway. Destiny introduced him to his biggest idol, legendary filmmaker, director, writer, visual artist, Agnes Varda.

Together, their love of imagery, of capturing the beauty of story in art and the story in impermanent faces resulted in their outstanding French documentary – Visage Villages (Faces Places).

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What they do with a simple black and white selfie is sheer artistic magic. As the pair travel through rural France ensconced in JR’s incredible photo truck– an instamatic camera on wheels – they unearth the extraordinary in the ordinary story rich faces of rural French villagers.

JR (34) dangling like a dapper clad Spiderman scales colossal heights on scaffolding – think six shipping containers high –with acrobatic ease he pastes up giant scale photographs, high upon walls.

Just as the edges of a face blur in recollection and memory, there is a sense of urgency as Varda and Jr attempt to make permanent a shifting landscape of time.

Through a photograph, Varda and JR immortalise the fragile impermanence of the face, that one moment in photographic time where the face and body stand heroic, silent in their quest to guard the permanent, to remain emeshed within the bricks and concrete of industry and remembered.

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None more tellingly shown than in the pasting of a young Guy Bourdin, pasted low tide, on a beach in Normandy, onto an abandoned German blockhouse, . Varda (89) had spent time with Guy, shooting the image back in the ’50s.

The image has survived over six decades but the following morning when  Varda and JR return, the blockhouse and beach remain, forever mismatched together, but the image, washed away overnight has vanished.

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Everything is always changing. Varda and JR remind us that permanence exists in engraving and appreciating the present moment. Great art and film after all is all art that lives on, either in form, or in the way it affects us when we greet it.

There are surprising, great and unexpected stories in the worlds behind the faces we meet, worlds we know little about of the lives and stories of French villages, workers and farmers.

Like a goat farmer who bucks convention by refusing to burn off her goats’ horns at birth.

Or the speechless tears of a woman – pasted street front upon her home – the last inhabitant in a row of miner’s houses. The miners have vanished but their homes stand heroically stoic and although abandoned and  crumbling, the row of houses unite as constant reminders of stories past.

Time and chance are lead roles within the documentary, Varda and JR had no plan other than to meet the people of the landscape and to let them, their amazing personal stories and the landscape dictate the mood and feeling of the art and documentary.

Within Visage Villages (Faces Places), Varda and JR supercharged with the power of improvisation, triumph in their tender exploration of human lives.  Varda and JR embed the faces and places of rural France within our psyches and as with great art, these images haunt and remain.

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Written, Directed and commented by Agnes Varda and JR

Executive Producer Rosalie Varda

Associate Producer Emile Abinal

Co-Producers Julie Gayet and Nadia Turincev, Charles S. Cohen Nichole Fu, Etienne Comar

 

Images with thanks from Pinterest

2018 resolution – ‘Less judgement and more nuts’ ‘A Nut Job 2, Nutty by Nature’.What can go wrong is what makes this film so right.

 

2018 is finally here! I couldn’t be more excited. I have just come back from 4 glorious days in Sydney, catching up with old friends, sailing, swimming and sleeping on Sydney Harbour –  afternoons dozing in a sea breeze with champagne lips – the best! Then doing it all again!

There are so many new things I am excited to dive into in 2018. I haven’t made any resolutions only that I’m not going to overthink too much and I’m just going to get out of my own way and enjoy all I have, a bit like the characters here in  Nut Job 2, Nutty by Nature,  my first 2018 movie review, published for Go Movies.

Enjoy! Simmon X @theloveauthentic

Cal Brunker wanted to make A Nut Job 2, Nutty by Nature, bigger and more fun so he took the most loved elements of the first movie and mixes nuts, drama and the deft flick of an artist’s eye to bring to life a little band of insurgent parkland animals, a corrupt greedy human oppressor -and turn it into a visually stunning action packed sequel.

 Stuffed on a fast food supply of nuts from the abandoned basement of Nibbler’s Nut Shop, Surly and his animal friends Andie (Katherine Heigl), stray pug Precious (Maya Rudolph) Buddy (Tom Kenn) live happy, lazy and fat in nut luxury without a survival worry in the world.

Nut feasts of every kind are just one furry paw breath away for the hunter gatherers. But their lifestyle of easy pickings ends explosively one night as the nut shop comes tumbling down in a gas explosion.

Unbeknownst to the animals their survival problems are just beginning.

Surly discovers that the local Mayor, a corrupt self-serving meanie Mayor Muldoon (Bobby Moynihan), plans to get rich by bulldozing their beloved Liberty Park and ripping it apart turning it into a hellish carnival ground full of decrepit rides bought on the cheap.

The animals strike back when they team up with some muscle in the adorable fluff ball form of a tough city mouse and Kung Fu master Mr. Feng and his army of displaced mice. Mr Feng has one outstanding flaw, he absolutely loses it when you call him cute.

Mayor Muldoon brutally enlists pest exterminators to eliminate Surly and his friends. Mayor Muldoon packs a pint-sized weapon of his own, his daughter Heather – an armed brat with psychopathic urges, a tranquillizer gun and itching trigger finger.

Heather delights in doing horribly wrong things to animals if she can just get her hands on them.

All appears lost as the animal’s face hunger, homelessness and destruction by a predator they are not equipped to battle

What can go wrong is what makes this film so right for its target audience.

A simple movie with big themes: inclusion, diversity, unity, purpose and quest and we, we’re cheering the little guy all the way.

Cal Brunker injects the drama with ever higher stakes with the completely unexpected plot twist of my favourite character, Surly’s best friend a non-speaking rescue rat named Buddy (Tom Kenny).

In his scraggly body Buddy the silent heroic outsider captured my heart as he faced off against the destructive power of corrupt human greed.

Nut Job 2, Nutty by Nature is a thrilling ride with unexpected plot twists.  At one moment I sat misty eyed with shock in the cinema with my 11-year-old daughter, My thought at that moment was, ‘this can’t happen in a kid’s movie!’

As I watched this movie with my daughter I was given the gift of escaping into the movie with the eyes of a child.

My daughter loved A Nut Job 2, Nutty by Nature.

The Nut Job 2 draws you into an enormous canvas of animated movie magic. There is enough colour breathing escapism, relentless slapstick smiling animal chaos and rocket fueled action married with characters we care about that makes Nut Job 2 a perfect school holiday movie.

The Nut Job 2: Nutty By NatureDirector and Co-Writer: Cal Brunker

Producer and Co-Writer: Bob Barlen

Screenwriters: Scott Bindley, Cal Brunker, Bob Barlen

Producers: Harry Linden, Jongsoo Kim, Youngki Lee, Li Li Ma, Jonghan Kim, Bob Barlen

Starring: Will Arnett, Maya Rudolph, Katherine Heigl, Jackie Chan, Bobby Moynihan, Gabriel Iglesias, Bobby Cannavale, Jeff Dunham, Peter Stormare and Isabela Moner.

Rated: G

 

Images not owned by theloveauthentic and are used for promotional or illustrative purposes and their copyright remains the property of the original owner.

ALL FOR ONE – my absolute favourite movie for 2017 X

ALL FOR ONE follows the first five years of the GREENEDGE cycling journey.

A pack of men united by a spirit to excel and a shared aussie larrikinism– think lycra and rock and roll montages – who succeed spurred on by unquestionable matemanship in their quest to exceed as a team at the Tour de France.

This film doco is a must for all adrenaline junkies, panoramic French alpine roads map the terrain for some of the fastest downhill descents on some of the world’s steepest roads.

We are swept in for one hell of ride, super charged with front row seats, we traverse the descent safe and fearless in front of a movie screen. Unlike downhill skiers who perhaps have the imagery of landing in powder snow there are no such illusions for cyclists as they speed down tracks of metal, rock and tar.

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The team’s joy and comradery on tour is infectious punctuated by the rousing musical beats of ACDC, Jet and Prodigy in the background. But unlike a rock and roll tour bus there is no excess on a cycling tour just marathon stretches of training, rehydrating and cycling.

In my favourite scene, the cyclists – armed with gladiator strength – face off against the infamous Paris Roubaix Cycling track.

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The race where spectators the world over line up to see firsthand the human sacrifice , ‘the race everybody hates to ride and everybody wants to win’.

The Paris Roubaix is mythical and ancient – Napoleon is said to have advanced his troops over the patchwork track of cobblestones – cyclists carry names such as Spartacus and spectators line the edges thrilled by the prospect of blood sport.

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The Paris Roubaix 1969

The carnage is real – cyclists ride on with broken collar bones, blood streaming from face plants, bikes and bones litter the race track and the cyclists push on, their determination to finish and succeed is primal.

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Greg Lemond after Paris Roubaix

Of the 200 cyclists that enter the Paris Roubaix only 50 to 100 are expected to finish.

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This movie excels through the lens of documentary by revealing the intimacy of real people in their own real stories. Character biographies of cyclists such as Esteban Chaves, Mathew Hayman, Neil Stephens and Simon Gerrans unearth the message of the movie and the secret of their individual success.

The secret is a willingness to get up each day regardless of their fears and to make each step forward be in the direction of their dreams.

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The Greenedge Tour Bus brakes down on top of the finishing line – with 4 minutes to go before the cyclists reach the finish line, disaster is inevitable. But thanks to a bystander’s suggestion of deflating the tyres, a certain disaster is averted.

The movie’s message will reverberate tingling your every pore alive.  For 100 minutes, you have been swept into the raw pulse of hearts burning on fire with sheer adrenalin and unedited pure joy.

The effect is intoxicating and as a spectator sitting in a blacked-out cinema you soar vicariously with the pumping music rhythms and sinew of muscles possessed with a determination – to not give up and win!

I left the cinema breathless, my heart racing, my spirit surging with adrenalin. Inspired by the driving strength of humanity to overcome Herculean odds, in pursuit of our passions, spirit whispers ‘yes you can, you got this’.

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 Esteban Chaves kisses at the finishing podium

Produced by: Nick Batzias – Virginia Whitwell.

Director: Dan Jones – Marcus Cobbledick

Writers: Marcus Cobbledick – Dan Jones

Read my review published here for Go Movie Review

http://gomoviereviews.com/2017/08/all-for-one/

A Ghost Story – The paradox of living with love separated from the adored one’. #davidloweryaghoststory

A Ghost Story invites us into the tender space of young love shared by Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck and the tragic aftermath of grief as a fatal car crash leaves C dead and transformed as a ghost throughout the movie.

Landlocked by love in one state of being and one place, C remains beneath a sad and forlorn sheet with cut out holes for eyes, to witness time and his lover change without him.

There is something to a movie with long stretches bereft of dialogue, we remain in the stillness as the ghost does and without distraction we sink further into the tragedy of love lost without goodbye and time moving forward where the loved one occupies no space only in memory.

 

Lowery (Pete’s Dragon, Aint Them Bodies Saints) had been wanting to tell a ghost story for years with the classic iconography of the bed-sheet ghost and with Affleck as no ordinary ghost he achieves that.

Lowery sets the visual tone that this is not a traditional motion picture by shooting the film in the 1:33 aspect ratio, meaning the image width is only slightly greater than its height.  This film technique enabled Lowery to create a towering presence of the shrouded ghost, a still and dominating presence within each scene.

The cinematography is pared back with the glare and grit of everyday realism and it is in the familiar and the known that Lowery captures us.
Through doorframes – a fascination of Lowery’s – both dark and functional, they frame Affleck and Mara in ordinary rooms of no import, but it is in their lack of adornment where the intimate confrontations and revelatory keypoints are revealed without massive movement or violence.

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In an unforgettable scene, Mara’s luminous distinctive features convey all the profound grief you thought you’d need dialogue for. In isolation, she stuffs an entire family size chocolate pie in a single four-minute take. The body of food is ill equipped to replace her loss of C.

In a later scene, we witness the profound pathos of love and of lost hearts craving connection through the ghost’s presence.

When M finally leaves their home, she embeds a lover’s note into a door frame. The repetitious scratching by a ghost without hands is both tragic and beautiful and as he seeks to unearth the note oblivious to the passage of time without him, we are reminded his sense of identity is derived from his attachment as the beloved.

As I left the cinema into the noise and bustle of my ordinary world, I was unsure how I felt about the movie, in fact I had to sit with it for a few days.

I felt haunted by the film’s imagery of tender grieving and the paradox of grieving a love torn apart by unforeseen tragedy of living with love separated from the adored one.

Through the art of film Lowery poses the aesthetic as a response of grief and catastrophe.

A Ghost Story penetrates as a poignant reminder that the blessing of our good luck is to sit in witness to an event that is possible to each of us.

Our shared humanity wants to vouch safe the journey of love and for it not to leave us ill-prepared for the space that remains in the absence of the loved one.

Written and Directed by: David Lowery 

Producers: Toby Halbrooks, James M. Johnston, Adam Donaghey

Cinematographer: Andrew Droz Palermo

Starring: Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck.

An inspirational and beautiful work space for the day – at Cinema Nova, Carlton Melbourne.

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Yikes! I’m at my first school parent’s party and everyone’s a Swinger, but me.

Somewhere in Bondi, on a street leading to the ocean, a black lacquered door throbs and music and a golden doorknob beckons.

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A band of navy Italian lace silk fringing falls from my hips, skimming my thighs. 

I suck my belly button back to my spine, check my boobies are still bound inside my bandage top, shoulder roll my men’s pinstripe blazer and reach for the curve of the golden orb.

The golden knob slips from my grasp as the door swings wide.

My confronted eyelashes tremble under the welcoming wink of an oiled navel and golden G-string.

The greeting is unexpected and magnificent.

I offer up my invitation in the sobering event that I am definitely not expected at this party. I have been invited by parents of a five-year-old friend of my daughters, our daughter’s new friends at a private co-ed school in Sydney. I don’t think golden knobs and G-strings are part of the mixing and mingling at that party.

PARTY INVITATION

On a smooth high gloss 9 by 20cm photographic card dance three naked woman, texture and movement supplied by their 70s’ styled pubic hair fullness.

Dress code: Sexy cool

Theme: 007 meets Barry White

Champagne pops my gaping mouth shut. I’m in.

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I pad across the wide oaked black Japanese Oak floors on my tippy toes – I really don’t want to puncture these floors with my heels – to a tram carriage, embedded flush in the cavernous rooms right wall. I discover this is the host’s dining room – the carriage sits empty and waiting like the rest of the party, awaiting new conductors and passengers.

It is  spectacular.

I am excited and nervous all at once and I shiver like Christmas Eve with silent promise for the night.

The World is Not Enough

Bond: “I was wrong about you.”
Christmas Jones: “Yeah, how so?”
Bond: “I thought Christmas only comes once a year.”

Beyond the room a sail clothed canopy hangs above an outdoor DJ, circling a tinkling bar with a throb of clustered bodies.

A dancing lunatic pulls me on to the dance floor.

I am completely ill at ease.

A handsome stranger rescues me.

I am completely at ease.

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This shot taken of me completely at ease with friends a night before.

In fact the party is full of throbs of people really at ease. As I elbow beat off  a throng of strangers – who are now intimate with the size of my facial pores – I watch the room.

The room is full of clusters of people, really into getting to know people they have just met.

I look at the wad of business cards that have been pressed into my hand by all of my new friends and contacts at this party.

For some strange reason I feel like the main course.

There are no leery eyed stares, just people enjoying a luxurious party with all the trimmings, fresh delectable canapés, chilled golden flutes of erupting French champagne and two-legged predators with smiles of inarticulate longing.

As I walk upstairs to find a bathroom, candle lit water bowls with floating frangipani dot paths to the King size beds.

A strange little man jumps from the shadows and pulls me towards a bed.

I break free in an ugly jig to the stairs – trying to look cool and stride two stairs at a time, away, away from my creepy little leaping guy. 

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This party is for a select group of people, with a select group of rules.

Swingers.

Swapping loved ones and partners and sharing sexual pleasures with strangers with consent from your other half.

I’m not good at sharing and know I’m not playing. From the dance floor fringe shadows hover close and I know I’m not the only one feeling this way.

A woman I know embedded  in the shadows, watches her husband get it on with another on the dance floor. And as her loved one shows his moves to another she doesn’t look excited, turned-on or angry, she looks sad.

I turn and  head for the golden knobbed door – perhaps all that glitters is not so golden after all.

007 house rules, to kiss without telling and like 007, I leave early.

Sex, is a game best played by choice.

Remember to choose which game you are playing, before the game you are playing chooses you.

johnny

Johnny Depp.

‘If you love two people at the same time, choose the second.

Because if you really loved the first one, you wouldn’t have fallen for the second’.

 

Style has one rule – We are not normal, we are Exceptional!

 

The most profound advice I ever received from my longtime friend – other than, ‘Love! one is never enough’! –  Jas, aka an ex cross-dressing, gender bender with buckets of present day style was,

   ‘Love, who needs normal? You were born to be exceptional! You, We were born to be fabulous!

In a world where real beauty is fast shopped, Instagram photo shopped to the beauty nutritional value of  fast food,  Jas sums up Beauty’s new dichotomy perfectly.

   ‘Today the word beauty is used to define perfect, in proportion and flawless.

There was a time when beauty was about someone’s style, their presence and charisma’.

exceptions

So with a few tweaks  Jas, aka MR Divine, reminds us beauty, real beauty and the power of feeling beautiful is not found over the counter. Beauty is found at home.

Welcome gorgeous ones,

We can all agree there are days where our reflection lets us down. Lets us down. I know. Days. Days where we are want for nothing more than to reconfigurate, recamouflage or recreate. (yes these are not words in the dictionary!)

Those days, where even with perfection staring back at us, we want to see something new.

I have watched a barrage of tutorials on shading and contouring, shading and contouring – creating features where once there were none. There were none!

It is times like this when our divine creative child stomps her plus size heels and says,

   ‘I’M HERE, I’m ready, give me the theatre of life!

     Moreover, give me the centre stage!

Pop

 

Being fabulous is all about canvassing your flaws as features. Seriously it is your flaws that define how unique and fabulously different you are. 

 Have you ever felt  the floor tilt as all the fabulous eyes of the room cast themselves towards you. They are drawn, lost in your enigmatic presence. There is nothing sexier than strutting your good self with great posture. Great posture is HOT!

  • Play up your flaws – Listen and pay attention to the indomitable wisdom of the eternally beautiful, the charismatic, Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel – she who made Lauren Hutton’s gap toothed smile a beauty icon.

I will speak more of the indomitable style of Diana Vreeland in next week’s post.

You don’t need to spend money or over complicate things to be fabulous!

Here are a few of Jas’s aka Mr Divine’s favourite nips and tricks.

  • Start at the beginning Prepare your canvas, an easy way to do this is with a thin layer of mashed avocado. Allow 20ish minutes to dry then peel it off in gentle circular motions with your fingertips.
  • Then lightly rinse, the result is soft, moisturised exfoliated skin. If you have an overly pink or dry skin tone, instead of rinsing, just buff off with a soft cloth.This will leave your skin more hydrated with a slight green undertone helping balance the excess pinkness
  • Remember to pay attention to framing your eyes and honouring your lips!
  • Whether you feel the need for just a layer of BB cream, a slick of lip tint and lashings of mascara, or a well contoured face and smoky eye.
  • We never leave the house without a little tricking up.
  • First Smile! it increases your face value, and why yes, I did just quote Truvy from Steel Magnolias.

Truvy

 

  • First impressions matter! smiling and eye contact when introduced to someone, lingering eye contact and handshake if you want them to remember – not too long, stalking is not beautiful!
  • Fragrance should not assault someone across a room. We want it subtle enough that a potential paramour nuzzles in closer. Where that first kiss on the cheek already has them wet, I mean weak at the knees. Seduction ladies!
  • Dress for comfort! No grimace on your face thanks to those new heels.
  • Yes, there are exceptions to some rules. Like wearing those new heels to a venue with loud music (so we will assume social conversation is out) and fortifying yourself with whichever top shelf spirit, you require to bring out your inner spirit animal.

A sexy tip if you are seeking the simple glam of a Vargas girl, with a low-cut sweater, enhance your bosom by consuming two cups of fennel tea daily for a few weeks -to push you up a cup size!

Vargas

  • Dress boldly with eccentricity as Iris Apfel does, or enhance your femininity by stealing from the boys.
  • Match a man’s dress shirt with a pencil skirt, wide belt, pushed up sleeves and pearls – Aka Katherine Hepburn or Lauren Bacall with a silk blouse, oversized men’s pant with braces or a belt to accentuate a paper bag waist.

And remember! Style does not have to be expensive it’s just what works for you.

There are no set of rules that apply to all, so dare to be bold and creative. Have fun.

People are always confident when they are enjoying life.

 

we are outstanding

Who is MR Divine? Aka my friend Jas

An ex-gender bending, spiritual, lover of food and wine, with interests in holistic healing, nutritional medicine and who can spend hours in Thai Chemists leaving no shelf unturned looking for something cheap, trick and fabulous. Xxx

 

 

A Guest Contributor – Beauty secrets – Tips and Tricks of a Cross-dressing Beauty Queen

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As a 50-year-young woman I am excited to share a beauty secret, one I have known for 30 years!

The beauty secret is my friend Jas.

Jas is and has been my mirror and my accomplice in keeping it ‘pretty’ when life was hard and my mirror and accomplice when life was full of fantastically horrible ideas and adventures.

I met Jas when he was 15 as he sauntered in to take on the position of apprentice chef in an Art Deco Hotel in Auckland. At the time I lived upstairs with my then boyfriend, one of the Hotel’s two Managers.

Jas and I became instant friends, downstairs in the Hotel kitchen over shared sneaked-breakfasts of still-warm, metre-long-crusty-bread-sticks, halved, smeared with lashings of butter, sliced hot eggs, crusted in rock salt, garnished with globs of freshly made hollandaise – deeelicious!

 

Daz xxx

Every girl or 50-year-old woman should hang out with or at least have one of these friends in her world, one of these friends who helps her to look her absolute best.

In his opinion what he thinks is your absolute best may differ from yours.

He convinced me once to don Black hot pants, a madonna Vogue bra, and a blonde bobbed wig with thigh high suede boots for a club night out in Melbourne but equally he loved me wearing red suede flat shoes, no make up, my natural curly hair and a simple tee shirt dress out to club nights as well.

There is safety in having a wonderful man like this growing up, partying in clubs – you never have to worry about any mistaken sexual signals.

He is gay and I am straight. 

Fun times, simple.

Jas knows how to dress as a woman, so he gets it, he gets what we need to do to get pretty, to get ready to go out.

He loves me being and feeling my best and he has amazing beauty tips – amazing beauty tips, I never thought of, that work!

 

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This is Miss Gay Venezuela 2015 receiving her Beauty Queen crown. Beautiful.

 

So I asked Jas to write a piece here for me and for you all – his secret little nips and tucks that make us look our absolute best … natural with a little help.

Fun times, fun secrets.

Like the transformative wonders of a rolled pair of socks for your cleavage or his new tip, the restorative features of ‘fennel tea’.

He sent me an early morning confirmation email today

Ok sexy tits,

   ‘Just came up with an idea to centre my first piece around, so now that I have a starting point, I most likely will start filling in the blanks latter today’. 

Grab your seats and your socks, because he has agreed to share!

What tips and tricks do you have? Do you have a best friend like Jas in your life?

I’d love to hear!

 

 

My Mumma said, you are enough. ( Fast Non-Fiction, a 1 minute read)

 

Screen Shot 2017-06-07 at 1.55.20 pmThe irony of freelance writing and pursuing time for creative fiction.

It’s crazy, the busier my freelance writing world becomes, the more productive I am with my own fiction work. Go figure! But backstage my unworthiness gremlin slips in and tells me I cannot pursue busy success and write with a true voice at the same time.

Since October 2016 I have been freelance writing for Australian Fashion House, Swish Plus Size Fashion  Writing for others keeps me accountable and I love it.

So after a work period of crazy busyness and accepting some incredible writing opportunities  I forgot to slow down, get still and I slid off balance, just like the little gremlin prophecised.

I was tired and luckily I didn’t fall back on patterns of my past. I no longer sucked down my feeling by escaping into food or wine or more activity, in moments like this I did what I do now – I called my mum in New Zealand.

 

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My mum keeps it real and I know she secretly she loved it when ‘A’ I said,

‘Mum I need your advice’ and ‘B’ I stopped speaking long enough to listen,

The words tumbled out all together.

Anxiety was decapitating my self belief and I was running about like a headless chicken in search of the sun. 

‘I have a ball in my chest where I’m not sure how to breath about my writing. I think I have set it way up high on a pedestal and I don’t know how to reach it’.

My Mum said,

‘I knew you were  doing this, you have done this before, you have been running around, being here, there and everywhere and you need to get still. You need to sit down and talk to yourself.’

I really, really wanted to interrupt her wisdom with defence, to delay the inevitable. Although she offered what I needed, my defence, my safety, was reluctant to hearing.

I inhaled hard, bigger than a chicken breath, kicked my inner voice ‘know-it-all’ to the curb and listened.

‘You are enough and whatever you write is enough’

‘Write what you have now. It doesn’t have to be perfect’, she said.

She laughed and then said,

‘why don’t you grab a pen and write about how much you hate me’.

A joke between us from my overdramatic stomps as a teenager when feeling the whole world had wronged me and my mother was the only thing that stood between me and experiencing more of the whole, wrong, world.

I would stomp off into my room and begin writing, but I never wrote hate letters or notes to my mum, I wrote stories. Stories that I escaped and poured myself into, where I created exotic, teen-girl-wanting-to-be dramatic, free landscapes outside of my teenage-tiny-bedroom walls.

As a teenager I wrote from a ball of desire and anger and a need to escape.

I like writing from that place.

And like my mum said, I am enough exactly as I am.

I need to sit, get quiet, be a little bit headless and be more in that heart ball of desire bursting in my chest.

I love writing from that place.

How do you find stillness in your world? I’d love to hear your methods for finding that spot for yourself.

Xx

Much love,

Simmon

I like doodling in bed too, it helps get me still.

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Some of my freelance work published by Swish Fashion 2017

memoir

http://blog.swishfashion.com.au/plussizestyletips/an-inspirational-swish-mum-overcomes-body-shaming

Profiles

http://blog.swishfashion.com.au/plussizestyletips/anita-carmody-stays-loyal-to-manufacture-in-australia-plus-size-fashion

http://blog.swishfashion.com.au/plussizestyletips/stories-for-women-who-have-achieved-success-in-their-field.-plussize-empoweringwomen-mothersday

 

#women #mothers #nonfiction #growingup #swishplussizefashion #50pluswoman #mentalhealth #parentingadvice #worklifebalance #writerslife #freelancewriting