Tuesday, 16 February 2016


My goodness aren't we all bored of the same lineup of stars?. The BAFTA's come and go, and we already know the answers for the Oscars come and go, and we already know the answers for the Oscars?. The same group of super humans get the accolades whilst the rest struggle to get a play off the ground or get heard in a concert. The play can be perfectly good, but if you have not got that magical moment "a star" in the cast, you can forget any press, any good press, any audience. It is a struggle that every professional actor/actress/musician/director goes through.Then there is the talk of "Racial Equality". Perhaps at the roots, at the drama schools, the film schools, a student is not given a chance?. Standards are so very high at the beginning, my son Charles had Grade 8 in piano and singing by the age of 17,  that you don't really need to go to music school at all?  He is now at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, having already sung at Carnegie Hall. and attended Mannes School of Music in New York,  I told him to make his own way because nobody is likely to help him. It is the way it is. Opportunity and education at a young age are fundamental to creativity and mental health, why do schools assume we need Maths over Art?.  Education in my books is more important than the NHS?
A small select committee chooses in whatever profession a small selection of prospective talent, too often listening to their friends. The choosers take a risk, and people continually have to take a risk until you have made it, even then it is a risk. I would and have always wanted to be out on a limb, to be out of the box. I do not want to be in any mould  but I love all award ceremonies, but they could be less predictable, I would like to win? It so often becomes about who looks good in a dress, the dress itself often more important than the hard work or the film itself.
This is the problem with mixing up fashion, the arts and film. At the end of the evening Dame Maggie Smith again wins, she runs against the same ten women. It becomes dull, it is dull. Not because of her tremendous acting which we all love, but because however excellent she is, casting and the money men behind it, are all too opinionated, powerful and safe. Millions are at stake, and as the saying goes, millions do not grow on trees. The Cesars, Berlin and Venice Film Festival are the real places to find talent, unusual actors and directors. It is about the dress there too, but you have to be talented. I was delighted last week to be invited to The Evening Standard Awards, thank goodness The Falling was recognised, an imaginative Indie Film, by Carol Morley which I totally loved. There is hope.

Amanda Nevill, Amanda Eliasch and Monika Bacardi a quiet opening at BAFTA

With this in mind when a friend of mine does well, 'out on a limb' I am so happy for them. This week, an exciting event was seeing Arthur Yates open at Liberty's. His green and yellow pots freshly painted against his matching shirts. The boyfriend of Phoebe Saatchi, should automatically have propelled this talented man into the spotlight, but he quietly goes his own way, and by his own admission he is a "Pot and shirt type of man"  Here there is nothing dull, because he is working alone creating beautiful shirts for both men and women, in bright colours, cheering up the basement of Liberty's, a shop with a huge reputation.  His young good looking friends supported him as he painted a wall with ease.  He is yet to be a big label but I am sure in the future he will be. Bruta is a name to watch in the future. Something different.

Amanda Eliasch and Arthur Yates at Liberty's

The problem with fashion is that if you are not a big label it is tricky to get the right quality and even start your career making clothes, I shall probably wear Stella McCartney at The Oscars next week endorsing the established I know. My chapeau is off to anybody who is innovative.
Another new film that did surprise me, which made me genuinely happy, no awards as yet, but a breath of fresh air, encouraged and produced by Monika Bacardi was "Beautiful Fantastic"  directed by Simon Aboud, husband of Mary Mccartney,  had a  high profile screening at BAFTA last week,  this is surely the way to go? No big names, no fame, but genuinely good and worth making, with no sex and violence. It is also why I support the BFI who help filmmakers create and who keep alive the past. Even so, without the help of fame behind the scenes the turn out on a Sunday night could have been different and the finances too.

Hollywood is the land of fruit and nuts,  we know youth and beauty comes before talent, despite my love of vanity let us open a new chapter and I dare producers to make films with nobody famous in them.
I am thinking whether to use huge stars for my film on Egon Schiele or go with my true feelings, which is to give work to talented people, who are not necessarily famous, would this attitude get me the bucks, that I will have to wait and see?

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