Thursday, 27 February 2014

EQUALITY AND SEX CAN GO TOGETHER

My love of Paris drew me to  take notice of the birth  of the Belle Epoque, Montmartre and the Moulin Rouge, showgirls hitting the big time. Where the Can Can, the new erotic dance came alive, as the girls became proud of their talent, their brilliance, their ability to make the erotic elegant.  Mostly performed by ex courtesans, the women set out to amuse their audience, they  knew how to keep them happy. Artists flourished at a time when science and new discoveries were pushing ahead. There was peace in Paris and brilliance.
For many years I have loved Burlesque girls, I supposed it started off with listening to Gracie Fields.

It is elegant. You try and jump into a glass, swing around and come out of it again, without your flesh hanging in directions, that you would rather not live with other people having seen.  Their costumes, their fabulous cheek.  I remember Richard Attenborough saying to me that all actors should be able to whirl a cane.  Women had ability to sing. In the case of now, Lili La Scala, she has sung with a  beautiful soprano voice and she trained at the Guildhall School of Music. To be able to do something well, with a saucy provocative look to it, you have to have talent as well as bravado.
She  stopped crowds speaking in their tracks, as have many other performers have done. They awake our fantasy as they step out wearing their sequinned toes. They are show girls, and they love it.
An ex Burlesque
dancer said to me this morning
"You cannot buy groovy. If you have to buy it, you are not.  People wanted to build the party around her. She made her costumes that showed off her tiny waist, with this she danced the night away. She could dance and sing.
Having gone to RADA, ALRA and just about every other drama school, I can tell you it takes talent to be able to do this as well and energy.It is not just about the flamboyance of their costumes, their immaculate make up. I have been photographing these girls for years. Some of them famous, some of them hardly known. They captivate us with their act, their eyes, their humour and their voice. The greatest for me is of course Dita Von Teese. She danced at a party I hosted for a book I launched for Chipmunka  called Cloak and dagger butterfly.  Dita was incredible. She was specific with her requests. Clean towels, champagne, her bedroom room for the evening, a business class ticket, no cameras, no telephone, no filming.

Totally professional and talented, Dita was charming and brilliant, as she swiftly moved from one prop to another. I defy any girl doing this without practise as proved by the comedian Nadia Kamil. To make jokes about other people you have to be as talented as they are?  Of course Nadia was witty and funny, but could she have moved, it would have been so much better.

The Geisha's were equally talented with their tea ceremonies, and let's not forget the teasing dance of the seven veils, performed in Salome, for King Herod. The daughter who kissed John the Baptist's head on a plate and then danced wildly.

Personally I am so bored of feminism? Oh for a gallant man to open a door, to pay for dinner, to want to make love well? Oh for a Belle Epoque revival.  The mistress?  It is for you out there to judge?. Women want everything, equal pay, equality, but if we really think about it, we are way ahead. We can, I hope,  even take time to laugh at ourselves? Hairy armpits and socks only look good on the young. I like a colourful life, and believe me I can be virtuous as the biggest feminist.
In the meantime I will continue to use show girls for party entertainment, and even the odd comedienne, let's, as women remember that we hold strings to make things happen, we have always been equal to our male counterparts.

GasLighting Trailer of The gun the cake and the butterfly by Hector Abaunza

Monday, 24 February 2014

"Keep young and beautiful if you want to be loved" OSCAR WEEK IN LALALALALA


Why this dieting? Why?

 Oscar week, in Hollywood, is about squeezing into my Roberto Cavalli dress with a snake down the back for The Elton John Party,  or perhaps I shall wear a couture dress by a new designer?  Maybe I shall swap dresses half way through the evening when I go to the Vanity Fair Party?
 I  bought lemon cake which was stolen from me by my housekeeper who said I had only a week to get ready.
 Is it ridiculous? This is the superficial land of Lala,  and the more ugly and old you are, the more you have to spend? I am advised that I need Public Relations this morning, but instead, I shall get up early,  it may be boring, but tomorrow at  7am I shall do a magical class of  mystical Kundalini yoga. However prim and dreary, it may seem, I am endevouring to be serene.
If I was married to a superstar composer/actor/director, and was an official stylish model, Mrs, those in power would honour me in an obsequious, oleaginous, way that I may find completely repellent. No, I am a big rebel.  I want to do it myself.
I am doomed if I believe in youth and beauty, but am I?.  As I look around, my friends can hardly be described as old bags. I am sure they think, as I do, before I go bed,  shall I masturbate tonight?  make love? will it keep my pelvic floor firm and beautiful? Am I out of my time, or can I carry on with my mini skirts and  pink or red lipstick?. My exercised self forever? Will I age quickly, this year, or next? I marvel as I look at myself, and look around at my friends. They are super women, or are they out of their time? I was assured last year, that a little starvation wakes up the "youth hormone". So starvation is the way to go?
I laughed when I was auditioning men for my film, The gun the cake and the butterfly. Nine gorgeous men walked through my door, and I was only semi horrified that the one I fancied was 22, Duka Sokoli, only to find out that he is fully in love and living with a girlfriend. Very boring.  The same age as my son,  I thought he was 37. My sons feel at least sixty years older than I am, they are clearly not on the same hormones?



I asked famous still photograph Jack English this morning if he would marry me, he said "Yes yes I am just off to my accountant, have to be quick, what's up then with the Tooth Fairy and the Elf?" Nicknames he has given to my two other favourite men.

On another note I went to The Italian Film Music and Film Festival, run by the extrovert Pascal Vicedomini and the world of celebrity was with him on stage.  He managed to seduce Alexandre Desplat from his work, writing, and award him best music for Philomena.  He should have won an Oscar before. Alexandre in turn thanked his long term partner for her contribution.  That is what I want,  if I am married, I want to be thanked.  Actually if I am a mistress, I want that too. Pascal then awarded Bono  for his song "Ordinary love" a hit from the film about  Mandela. Bono once dropped into my house by helicopter in the South of France at Maison du Cap. He sang with my children, danced and played.  I look around the jet set life is alive and groovy in the Chinese theatre.
I went with my fellow actress Lisa Zane who was in my film and I love her voice.   With an enormous amount of support Pascal highlights the Italian Festival. I luckily won The Lina Wertmuller Prize for best art film in Ischia in the Summer. Pascal opened it with the brilliant film The great beauty, I think this is the true winner this week. Al Pacino was there talking about Salome, which I loved. I adore the opera by Strauss and Berkoff's theatrical rendition of Oscar Wilde's brilliant play.
Naomi Watts spoke, and looked stunning. David O Russell director of American Hustle, a stage was brought to life brimming with success. Anymore namedropping would be boring, but Pascal managed it  with flare.  I have only spoken about my favourites.

Duka Sukoli and Lisa Zane from a scene from The gun the cake and the butterfly

You know it is celebrity, it is fake and yet not so. No let's not tell untruths,  anyone of us would like to win a few accolades. A room full of cups is an attractive sight, I remember entering my ex husband Johan Eliasch's house when I was 24, and seeing whole rooms full of cups that he had won, for just about everything.  I knew then and there that I had to have children with this man, that they would be clever. Indeed they are. With one son about to play football for a team in France and another singing at the Royal Welsh College I have a lot to be proud of. Then there are cups of my own for the film.
I wanted to work. So here I am off Melrose writing, bringing my life alive, not living with someone else's financial prowess. I shall happily diet for a cup or two, and work towards fitting in, in this weird and wonderful planet. It is the size of Chelsea in London, and everything happens in four square miles and I will be happy to keep young an beautiful, if I want to be loved.






Sunday, 23 February 2014

THE GREAT BEAUTY HITS THE BIG TIME IN EVERY WAY. The sacred and the profane together in harmony.

I left the house tonight leaving my friend Jack, watching his computer with goggles on, his feet on my bed with his shoes still on, in my spare bedroom . I had to leave, I needed change badly I wanted to search for something to feed my soul, not Yoga. I needed nourishment, that would feel like visiting a church in Venice. I found it. As I entered the cinema in Santa Monica, three women were trying to share two tickets, I thought this was charming. They were desperate to see this Italian film. They agreed they would take it in turns. At the end of the film, the man next door to me asked me what it meant, and did I understand it? I said he was too used to Top Gun, and that films like this, had all the answers he needed for life.

 The Great Beauty directed by Paulo Sorrentino, with music by Lele Marchitelli, the score has some magnificent classical pieces too. It is in my books,(although already nominated for an Oscar, winner of a Globe and at Cannes|||) far the best film this year. It leaves the other nominations like damp rags cleaning up the floor. With lashings of wit, debauchery, it is a story about a journalist who wants to be the king of parties. Out of the midst of disco music, gyrating dancers, a man smoking, clears the screen.   If you wish to know the meaning of life, this could help you. He wanted to have the power to make a party, or make it fail. With so many ideas, images bouncing in every direction mingling the avaricious with the pious, the film has the power to make everybody think.  A man living life to the full, but never full enough with anything meaningful, one lascivious moment after another.  Yet the images turn the superficiality to depth. Lessons from Plastic surgery. With wonderful lines like "You are guaranteed to be unhappy if you know too many people"  I am left remembering a young girl beckoning him, another one stripping, a nun climbing steps on her knees, hide and seek in a garden, a happy couple, disco music, art, Princesses gambling, sitting on a boat. This film deserved the cheering and the never ending claps.

The Italian Los Angeles Film Festival, LA opens with the film tomorrow.
I won last Summer with my film, a documentary drama, The gun the cake and the butterfly at Pascal Vicedomini's Ischian Film and Music Festival, Best art film, The Lina Wertmuller prize for her late husband.  I  showed a completely different edit of the film there.  It has now changed so dramatically that it is completely new in so many ways.  I just followed my life, which is totally and utterly different in a very fast twelve months. The people I loved then, are no longer, and like the man in the film I am looking to the meaning of life, and enjoy its beauty. I hope you do too, when you get the chance to see this magnificent movie.

In Los Angeles, Hollywood the film world is racing up to the Oscars, I am still on my diet, though not such a saint. I was caught eating two biscuits by my housekeeper here, who took everything in her own hands and snitched them back to her house.  I was photographed for Genlux Magazine yesterday, where I am fashion editor.  It was lots of fun, with Maxfield's helping out with my clothes, Lisa C styling it, Angela Kalinowski doing my hair, Tracey Morris photographing me for the cover to celebrate Britweek, and Gregory's too.  A wonderful Jaguar turned up, that I could have driven forever. There is lots of generosity here in Hollywood. Also, a few nerves with be touched by the above film, which also could apply to any city in the world. The old men chasing something that never existed, and happiness is something pretty ordinary. A lesson to us all.
Perhaps there will be Famingos on my terrace tomorrow too?

Monday, 17 February 2014

MY FAVOURITE TOP PIECES OF FILM MUSIC

Here is my list of  my top numbers in film music. I love them and they are meaningful to me. I am a romantic and film music, and music in general reminds me of a time or story that I have had. Music makes a film, music makes life too. These films have enriched my life, in a way, that the composers never imagined at the time writing. Music has to make the film flow, but it accompanies the memory, making the stories come alive when you listen to the familiar notes.


1.   The Chorus music by Bruno Coulais reminds me of a french love story I had.
2.   Lust Caution by Alexandre Desplat reminds of sitting under a piano eating an apple, a betrayal of trust.
3.   The Mission by Ennio Morricone reminds me of my marriage.
4.   The Deerhunter by Stanley Myers reminds me of early dreams.
5.   Just a spoonful of sugar by Richard and Robert Sherman taught me to like medicine.
6.   Circle of Life music by Elton John and Lyrics by Tim Rice reminds me of my sons childhood.
7.   Endless Night film by my grandfather Sidney Gilliat and music by Bernard Hermann, could not fail to haunt.
8.   Love Story music by Francis Lai reminds me of adolescence
9.   The score for The gun the cake and the butterfly, Charles Eliasch.
10.  Bilitis music by Francis Lai reminds me of the South of France, my house there, Maison du Cap, everything, during my marriage in the Summer.
11. The piano by Michael Nyman reminds of the repetitions I made in my life
12. The way we were by Marvin Hamlisch sung by Barbara Steisand.. every girl wants a romance like this.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

OH FOR A BAFTA

I am missing the BAFTA's this year in London. I needed a change.  It will soon be the Chelsea Flower Show and time passes so quickly I like to do different things. I love film, but I have to finish mine, The gun the cake and the butterfly at Anarchy Post. If it had not won, I would not have changed it, but I did, and I felt that I should change the things that needed a little lift, add a scene or two and alter the end. It is now irrelevant. Like so many things in life, time, if nothing else moves life on.
Some people are no longer in my life, new things were happening. I wanted to tell a different tale. I had fun in the studio with Duka Sokoli and Lisa Zane, but always missing Justine. There is something about Justine Glenton. I love working with her.


I have known for many months that Cate Blanchett's portrayal of a neurotic,once rich but now newly broke wife, was a winner, in Blue Jasmine. As I have been rich myself, I felt for the character, this impoverished woman, bereft of love, full of lies and loneliness with a drinking problem. With many human failings and spending habit. It could so easily have been many of my friends. Of course it is  based loosely on modern version of A street car named desire. Tennessee Williams a brilliant playwright hands over the reigns to Wood Allen to give it a new boldness with Cate's dramatic characterisation.  However Woody must takes  credit for re writing the script, and Cate who has played the part of Blanche is definitely doing so again in this contemporary tale.  I totally loved the film.  A film for me has to be a coup de foudre, and there were no love stories going on. She had stiff competition she was against Emma Thompson in Saving Mr Banks about Mary Poppins and Dame Judi Dench in Stephen Frear's Philomena, a heart rending tale about an adoption. Both of these cinematic tales I loved.
Awards are not necessarily about the best film.  It is the whole package that is taken into account. Clearly if you have the backing of Harvey Weinstein it is a good thing and you have great ingredients like slavery, you are likely to win. It sounds like a worthwhile film, 12 years a slave,  but is it the best?
To whip up interest and get your film seen you need the stars.
George Clooney is a popular candidate, with all the women I know, and is clearly lots of fun with a cheeky sense of humour he makes a visit on a space ship in Gravity even more exciting for me.
The BAFTA's are not just about film, they are also about clothes and Angelina Jolie was beautifully dressed in Saint Laurent. My favourite label at the moment.
I have been watching a season of old Oscar winners and I love Leslie Caron in An American in Paris, Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra, Vivien Leigh in Gone with the wind, which I am ashamed to say, I have only just watched.
Congratulations to Helen Mirren and Jeremy Irons for winning an Academy Fellowship..
The Guardian has a full list of winners.



Monday, 10 February 2014

PARADISE IN THE HILLS WITH NO DARK GLASSES

I have changed the end of my film, my tinted dark glasses are off and life changes.  With good humour  it is easier  to go with it. The gun the cake and the butterfly it is has a different spin. With the help of my editor Hector Abaunza and Anarchy Post I think I have improvised a new and moving end to the film and hope you will think so too. I worked with Lisa Zane for the end of the film and Duka Sokoli.

Lisa Zane and Amanda Eliasch

My cleanse had worked and I am feeling I think much better, I need another week or so and I shall feel spectacular.  A perfect way to start the new year. Having been a reluctant eater of anything green for all my life, I now desire only the best lettuce in the house.  I love waking up with my fresh  apple juice, and I shall miss Catherine Vanazzi. Although not reaching my goal, I have only 8 pounds to go until I am perfectly my normal weight again. It is possible to regain a peace of mind when all is a mess around you.
The food was beautifully presented and thoughtful too.



 I am heading for hills of Los Angeles, to a wilder neighbourhood. I hope I can drive there. Terrified of heights I have decided to make way for the hills and fight this small problem of vertigo.  I had wanted to go to Palm Springs, the architecture is terrific. Bryan Dreardon was the perfect realtor there, and was cheerfully dismayed when I said I would remain in Los Angeles. Charming and merry he showed me some incredible houses.  With Modernist week coming up, culture is booming in this beautiful desert town.  I am happiest surrounded by sand and mountains. I feel in the middle of nowhere. There is a great appreciation of the arts there, but I still need the buzz of Hollywood for a few more years.  I will hopefully sign and live in a  perfectly designed paradise in the hills.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

ENJOYING LIFE AT AN UNCERTAIN AGE,(shh nearing or over 50) "Yes I am loving it better than ever"

Phew, I am now on my homeward stretch of my diet and going to be skinny soon, fuck my face, there is always Dr. Jean Louis Sebagh.
A few tips to keep you feeling good at an uncertain age.. This is not so tricky as it sounds.
1.  Exercise regularly. Walking round Battersea Park with Justine Glenton is a laugh that I cannot do without. It always manages to stay sunny.  Do this at least 2 or 3 times a week.
2.  The arms go, and there is nothing you can do except pump iron, so that is what I try to do.
3.  A once a year green diet. I do it with Catherine Vanazzi, from Kajh Spa and on the 4th day I am feeling much better.
I was dizzy and bad tempered the first two days. I feed my friends with the food, and except Peter Medak, everybody hardly touches the fake spaghetti made out of what looks like courgette. It is delicious in small amounts.
4.  Make plenty of lovely new friends. Some of my greatest friends have flown to a happier place, so you need a few new ones.
5.  Match.com to meet new men has not been great, but Facebook has a cheerier more accepting appeal.  Match.com only produced for me ponces, so beware. Clever conmen and their merry men.
Also still use protection when having sex.  There are some bounders about with STD's. Remember everyone over 60 is from the promiscuous era of the 1960's when free love and sex was available, and no Aids.. So beware.

6.  Keep your eyes on the latest beauty ideas. I personally love the knife and botox, but it is not for everybody.
7.  Stay within 7 pounds of your natural  weight at the age of 18, however I put on 14 pounds recently and my face looked great, my best party dress split, so make a wise choice.
8.  With hormones flying all over the place with the menopause, be ready to write a few "I apologise" letters.  It only takes 30 minutes and it is better to say sorry than be sorry. I managed to fall out with about 4 people during the more flamboyant moments.
9.  Sleep well, and if you can't use the time wisely, I write, I love it.
10. Continue to educate yourself.  Try new things and stretch your ideas, you after all want to be up to date with everything.
11. Remember negativity is strong so do whatever it takes to be positive, Eg Yoga, The Hoffman Institute, Scientology, Raja Yoga, I believe in anything that makes you feel good, and contribute to life.Buddhism and consciousness anything, that makes you you believe in a high presence and well being of others.
12. A good dietician in London is Dr Fine and in Los Angeles The Weight loss centre. Always weigh yourself regularly however depressing.
13. I still wear mini skirts, well I am a 60's girl, but now I cover everything with thick Wolford Tights and my arms make a minute appearance. Although they are okay, old skin is old skin. Anything over 30 is not in the flush of youth, so be clever and hide what you don't have, and enjoy what you do.
Good luck and let me know how you are doing. You can also read Tim Willis's site on how to make it through.
As for me I have been my most productive, made my first film, won 7 prizes which never happened to me in youth, moved to Paris and Los Angeles, darted round the world, had some romances, and now am ready to grab back my husband number 2, who after all this drama, is the one and only man I can rely on. There we are, it probably won't work, but hells bells, if I don't try, I won't know. We said we would make old bones together. If we don't it is not the end of the world, but a pity. Romance is romance but friendship/romance/love and compassion is where the real meaning of life is.
 are few and far between but this is my list of favourites
GOOD LOOKING WOMEN OF UNCERTAIN AGE
1. Trinny Woodall
2. ME ME ME hahaha
3. Martha Fiennes
4. Maya Fiennes
5. Amanda Harlech
6. Lucy Ferry
7. Priscilla Waters.
8. Lisa Zane

PS I have never worn braces.. but got a comment that perhaps you will need them?

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

THERE IS A SPA IN THE HOUSE

Never listen to a man when they say they like fat women?  As I am naturally fat, and without my yearly diet, absolutely huge. Last year I had a dalliance, I can't say a romance because I never kissed him, but a dalliance I will call it. He used to say I should eat double, thank goodness for Tim Willis who said if I got any fatter he wouldn't speak to me, as he thinks it shows that you are slovenly and lazy. So quickly I jumped on the scales to find that the "bounder" lied to me I had put on a massive 14 pounds above what was my heaviest. At the horrendous age of 53 it wasn't showing, the 26 pounds of butter was not showing and I could get into my most favourite party dress? So where was it going? Clearly your face needs the fat after 48, and boy did I look radiant. My bottom was falling neatly above my knees. I called for my best friend Catherine Vanazzi, from Brazil, to whip me into shape.

I can't say the diet is easy or really fun, yesterday I managed to fall out with two friends. Oh well there are always ups and downs with me, and I hope that they will understand that it is part of my charm.
I am sleeping by an apple, no not diet pills, not sleeping pills, but an apple. This glorious piece of nature has to remain whole. I shall not be like Eve and weaken and eat the apple.
In the morning I tuck into half a glass of apple and kale which I swallow hoping that the taste will disappear and I run to the bathroom to clean my teeth which turn green. I am assured all product for Whole Foods and Farmers Market are fresh and healthy, but somehow, doughnuts have mega appeal this morning.

Then  I am allowed papaya which smells like poo with some nuts which have become a total luxury and I think to my utter joy that there was a little honey on it. I crept downstairs early to have an expresso and when the dietician disappears I shall get another.
For lunch I was told I was lucky to have a chicken mixed with sprouts, because the day before I broke the diet and went and had a nice juicy steak, I never eat meat, but I slipped off to Fred Segals pretending to shop, and gulped down this dreadful looking thing on a plate.  Literally the blood oozing. Something that is forbidden is most desirable.  Normally I think about the animals fear as I eat, this time I did not give a shit. I was in survival mode.

At night I am given some sort of slime which is supposed to be soup.  I have to tell you for the lack ingredients the slurp was just about tolerable.  There is nobody else in the house and I can't cheat because she can hear me creep down the stairs. But hells bells all this is worth it as I lost a pound in two days, only another ten to go.

Don't ever believe a man when he says "You need building up, that they want to devour your curves" especially down Sunset Boulevard as there is simply too much competition. A man could fall in love twenty five times from the Sierra Alta Towers to the Chateau Marmont. So believe me it is all lies…
Do the diet or die. At least Catherine is friendly, pretty and never mean..