8.15.2011

My Trip to England, A Trio of Discoveries, and The Neutral Dress


Hello dear readers...

I hope you are all having a wonderful summer- and that you are having a chance to rest, relax and rejuvenate.

I will be spending the next month in jolly old England (which wasn't so jolly last week with all those riots but hopefully things are on the mend!)

While I'm there I will continue to blog but might not be as punctual with my posts and videos so thank you in advance for your understanding. I'm really looking forward to going to England again, seeing family and hopefully do a bit of traveling while there. I will, of course, keep you updated on all my adventures and observations.

Speaking of England, this week's video is called The Neutral Dress. Inspired by the Duchess of Cambridge and her love of neutral, subtle glamor, I show you my favorite neutral dress and the many ways in which I wear it. To see the video click here, look in the sidebar of this blog or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

And now for this week's post on a Trio of Discoveries:

Film:


Midnight in Paris by Woody Allen
Woody Allen’s latest film Midnight in Paris is not really a discovery as most of you have probably seen this already! But oh what a wonderful film it is so for those of you that haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it- especially if you are a Francophile like me. This is the first film I’ve seen in the cinema since having my baby. My husband stayed home with the baby and I met a girlfriend at our local theater. I got a hot tea and some nachos (don’t ask- I wanted to be naughty at my first cinematic experience in a year) and we settled in for the ride.

I knew I had made a good choice in movies right from the opening scene which is a musical and visual love letter to Paris. Seeing so many of my favorite old haunts brought back a painful and delicious nostalgia. The opening sequence is set to a highly moving saxophone piece (see second discovery below) and then the movie begins.

I do not want to give too much (or anything really) away but can tell you a brief and vague synopsis. Gill Pender (played by Owen Wilson) and his fiancé Inez (played by Rachel McAdams) are in Paris for a short holiday before going back to the states to get married. Gil is a writer who is fascinated by nostalgia and the time period of 1920s Paris- the age of Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Picasso and Gertrude Stein (amongst others). Not quite satisfied in his current relationship, Gil goes on midnight walks in the city of Paris when a mysterious event keeps occurring…

Do go see Midnight in Paris to find out what happens!

Music:

Sydney Bechet Petite Fleur Album

As mentioned above the opening sequence in Midnight in Paris is one of the best I’ve ever seen in a film and part of it was due to the melodious and moving saxophone song it is set to. After seeing the film I searched high and low for the artist (Literally. It took me forever to find this guy) as there is no Midnight in Paris soundtrack available. But eventually I cracked the case (and thank you to all of my twitter friends who helped me along the way!) The opening song in Midnight in Paris is Si Tu Vois Ma Mère by Sydney Bechet.

I immediately looked up the song on iTunes and came across Mr. Bechet’s incredible album Petite Fleur. Sidney Bechet was not only a highly talented African American saxophonist who often collaborated with Louis Armstrong- but was also one of the first prominent jazz soloists of his time. His album Petite Fleur (which includes the great song Si Tu Vois Ma Mère) is like melodic sunshine. If you love Art Deco music with a French twist you must listen to this album. It is only $5.99 on iTunes. I listen to it while making breakfast in the morning and it starts off my day very pleasantly indeed. As a side note- this would also be excellent to play at your next dinner or cocktail party.


Television:

Tommy & Tuppence

Speaking of Art Deco… Have you all seen the Tommy & Tuppence series from the 1980s starring Francesca Annis and James Warwick? You all know that I have a borderline obsession with everything to do with Art Deco England (have you seen or read Mapp & Lucia yet?). I never quite got into the Tommy & Tuppence books by Agatha Christie as I was more of a Poirot person myself but this series is so delicious I will have to give the books a try again.

Tommy and Tuppence are a high class crime fighting duo that have an eccentric approach when it comes to solving crimes. Start with The Secret Adversary movie to see where it all began and then watch season one and two of Tommy & Tuppence Partners in Crime.

Watch it for the beautiful Art Deco costumes and styling (although I will grumble that they put far too much makeup on the beautiful Francesca Annis in the series- If you watch it you’ll see what I mean- a le no makeup look was definitely in order there!) Watch it for the dashing James Warwick who is the quintessential English gentleman (and whom I have a hopeless crush on- don't tell my husband). And of course watch it for the intriguing casework that only Agatha Christie could cook up. The Tommy & Tuppence movies and TV series are available on Netflix.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my trio of discoveries this week.

Gatsby is pictured above :)

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14 comments:

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

Bon voyage!
Have a wonderful month in the UK.

Rebecca said...

Have a wonderful time in England! I'm looking forward to hearing your adventures. :)

LR said...

Have a fun and safe trip!! Are you bringing back your hat from your last trip? Or buying a new one? :)

Debra Green said...

I loved Tommy and Tuppence but they very rarely get shown here now as they are so old series. Also can't get netflix in UK yet!
Francesca Annis is stunning in them. I have tried to get on DVD but either sold out or too expensive.

I am going to order the Sydney Bechet album now. Nice to hear from someone who shares my Art Deco obsession!

Gina said...

Midnight in Paris is on my to-see list, and I checked out the Tommy & Tuppence DVDs from the library just this afternoon!

Bon Voyage!

Gina said...

Clearly, I am nuts! My library run included Jeeves & Wooster, not Tommy & Tuppence. Oh, my brain...

Vicki said...

Hi Jennifer,

Always such interesting and chatty posts, thank you. Music and movies, such a nice way for the brain to have a rest, I will be watching out for them. Don't try to post whilst you are in England! There are far too many high teas, castle viewings, rambles, choral afternoons, civilized strolls in parks and the like. Will you pop across the channel for a sojourn?
Keep well and happy,
Vickixx

LMK said...

Great post! Woody Allen is one of my most fav director's, so am anticipating seeing this flick with my girlfriends.

And loved the Mapp & Lucia suggetion so much will definately make Tommy & Tuppence a Netflix choice (am currently making my way thru SITC seasons for the second time in 6 years - and they still resonate!).

Will check out Sydney on my Pandora account too. Am always on the prowl for new music genres to obsess about.

Well, you've left us with alot of homework to do while you're away. Stay safe and have a great time. And have a Guinness for me, will you? YUM. oooxxx

josephinetalepeddler said...

Hello Jennifer, safe journey. I shall follow you through Twitter, I imagine. Hope your daughter is happy during the flight. :)
I was never a huge Tommy and Tuppence fan being more a Miss Marple girl but that series sounds perfect. Have you ever seen a series called The Mrs Bradley Mysteries? That's another one I have heard good things about Gatsby looks the part. And I love the neutral dress clip. I think the colour is beautiful but I'd need sleeves on my nd! Take Care. xx

Elizabeth said...

I just saw Midnight in Paris yesterday! I loved it, as well. I also ate some wonderful French food beforehand, I feel like you would have highly approved of the evening. Thank you for the music and television recommendations, I am such a fan of everything Art Deco, I'm definitely going to check out Tommy and Tuppence.

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Hello from England everyone! Thanks for your lovely comments! We arrived safely- the plane ride wasn't the easiest journey ever (it never was when it was just me but now I have a baby!) but nonetheless we are here. There were heavy rains yesterday so I am just trying to keep warm! LR I cannot find my hat which is so sad because it was such a lovely hat and I'm sure I would have had an occasion to wear it to again in the future as hats are making a comeback! So I might have to buy a new one :)

I'm so glad you all have an Art Deco love too- All three 'discoveries' this week deal with Art Deco in one form or another so I hope that you enjoy them. For those of you that have seen Midnight in Paris- isn't it delightful? I am just loving Woody Allen's latest films set in Europe! I hope he keeps them coming.

A wonderful day to you all xx

Shelley said...

Thanks for the tip about Tommy & Tuppence! Never heard of them but now I know what I'm getting Bill for Christmas - I'm betting he'll love them! Enjoy England!

Rose said...

I haven't seen Tommy and Tuppence but I'm also an Agatha obsessive so I must seek it out

I've just seen the new Poirot of Halloween Party- it was gooood- I think it's on TV here soon so hopefully you will have it soon too?

Anonymous said...

Hi, Jennifer! Bet you excited about Woody being nominated for Oscar and winning a GG for "Midnight in Paris"? Though not my most favorite of his (feel Manhattan is still the best story he's told, thus far), this one is so deserving of the attention. Who can resist the period and characters he choose to portray!?! Not many I know get his humour or directing style. Nice to know I can share with others who do. = )
LMK - xooo

 
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