Monday, 18 July 2011

The Musings of Ondo Lady Has Moved Home

It was four years ago when I started my blogging journey and a lot has changed since then. I started out without a clear plan on what I was going to write about but I made a pact that I would write at least once a week. Back then in 2007 the blogging environment was very different from what it is now; there was no real blogging community, no events, awards show and certainly no Twitter in fact Facebook had not really kicked off then. I did really feel that I was writing posts and no-one was reading then but I loved writing so it was not a big deal to keep doing it. Fast forward to 2011 and boy have things changed; bloggers are now hotter than potatoes and they get VIP treatment such as front row tickets to fashion shows, interviews in the media and freebies galore. Some people even blog full time and make a decent living out of it and others have taken it to a new level and nab themselves an agent who brokers their deals. There are loads of fantastic blogging conferences around the world and numerous blog awards events. Even the platforms that we can blog on have increased with Tumblr, On Sugar and Posterous making their debut over the last few years to join Blogger, WordPress and Type Pad. However as blogging becomes more relevant to society more bloggers are growing their brand which often calls for hosting their own content at their own domain name. I have decided to join this group and as of today I have packed up and closed shop at Blogger and moved over to my own home in . Please join me at for all the best in global pop culture. I will see you on the other side. For those of you who have kindly subscribed to my blog please adjust your settings and resubscribe and also update your blogrolls.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Dirty Sexy Things

Perou is one of the world's celebrated photographers who has flown round the world shooting famous, rich and beautiful people. His new project is an exhibition of photographs with eight diverse models which he will launch later in the year but first of all he needs to find the models. He has a criteria in mind such as the bombshell model, the kooky quirky model, beefcake guy, Russian beauty, diva goddess and a strange looking guy. The first thing he does is hold a casting X Factor style where all the hopefuls turn up. Some of the entries have a bit of experience and some are complete novices. Charlotte, 22 is a stunning redhead who resembles Twiggy, she has been working in the industry for two years and has specialised in lingerie. Jessye B, 19 is an African Caribbean model who has done mainstream campaigns such as TK Maxx, ASOS and Vue Cinema. She is described as funky modern and street. Ocean, 24 is the urbanite who is very quirky looking, she has worked for Vogue and walked in one of Kate Moss's shows. Jesse, 19 been described as a young and preppy Jude Law. He has worked for French Connection, Lacoste and Jack Willis. He spends his spare time in an indie band called Lux. Ariella, 21 is the commercial blonde bombshell who is a bit of a veteran, she has been working since she was 14 in Milan and has done several runway shows. Jay, 21 been modelling for two years and has an edgy and urban look but he is recovering from an eating disorder and still fragile. However this has not detered him from landing campaigns with Pure London, Kurt Geiger and Puma. Lord Rob, 28 been modelling for nine years, he is a sports junkie and has a muscular frame which limits his modelling assignments. He is an underwear model and has been in campaigns for Next and Kent & Curwen as well as gracing the cover of Men's Fitness. BB aka Black Beauty, 24 is a professional dancer who wants to model full time - mean while he performs with the likes of Alexandra Burke, Beyonce and Justin Timberlake.

Their first assignment is London Fashion Week where they have to go for castings to be selected for fashion shows. Dirty Sexy Things is intriging because you get to find out about the models; their personal lives and their hopes and dreams. Unlike most modelling shows the models are not lumped together in a house instead we see them living in their natural environment. It is interesting seeing the models down at Somerset House which is the HQ for London Fashion Week (LFW). Seeing them milling in and out of castings and go sees. It is also very interesting to see LFW from a male perspective, as the event is very female dominated with only one day out six dedicated to men's fashion this makes it ultra competitive for the male models. Also it is fascinating to hear what a few female models think of LFW - Charlotte breaks it down for us - basically it is badly paid with models taking £50 to £150 per show. So much for not getting out of bed for less than $10,000 a day, Linda Evangelista eat your heart out. This is not a bad documentary because it shows the highlights and lows of working in the model industry. Some of the close up of private parts is unnecessary but if that is your thing then you are in for a treat.

Dirty Sexy Things is aired on Mondays at 10.00pm on E4.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Page One: Inside The New York Times

I will be honest I was expecting this film to be like The September Issue which I suppose was rather unfair as we are talking about a very glamorous industry while the newspaper business is very dry. The fact that this documentary has grabbed the attention of all the media folks speak volumes. Yesterday Gawker even hosted a screening for its staff which took place on their roof garden. Page One is a fly on the wall documentary that follows the staff on The New York Times for a whole year and watches them not just battle to find breaking stories but also struggling to keep their head above water during harsh economic times. The New York Times which has always been revered by hacks from huge media outlets such as NBC who would consult the paper every morning before starting work. Well you don't win 100 Pulitzer Prizes (more than any other news organisation) for nothing. Nowadays the paper has been served with a double whammy; the likes of homing in on job ads and directories like Craigslist and Gumtree taking over the classified ads, combine that with upstarts such as Gawker and The Huffington Post offering an alternative viewpoint. The much loved New York Times is on pretty shaky ground having to make redundancies in order to avoid going the same way as several major newspaper around the country.
The film focuses on key staff such as Brian Stelter, a media reporter who ran a popular blog called TVnewser which got him headhunted by the publication, Tim Arrango who is a media specialist and roving reporter, Bruce Headlam who is the media editor and last but not least media columnist, David Carr who is the rock and roll guy. There has been a lot of buzz about David Carr due to his rather wild past and there is no doubt that he is the Grace Coddington of the film. Filmmakers Andrew Rossi and Kate Novack gained access to the paper where they followed the media desk working on stories and lobbying top editors to have a presence on page one. The timing couldn't have been better because hot topics such as the Pentagon papers, troops in Iraq and Wikileaks broke during this time as well as ironically the launch of the iPad. It was also pretty smart of the producers to concentrate on the media desk considering that The New York Times is being usurped by new media itself. One thing that Page One did leave me with is a reminder of what real gritty journalism is, something that has been forgotten in the midst of fast food news. While viewing the offices of the publication one thing that struck me was the long and rich history that it and every other newspaper in the world has and that is one advantage that it holds against digital publishers.
I felt like I had been taken back to the 80s where men dominated news - there were hardly any women featured in the film. But what struck me is how idealist a lot of the reporters are and how passionate they were to see justice served. Extreme efforts are taken to fact checking, recording interviews, meeting up with sources and going through swamps of data to in order to nail the details. To be honest Page One was not my cup of tea and at times I found the film pretty boring; it was like watching a court case unfold where the lawyers go through every minute detail. I guess I have been spoilt with the glossy documentaries that focus on the big moments and skip over the nuts and bolts. There were some riveting moments such as David Carr on the panel at a seminar at SXSW and brilliantly defending  himself after being attacked by the founder of The Daily Kos. Also Carr's prickly meeting with the founders of VICE is mildly entertaining. Page One may be a hard watch but it shows a more realistic picture of what it is like to work on a daily newspaper.

I watched Page One at a screening from the Open City London Film Festival which took place last week.

Page One is out on release now in the US and hits the UK in September.

Check out the website for Page One.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Think Like a Man

Think Like a Man is based on the book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man which is written by Steve Harvey. I read this book last year after it was recommended to me by a friend and I can quite cheerfully say that it is total pants. I find Steve Harvey's tone very patronising and as a lot of people say it is written for the lowest denominator. My main gripe with Act Like a Lady is that not only does it not tell you anything new but it steals bits from Why Men Marry Bitches by Sherry Argov, He's Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo and The Rules by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider and re-packages the ideas into an urban version. Not clever at all. After I read the book I did hear that Will Packer had bought the rights to and was turning it into a film. It all went quiet until a few weeks back when the casting was announced; Michael Ealy and Taraji P Henson will play the couple in the film whose relationship is on the rocks with funny man, Kevin Hart as their counsellor. Rumour has it that Taraji's character will be a feisty high powered advertising executive with her eye on reaching the top while Michael's character is a laid back dreamer who aspires to work as a culinary chef. Well this should be interesting, Michael Ealy and Taraji P Henson are both known for their roles in quality films and are both stellar actors. Will Packer is a great producer but does not have a track record in making a film about the complexity of relationships. Yes he touched on it in Stomp da Yard and Takers but the love affair always played second fiddle to the main story line. Also I hear that Steve Harvey is down as producer - God help us all because if he has anything to do with it we may have another passion project in our faces. Still I really do like Michael and Taraji so maybe the film will be a great one.

Think Like a Man starts production this summer but no release date has been set yet.