četvrtak, 27.10.2011.



Italian Fashion On Line

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italian fashion on line - Ripley's Game

Ripley's Game

Ripley's Game

Mr. Ripley emerges from retirement to preside over one last deadly game, but can he persuade an innocent man to commit murder?

The slippery protagonist of The Talented Mr. Ripley returns in another deadly guise in Ripley's Game, a well-appointed star vehicle. The star this time is John Malkovich, whose older Tom Ripley has settled into an Italian villa and a life of aesthetic contemplation (a little like Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal). A former partner (Ray Winstone) drags an innocent frame-maker (Dougray Scott), dying of leukemia, into the role of unexpected hit man. Ripley, for his own enigmatic reasons, helps. Liliana Cavani, of The Night Porter notoriety, directed this handsome if nebulous film (which has no connection to the Matt Damon picture, other than a Patricia Highsmith source novel). Malkovich exudes his usual oily disenchantment with the world; Lena Headey, like the location footage, is gorgeous. The same novel was adapted in very different style by Wim Wenders for his brilliant 1977 film, The American Friend, with Dennis Hopper and Bruno Ganz. --Robert Horton

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The Peninsula Hotel

The Peninsula Hotel

696-700 Fifth Avenue, Midtown Manhattan, New York City

The imposing neo-Italian Renaissance Gotham Hotel (now the Peninsula Hotel) is one of the few structures on Fifth Avenue which recalls the golden age of luxury hotels and the prominent place they occupied in the formation of the city. Erected between 1902 and 1905 by the Fifty-Fifth Street Company, a real estate development firm, it was designed by the architectural firm of Hiss & Weekes and is among the oldest of the early "skyscraper" hotels.

These hotels heralded the transformation of Fifth Avenue from an exclusive residential street — Millionaires' Row — to a fashionable commercial thoroughfare. Rising twenty stories, including a multi-storied rooftop addition, at the southwest comer of West 55th Street and Fifth Avenue, the boldly rendered Gotham is a stylistic counterpoint to its contemporary, the flamboyant Beaux-Arts St. Regis Hotel directly across Fifth Avenue and also skillfully complements McKim, Mead & White's University Club which adjoins the Gotham to the south.

The development of the luxury hotel in New York began when John Jacob Astor (1763-1848) commissioned Isaiah Rogers in 1836 to design an hotel to be erected on the site of his former house on fashionable lower Broadway opposite City Hall. The Astor House was an immediate success and maintained its position as New York's finest hotel for over fifteen years until the city began its relentless northward growth. The fashionable center of the city moved "uptown" to Broadway between Canal and Houston Streets.

Prompted in part by the Crystal Palace exhibition of 1853, a host of hotels were erected with the finest and most lavish rising along this section of Broadway. These hotels not only lived up to the standards set by the Astor House, but even exceeded them, vying to outdo each other in opulence. After the Civil War and the recovery of the economy from the general depression that followed, the city again moved north and a number of grand hotels opened near Madison Square along Fifth Avenue and Broadway.

John Jacob Astor (1864-1912) and his cousin William Waldorf Astor again exerted their family's influence as arbiters of taste and fashion in both the worlds of high society and real estate by constructing the hotel Waldorf Astoria in 1892 and 1897 on the site of two neighboring family mansions on Fifth Avenge between 33rd and 34th Streets (now the site of the Empire State Building).
In 1892, William Waldorf Astor also commissioned the New Nether land Hotel at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street. Fifth Avenue at that time was lined with this country's finest mansions designed by its most prominent architects to house its wealthiest families. The spires of churches which had been the tallest objects along the avenue were now eclipsed by these new "skyscraper" hotels.

These hotels were the first to combine two separate building types: the skyscraper, previously restricted to the downtown area and to office use; and the hotel which had generally been low-scaled and essentially domestic in character. These hotels heralded the transformation of Fifth Avenue from an exclusive residential street—Millionaires' Row—to a fashionable commercial thoroughfare.

A decade after these hotels opened, the city once again underwent a substantial change. Major civic improvements, particularly in rapid transit, changed the character and pattern of movement of the city's residents. The first subways were being built, three East River bridges were either in the planning stages or under construction, as were the two great railroad stations, Pennsylvania Station and Grand Central Terminal.

By the beginning of the 20th century, distinct hotel districts developed. The areas immediately around the railway stations attracted hotels catering to transient businessmen. The theater district, which had moved to Times Square, encouraged the construction of hotels for tourists. Fifth Avenue, with its cachet of wealth and elegance, inspired the building of hotels for the well-to-do in New York — who desired accommodation for the winter social season or for extended stays.

A new kind of luxury hotel, providing a more exclusive and refined environment, was in demand and the Gotham, erected between 1902 and 1905, was one of the new hotels built to meet this demand.

Design of the Gotham

When the architects of the Gotham, Hiss & Weekes, chose the neo-Italian Renaissance as the style for the new hotel, they were not only aware of prototypes in Italy but were keenly aware of contemporary buildings in New York by McKim, Mead & White, which were altering the appearance of the city. McKim, Mead & White's lasting fame and influence is associated with the revival of Renaissance forms.

Madison Square Garden (1887-91) and the Boston Public Library (1887-95) are among two of the most important monuments which reintroduced the Renaissance style to America and both were undertaken w

Italian chapel external at the churchill barrier

Italian chapel external at the churchill barrier

Front View of the Chapel.
In early 1942 some 550 Italian prisoners of war, captured in North Africa, were brought to Orkney. They were needed to overcome the shortage of labour working on the continuing construction of the Churchill Barriers. These were the four causeways designed to block eastern access to Scapa Flow following the sinking of HMS Royal Oak by a German U-Boat in 1939.
Prisoners of war were prevented by treaty from working on military projects, so the barriers became causeways linking the southern islands of Orkney together, which is what they remain today.
The causeways are not all that remains to remind us of this period. On a bare hillside on the north side of the little island of Lamb Holm, overlooking the most northerly of the Churchill Barriers, is what has become known as the Italian Chapel. The Chapel, together with a nearby concrete statue of St George killing the dragon and an Italian flag fluttering atop a pole are all that remain of Camp 60.

Camp 60 was home to the Italian prisoners from 1942 until early 1945. The camp comprised 13 huts, which the Italians improved with concrete paths (concrete was never in short supply during the construction of the Churchill Barriers) and gardens, complete with flower beds and vegetable plots.
In the centre of the camp, one of the prisoners, Domenico Chiocchetti, produced the statue of St George you can still see today, fashioned from barbed wire covered with concrete. The prisoners also worked to produce a theatre and a recreation hut, complete with a billiard table made, perhaps inevitably, from concrete.
One thing Camp 60 did lack was a chapel. In 1943 the camp acquired a new commandant, Major T.P. Buckland. He favoured the idea, as did Father Giacombazzi the Camp Padre. Late in 1943 two Nissen huts were provided. They were joined together end to end, with the intention of providing a chapel in one end and a school in the other.
The work of turning the Nissen huts into a chapel fell to the prisoners themselves, led once more by Domenico Chiocchetti. The interior of the east end was lined with plasterboard and Chiocchetti started work on what is now the sanctuary. The altar and its fittings were made from concrete and were flanked by two windows made from painted glass. The gold curtains either side of the altar were purchased from a company in Exeter using the prisoners' own funds.
Chioccetti then set to work on the painting of the interior of the sanctuary. The end result is a work of art that is magnificent even to jaded 21st Century eyes, and must have been utterly stunning to those imprisoned here in 1943. Another prisoner, Palumbo, who had been an iron worker in the USA before the war, spent four months constructing the wrought iron rood screen, which still complements the rest of the interior today.
The contrast between the east end of the double hut and the remainder was by now so stark that the decision was taken to improve whole interior of the structure. This in turn was lined with plasterboard, before being painted by Chiocchetti and others to resemble brickwork.
This showed up the plainness of the exterior of the chapel, so a number of the prisoners built the facade you can see today, again largely from concrete. The new facade had the effect of concealing the shape of the Nissen huts behind it, and came complete with a belfry, decorated windows, and a moulded head of Christ above the door. At the same time the metal exterior of the huts was thickly coated in concrete.
The end of the war meant that the chapel was only in use by the prisoners for a short period of time. It was still not fully finished when most of the Italians left the island early in 1945, and Chiocchetti stayed behind to complete the font. Before the Italians departed the Lord Lieutenant of Orkney, who also owned Lamb Holm, promised that the Orcadians would look after the chapel they had created.
During the years after the war the chapel increasingly became a visitor attraction, and in 1958 a preservation committee was set up. In 1960, the BBC funded a return visit to Orkney by Domenico Chiocchetti. His restoration of the paintwork was followed by a service of rededication attended by 200 Orcadians, and broadcast on Italian radio.
Domenico Chiocchetti returned to Orkney again in 1964 with his wife, and gifted to the chapel the 14 wooden stations of the cross on view today. In 1992, 50 years after the Italians were originally brought to Orkney, 8 of the former prisoners returned, though Chiocchetti was too ill to be with them. Domenico Chiocchetti died on 7 May 1999 in his home village of Moena, aged 89. He did so in the knowledge that his masterpiece will live on as a tribute to his artistry and to the spirit of all those involved in its construction and preservation. This whole area is one huge museum from the chapel the camp remains to the barrier and the blockships. This whole area is one huge museum from the chapel the camp remains to the barrier and the bl

italian fashion on line

italian fashion on line

The Women (Keepcase)

Be careful what you say in private. It could become a movie. Some gossip overheard by Clare Boothe Luce in a nightclub powder room inspired her Broadway hit that's wittily adapted for the screen in The Women. George Cukor directs an all-female cast in this catty tale of battling and bonding that paints its claws Jungle Red and shreds the excesses of pampered Park Avenue princesses. Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Joan Fontaine, Mary Boland and Paulette Goddard are among the array of husband snatchers, snitches and lovelorn ladies.

George Cukor, Hollywood's legendary "woman's director," had his hands full with the all-female cast of this 1939 film adaptation of the Clare Boothe play. The story finds a group of catty, competitive friends destroying reputations at social gatherings. The dialogue sparkles, Joan Crawford's performance as a husband stealer is still a classic, the film looks wonderful in Cukor's hands, and the Technicolor fashion-show scene is a one-of-a-kind Hollywood experience. --Tom Keogh

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