It’s all about the heat – or at least we hope it will be. But should a summer soundtrack cool the fevered brow during baking hot city commutes; or stir one to love and passion on foreign beaches; or provide a fitting background to a lazy picnic by a babbling brook or al fresco suppers as the day (hopefully) cools?
It is May-June releases that have traditionally provided the pop soundtrack for our summers. One of the first was Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues” in 1958; and ten years later The Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Summer in the City” perfectly captured Manhattan’s scorching summers. This year the talk is that Mariah Carey’s “E=MC2″ is going to be the album of summer ‘08 – but we’ll have to wait for next year to see whether we remember this year as Mariah’s year. Gentry has plumped for the tried and tested and this eclectic mix of rock, pop, classical, RnB and jazz aims to keep you both cool and hot as the weather dictates.
The Exhibition: Vanity Fair Portraits (National Portrait Gallery)
This excellent collection has been around for a while so there’s no excuse to miss it. The NPG has been given access to the Vanity Fair archives and pulled 150 of the most iconic, revealing pictures. The exhibition features vintage prints from the magazine’s first period (1913-1936) – on display for the first time. These are combined with more popular and contemporary images from its second period (1983-present). Legendary photographers like Edward Steichen and Cecil Beaton took glamorous portraits of Jean Harlow, Greta Garbo and Gloria Swanson in the period 1913-1936, and these are on display. Two unseen portraits of author Virginia Woolf taken in 1924 are an added treat in this part of the exhibition. Another highlight of the exhibition is 22 images by acclaimed portrait photographer, Annie Leibovitz. Leibovitz has become the dominant image-maker of Vanity Fair. Her portraits include that of Miles Davis, Kate Winslet, Lance Armstrong, and more recently, the Queen. With subjects as diverse as Claude Monet, Cary Grant and Madonna, if you’re looking for great photographers or great subjects, or both, don’t miss the Vanity Fair Portraits exhibition. In our view, this is the hottest photographic experience in town. Go and see it!
Gentry offers a week’s worth of interesting diversions in the world of cinema, pop and art & culture…
The Film: BLACK WATER
Directed by David Nerlich & Andrew Trauki with Diana Glenn, Maeve Dermondy, Andy Rodoreda
Every once in a while Australia produces a particularly nasty little film. In 2000 in was the slash-happy Chopper, in 2005 we were happily subjected to the sinister road movie nightmare Wolf Creek, and this week we’re given an even more edgy slice of antipodean anxiety with the crocodile chiller Black Water. This low-fi movie perfectly exploits the simple, tense pleasures of horror: think Open Water but creepier, with shadowy beasts swooshing beneath the murk of an outback swamp. The characters are involving, even thoughtful and the mesmeric scenario ensures the film never slips too far either way of the fatal edge that is its central attraction. An undemanding but thoroughly successful genre piece, Black Water is a perfectly formed, thrilling excursion into the leathery heart of darkness.
The Record: EL GUINCHO – ALEGRANZA!