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Gustavo Minas / 47 items

N 1 B 6 C 0 E Jan 19, 2022 F Jan 19, 2022
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Except for the playful cat, everything else is still. This sense of tranquility and order contrasts with the busy activities one would expect in a kitchen. The child cook is devoid of facial expressions that would suggest the difficulty of his labour, and instead exhibits a light-hearted attitude that is amplified by his grin as he amusedly watches the cat playing at his feet.

[Gallery 19C, Beverly Hills, California - Oil on canvas, 28 x 21.5 cm]

Tags:   Art Painting Joseph Bail

N 0 B 0 C 0 E May 2, 2020 F Jan 19, 2022
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The motif of a young man at a window, wooing a woman at her spinning wheel, and the vaguely sixteenth-century German costumes and setting, led writers to associate this painting with the tragic story of Faust and Marguerite. The seduction of the innocent heroine by the wicked Faust was a popular pictorial subject in the nineteenth century, inspired by Goethe’s dramatic poem and its operatic staging by Charles Gounod. Regardless of the lovers’ identities, the lushly painted, romantic scene would have appealed to Bouguereau’s well-heeled clientele.

[Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York - Oil on canvas, 163.5 x 111.8 cm]

Tags:   Art Painting William-Adolphe Bouguereau

N 2 B 3 C 1 E Jan 19, 2022 F Jan 19, 2022
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Doutonbori

Tags:   Osaka

N 0 B 0 C 0 E Jan 19, 2022 F Jan 19, 2022
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Dutch postcard. Sent by mail in 1962.

During the late 1950s, American singer and actor Frankie Avalon (1940) was a teen idol with big hits like 'Venus' (1958) and 'Why' (1959). Avalon had an authentic music background to go with the pretty boy looks. During the 1960s, he starred in five beach party movies and other films. He made a come-back with Grease (1977).

Frankie Avalon was born Francis Thomas Avallone in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1940. His parents were Nicholas and Mary Avallone. Inspired by his father's trumpet playing, he started to get involved with music at an early age. At the CR Club in Philadelphia, where parents were offered the opportunity to let their children perform, Frankie presented his musical skills for the first time with trumpet solos. Performances in local talent shows followed and he won an amateur competition. The 12-years-old Frankie finally landed a spot on CBS's nationally syndicated 'The Jackie Gleason Show' in 1952. In 1954, he became a member of the dance band 'Rocco and the Saints', which participated in many local events and performed at youth clubs. One of the other members was drummer Robert Ridarelli, soon to call himself Bobby Rydell. In 1957, the record company Chancellor Records was founded in Philadelphia. One of the owners Bob Marcucci knew Frankie Avalon and helped him get a recording contract with the new company. Avalon and the Saints did a cameo in the rock and roll film Jamboree! (Roy Lockwood, 1957)) where they played 'Teacher's Pet'. Frankie's first single only attracted attention in his hometown, but 'De De Dinah' of his third Chancellor single, released in December 1957, became Avalon's national breakthrough. A piece of teen fluff, Avalon pinched his nose while singing the song to show how he felt about it. This nasal version was the one Chancellor released and Avalon performed the song on 'American Bandstand', a teen dance show hosted by Dick Clark. 'De De Dinah' soon sold a million copies. In the late 1950s, he became an idol for many teenage girls. In 1959, both his songs 'Venus' and Why reached the number 1 position in the Billboard Hot 100. By 1962, almost all of his singles were on the charts. In total, he reached the Hot 100 of the US music magazine Billboard 25 times. He also made foreign charts with 'Venus' and 'Why'. As a result of the British Invasion, interest in the now 23-year-old, whose music was always targeted at the teenage audience, waned. In 1963, Frankie Avalon changed record companies and moved to United Artists Records, a subsidiary of the film studio United Artists. However, he remained as unsuccessful as he did thereafter with a number of other companies. He only attracted attention on the record market again in 1976 with the disco version of Venus. His last single, 'You're the Miracle' (1983), was released on the CBS Bobcat label. After that, he successfully toured America with his old colleagues Bobby Rydell and Fabian as 'The Golden Boys of Bandstand'. The fifty-city tour was a huge success.

Frankie Avalon turned increasingly to the cinema in the 1960s. In the late 1950s, teen idols were often given roles in films, supporting older male stars in order to attract a younger audience. Alan Ladd's daughter was a Frankie Avalon fan, who recommended that he co-star with her father in the Western Guns of the Timberland (Robert D. Webb, 1960). Avalon sang two songs, 'The Faithful Kind' and 'Gee Whiz Whillikins Golly Gee'; both were released as singles. Frankie also had a supporting role in the John Wayne Western The Alamo (John Wayne, 1960), where he also sings 'Ballad of the Alamo'. He also appeared and sang the title song in the Sci-Fi adventure Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (Irwin Allen, 1961). His first major film role was in an adventure film set in Africa, Drums of Africa (James B. Clark, 1963). In the early sixties, there was a nationwide surfing craze and Avalon and Annette Funicello were the leading stars in the wildly successful Beach Party (William Asher, 1963). It was the first of the five official American-International 'Beach Party' surfer movies, directed by William Asher and written by Lou Rusoff. Soon followed Bikini Beach (William Asher, 1964), Muscle Beach (William Asher, 1964), Beach Blanket Bingo (William Asher, 1965), and How to stuff a wild bikini (William Asher, 1965). Frankie also starred in Skidoo (Otto Preminger, 1968) and The Million Eyes of Sumuru (Lindsay Shonteff, 1967). Later he invested in the 1950s-themed stage musical 'Grease', which reportedly made him a millionaire. In the film version, Grease (Randal Kleiser, 1978) starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, he took on a small role himself and performed the song 'Beauty School Dropout'. In 1986, Avalon and Funicello made another film, Back to the Beach (Lyndall Hobbs, 1987), a parody of their earlier beach movies. Avalon appeared in nearly two dozen TV episodes, including The Bing Crosby Show, The Patty Duke Show, and Full House, appearing often as himself. In 1990 he made a cameo as himself in the film Casino (Martin Scorsese, 1995), starring Robert de Niro and Sharon Stone. He made further cameo appearances in the film Chicks (James Melkonian, 1994) and in the TV series Sabrina the teenage witch (2001). In the meantime, as the owner of the health and beauty care line Frankie Avalon Products, he made a considerable fortune. His most recent film is Papa (Dan Israely, 2018). Frankie Avalon lives in Thousand Oaks with his wife Kathryn Utices Deibel. The couple has eight children.

Sources: History of Rock, Biography.com, Wikipedia (Dutch, German and English), and IMDb.

And, please check out our blog European Film Star Postcards.

Tags:   Frankie Avalon Frankie Avalon American Singer Actor Teen Idol Hollywood Movie Star Film Star Film Cinema Kino Cine Picture Screen Movie Movies Filmster Star Vintage Postcard Cartolina Carte Postale Tarjet Postal Postkarte Postkaart Briefkarte Briefkaart Ansichtskarte Ansichtkaart

N 0 B 0 C 0 E Jan 19, 2022 F Jan 19, 2022
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Russian postcard.

Danish silent film actress Asta Nielsen (1881-1972), was one of the most popular leading ladies of the 1910s and one of the first international film stars. Of her 74 films between 1910 and 1932, seventy were made in Germany where she was known simply as 'Die Asta'. Noted for her large dark eyes, mask-like face, and boyish figure, Nielsen most often portrayed strong-willed passionate women trapped by tragic consequences.

Asta Sofie Amalie Nielsen was born in the Copenhagen suburb of Vesterbro, Denmark, in 1881. She was the daughter of an often unemployed blacksmith and a washerwoman. Nielsen's family moved several times during her childhood while her father sought employment. When she was fourteen years old, her father died. Asta's stage debut came as a child in the chorus of the Kongelige Teater's production of Boito's opera 'Mephistopheles'. At the age of eighteen, Nielsen was accepted into the drama school of the Royal Danish Theatre. During her time there, she studied with the Royal Danish actor Peter Jerndorff. In 1901, twenty years old, she became pregnant and gave birth to her daughter, Jesta. Nielsen never revealed the identity of the father, and chose to raise her child alone with the help of her mother and older sister. In 1902, she graduated from drama school. For the next three years, she worked at the Dagmar Theatre, then toured in Norway and Sweden from 1905 to 1907 with De Otte and the Peter Fjelstrup companies. Returning to Denmark, she was employed at Det Ny Theater (The New Theatre) from 1907 to 1910. Although she worked steadily as a stage actress, her performances remained unremarkable. Danish historian Robert Neiiedam wrote that Nielsen's unique physical attraction, which was of great value on the screen, was limited on stage by her deep and uneven speaking voice.

In 1909, set designer and director Urban Gad encouraged Asta Nielsen to become a film actress and she starred in his Danish silent film Afgrunden/The Abyss (Urban Gad, 1910). Gary Morris observes in Bright Lights Film Journal: "this film established from the beginning key components of her legend: scandalous eroticism and a uniquely minimalist acting style." Asta plays a music teacher lured away from her stolid fiancee (Robert Dinesen) by a sexy but faithless circus cowboy (Poul Reumert). In a startling sequence of sexual intensity, she lassos her boyfriend and does a lewd dance, bumping and grinding against him. Morris: "This vulgar ‘gaucho-dance’ was what most viewers remembered, but critics of the time also applauded Asta's naturalistic acting." The film was a huge success so she was encouraged to continue. The following year Balletdanserinden/The Ballet Dancer (August Blom, 1911) proved to be another success. Nielsen and Gad soon married. A German distributor, Paul Davidson, invited Nielsen to Germany, where he was building a new studio. Eventually, this would become Europe's largest film studio - the Universum Film Union A.-G. (or Ufa). Asta signed a contract for $80,000 a year, then the highest salary for a film actress. In 1911, she moved to Berlin with Urban Gad. In a Russian popularity poll of that year, she was voted world's top female film star, behind French comedian Max Linder and ahead of her Danish compatriot Valdemar Psilander.

In the next six years, Asta Nielsen played every conceivable kind of character in both tragedies and comedies. In Die Suffragette/The Militant Suffragette (Urban Gad, 1913), she is an English female liberationist whose beliefs force her to become violent, placing a bomb in Parliament. In Zapatas Bande/Zapata's Gang (Urban Gad, 1916), she plays a highway robber. In the comedy Das Liebes-ABC/The ABCs of Love (Magnus Stifter, 1916), she pretends to be a man and takes her wimpy boyfriend out on the town in order to "bring out the man in him." Nielsen was so famous that the name Asta became a trademark for cigarettes and perfumes. In the Dutch city The Hague, a cinema was named after her. Her beauty was praised by the poet Guillaume Apollinaire as "the drunkard's vision and the lonely man's dream". One of Asta's most interesting productions was Hamlet (Sven Gade, Heinz Schall, 1921). Gary Morris: "Asta brings a subtle twist to her version not by playing a man, but by playing a woman disguised as a man, adding another level of gender complexity. Hamlet was based less on William Shakespeare than on a popular book of the time that said Hamlet was actually a girl forcibly raised as a boy in order to provide an heir to the Danish throne. At first, the effect is more puzzling than effective, but the actress's strategy becomes evident in sexually charged scenes between Asta/Hamlet and Horatio, who caress and coddle each other in what surely appeared to viewers of the time (as it does to modern audiences) as a gay tryst. Asta brilliantly imparts the gender-unstable nature of the character in these scenes with Horatio and others with Fortinbras, whose encounters with Hamlet are also clearly coded as gay. The actress's effortless creation of these subtle, sympathetic homosexual tableaux gives a tremendous vitality to this production. The fact that the film was truly hers — being the first film she made with her own production company — shows just how daring and modern she was."

Nowadays Asta Nielsen is best known for Die Freudlose Gasse/The Joyless Street (G.W. Pabst, 1925). Asta plays in this film an impoverished woman who resorts to prostitution and murder. In the original prints there were two equal-time female leads: Nielsen and a young actress from Sweden, Greta Garbo. Ruthlessly cut for American release, the film suddenly became a Garbo vehicle. Fortunately, the print has been restored recently and Asta triumphs in it as the increasingly unbalanced Marie. Nielsen continued to be a screen legend in Germany, and appeared in films like Dirnentragödie/Tragedy of the Street (Bruno Rahn, 1927) and in her only sound film Unmögliche Liebe/Crown of Thorns (Erich Waschneck, 1932). After the Nazis came to power she was rumoured to be offered her own studio by propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. Understanding the implications well, she left Germany for good in 1936, settling in Denmark where she returned to stage acting and became a private figure. In her later years, Asta Nielsen wrote articles on art and politics and a two-volume autobiography, 'Den tiende Muse' (The Silent Muse) in 1946. She also became an acclaimed collage artist. In 1964, Nielsen had to come to terms with the most severe blow of her life: her daughter Jesta committed suicide following the death of her husband. At 86, Asta directed her first film. Luise F. Pusch writes in FemBio: "After a film about her life did not meet with her approval, she set to work on the project herself. The result was a work of art." At 88, Asta Nielsen married her third husband, Christian Theede, an art dealer 18 years her junior and the great love of her life. The two enjoyed their travels together so much that they decided to leave their fortune to a foundation to fund trips for the elderly. In 1972, Asta Nielsen died in Copenhagen after a leg fracture. She was 90.

Sources: Gary Morris (Bright Lights Film Journal), Luise F. Pusch (FemBio), Jim Beaver (IMDb), Wikipedia, and IMDb.

And, please check out our blog European Film Star Postcards.

Tags:   Asta Nielsen Asta Nielsen Danish Actress Actrice Schauspielerin Darstellerin European Film Star Diva Film Cinema Cine Kino Picture Screen Movie Movies Filmster Star Silent Sepia Vintage Postcard Carte Postale Carte Cartolina Tarjet Postal Tarjet Postkarte Postkaart Briefkarte Briefkaart Ansichtskarte Ansichtkaart


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