Lifestyle, Places

Hangover in El Prat

(This post was due yesterday but inexplicably it wasn’t published)

A souvenir that I leave behind me each time I go through Barcelona is feeling hangover wandering around its airport. Behind me, memories of a remarkably funny night. Today I am coming back from England after having participated the 17th of March to one of the most proper British custom, the horse race in Cheltenham-Gold Cup! English people are totally nut for horse races, they take it very seriously, it’s an upper class obligation to attend and get the most expensive tickets as possible; it’s a true status. Indeed there are also common people getting 60£ tickets and eating fish&chips… but even then, 60£ for entering a horse race seems a lot to Italians like me, attending (before it closed) in Livorno some basic horse races with a 10€ tickets and betting hard instead. Then in England there is, as all should know reading gossip and watching films such 4 weddings and a funeral, the dress code is particularly strict, whichever tickets you get. In Cheltenham tweed and trousers can be okay, but in Ascot God forbid wearing dresses shorter than 4 inches up the knee-and no black! The Queen shall inspire all with her pastel dresses, so when I saw something of the kind I bought it immediately after having submitted my choice to my mum in law. They are bringing me in the Royal enclosure, 4 inches to the Queen literally, so I shall be more perfect than usual… In Cheltenham I was dressing a leopard dress which despite being aggressive as it should, is particularly chaste with its details. Hat and high-eels completed the outfit. So we had lunch in the 3 michelin star restaurant go Albert Roux overlooking the race field.


The day before my birthday was more filled with celebrations then the day of my birthday i.e. yesterday March 18th. After trying to organise something in Monaco, London and Amsterdam, we took it easy with custom fight and making up in Mellor Knowl- Charles’s reign. But when you forget to book the flight back in the turmoil of disorganisation-Charles is probably right attributing this to me I ought to say-Barcelona is the obvious place to stop 3 hours before getting to the right airport. I remember getting to El Prat at 5am after having partied all night with my friend Camilla, who graduated in podology at the Universitat de Barcelona. I was mad at her or week not bringing me to party because she was too stressed to have a nice discussion of her dissertation-opposite to me, that need to party in order to forget it. She took me to study (!) and sunbathe in spartan towels in the beach of Badalona-Spanish are so socialist that there is no private beach there, so imagine my joy…plus she kept far from someone I knew with whom I could have had some fun, mischievous Camilla who thinks I am that naughty. No more than Camilla’s mother, a fantastic woman to whom I have a lot in common, starting from Louis Vuitton to crazy romanticism and a flair for art-the visit of Gaudi’s Battlo house together was unforgivable. Ultimately after graduation we had some hangover night, one in a Hawaiian bar where I got so wasted I picked up a huge sombrero from the bin holding a rose in my mouth and slept covered by it on the sofa the night before the hyper serious ceremony. The same day we went on celebrating in a crowded with hipsters and teenagers club (I would rather have gone to the way-classier Carpe diem but ultimately I had no panic attacks) and I went straight to the airport afterwords.

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Battlo House

Studying and playing with condoms from the distributors in the university

Teaching Camilla the holy rule on how to behead a bottle

A girls night out

The next day

Graduation ceremony

So 1 hour after the last photo was taken I roamed around there 2 hours before the flight and landed in Nice with a killer mentality. My driver (name has been changed) got it wrong wanting to bring me for breakfast. Nevertheless, in the afternoon I was partying again in Nikki beach at the “Peace and love” party. And I got some peace and love even when Italy lost to Germany in the world cup, as Ronaldo scored and Portugal won; seeing Germany losing in the final was even more priceless! Parallels is that I am going to celebrate more tomorrow  and be fresh and I expect my week will be made by the online deposit of my thesis! Today we are going to have a nice time in El Prat, smoking cigarettes in the open smoking area and remembering the beauty of the most fantasious city in a most odd trip, this time with a King all along. I post photos of that day at the airport (that sombrero became my travel buddy!) and in Nikki beach immediately after with photos of me yesterday, so you can see my unscathed youth and resistance to champagne turning one year older! The difference between then and now is that whilst before I would have roamed between shops and get crazy to find the smoking area-which in this amazing airport is an open air space with Haagen Datz and a gazebo-,now I sit calm at the lounge drinking martini in this 3 hours wait. But I am still wearing no make up, I come back from partying and I will be partying even more, and after posting this reflection of my status I will go shopping-careless if I look like a ghost and conscious of my weight loss.

Turning 1/4 century

In Manchester airport I brought turmoil to the luxury lounge while collecting food and explaining how sorry and confused I am after the lovely party for my birthday I was told that “celebrating 21 is always massive.” This is the age most people give me, and I want to stick to it-hungry and foolish. So are my business plans of making of Charles a pop star and myself acting in the videos as his muse. Oldish Alessandra’s wife plan is to support him enjoying myself and being happy and not difficult indeed… I will fit this role,I like being Brit way more than being french!

 

 

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Culture

Woody Allen in Europe

It’s amazing how this author manages to give such deep insides in his characters. This is true for all his movies, but reaches the highest heights in the ones turned in Europe in the past years, where not only he catches them but he even places them in a particular nation’s frame. A frame given not only by that particular mentality but also by the scenarios, never left at odds. The movies and the insights I am referring to are:

  • 2005, Match Point.

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It’s a thriller produced and filmed in London after Allen had difficulties finding financial support in New York. The cast was to be mostly english and even the plot was to be adapted to more british tastes. The drama is about morality,ambition, lust, passion, greed,money. Since the beginning the theme of relativityand possibility appears: a tennis ball is on the net, who will be the winner in this match point? Femme fatale Scarlet Johansson is the net in the match of the protagonist, a former tennis pro who’s married for ambition and is raising the social stair. The choice between passion and ambition must be taken after an accident coming purely by the fomer. This is by far one of the movies that by the end leaves the audience shocked for the depth,the cynism and the cold  it transmits. And this is by far the darker in the european serie. no wonder it takes place in London!

  • 2008, Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Vicky_cristina_barcelonaIt’s a romantic comedy drama set in Barcelona. Two girlfriends very different from temper,- Vicky studies Catalan culture and is engaged to be married while Cristina had spent the winter writing and acting in a 12 minutes film on love, ”that too vaste argument to approach in such a time”-, decides to spend their summer in the Catalan capital. They attractes the sexy painter Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem) who is still in love with his crazy and emotionally unstable ex wife Maria Elena (Penelope Cruz) though troubled. Without saying the plot, the affair gets to center on four characters, with the poor husband of Vicky out of knowledge of the meeting. On this set the beautiful couple Cruz-Bardem took shape.

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  • 2011, Midnight in Paris.

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midnight in paris top post-thumb-600x400-53668It’s a romantic comedy film fantasy taking place in Paris. Gill Pender (Owen Wilson) is a romantic,dreamy screenwriter who is forced to confront the shortcomings of his relationship with his materialistic fiancée. Wondering about in Paris refusing to go at a party ,at midnight he encounters a series of people that made the literature and art of the first XXth century, – such as Ernest Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald and his funny though mad wife Zelda, Salvador Dalí, Picasso, Gertrude Stein and others-. The movie explores themes of nostalgia and modernism. The cast is excellent, and the role of Gill fits perfectly on Owen Wilson, like the one of his fiancée interpreted by Rachel McAdams,who is well remembered in Mean Girls playing the bitchy barbie queen. Though there are a lot of amusing gags and dialogues, this film makes think over the unsatisfaction we live in each historical period by dreamy eyes. This film is by far one of my favourites, because I myself am lost in contemplation of arts and especially in Paris I am head over heels… from the very beginning, that is like a postcards of that magic city, I knew I would have considered this film an absolute masterpiece, so poetic as it is. Woody Allen catches the greatest scenarios, that’s why I also liked his last film.

  • 2012, To Rome with love.

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Always starring a great cast of actors, with some locals, this film mixes four different stories framed by the Eternal City. Italians are highly stereotyped: unfaithful, seeking a shallow success, following celebs in bed because “the situation makes the man a thief”. Though many Italians have argued against that, making it personal, I can see how we are seen by the eyes of foreigners, and Allen catches our stereotyped characteristic without neglecting the beauty we only own, with a smile. So the materialistic father in law of an Italian lawyer that wants to defend the poors manages to appreciate so much how his brother in law (an undertaker!) sings under the shower that makes of it an Opera business and around the infidelities, there are couples that truly love each other. I remember I watched this film with my grandmother, and we both enjoyed and made nice critics over it.

Thank you Woody to have gifted Europe with such artworks. One of my dreams is starring in your next one!

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E’ meraviglioso come questo autore riesca a definire  i suoi personaggi. Questo è vero per tutti i suoi film, ma raggiunge le vette più alte negli ultimi girati in Europa, dove non solo li coglie, ma li inserisce anche nella propria particolare cornice nazionale. Una cornice non solo data da tale particolare mentalità, ma anche dagli scenari, mai lasciati al caso.I film a cui mi riferisco sono:

– 2005, Match Point. Thriller prodotto e filmato a Londra in quanto l’autore aveva avuto difficoltà a trovare supporto finanziario a New York, il cast è per la maggior parte inglese e anche la tramaè stata riadattata a gusti più british. La storia tratta di moralità, ambizione, avidità, passione, denaro. Sin dall’inizio appare il tema della relatività e della possibilità:  una pallina da tennis è sul net, chi sarà il vincitore di questo match point? La fatale Scarlet Johansson è il net nel match del protagonista, un ex campione di tennis che si è sposato per l’ambizione di salire la scala sociale grazie a questo matrimonio. La sceltra tra ambizione e passione tuttavia deve essere presa a seguito di un incidente che viene necessariamente da quest’ultima, nello stato più puro. Questo è di gran lunga il film che lascia più in suspence l’audience, caricandola di aspettative e infine scioccando per il cinismo e la freddezza che manifesta. Non stupisce che in questa serie europea una trama del genera prenda forma a Londra!

– 2008, Vicky Cristina Barcelona è una commedia romantica. Due amiche molto diverse caratterialmente,- Vicky studia la cultura Catalana ed è fidanzata pronta a sposarsi a breve, mentre Cristina ha passato l’inverno scrivendo e recitando in un film della durata di 12 minuti sull’amore, “quell’argomento decisamente troppo vasto per essere trattato in tali tempi”-,  decidono di passare l’estate nella capitale Catalana. Una sera attraggono l’affascinante pittore Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem), sempre preso dalla sua pazza ed emotivamente instabile ex moglie Maria Elena (Penelope Cruz) e pertanto turbato. Senza voler svelare la trama, l’affaire si sviluppa tra questi quattro personaggi, tenendo il povero futuro marito di Vicky all’oscuro delle tribolazioni. Su questo set è scoppiato l’amore tra Penelope Cruz e Javier Bardem.

– 2011, Midnight in Paris è una fantasiosa commedia romantica girata a Parigi. Gill Pender (Owen Wilson) è uno sceneggiatore romantico e sognatore alle strette nella relazione con la sua fidanzata materialista. Rifiutandosi di andare in un locale e decidendo invece di gironzolare per Parigi, è abbordato a mezzanotte da una serie di personaggi che hanno fatto la storia dell’inizio del XXesimo secolo,- Ernest Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald con la sua moglie divertente e instabile, Salvador Dalì, Picasso, Gertrude Stein etc.-. Il film tratta di temi come la nostalgia e il modernismo. Il cast è eccellente e il ruolo di Gill calza a pennello su Owen Wilson, come del resto quello della sua fidanzata che è interpretata da Rachel McAdams, ben ricordata nel ruolo della barbie Regina in Mean Girls. Nonostante le numerose gag e i dialoghi brillanti, questo film fa pensare all’insoddisfazione che potenzialmente viviamo in ogni periodo storico, con occhi sognanti. Questo è di gran lungauno dei miei film preferiti, perchè io stessa sono una contemplatrice delle arti e specialmente a Parigi ho la testa fra le nuvole e sogno… Dalle prime inquadrature che colgono la città facendone una cartolina magica sapevo che avrei considerato questo film così poetico come un assoluto capolavoro.Woody Allen coglie i migliori scenari, e questo è uno dei motivi per cui mi è piaciuto anche il suo ultimo film.

– 2012, To Rome with love.  Presentando sempre un ottimo cast di attori, tra cui anche locali questo film mescola quattro storie differenti che si sviluppano nella cornice della Città Eterna. Gli italiani sono altamente stereotipati: infedeli, alla ricerca di un fugace successo, inseguitori di avventure tra le lenzuola perchè “l’occasione fa l’uomo ladro”. Nonostante molti italiani l’abbiano presa sul personale e abbiano criticato il film, capisco come siamo visti agli occhi dello straniero, e Allen coglie queste nostre caratteristiche stereotipate senza trascurare la bellezza che abbiamo, con un sorriso. E’ così che il materialista suocero di un giovane avvocato italiano che vuole difendere i poveri aiuta il cognato (un becchino!) a fare del suo cantare sotto la doccia un business di Opera lirica. Intorno alle infedelità, ci sono coppie che si amano veramente. Ricordo di aver visto questo film con la mia nonna, entrambe ci abbiamo riso e ne abbiamo fatto un’ottima critica. Entrambe amiamo l’Italia.

Grazie Woody per avere donato all’Europa queste opere d’arte. Uno dei miei sogni e fare parte della tua prossima!

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