Manuel Molina Spanish Singer and Guitarist – In Memoriam

Manuel, 50% of the musical duo Lole and Manuel, who helped spread flamenco in the mid 70s has died today, aged 67.

Their groundbreaking album Nuevo Dia fused traditional Spanish flamenco with Arabic rhythms and styles. The music is recognized for the emotive, yet childlike voice of Lole Montoya and the operatic, flashy guitar of Manuel. Their 1975 track, “Tu Mirá” (“your look” or “your gaze”, from ‘mirada’, deformation due to elided d and double ‘a’ fusion), which features one of Montoya’s most emotive vocal performances, accompanied by a large choir and an epic organ (in addition to Manuel’s guitar), is included on the soundtrack for Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill: Volume 2. (Source: Wikipedia).

And The Petrona Award 2015, Went To

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The blurb reads: A luxury yacht arrives in Reykjavik harbour with nobody on board. What has happened to the crew, and to the family who were on board when it left Lisbon? Thora Gudmundsdottir is hired by the young father’s parents to investigate, and is soon drawn deeper into the mystery. What should she make of the rumours saying that the vessel was cursed, especially given that when she boards the yacht she thinks she sees one of the missing twins? Where is Karitas, the glamorous young wife of the yacht’s former owner? And whose is the body that has washed up further along the shore? The most chilling novel yet from Yrsa Sigurdardottír, an international bestseller at the height of her powers. (Source: Hodder & Stoughton)

My review is here.

Although it was not my preferred choice, I must congratulate Yrsa for having won between a strong set of contenders.

International Dagger Award Shortlist

Last night at CrimeFest (www.crimefest.com), the shortlist for the International Dagger was announced (Source: Euro Crime):

  • Falling Freely, As If In A Dream by Leif GW Persson (tr Paul Norlen)
  • Camille by Pierre Lemaitre (tr Frank Wynne)
  • Cobra by Deon Meyer (tr K.L Seegers)
  • Arab Jazz by Karim Miské (tr Sam Gordon)
  • The Invisible Guardian by Dolores Redondo (tr Isabelle Kaufeler)
  • Into a Raging Blaze by Andreas Norman (tr Ian Giles)

The CWA Dagger Awards will be presented on 30th June, to mark the end of Crime Reading Month (www.crimereadingmonth.co.uk), at a gala dinner in central London.

So far, I’ve been able to read one of the books but I have most of the others either on my TBR or in my wish list. With a month and a half ahead, I may even have the time to read them all. Stay tuned.

Further information at The CWA Dagger Awards – Shortlist

Film Notes: Sunset Boulevard (1950), directed by Billy Wilder

USA /110-115 minutes / bw / Paramount Dir: Billy Wilder Pro: Charles Brackett Scr: Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder, and D. M. Marshman Jr Cine: John F. Seitz Mus: Franz Waxman. Cast: William Holden (Joe Gillis), Gloria Swanson (Norma Desmond), Erich von Stroheim (Max von Mayerling), Nancy Olsen (Betty Schaefer), Fred Clark (Sheldrake), Lloyd Gough (Morino), Jack Webb (Artie Green). As themselves: Cecil B. DeMille, Hedda Hopper, Buster Keaton, Anna Q. Nilsson, H. B. Warner, Ray Evans, Jay Livingston. Release Date (USA) 10 August 1950. Spanish title: El crepúsculo de los dioses.

suns The film stars William Holden as Joe Gillis, an unsuccessful screenwriter, and Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond, a faded silent movie star who draws him into her fantasy world where she dreams of making a triumphant return to the screen, with Erich von Stroheim as Max Von Mayerling, her devoted servant. Nancy Olson, Fred Clark, Lloyd Gough and Jack Webb play supporting roles. Director Cecil B. DeMille and gossip columnist Hedda Hopper play themselves, and the film includes cameo appearances by leading silent film actors Buster Keaton, H. B. Warner and Anna Q. Nilsson. Sunset Boulevard was nominated for eleven Academy Awards (including nominations in all four acting categories) and won three. It is widely accepted as a classic, often cited as one of the greatest films of American cinema. Deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the U.S. Library of Congress in 1989, Sunset Boulevard was included in the first group of films selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. (Source: Wikipedia)

In Jul 1993, in London, Andrew Lloyd Webber opened his musical adaptation of this film, also titled Sunset Blvd. The film continues to have an avid following among modern audiences, and lines such as “I am big, it’s the pictures that got small” are remembered as part of celebrated Hollywood legend. According to modern sources, Sunset Blvd. was the last major American feature film to be photographed on nitrate stock. The picture was ranked 16th on AFI’s 2007 100 Years…100 Movies–10th Anniversary Edition list of the greatest American films, moving down from the 12th position it held on AFI’s 1997 list. (Source: AFI)

Yesterday I had the opportunity to watch once again this indisputable masterpiece.

Roger Ebert review

Filmsite Movie Review

The American Film Institute (AFI) Sunset Blvd.

Sunset Boulevard Blu-ray edition