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Shazza O

16 Sep

It’s that time of year again! The X Factor is back and it’s the start of countdown to the festive season. My Saturday evenings are now booked up until Christmas, call me sad: I don’t really care that it’s a cheesy show and I can’t help but love it. What’s even better about this series? Sharon Osbourne is back…and funnier than ever! Call her what you like but she is my hero and this is why I am dedicating this entry to her.

Sharon Osbourne was born in October 1952 in Brixton London, one of the music hotspots of the UK. Her father was a music promoter and at the tender age of 18 is when she met Mr Ozzy Osbourne. When he was fired from Black Sabbath in 1979, she took over his management. She was responsible for the make up of Ozzy’s backing band and played a huge part in the launch of a very successful solo career for him.

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                                                                            source www.mirror.co.uk

Mrs Osbourne is a very business minded woman and after managing Ozzy’s solo career, she created the Ozzfest summer touring festival in 1996, which is still an on going event. Following on from the success of managing Ozzy, this feisty lady created Sharon Osbourne Management and has managed many artists including Motörhead and The Smashing Pumpkins who have had a very successful run.

In addition to her career as a music manager, she has appeared on many, many television shows, including her own reality TV show. As mentioned, she has just made an epic return to The X Factor and had previously appeared on America’s Got Talent and a couple of talk shows  such as The Sharon Osbourne Show and The Talk.

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                                                                                               ww.dailyrecord.co.uk

As you can guess, her career has been a success, but if I’m completely honest, I think this is all really irrelevant to why I find her inspiring.

She is an extremely controversial person, that’s no lie and there are countless reasons as to why she should almost be described as uninspiring. For example, the decade (ish) fuelled drug and alcohol binge that was present in the early stages of her marriage to Ozzy. Her feisty attitude could be deemed rude and at times malicious. The fact that she and Ozzy physically fight and on one occasion he tried to strangle her to death and yet she stayed married to him. Domestic violence is something I feel very strongly about and drugs and alcohol cannot excuse these behaviours.

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 www.juicefm.co.uk

However, one motto I have started to live by is that you can never truly judge someone until you have walked in his or her shoes. We are all guilty of sometimes being a little of passing judgements but when doing so you are an outsider looking in…it’s not a true perspective.

The sole reason she is a heroine of mine is being of the way she passes through life. She was almost murdered by her husband, her son has MS, and she has battled cancer back in the early 2000’s yet she is still one of the most comical women on television.

She is always laughing, and always making me laugh and in my books that’s a gold star. Obviously I’m sure she has her moments in private where she loses it but to me she seems to be a natural fighter, a survivor and that’s enough to qualify for this feature.

The point I’m trying to make here is that there is no poster child for inspiration. It comes in all shapes and sizes and some of you make think that Sharon Osbourne is a horrific role model to young women but you see that inspiration and role models aren’t necessarily the same. Inspiration is where you can pick and choose qualities in people or even places that fire something inside of yourself and can combine with your own brilliant qualities in the make up of who you are as a person. Role models, I believe, are quite different I feel like they are someone to look up to and follow in the footsteps of. Now, if I had a kid I would be devastated if they followed in the footsteps of a drug and alcohol binger, however, who wants to live life in the footsteps of another?

Make your own footprints, choose your own path. Sometimes it may overlap in other sets of footprints, but the destination is different. Takes bits and pieces from the lives of others but ultimately follow your own heart.

Laughing is my favourite thing to do so watch this video of Sharon Osbourne from The X Factor it’s absolutely hysterical!

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www.trulyregalmanners.blogspot.com

About the Writer: Melody has just finished a degree in Journalism, Film and Media with a 2:1. She aspires to work with vulnerable women and children subject to domestic, and or other forms of abuse. She is an animal lover and has a small obsession with Fearne Cotton. She is a constant joker and can be found on Twitter.

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Soundtrack for summer

5 Aug

A simple, eclectic playlist to get you ready (if you aren’t already) for any summer’s day*!

The Beatles – Here Comes The Sun. Classic.

Nina Simone – Ain’t Got No – I Got Life. Yes, it’s the one from that advert; Simone has such a fantastic voice, her cover of Here Comes The Sun is also worth a listen.

Elbow – One Day Like This. Oh god. They played this at Reading a couple of years ago and it was perfect.

Yann Tierson – La Valse D’amélie (Version Originale). In fact the entire Amélie soundtrack is a summer staple. Can’t you just picture yourself wondering round the streets of Paris with this playing in the background? Oh to have your own portable orchestra…

The Kinks – Sunny Afternoon. A must have, preferably listen to it whilst having an ice-cold beer. Your life may be turning to s**t around you, but so long as the sun is shining, you’re golden.

The Blanks – Teenagers Forget Streisand Because The Only Girl Is Cooler Than Dynamite. Contender for the longest song title ever, this wonderful a capella mash up is wonderful.

ELO – Mr. Blue Sky. An obvious choice but a must have! The song changes pace a bit towards the end but the duelling choirs are fabulous.

Nick 13 – 101. Summer is made for aimless drives and roadtrips. All the better if you own your own Thunderbird or Cadillac.

Leftover Cuties – When You’re Smiling. A brilliant cover of the classic – the ukulele and old timey trumpet is a superb spin and makes for a purely fun version of the song.

Guilty Pleasure Summer Tune:

Avril Lavigne – Here’s To Never Growning Up. This is TERRIBLE song. But there’s just something about it, you know when you can’t quite put your finger on it? Catchy chorus, semi relatable lyrics, criminally overused ‘whoas’; it’s all there. And good girl Avril, marrying Chad Kroger so that no one else has to. It had to be someone.

*Any summer’s day is vastly improved with the addition of some Pimm’s, a barbeque and it’d be handy if you had your own swimming pool.

About the Writer: Daisy is an irregular photographer, wannabe writer and full time female. In between tea and toast breaks she spends far too much time on the internetbloggingtumbling and tweeting. She is unapologetic in her love of the Spice Girls.

Stuffed in the Fridge and Wrapped in Plastic

28 Jun

(Spoilers for Dexter and The Dark Knight below)

Young women frequently turn up dead in fictional media whether as the victim of the week in a police procedural or whether she is a long time characters sacrificed for another’s development. It is an easy option for many writers to evoke a reaction from the audience and drive the story.

It comes down to the vulnerability that we perceive in a young (almost always white) woman with an air or innocence and virginity. In many shows it transpires that this may not be the whole truth. Twin Peaks‘ Laura Palmer is a typical example of this, the prom queen who snorts coke and hangs out with demons. Nonetheless she is a complex and ultimately sympathetic character, especially compared to other examples where the dead body is there to be both mourned and fetishised in equal measure.

On police procedurals where it is a quick way to engage the audience’s attention but there is rarely enough time in each episode to get them to fully empathise with the character. She is reduced to being a body, usually one that has been subjected to horrific abuse. Laura Palmer undergoes a shocking ordeal before she dies but because she is the entire focus of the storyline we see her beyond the role of the victim. As Sady Doyle writes in her recent article “The Violently Killed Femmes”:

The dead-girl shows that succeed care about who she was before she died. And they allow her to be more complicated than she appears. Twin Peaks’ Laura Palmer, Veronica Mars’ Lilly Kane: Each of them, at some point, started talking back. And the first thing they did was to call bullshit on the symbolic meaning that had been hitched to them and start creating their own.

Laura herself is ever present through the dialogue and actions of other characters. Even though she is dead she is still engaging and important to the plot for reasons beyond her status as a victim. Reading Doyle’s article was interesting, as Anita Sarkessian has recently released the second episode in her Women vs. Tropes series which deals with similar issues:

In this video Sarkessian talks about variations on the Damsel in Distress trope, including the Women In Refrigerators trope that typically sees a female character killed in a particularly horrible way to provide motivation or development for a male character. Often young murdered women are used in this to provide motivation for a male character to either get revenge or avenge her death. Examples include Rita on Dexter being murdered by the Trinity Killer and therefore providing Dexter with a character arc in the following series, Rachel Dawson in The Dark Knight is blown up by the Joker to give Batman something to angst about and then come back from in the next film, plus every revenge film ever made.

It’s a cheap and degrading gimmick and as Sarkessian makes clear in her video, it would be ridiculous to suggest that no women should ever die in media but how and why they die is important to the representation of these characters.

About the writer: Sarah is a filmmaker and writer with an obsession for luscious visuals and a distain for tomatoes (they are a sneaky and untrustworthy foodstuff). If she’s not blogging or tweeting, she’ll be watching films or running around with her video camera.

Top 10 Musicals

21 Jun

The marmite of films, people either love or hate musicals. I belong in the former of the two groups, as there’s nothing more enjoyable than a big camp sing-along. And what better musicals to sing along to than these:

Rocky-Horror-Picture-Show-Lips

image from here

Rocky Horror Picture Show. With some truly fantastic songs, bad continuity and Tim Curry in heels, Rocky is a whole lot of shenanigan fuelled fun! It’s especially good in a double feature with…

Shock Treatment! A little ahead of it’s time in regards to reality TV and not as universally adored as Rocky [maybe it’s the lack of visible underwear] but still thoroughly enjoyable.

Little Shop of Horrors. A blood eating plant in a flower shop – what could possibly go wrong?! Audrey II is the flower that just keeps on giving but at a price. Domestic abuse, secret crushes and deadly secrets are the order of the day – and who says musicals are frivolous?

Cabaret. A dark tale of sex, alcohol and the search for fame set against the Weimar Republic. Cabaret deals with heavy issues both of the time [the rise of the Nazi Party] and that are still relevant today [unwanted pregnancy]. Though the National Socialist Party takes a back seat, as time progresses we see it intervene more and more with the goings on at the Kit Kat Club and with our protagonists. We all know what happened next and are left wondering about our girl Sally.

Spring Awakening. A tragic coming of age story set in turn of the century Germany featuring suicide, masturbation, sex, child abuse and abortion. As bleak as it sounds, the musical version of the play is a treat with the anthemic Totally Fucked and relatable characters dealing with the same issues we all did as teenagers. Though it didn’t have a long enough run at the West End, there are talks of a film version.

Wicked. If you like underdog stories, you might want to pass on this one – there’s no happy ending here. An alternative story for the Wicked Witch of the West aka Elphaba, it tells her story from birth to death; the friends she makes, the lives she saved and the hypocrisy she faced. We learn why Elphie was the way she was and the sacrifice Galinda the Good made by changing her name to simply, Glinda.

The Producers. Armed with an absurd plan that would never work in the real world, 2 producers set out to make money with lots of in jokes, a Swedish secretary and a whole lot of singing. Fun fact: the 2005 remake of the film would have had a scene that reunited Timone, Pumba and Simba, only it was cut from the final edit.

Singin’ In The Rain.  A classic. Make ‘Em Laugh alone is a good enough reason to watch this. Interesting to note that Debbie Reynolds was dubbed for her songs. If that isn’t irony…

Rent. Set in New York, Rent is a re-telling of La Boheme for the MTV Generation. Over the course of a year we see the trials and tribulations of 8 people dealing with love, loss, AIDS, addiction and eviction.

Spamalot. Loving ripped off from Monty Python and the Holy Grail; Spamalot is a tap dancing, coconut clapping, heavily armed Christian filled adventure with equally funny songs poking fun at the musical genre.

 

About the writer: Daisy is an irregular photographer, wannabe writer and full time female. In between tea and toast breaks she spends far too much time on the internet blogging, tumbling and tweeting. She is unapologetic in her love of the Spice Girls.

Niche films to check out!

12 Jun

While I prepare for my article for next issue, here are some fab not very well-known films that I think you should check out!

Repo! The Genetic Opera

With a superb headline cast, including Antony Steward Head, Alexa Vega, Sarah Brightman and cameo by Joan Jett, this film is not to be missed. As the trailer says it is a ‘cult classic’ and while the songs aren’t the best the first time around, they will grow on you and you’ll soon be belting them out with your ipod! However the film was made by the same producers of Saw so the gore won’t be swept under the carpet!

Annie 2

To be honest this is a terrible movie but should be watched just for the terribleness of it all. It’s entertaining because its hilariously bad but that’s what makes it all the fun! With none of the original cast, and a terrifying Daddy Warbucks, this is definitely a must-see for any other crazy nut!

Battle Royale

An adult version of The Hunger Games, in my opinion. In other’s opinions, a bad version of the Hunger Games. With a lot of gore, it does seem very realistic with the storyline, a lot more so than The Hunger Games. Subtitles may put you off, as I have been told, ‘I’m there to watch a film, not read it’. But I think everyone should definitely check it out, to see similar things that are going on in the world rather than burying heads in the sand. We should all witness and stop what is happening in our world.

Imaginareum

Not only because it is made by one of my favourite bands, Nightwish, this film is actually really intelligent. I did have to be accompanied downstairs by my other half because I was terrified of the snowman but apart from that it was incredible to hear some of my favourite songs really fit with the dramatic situations on screen. Great acting along with an incredible storyline, not to be missed!

About the Writer: Becky has just finished a degree in English and Creative Writing and is very happy with her 2:1. She is friendly, bubbly and just so happens to be the co-creator of Yellow Bunting. She hopes you enjoy it and that you get involved!

4 (Sort of) Biopics you should watch

10 Jun

The Notorious Bettie Page

Directed by the Mary Harron who also directed American Psycho, The Notorious Bettie Page uses the hearing at which Page was called to testify as a framing device. Switching between black and white and glorious Technicolor it follows the life of the Queen of Pin Up and Bondage from small town girl with a rough upbringing to the icon she is remembered as. The film mixes raunch with quieter moments of reflection showing Page as a multi faceted character with vulnerability and naivety rather than just a body to be gawped at.

Howl

An arty film with a mosaic like structure. Firstly we have a New York publisher on trial for publishing a collection of poems by Beat Generation icon Allen Ginsberg, then there is Ginsberg being interviewed and reflecting on his life and writing career and this supplemented by flash backs which is interspersed with gorgeous animation and James Franco as Ginsberg reading the eponymous poem. It is visually engaging with a dreamlike feel to it and doesn’t alienate those (like myself) who were unfamiliar with Ginsberg’s work before.

 

All That Jazz

Not strictly a biopic but the life of the main character mirror that of writer/director Bob Fosse to a tee. Fosse juggled editing a biopic about comedian Lenny Bruce with trying to stage the Broadway musical Chicago, hence the title. Similarly, Joe Gideon (played my Roy Schieder) uses a cocktail of drugs and sex to plough through his own fanatic attempts to stage a Broadway Musical and edit a Hollywood film. He isolates everyone around him as he flirts with death (literally. She keeps appearing in dream sequences) and experiences heart complications. It isn’t a musical itself though it does show the performers sings and dancing. However it does have one of the best final scenes of any film I have ever watched.

Adaptation

Again not strictly a biopic by screenwriter Charlie Kaufman makes himself a character in the film and gives himself a fictional twin brother. It follows him struggling to turn the book The Orchid Thief into a film and Kaufman penned the script while struggling to turn The Orchid Thief into a film… Add to that the fact that the real life author of the book is a character in the film (played by Meryl Streep) and some of the book is dramatized and you get a mind bending, oddball film that is worth watching for Nicholas Cage’s portrayal as the goofy Kaufman bothers alone.

About the Writer: Sarah is a filmmaker and writer with an obsession for luscious visuals and a distain for tomatoes (they are a sneaky and untrustworthy foodstuff). If she’s not blogging or tweeting, she’ll be watching films or running around with her video camera

Love Letter to the 90s

7 Jun

My 90s were spent listening to pop music: embarrassing, sugary sweet, bubblegum pop. With Viva Forever at the West End, the Backstreet Boys receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Big Reunion on TV, my mind has slipped back to that time and I have unashamedly been listening to some classic gems from the era.

So gather round, grab your glittery temporary tattoos and Hubba Bubba Bubble Tape and let’s delve into the strange thing that was 90s music.

Spice Girls – Stop. I can’t believe this didn’t get to number 1! It had great hooks, a dance routine and was insanely catchy. The Spice Girls will forever be my favourite pop group and they taught the best lesson of all: girl power.

B*Witched – To You I Belong. Possibly the deepest thing a 7 year old could listen to.

Steps – Love U More. The strangest and most difficult dance routine I ever attempted… This brings back memories of the legendary Steps Video with the flying sofa and dodgy CGI backgrounds.

TLC – Unpretty. Creepy flying CCTV cameras aside, don’t let society impose their ideals of beauty on you.

Five – Keep On Movin’. I was more of a girl groups kid but Five were alright. It’s one of those feel good songs that you can’t help but like.

Backstreet Boys – Everybody (Backstreet’s Back). This video. I can’t even.

S Club 7 – Bring It All Back. Yup, I went there. Remember the TV shows? The bad acting? It all comes flooding back now… Not the best group of the 90s but still enjoyable.

Billie – Because We Want To. Long before running around on the small screen with Christopher Eccleston, Billie Piper was a pop star. This was an anthem for girls everywhere and if memory serves, I think I had this single on a cassette tape back in the day.

Eiffel 65 – Blue (Da Ba Dee). Don’t worry- I liked it when this showed up in Iron Man 3 too.

Cher – Believe. Possibly the ultimate 90s song and one of the first uses of Auto Tune, I honestly thought it was a man singing the first time I heard it. I love it.

 

In other news: how long will it be for films and TV shows set in the 90s to be defined as ‘period pieces’?

About the writer: Daisy is an irregular photographer, wannabe writer and full time female. In between tea and toast breaks she spends far too much time on the internet blogging, tumbling and tweeting. She is unapologetic in her love of the Spice Girls.