Analyze This

Analyze This 1999, starring Robert De Niro, directed by Harold Ramis….

I have spent the day recovering from my New Years Eve celebration watching films back to back. It started with Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, Richie Rich, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Ratatouille and now, one of the films I can never watch too many times, with the actor who never tires, Robert De Niro in Analyze This. Because I absolutely adore this film, and am always amused by De Niro’s right hand man Jelly, I just had to make a note of this quote.

Analyze This

Jelly: I’m gonna get a bite to eat. You wanna sandwich or somethin’?

Guard: What kind of sandwich ain’t too fattening?

Jelly: A half a sandwich.

Inspired by: Robert De Niro

Inspired by Robert De Niro

Robert De Niro is the likely star player in the world’s selection of films that we’ll watch as a collective, till the day we die.

Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver
Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver...You Talkin' to Me?

There are many actors and directors whose back catalogue I would like to purchase someday, perhaps when I decide to stop devoting my entire pay cheque to my wardrobe. If any of my friends are reading, Tom Cruise and Martin Scorsese are way up there at the top. But, naturally, at the very tip of the top sits Robert De Niro. Anyone who truly knows me will know that I have a special affection for Robert De Niro… then again, who doesn’t? He is sheer brilliance. The best actor of his time.

Robert De Niro is the star player of my collection of films that I’ll watch till the day I die. You know those films that you’ll watch every three months, and even though you have the film on DVD, you’ll still watch it every time it’s aired on TV and it never ever gets tired. In fact, the familiarity of the film is exciting and learning all of the lines is an achievement.

 Of course there are other actors and films that feature in this list that have nothing to do with De Niro, but De Niro dominates. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve watched Analyze This and Analyze That, starring De Niro alongside Billy Crystal. Of course, I’ll always enjoy watching the Meet the Fockers’ trilogy. Yes, including the third one, that didn’t particularly receive rave reviews. Naturally, The Godfather’s One and Two, Goodfellas and Casino – are films the world will watch as a collective forever. It’s needless to say that A Bronx Tale is placed firmly on this list. My partner and I have joked that this particular film will play on a loop, projected on a screen at our wedding – corny I know, but that tale is ours. (Possibly before I had watched Leon: The Professional, A Bronx Tale may have been my favourite film of all time).

There are a few actors that I can say I have watched most of their films, or that I would even want to. I have found myself enjoying most of the films that Tom Cruise stars in, barring Knight and Day, from Risky Business and Top Gun to Tropic Thunder and the Mission Impossibles. (Mission Impossible 4 rapidly approaching!) It could be possible that the only Tom Cruise film I haven’t seen is Valkyerie, which I have little interest in seeing anyhow.  Eventually, I would like to say that I have watched every single Robert De Niro film…and so far I’m not doing too badly.

Until last week, the most recent films I had watched De Niro perform in were; Limitless, alongside Bradley Cooper. Everyone’s Fine, in which he plays a touching role – a father worried about his adult children, whose hectic lives have left him shut out of their worlds. And of course, the infamous Jack Burns in Meet the Little Fockers!

Last week I watched Cape Fear, starring De Niro alongside Nick Nolte, for the first time. ‘What’s it about?’ I asked my partner. He explained De Niro as a disturbed ex-con and I was immediately excited. There’s something great about films that question people’s sanity or simply displays their insanity – Tom Hardy in Bronson, Brad Pitt in Twelve Monkeys and Fight Club, Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Shining and As Good as it Gets and finally, Javier Camara in Almodovar’s Hable Con Ella.

I have always taken a particular pleasure in watching De Niro play those marginal psychotic characters he played in the earlier stages of his career; Rupert Pupkin in Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy 1983, alongside Jerry Lewis and Diane Abbott. And Tavis Bickle in another Scorsesee film, Taxi Driver 1976, alongside Jodie Foster and Cybill Shepherd.  In Cape Fear De Niro plays Max Cadey, a convicted rapist seeking revenge on the lawyer, Nick Nolte, who defended him. Indeed, De Niro plays another slightly deranged character.  However, unlike many of the films that De Niro stars in, this is not one of them that I can add to my list of films that I’ll continue to watch intermittently till the day I die.

Nevertheless, like Tom Cruise in Knight and Day, I am more than happy to add Cape Fear to my list of De Niro films.

Mini Skirts and The Mini Show

Mini Skirts and The Mini Show

 When Mary Quant named the ever rising skirt after her favourite car, the mini, no doubt she had foreseen the ambiguity of the term ‘mini’, in mini skirt. It wouldn’t have been absurd to assume that no matter how short the mini skirt rises, it will always have reference to it’s length or lack thereof, as opposed to this actual region of the female body. Low and behold, once yet again, followers of fashion have thrown caution to the wind and out with it has gone their dignity and in coming, the bandeau skirt (I prefer to call it the spandex skirt, it sounds more offensive). The bandeau skirt, just to be clear, should not be worn by women twenty one and over with; wide hips, a pronounced bum, a saggy bum, shapely thighs, cellulite, ample belly, bow legs or those lucky enough to possess a womanly shape. Imagine lycra stretched across the bottoms of the likes of Jenny Lo and Beyonce, the volume on the sex, crude and overly suggestive radar rings far too loudly for good taste and screams ‘Look at me, look at me,’ for cultivated and gracious style, this is a deterrent.

There are, however, better things to wrap one’s derriere in; skirts that don’t stretch or roll up when you walk, that have an intricate pattern or cut and are well tailored. The spandex skirt’s lack of imagination is reflected in it’s three pounds retail price and unlike a pair of Giuseppe Zanotti shoes or a Robert Deniro, Martin Scorsese collaboration, that are both instantly impressive, this skirt most certainly is not. Of course the sexual power a short skirt possesses is undeniable, which is why, as age progresses, it is paramount to get the balance between length, quality and textile spot on.

It’s not so much the length of the bandeau skirt that disgruntles me, it’s not even the fact that it’s made of spandex – well maybe it is, in fact, the reasons such a skirt aggravates me are intrinsic; It is completely impossible to wear this skirt as short as it intended to be worn and it be made out of the stretchy material it is to be made from and preserve dignity at the same time. There is no way anyone above the age of five could keep their dignity in this thing and should a five year old be wearing such a skirt, then it is the mother’s dignity in question.

At a fifteen year olds birthday party, girls pranced around a bomb fire, dancing to music, drinking cider, wearing bandeau skirts that stretched to their fullest capacity, barely managed to cover their bum cheeks. It was obligatory with every reach for the marshmallows or Pringles to get an eyeful of big white knickers, which was then, followed by the obligatory ‘pull my skirt out of my bum to cover my dignity’ tug.

The point is, this combination of material, length and garment requires the don of a lady and not just in physicality, but by nature and demeanour; the woman who knows to sit with her legs crossed, who ensures that the knickers she wears beneath her tights or skirt are matching or mute, as to avoid striking anyone with lightening flashes of luminous colour, she also knows, if required to, she bends her knees instead of bending over. Of course, it is arguable that women of this kind would actually wear a spandex, bandeau, elastic skirt in the first instance.

It sounds harsh, maybe a little prejudice, but I have seen far too many minis of the past month not be concerned, firstly, by the female’s understanding of the mini skirt, secondly by their desire to wear these obviously malfunctioning crotch and buttock revealing skirts and wearing them as though they are as comfortable as a pair of track suit bottoms, paying almost no attention to the unfortunate discomfort, impracticality and attention required when wearing an insanely short elastic skirt. Of course, the skirt being made of spandex means the material itself is less movement restrictive as opposed to a cotton skirt, so this should be where the constraint of possessing decorum and poise would kick in, you’d think. But I have seen the crux of tights one too many times and am compelled to let the spandex, elastic band wearers know, unless being with your lover or your gynaecologist, not at any other point should I or do I care to see what lies beneath and nor does anybody else. Flashing was hot in Basic Instincts, but as was Catherine Tramell, it’s not so hot getting flashed on the tube, by a girl who wears ladders in her tights, holes in her knickers and has to yank her skirt out of her arse whilst readying herself to get off at her stop. It’s unsightly and quite frankly disgusting, it’s worst than that god awful g-string trend, you know the one when females began wearing their g-strings above their jeans waist line? Of course I am not so anal to know that this crotch flashing thing isn’t a trend, more than it be a fashion faux pas, but again, the surmountable display of this feminine region is definitely indicative of a change in the  female’s attitude towards this part of their body.  

Recently a friend came round, dressed for a night out, she too was wearing one of these bandeau things, truth be told, to see her without one is a miracle. She was sat on my bed trying on a pair of my sisters new Kurt Geiger Kinetic shoes, once slipping her foot in she begins to fiddle with the buckle, struggling to do it up, before she contemplates moving to the edge of the bed, putting her foot on the floor and leaning over to buckle the shoe this way, she cocks her leg up, like a dog sitting on it’s back side itching it’s ear and awkwardly and unattractively and does the buckle up. I look at her in horror and she laughs, ‘So what? I’ve got thick tights on,’ she informs me. Well doesn’t that put me in my place? She also tells me, ‘If you wear big knickers, it doesn’t matter anyway.’ 

So, the new attitude may be that if your genitalia is well concealed, it’s OK to continue to let your lycra skirt roll up to your belly button and to sit with your legs akimbo, should you fancy it. I suppose Lady Gaga and Beyonce wouldn’t disagree much with this new trend or way of thinking. Admittedly, if I had the power, the success and the luxury to dress and henceforth act frivolously, I most certainly wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to wear a spandex skirt and not give a f*, however as I submerge myself further and further into my twenties and closer and closer to thirty, the commodity and art of style has become far more valuable to me than capricious fashions –  this may render me boring, but are fashion victims stylish?

I don’t doubt those sheathing themselves in the spandex skirt that are old enough to know better, might come up with some kind of empowering and liberating women crap, but unfortunately half the females sporting this trend are not old enough or conscious enough for their mini displays to demonstrate anything other than bad manners and terrible dress etiquette. The sheer fact that these skirts are being worn in the first place suggests some form of fashion and aesthetic interest, for such an interest it is the wearer’s responsibility to also know that an eyeful of crotch is definitely not aesthetically pleasing…even if Gaga’s doing it.