To all the Catholic priests I’ve known before…

News this morning (yesterday morning by the time I publish this) is that Richard Armitage has a new role coming up…

… and I really like the sound of this. Finally an Armitage project for me to get excited about! He’s going to be playing a Catholic priest, “handsome Father Quart”, who solves mysteries. I know nothing of this story or this character but I am curious and I am quite partial to priests. In fact, priests have been on my mind recently, ever since Herba blogged about “The Thorn Birds syndrome” on her blog last week. It’s as if she felt some priest-announcement in the air. 😉

Due to my father’s work, we were friends with a lot of religious people. We grew up around nuns, we were friends with rabbis and priests. One of our favourite people was a Dutch Melkite (Greek Catholic order) priest who lived on top of a mountain in the Lower Galilee in Israel. Father Jacob, but we called him Uncle Jacob, was like a granddad to us and we visited him and his tiny community regularly. He had this beautiful little chapel hewn into the rock which I think still may be my favourite chapel ever…

Until we saw The Thorn Birds in the early 1980s I had never thought of priests as sexy, but then Richard Chamberlain was on the screen as Father Ralph de Bricassart and we loved it. I think my mum even had a bit of a crush on Father Ralph, I had the same crush. Can you blame us? Just look!

Now that’s a handsome and sexy priest. Will Richard be anything like that as Father Quart? I wouldn’t mind! By the way, not only Richard Chamberlain was sexy in this, I quite liked Christopher Plummer as a cardinal as well.

And my fave actor during my teens, Gregory Peck, has also played priests. It’s been ages since I’ve seen him in Keys of the Kingdom from 1944, one of his first starring roles, where he plays a priest that starts a mission in China. Even though he ages to an old man in the movie, he really is baby-Gregory as a priest. Very cute. 🙂

In the 1980s I also saw him in The Scarlet and the Black, a TV miniseries where he plays a Monsignor at the Vatican who hides POW’s during WWII. That too I haven’t seen in ages… In that one Christopher Plummer was a Nazi Commander, by the way.

Another priest I remember seeing in a movie was Bing Crosby in The Bells of St. Mary’s. I never was much of a Bing Crosby fan, I saw this movie for Ingrid Bergman, whom I do love. In the last picture of this group, they’re petting a kitten. Awww!

There was some comedy in St Mary’s and another movie about a priest (and a rabbi) that had some light-heartedness to it was a faith and romantic comedy called Keeping the Faith, starring Edward Norton, Ben Stiller and Jenna Elfman. I actually saw Keeping the Faith again recently and yeah, I still like it. Edward Norton looks very nice in a collar.

From comedy to darkness and Max von Sydow as a priest in The Exorcist. I have only ever seen that movie once (not my genre) and also barely remember it, but I do remember thinking that Von Sydow was good.

Another priest I liked was Jeremy Irons in The Mission, which I saw in the cinema in the 1980s, but also haven’t seen since, I don’t think. In class, in high school, we had to write a poem about a picture and I even wrote a poem about this one from that movie…

mission irons flute

I wonder if I still have that poem somewhere, I remember writing it before I had even seen the movie, I just liked the image so much. That movie also starred Robert DeNiro and Liam Neeson as priests…

… and Liam Neeson as priest reminded me of a movie called Silence that I saw two years ago, which impressed me. Besides Neeson, it mostly starred Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield and also briefly Ciaran Hinds. Ciaran looks very dashing as a priest, I have to say.

That movie was a little grimy and gritty, just like Pilgrimage was, in which Richard killed priests instead of being one…

At least he could already practice with taking Communion…

pilgrimage communion

These are all the Catholic priests that sprung to my mind (I’m sure there must be more but they didn’t pop-up in my head) when I read about Richard’s new role. He’ll be joining this nice line-up of actors before him and  I can hardly wait to see him dressed and act as a priest. He already looks good in a collar (of sorts) after all…

TheirLostDaughters-RichardArmitage02

… he’ll be a knock-out in a priest’s robes.

I think I’m going to see if I can track down the book somewhere, my curiosity has been awakened! It feels good to be excited about an Armitage project again. 🙂

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Ingrid Bergman, a life in pictures

I love Ingrid Bergman. I discovered old movies in my early teens and during that time also Ingrid Bergman. Gregory Peck was my favourite actor; Ingrid Bergman, along with Audrey Hepburn, became my favourite actress. From the age of 18 or so I’ve had a Casablanca poster on my bedroom wall. I stuck Casablanca pictures on it when I first had the poster and the image is fading somewhat now but I don’t have the heart to replace it… The frame is now also being filled with other assorted pictures, it’s become a very special thing on my wall…

Casablanca poster

A few weeks ago I was flipping through channels and caught the beginning of a documentary on Ingrid Bergman’s life and was sucked right into that. Her four children were also interviewed for that documentary. One of her children is the actress and model Isabella Rossellini and at the end of the documentary a book was mentioned, edited by Isabella, about the life of Ingrid Bergman in pictures. I wanted it and ordered it and it arrived yesterday! Big heavy book with such treasures! I can’t resist and want to share some of the beautiful photos here (courtesy of my phone camera).

The cover of the book…

Ingrid Bergman 01 - title

Ingrid’s childhood. She lost her mother when she was was 2 and her dad, a photographer, when she was 13. Picture with her mother…

Ingrid Bergman 02 - baby

Childhood pictures taken by her dad…

Ingrid Bergman 03 - child

She got married to a Swedish dentist (he later became a brain surgeon), Petter Lindström, when she was 21. They had a daughter together. Ingrid Bergman as a teen and on her wedding day…

After her success in a Swedish romantic movie called Intermezzo, the movie was to be remade in Hollywood and so off she went there at the end of 1939, at the age 24…

Ingrid Bergman 06 - Arrival Hollywood

The US Intermezzo film also starred Leslie Howard of Gone With the Wind fame…

Ingrid Bergman 07 - Leslie Howard

In 1942 she made Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart, a movie I absolutely love!

Ingrid Bergman 08 - Humphrey Bogart

Her career really took off after that, she made a few movies with Alfred Hitchcock…

Ingrid Bergman 10 - Alfred Hitchcock

One of those Hitchcock movies, Spellbound, was with Gregory Peck in one of his early roles…

Ingrid Bergman 09 - Gregory Peck

She even won her first Oscar then (pictured here with actress Jennifer Jones) for a movie called Gaslight.

Ingrid Bergman 11 - Oscar - Jennifer Jones

Her marriage to Petter wasn’t a happy one and in 1945 she met the photographer Robert Capa; they had an intense affair (unbeknownst to the world). Apparently he and a friend knew she was staying in their hotel and dropped her a funny note that Ingrid kept for the rest of her life…It reads like this…

Subject: Dinner 6/28/45
To: Miss Ingrid Bergman
Part 1: This is a community effort. The community consists of Bob Capa and Irwin Shaw.
2: We were planning on sending you flowers with this note inviting you to dinner this evening – but after consultation we discovered it was possible to pay for the note and flowers or the note and dinner. Not both. We took a vote and dinner won by a close margin.
3: It was suggested that if you did not care for dinner, flowers might be sent. No decision on this has been reached so far.
4: Besides flowers, we have a lot of doubtful qualities (this is a direct quotation from Capa)
5: If we write much more we will have no conversation left, as our supply of charm is limited
6: We will call you at 6:15
7: We do not sleep
Signed, Worried.

Ingrid Bergman 12 - letter Robert Capa

Ingrid, intrigued, chose the dinner… 🙂

A few years later, at the very end of the 1940s, Ingrid scandalized Hollywood and the US (she was even denounced in the US senate!) when she fell in love with Italian director Roberto Rossellini (man on the left in these pictures) while she was still married to Petter. She left Petter, stayed in Italy and wasn’t able to see her daughter for some years.

Ingrid Bergman 13 - Roberto Rossellini

One of the pictures in the book, taken on the Via Appia in Rome, reminded me of a picture I took of my daughter while we were visiting the Via Appia ourselves 7 years ago…

Ingrid and Roberto had 3 kids together – a son and twin daughters.

Some nice laid back pictures of Ingrid in those years…

Ingrid Bergman 16 - down time

By the second half of the 1950s the marriage with Rossellini broke down. She came to visit the US and was welcomed back…

Ingrid Bergman 17 - back in US

She also spent time with all 4 of her kids together…

Ingrid Bergman 18 - with her four children

But she didn’t film in Hollywood, she chose to film in Europe instead. With Cary Grant (a good friend of hers whom she had also filmed with in the 1940s – excellent Hitchcock movie called Notorious) and Anthony Perkins (from Psycho fame).

She also won her second Oscar during that time, for Anastasia, which Cary Grant accepted on her behalf. I love this set of pictures of her…

Ingrid Bergman 20 - portrait

…and I think this following one is now one of my fave pictures of her ever!

Ingrid Bergman 21 - door

She fell in love again, this time with a Swedish theatrical producer called Lars Schmidt. They were married for 17 years (1958 to 1975) and were apparently friends until her death.

Ingrid Bergman 23 - Lars

In her later years she made a movie in which her daughter Isabella had a small role as a nun…

Ingrid Bergman 24 - Isabella Rossellini

She won her 3rd Oscar for her supporting role in the 1974 movie Murder on the Orient Express. She also worked with Swedish director Ingmar Bergman (almost the same name!) in 1978…

Ingrid Bergman 25 - Ingmar Bergman

She died in 1982, on her 67th birthday, after battling breast cancer for many years. This was the last official portrait taken of her in 1982…

Ingrid Bergman 26 - Last portrait

Ingrid Bergman was a woman who took a very distinct path in life and followed her heart. She wasn’t perfect but she lived life with a passion, breaking some conventions along the way. She was a great actress and I have fallen in love with her all over again through this book! So far I have only just looked at the pictures in this book and the pictures I have shared here are only a tiny selection of all that is in it. I still need to read the texts that go with the pictures but boy, am I already happy that I purchased this!

Happy world smile day!

Apparently it’s world smile day today honouring the inventor of the smiley, Harvey Ball. Lovely idea, so I thought I’d contribute!

There are many daily situations to smile about, like when it comes to office politics…

labelprinterstapler-floor-4

Or teaching the young about ‘old’ media…

There’s humour in education…

… and signs…

… and advertising, branding and displays…

(For non German readers here – “Kinder Überraschung” means “Children’s surprise” and is normally a chocolate egg with a little gift inside – for kids).

Cats are funny…

flying-cat

Election time can be funny…

hillary-selfie

Trying to ride your bike on a bike path can be funny (very relevant for someone like me living in the Netherlands, where 4 of the 5 pictures below were taken)…

Wisdom can be funny…

a-hole

Superheroes can be funny (in this case Thor and Loki)…

hemshiddle2

And speaking of actors… my favourite actors’ faces lighting up, that makes me smile and laugh too! Like these…

audrey-hepburn-smilecolin-firth-smileingrid-bergman-smilepeck-elatedrichard-armitage-laughing-gif

So, happy world smile day everyone!

“People are always ready to fight…”

The other day I was rewatching an old Ingrid Bergman movie from 1958 called The Inn of the Sixth Happiness. With the news in the world right now, this little line that Ingrid Bergman utters in resignation in this movie has been playing in my mind on loop today…

I so very much feel the pain of that little line “people are always ready to fight” 

I hear Donald Trump talk about building walls and deporting people and calling for torture. I hear all this pro-Brexit scaremongering nonsense and a lady saying in a TV debate that Bexit needs to happen to “stop the dilution” of the British people (pardon me??? Makes me think of Hitler not wanting the Jews to ‘dilute’ the ‘Aryan race’)! I see Russian and British soccer fans attack each other in France during the European Soccer Championships and people saying that more needs to be done to keep fan groups apart. But why, I ask, do they even have to fight in the first place? And then today I hear some nutjob has killed 50 people in Orlando in a LGBT nightclub! How absolutely tragic! Will the hatred bring about more cycles of hatred and violence?

Why why why this need to always fight? Can’t we disagree with words and discussion instead of killing each other or calling for violence and exclusion? Can’t all weapons and violence just be banned from this world altogether and forever? I feel so sad and helpless and just hope that one day the Trumps of this world and hooligans and scaremongerers and ISIS and wackos obtaining guns to shoot people will be a thing of the past. How much longer can we keep fighting each other? I truly understand there are no easy answers! What I do know is that this endless cycle of hatred will get us nowhere in the end…

quote-an-eye-for-an-eye-makes-the-whole-world-blind-mahatma-gandhi-283139

As Ingrid Bergman says in the clip above “my conscience is my own affair, and theirs is theirs, and yours is yours”, so think what you will of this. I just know that my conscience tells me that violence and guns and exclusion and despots like Trump can not be the answer.

30 Day Movie Challenge – Day 20

Day 20 – Your favourite romantic movie

I could just be lazy and refer to my favourite movie Roman Holiday again. Or I could refer to other romantic movies I have already mentioned during this challenge, but I won’t; I’ll pick a new one and I have two Ingrid Bergman movies I am trying to choose between.

First there’s Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart from 1942. It’s a wonderfully constructed movie about politics and love with a lot of drama, suspense, and yes, even humour. Even the minor characters are excellent in this movie. Apparently many actors were themselves refugees from Europe.

So very many classic scenes in Casablanca! From Dooley Wilson singing As Time Goes By, to depressed Bogart sitting in a darkened bar with a whiskey drowning his heartache, to the “We’ll always have Paris” scenes, the people in the bar singing the Marseillaise and drowning out the German officers singing, the ending with the famous line: “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” It has brought so many more classic lines, like “Round up the usual suspects” and “Here’s looking at you kid” and “It doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world” and “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine” and “You played it for her, you can play it for me… If she can stand it, I can. Play it!” Let me just share this scene from Casablanca where the romantic tension is just palpable:

A fun little scene I would also like to share is this one of an elderly Austrian refugee couple who are looking forward to traveling on from Casablanca to America…

I could share so many more! In fact, it’s probably just best to watch the whole thing. 🙂 Apparently right up till the end of filming it was still unclear which man Ingrid Bergman would end up with, so she had to be totally in love with both men at the same time. I’m still not sure whether she made the right choice or not…

The other Ingrid Bergman movie I was thinking of is Notorious from 1946. It’s an Alfred Hitchcock movie with Cary Grant in which Ingrid Bergman plays a woman who has to spy on a group of ex-Nazis in South America, Cary Grant is her handler and they fall in love but life, love and trust aren’t so easy…

The chemistry between Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant is absolutely crackling! There’s danger and attraction and yearning for each other and jealousy. You so very much root for these two to get together in the end! The scene where they go to Ingrid’s apartment and hold each other and talk and kiss and never once break contact while moving around to make a phone call is considered to be the longest kissing scene in a movie! I don’t know if that still is the case, but that is the reputation it has had. Here’s a video of Alfred Hitchcock talking about that scene and the funny story that inspired it:

My first inclination was to answer Casablanca to this question, but now, as love stories go, I think I may have to go with Notorious instead! A lot more kissing in there as well than in Casablanca. 😉 Anyway, both are excellent movies!

(30 Day Movie Challenge – the full list of questions)