TV: Wham Documentary (Netflix): I absolutely LOVED Wham when I was a child - they were my first band obsession and I've always loved them and George Michael. I was absolutely devastated when he died, but was fortunate enough to have seen him live in Dublin in 2006 - one of the best nights of my life! This documentary is fantastic for any Wham fan. Andrew Ridgeley's mother kept scrap books from the very beginning and these are central to the documentary as both George and Andrew talk us through each stage of meeting, finding their shared interest in music, writing songs, hitting up clubs and then getting their break through an act dropping out of Top Of The Pops at the last minute. They were unashamedly pop, which was a relief and contrast to the punk era for many people. The band was only together for four years but they achieved worldwide success and you could see the progression and direction the band would eventually take when the songs became less 'pop' but still very catchy. What they achieved was remarkable and thank God Andrew volunteered to befriend George when he started at his new school - who knows if we would ever have heard of George Michael without him because George was shy, whereas Andrew had the confidence that pushed them to get noticed. I could watch this at least 20 times and not get bored!
Nothing Compares (Sky documentaries): Sinéad O'Connor made a huge impression on the world, but particularly on young Irish women and girls when she first rose to fame. A woman whose voice could go from a delicate lilt to raising the roof within seconds. She was beautiful but didn't conform to the usual rules of 'pretty' with her shaved head. She stood up for the underdog and was ultimately all about love, peace and harmony although many people thought she was just an angry women - yes, she was angry about injustice and prejudice and wasn't afraid to vocalise it, and being a woman was often persecuted for using her voice. She could see what others couldn't or wouldn't. Her childhood was horrendous and it is no wonder that she had mental health issues as a result. This documentary gave Sinéad to speak about things in her own words. I loved the line "they thought they could bury me, but they didn't realise I was a seed". I admired her hugely for so many reasons and think that the world is a poorer place for her loss. I do hope that she is reunited with her son, Shane, and that her other children can help and support one another and take solace in the fact that she was very loved, as shown by the outpouring of grief after her death. Here she is singing one of my favourite songs
Film: Mission Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One: I love these films for transporting me to another world for a couple of hours. As with all films in the franchise, there is plenty of action, some parts where you're holding the edge of your seat & your breath, others where everybody in the cinema seems to move in unison to avoid whatever obstacle is coming Tom Cruise's way! There is also some humour too. It's very fast paced but easy to keep up with and I'm looking forward to Part Two already (but hoping it won't be the last one!). We saw it in IMAX and it was definitely worth the money.
Oppenheimer: I'm ashamed to say that I didn't know an awful lot about Dr. Oppenheimer before this film. If you aren't overly familiar with him either, this film covers his career from a post-doctorate student days, which was in theoretical physics, to him being recruited 16 years later to lead the Manhattan project, which is to develop an atomic bomb. There are a lot of references to communism, and although he personally was never a member of a communist group, the association later comes back to be used against him. He is haunted by what the atomic bomb did and is called a "cry baby" by President Truman as a result. The film jumps from the production of the bomb, to a Senate hearing of the man who recruited him (who betrays Oppenheimer) and the kangaroo court of Oppenheimer, which removes his security clearance and damaged his public image. There is a scene where there is an exchange of word between Einstein and Oppenheimer, which was interesting as they both realised the consequences of his work. Years later, President Lyndon B. Johnson presented Oppenheimer with an award, which was to be seen as an acknowledgement of his work and a disapproval of his treatment afterwards. As with all Christopher Nolan films, this is a visual delight. That added with a fantastic cast, led by the brilliant Cillian Murphy, made this a gripping film. It is long, at 3 hours, however you are never clock-watching as so much is happening. My husband and I have both said that we want to see it on the big screen again, when we get back from holiday. I know that I haven't done it justice, but it's a must-see in my opinion.
Beauty: My favourite summer makeup picks are coming in my next post so I won't go into them now, however one standout fragrance from the month that I rediscovered and reached for A LOT is Prada Milano Infusion D'Ylang. I was kindly sent this last year and wore it for a while but it got lost amongst my other fragrances until I rotated them recently and fell back in love. It's a woody, fresh, citrusy and creamy fragrance all at once! It reminds me of holidays, but it's not your typical coconut holiday type scent - it's more reminiscent of time spent on the Amalfi Coast, but still isn't strongly lemon scented. I'd actually say that it's quite unisex due to the woody scent that it dries down to.
What did you love in July? Did you make any great discoveries? I'd love to hear!
Thanks for reading!
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