Emerging idol group, IM5, poses with fans on Saturday, Aug.3, 2013 at the Florida Mall in Orlando, Florida. Currently working on their debut album, the group is the latest creation of Simon Fuller (Spice Girls, American Idol), Jamie King (Madonna) and celebrity blogger Perez Hilton.
As much as I respect Wim Wenders, this Hollywood satire/hi-tech thriller definitely has to be one of the weirdest in his filmography. The plot makes very little sense, despite getting decent performances out of some of the actors. Longtime Wenders collaborator Peter Przygodda contributes efficient editing and Pascal Rabaud’s cinematography captures some great images of Andie MacDowell, Traci Lind and Nicole Ari Parker - so I’m almost tempted to say that I like the film a little more than I do just because the film’s final two shots are so terrific. But the truth remains that the film is not up to the high standards that Wenders ought to always keep. Two hours go by and you wonder what you actually got out of the experience, which is annoying, you know? (Not to mention the fact that Gabriel Byrne is wearing awful mom jeans throughout the picture.) I’ll end by pointing out a few other positive elements: Sam Fuller, that great old auteur, in a small but endearing role as Byrne’s father; Udo Kier as a sort of alternate-universe stand-in for Wenders as a European director trying his best to make a bad Hollywood film (his first scene with Lind, in which she gets her lines wrong with embarrassing results, is my favorite in the film); and the music in the film, including a great original score by Ry Cooder and a number of good songs featured on the soundtrack, including “You May Feel Me Crying” by Roy Orbison, “Little Drop of Poison” by Tom Waits and the ending credits’ “I’m Not Your Baby” by U2 and Sinéad O’Connor. The music makes the film a bit better, but it’s never enough to put the film anywhere near the leagues of Wings of Desire.
Mademoiselle Gabrielle was a legless marvel from the early 1900’s. She was born in Basel, Switzerland in 1884 and began her freak show and exhibition career at the Paris Universal Exposition in 1900 as The Half-Woman.
Her first foray into show business proved quite successful as she soon traveled to America to work with the Dreamland Circus Side Show, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. Furthermore, in 1912, Mademoiselle Gabrielle embarked on a short-lived vaudevillian career with New York’s Hammerstein Theater. She eventually broke her contract with the theater agent and was subsequently sued for breach. A four year court battle resulted in a $2000 fine paid to the theater agent. Few human marvels appeared on the vaudeville stage, the Hilton sisters did so several years later, but Mademoiselle Gabrielle was a special case. She was beautiful, charming, graceful and demure enough for the general public to accept her deformity objectively.
Mademoiselle Gabrielle possessed no legs and, according to a 1929 London Life article, she possessed no stumps whatsoever. Her torso finished just below the hip gracefully. Her figure was impressive and she accentuated her physical qualities and natural beauty with opulent Victorian garb and striking jewelry. Mademoiselle Gabrielle was independent and never complained of her condition. She firmly believed that she was ‘no less a woman’, despite being physically half of a woman.
Mademoiselle Gabrielle attracted men in droves and married at least three times during her lifetime. First she was married to a man with the surname of Hunter and lastly to a German gentleman. Due to these surname changes, her later history is difficult to trace and her eventual date of demise is currently unknown.