time and life magazine

I had the sudden urge to draw them in Elie Saab dresses (x) (x) and I JUST—-

why do they look so good they’re illegal

anonymous asked:

Dr Who but each incarnation is swapped with one of their companions.

omg?? I love it??

The First Doctor: 

She’s not completely unfriendly, exactly, she just doesn’t have time for humans being idiots. In the right circumstances, she can actually be very warm. She loves history, which is lucky because her granddaughter Susan does too (they tell people Susan is her daughter, but even then it’s a bit of a stretch, human ages are weird). Of course, then two of Susan’s teachers follow her home one night, and next thing the Doctor knows she has a crotchety old history teacher and a handsome young science teacher on her spaceship with no way to get rid of them that isn’t morally questionable. 

Whoops? 

The humans help her lose some of her haughtiness. She leaves Susan in the 22nd century to become her own woman. 

Along the way and against her better judgement, she falls hopelessly for Ian Chesterton. He wants to stay with her forever, but she knows it would never work, and encourages him to go with John Foreman in the Dalek Time Machine to get back to his own time. 

Later, in other lives, she checks in on him occasionally. 

The Second Doctor:

The baby face is a problem. It takes a good twenty minutes on a lot of occasions to get anyone to take her seriously. On the bright side, a lot of Polly’s clothes fit her now. 

She finds a best friend in Scotsman Jamie McCrimmon, whose rather naive approach to futuristic technology is extremely refreshing, as is his unique insightfulness. 

After Ben and Polly leave them, they rescue Victoria, who Jamie is utterly taken with. Victoria is unsure about living a life so unsupervised by someone older and won’t listen to the Doctor’s insistence that she is in fact perfectly qualified to look after them all. 

She and Victoria spend a good many nights aboard the TARDIS talking about women’s history and the things to come for women in the future and how women act on other planets. Victoria is fascinated, occasionally horrified, and often quietly thrilled at the things she learns. 

It’s a shame to see her go, but all she ever wanted was a family and security, and the Doctor can’t provide that. 

They meet an eccentric man on a space station, with funny trousers and an obsession with the recorder. The Doctor and Jamie like him instantly, and invite him on board only to learn that the man had been considering stowing away if not invited. 

The Time Lords take her friends away from her. She is forced to regenerate and exiled to Earth, as punishment for her interference. 

The Third Doctor: 

Shrewd, passionately devoted to science, and not one to take kindly to interruptions or anyone trying to talk down to or even disagree with her, it’s a wonder the Doctor even gets hired by UNIT at all. But then again, beggars can’t be choosers. 

On the bright side, this fellow John Smith from Cambridge seems to be the one person around with an actual brain and not just a penchant for attacking first and thinking later. 

They’re friends instantly. Or, they are once she makes it perfectly clear that she is the cleverer of the two. The look on his face when he realises is a memory she’ll treasure forever. 

He eventually leaves to go back to his own research, upon realising she doesn’t need him. 

It’s a shame and she misses him, but then Jo Grant comes into her life. Despite an awful first impression, the two women are soon fiercely devoted to each other. Jo keeps going on about women having to stick together amongst all the army boys, and while the Doctor could usually not care less about gender politics, if it means Jo hangs around her more, then so be it. 

The Master turns up. It’s exhausting and exasperating and oh so much fun

Meanwhile, the Doctor’s told herself to not let herself fall for humans, after how much Ian hurt. But with Jo, it’s impossible not to. (Not that she hasn’t noticed the Brigadier’s lingering stares, or failed to appreciate him in his uniform. But he’s far too professional to ever do anything, and too trigger happy besides.) 

Jo is like sunshine and she’s always there and smiling and pressing herself against the Doctor out of fear or shock, until one day they’re in the supply closet of a spaceship and they’re kissing furiously instead of listening out for their pursuers. 

It’s wonderful, being with Jo. Until Clive Jones comes along, and the Doctor has to tell her to forget about her and marry the nice young man who can grow old with her and give her the life she wants. 

She drinks more champagne than she is proud of that night. 

Luckily, along comes Sarah Jane Smith, who is exactly the kind of human that the Doctor automatically adores. Inquisitive, sharp, and a vocal feminist. What a woman. 

Of course, then giant alien spiders happen, and it’s time for a change.  

The Fourth Doctor:

Or… not. Apparently, she’s doomed to be young, attractive, humanoid, and pale skinned throughout all her lives. There are worse fates, but she wouldn’t mind a little variety, frankly. And being so small is getting infuriating. 

Harry takes a long while to take her seriously, but once he does, he is steadfastly loyal. Sarah Jane takes the regeneration in stride for the most part. 

And after them, Leela, who is so strange and savage but so utterly charming in her honesty. They share a few kisses, but nothing more. 

Then comes Romana. A young Time Lord who looks older than her, is far taller than is sensible, and has an even more absurd grin. She can’t stand him, with his bragging about his grades and thinking he knows everything. 

She soon teaches him that experience wins every time. 

Of course, then he spots some pretty princess on Tara, and next thing she knows, the moment the whole Key To Time mess is sorted, Romana is now a less taller, less ridiculous, utterly beautiful Time Lady in her first regeneration. 

She tries to argue against what she can only consider body theft, or at least copying, but it is a relief to not have to crane her neck up to speak to her companion. 

Romana becomes a most dear friend. She’s missed being around someone like her, someone who understands. It makes it all the worse when she leaves, leaving the Doctor with only Adric and his incessant questions. 

The Fifth Doctor: 

There’s something about this body, a regality, that commands a little more respect than the ones before it, despite it following the pattern of her others. 

Adric’s questions exasperate her, while Tegan’s demands to be taken home are met with gentle requests for patience and promises of Heathrow airport, and this Traken prince she’s picked up is thankfully one of the most polite people she’s ever had in the TARDIS. Decent brain on him, too. 

Tegan’s smile sometimes makes her stomach do backflips. The Doctor ignores it. She’s learned her lesson. It’s almost a relief to see Tegan reach her breaking point and leave, except it isn’t, because for a long while it feels like a part of her is missing. 

Turlough is a curiosity, but a nice one who makes for surprisingly good company in the absence of the others. 

Perpugilliam Brown is a surprise. The Doctor remembers why she has tried to avoid America where possible in her travels. Americans are loud. But in the case of Peri, it involves shouting at the Master, and as such, the Doctor decides that Perpugilliam Brown can stay as long as she likes. 

Between the two of them and soon Erimem, uncrowned Pharaoh of Egypt, they make quite the team.  


The Sixth Doctor:

It’s about time! Finally, a more weathered model. Peri is surprised to say the least, and seems a little disappointed to lose out on her best friend who had until now looked a very similar age to her, but soon realises very little has changed. 

And now she lets the Doctor take care of her a bit better. Thank goodness for that! The maternal instincts in this body are absurdly strong, she has no idea what she would do if she couldn’t express them. 

Now, the borderline narcissistic but quietly lovable history professor she accidentally picks up some time after losing Peri is a trickier matter. Still, at least he shares her love for chocolate cake. 

The Seventh Doctor: 

Bright, bubbly, and able to get most people to like her within ten seconds. Now this is a regeneration she likes. Plus, her most impressive set of lungs yet. Handy, for calling companions who like to wander off. 

She tries to not encourage Ace’s use of explosives, but it’s difficult when she sees how genuinely happy they make the girl. She’s getting soft in her old age, she knows. 

Still, at least her brain makes up for it. She can out-think a computer, easily. The universe is her chessboard and she’ll do whatever the hell she pleases with it. 

The Eighth Doctor: 

She’s a jolly thing. Always keen for adventure, ready to shout at anyone who deserves it, and just wants to have a good time, really. 

After a rather rocky start involving amnesia and kissing the cardiologist who had caused her regeneration in the first place, the Doctor is just minding her own business when she accidentally messes with history. 

It seems that saving this stowaway on the R101 might not have been the best idea after all. But he’s so charming and sweet and genuine, sharing her utter passion for life, that by the time she realises her mistake, she’s not willing to part with him. 

That goes… about as well as one might expect. 

The Ninth Doctor: 

It’s funny, being a weathered old war veteran with a guilty conscience, and simultaneously looking like someone who could be on the front of a magazine. 

Life is hard, after the time war, but she meets a man with big ears and blue eyes and things get better. A lot better. It feels good to smile again. 

The addition of Captain Jack Harkness is an interesting one, but she’s always said the more the merrier. Their other companion is not quite as happy about this development, but before long they’re the best of friends. 

The Tenth Doctor: 

She’s gentler now, somehow. Oh, she has her anger and her snark, and boy does this body have a set of lungs on her. But she’s so much softer, underneath. 

Losing her friends from her last body takes its toll. She at least manages to avoid comparing Martha to them that came before her. Martha is wonderful, always completing even the most impossible tasks that the Doctor puts to her. They part on good terms, after the Master’s ravaging of the Earth. (The Master had not been so impressed with this version of her. He had trouble seeing the strength within, seeing that she was more than the duality of compassion and shouting.) Martha needs to look after her family, and that’s probably for the best. 

And then there’s the skinny idiot in the suit. He actually talks faster than she does, which is absurd, but she wonders if that’s simply because of his questionable family. Perhaps not letting them get a word in is how he survives. 

Either way, they get along like a house on fire. Losing him, wiping his memory and seeing him stare right through her and smile that stupid smile, is almost enough to break her. 

No more companions, she swears. 


The Eleventh Doctor: 

It’s all about fun, now. Impressing the little boy whose garden she crashes in and then impressing him when he’s grown up and has waited 14 years for her. (To hell with her rule about no more companions. Her old self was full of dumb ideas anyway.) 

Oh yes, she likes Rory Williams a lot. And his best friend John isn’t bad either. Mind you, that nose… 

She has her spaceship, and her boys, and life is good. Well, there’s River Song to worry about, but she can never be sure if the archaeologist is more interested in her or John. Just one more mystery, it seems. 

Losing Rory, and then John, is hard. But she knows that they’re happy, and that’s enough. 

The Twelfth Doctor:

Short, bossy, a control freak, and a slight obsession with tartan. Also, her English teacher companion is secretly a rock star wannabe, disguised as a reclusive Scottish nerd. 

What’s a girl to do? 

(Apparently, find out that her best enemy is alive, and now also female. And Scottish like her companion. The first kiss had been… shocking to say the least. The ones after, against her better judgement, decidedly less so.) 

She cares about her companion more than she will ever say, and when faced with losing him, takes things too far. Further than anyone should ever take anything. And when it is all said and done… she can’t remember his face, or his voice, or how he sounded when he mocked how large her eyes were. 

River is there to comfort her, though, in those 24 years on Darillium. 

And then Bill. Brilliant Bill. Oh yes, they make quite the team. And Nardole helps sometimes too. 

Send me an AU and I’ll expand on it! 

warm, calm afternoon

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“I went down to Florida to make this photo after being asked if I had any ideas on what to do with the Beatles as a cover. It was my idea to put them in a pool—but we couldn’t find a heated pool, the water in the pool we did use was cold, and there was always the problem of other press trying to get in. It would have to be a pool that we could close off to everyone else. So, in the end, it was a very quick shoot in a private pool, with the Beatles shivering and singing in the water before jumping out.”

[John Loengard, Time magazine, 5th July 2014.]

LIFE Magazine photographer, John Loengard lines up his famous shot (which he never considered to be very good) and a colourised version of the photo. c. 14th February, 1964. 

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Margaret Bourke-White wasn’t just the first woman photographer at Life— her images dominated the magazine’s inaugural issue when it premiered in November 1936. Her assignment to cover the building of the Fort Peck Dam was meant as a continuation of the kind of industrial documentation she excelled at while working for Fortune, but as the telegrams she sent back to her editors make clear, her interests went beyond the project itself to include the lives of people living in the nearby settlement. The cover image she produced remains iconic, and the accompanying photographic essay helped set the tone for what Life would be as a publication. 

The magazine’s editors described her work in their introduction:

Photographer Margaret Bourke-White had been dispatched to the Northwest to photograph the multi-million dollar projects of the Columbia River Basin. What the Editors expected—for use in some later issue—were construction pictures as only Bourke-White can take them. What the Editors got was a human document of American frontier life which, to them at least, was a revelation. Having been unable to prevent Bourke-White from running away with their first nine pages, the Editors thereafter returned to the job of making pictures behave with some degree of order and sense.

Margaret Bourke-White. Telegrams to Dan Longwell. October 27–November 4, 1936. Time Inc. Bio Files. New-York Historical Society.

Life. November 23, 1936. Time Inc. New-York Historical Society.

Processing of the Time Inc. Archive is made possible through the generous support of the Henry Luce Foundation

the art of slaying dragons

“Cooking is at once child’s play and adult joy. And cooking done with care is an act of love.”
― Craig Claiborne

Nalu | Chef/RivalsToLovers AU
part 1/? 

words: 1475
rated: M
read: all

I can’t even believe it myself, but I am… back?! And it feels great. :’) I know I haven’t written in ages but I hope you haven’t forgotten me entirely my pals my buddies my frends… and this time around I’m writing about one of the great loves of my life: food. ;) Well, maybe not only about food. But there will be food. Yum.

 Cooking, despite what some might try to tell you, is an art.

It is art, and it is magic. There is art in an idea, in the careful execution, in the swirls and patterns of thoughtful arrangement on a simple plate. There is magic in old, scribbled recipes that endure time, in the love you pour into your creations, in that first bite. It is in the smiles of the people who taste your food, in the way they come to know you without ever having met you, because you took a part of your soul and held it to their lips.

The art of cooking—

“Oh, for fuck’s sake!”

Resisting the urge to hurl her pen against the next wall, Lucy Heartfilia leaned back in her chair and closed her eyes. Maybe this was why she had not become a food critic in the end. As much as she loved writing, it did not come easy to her. It was hard. What she could do, however – what she had taught herself to do with passion and endurance – was to create dishes that spoke for her. Or at least she hoped that was what she did. Some days, she didn’t know anymore.

Maybe this wasn’t the best time in her life to be writing an article for a renowned food magazine, when she wasn’t even sure if she deserved to be in it. With a heavy sigh, she tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear and tried to focus on the task at hand.

But she did not finish it that night, or the night after.


“Chef, appetizer for table six is ready to go.”

“Thanks, Cana. Gajeel, ready to go on the main?”

“Aye.”

“Cana, send it out. Gajeel, start in five. I want this energy to continue, alright team?”

“Yes, Chef!”

Lucy was in her element. She was in control. Everything happening was happening as it should; the magic (as she liked to call it) was flowing splendidly tonight. Yesterday’s doubts were still in the back of her mind, the anxiety over that new restaurant across the street a thorn in her side, but for tonight she pushed it all away. This year, she reassured herself, would be the year she would finally earn her first michelin star.

There was no one who could do it like Lucy Heartfilia. No restaurant that could rival The Fairy’s Tail, not in this street or this city or the entire fucking country. She had to believe this.

“Chef. Chef! Lucy!”

Blinking away her stupor, Lucy gave a start. She found herself confronted with the stern face of her head waitress, Aquarius. She swallowed. The scowl on her face bode nothing well.

“The guest at table seven asked to speak to you.”

All that Lucy heard in her tone and bearing was ‘What did you do wrong now, silly girl?’ but she merely nodded and skidded away from the woman’s likely wrath. Lucy might be her boss, but god, could Aquarius still be scary after all these years.

Scary, too, was the prospect of meeting that guest. It didn’t help that Aquarius had not hinted at the nature of the request. Would she be met with a complaint or a compliment?

Pondering this simple yet nerve-wrecking question, she made her way through the kitchen doors and out into the dining area, into her restaurant. For Lucy, it was the kitchen which felt most like home: this was where she lived as much as she worked. But here, amidst neatly decked tables and careful arrangements, amidst the sound of conversation, softly clinking cutlery and low laughter, here was where the soul of her restaurant lay. It felt good to remember that from time to time. Here, what she did felt easy and joyful and right. The blood, sweat and tears that had brought her to this point lay behind her, forgotten easily in the face of what her work could accomplish. Steaming plates, inviting dishes, colourful details… it all looked so simple, despite the hours of thought so many people had put into it. Her food brought people together; it made them smile.

And that was all she had ever wanted, in a way.

The table she was headed for was one of the small ones close to the wall, with the soft emerald cushions. There was only one person sitting there, comfortably lodged between table and wall, looking entirely at peace with the world. Some of the tension dropped off Lucy’s shoulders. His eyes moved and caught her approaching, and the smile that spread across his face lit up his eyes in a way that was, she found, entirely pleasant. A very good, content smile.

Her initial impression, however, was quickly redacted when she arrived at the table and he opened his mouth. 

Keep reading

Sally Mann ‘Immediate Family’

Over twenty years ago, Sally Mann published Immediate Family (Aperture), a book of photographs of her children playing on their family farm in Virginia, which was called “disturbing” by the New York Times and “degenerate” by the Wall Street Journal. The children were often nude, as the secluded farm was miles away from strangers, and the children’s poses, innocent to her eyes, deeply disturbed many who saw them.

She said she and her children, collaborators, were trying to tell a story of growing up. “We tell it all without fear and without shame.” Later she said, “The fact is that these are not my children; they are figures on silvery paper slivered out of time… . These are not my children with ice in their veins, these are not my children at all; these are children in a photograph.”

At times she sounded defensive, at times uncertain why there was controversy at all. She had not prepared a standard response because she did not expect many people to see these photographs, much less for the pictures to become a cultural lighting rod.

Mann had been publishing small books with limited print runs, of interest to photography collectors and specialists, and imagined this body of work would reach a similar audience. But it was published in the midst of culture wars over government funding of “pornographic art” by artists like Robert Mapplethorpe, who also photographed nudes. It was a moment of intense interest in the propriety of art; transgression was seen as an existential threat to the moral fabric of American society. Compounding this problem, and inviting an additional slew of criticism and outrage, was the fact that she was a mother.

Several photographs showed her children in apparent danger. Critics felt a good mother would have removed them from peril rather than pausing to photograph them. This was seen as evidence of Mann’s lack of maternal instincts. It is a testament to the strength of her work that the reality of the photographs went unquestioned. It was somehow forgotten that this was art.

As Immediate Family was reissued this year to coincide with the publication of Mann’s memoir, we now have the gift of a greater context for the genesis of these photographs, what they meant to her, and the effect they had on her family.

“How I love those, children. And how I fear for them. And how real those fears can become, in just an instant. Right before my eyes,” she writes. The photographs were her talisman against harm. When she feared great danger to her children, and that danger was averted, she would recreate her fear for the camera as if this could somehow prevent it from coming true. She describes this process as feeling “like some urgent bodily demand.”

Through a window, she watched her five year old daughter Jessie play with a doll on a tire swing. Then Jessie disappeared. She asked neighbors to help scour the woods, calling out her name. She feared her daughter had drowned. “I stuck to the creek edge,” she writes, “certain I’d see a flash of gingham, of white sock and patent leather Mary Janes in the water.”

Her son’s school secretary called to say Jessie had only walked down the road to visit her brother. The next day, Mann put a dress on her son and posed him as a drowned girl, face down in a pond on their farm, titling the photograph The Day Jessie Got Lost. “I prayed it would protect us from any such sight, ever,” she writes.

When her son Emmett was hit by a car, she ran into the road and held him as he bled from the head. Onlookers assumed he was dead. After he recovered, she tried to photograph him in a way that would capture the feeling of that moment. She chronicles her attempts: a photograph of his bloody sheets in the hospital; his head blurred, as if he might be screaming or shaking off a nightmare; a self-portrait of her face next to the crumpled, blood-stained sheets. None of this worked.

Finally she came upon the right subject: Emmett, nude, alone in a river on their farm. It took a week to make the final photograph, after nearly a hundred iterations: Emmett submerged in water, Emmett holding onto a black rubber inner tube, descending into the river wearing water goggles, standing beneath a broken tree, and at last the final photograph, Emmett touching the water’s surface with his hands, as if to hold it in place, as the river uncontrollably flows past him, inexorably moving away, on toward a bend in the river, and out of sight. “I had tried to exorcise the trauma of the experience by following my own command,” she writes, “to ‘photograph what is important, what is closest to you, photograph the great events of your life.’”

After an article in The New York Times Magazine brought her work to a wider audience, she started receiving disturbing letters, some from victims of child abuse, others from prison inmates. She was especially hurt by letters calling her a bad mother, suggesting the photographs had emotionally damaged her children, and put them at risk of attracting “pedophiles, molesters and serial killers.”

She recalled Oscar Wilde’s response to personal attacks, that “the hypocritical, prudish, and philistine English public, when unable to find the art in a work of art, instead look for the man in it.” But she found different rules applied to a mother.

Until the publication of her memoir, she had not publicly discussed the fact that a man in a nearby state became obsessed with her children, writing their schools to ask for yearbooks, calling the local hospital to request birth certificates. He subscribed to the town paper to read about their ballet recitals and school prizes. When she asked a policeman for advice, he told her to buy a shotgun.

Mann carried a photograph of this man in her wallet for years, fearing he would appear at one of her lectures. She obsessively locked windows, made sure her children were never alone, and asked police for more protection. “We live routinely now with a hitherto unendurable amount of stress,” she wrote a friend, “Each time it ratchets upwards, we adapt to it.” She remained silent, knowing her critics would feel vindicated.

“This year, though,” she wrote in another letter, “the good pictures of the kids might not come. The fear may scare them off. My conviction and belief in the work was so unshakably strong for so many years, and my passion for making it was so undeniable. Now, it is no longer the same: I am frightened of the pictures.”

Questions about the reality of the work, different moral rules for mothers, and voluntary suspension of disbelief, all so vigorously debated in the pages of various journals, could no longer remain academic to Sally Mann. “How can a sentient person of the modern age mistake photography for reality?” she wrote. And yet legions of them did.

But what endangered her children was also a great testament of her love. “She has a hard time letting us know how much she loves us,” said her daughter Jessie, years later. “But I’ve also realized that each one of those photographs was her way of capturing, if not in a hug or a kiss or a comment, how much she cared about us.”

Sally Mann told her students to photograph the great story of their lives. The great story of her life was her adoration of her children, which was entangled with her fear for them. Her photographs of imagined harm were self-portraits of her grave, solemn, vast love. In trying to ward off danger, she inadvertently endangered them, while simultaneously, paradoxically, recording her unbounded devotion. “Unwittingly, ignorantly,” she writes, “I made pictures I thought I could control.” (via)

huffingtonpost.com
#LovingDay: 50 Years After The Loving Verdict, A Photo Essay Looks Back On Their Love
Remembering the couple who brought down anti-miscegenation laws in 16 U.S. states.

Monday, June 12, marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark United States Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia, which quashed anti-miscegenation laws in 16 states around the nation, ushering restrictions against interracial marriage to the wrong side of history.

The date is now remembered as Loving Day in honor of Richard and Mildred Loving, the couple who defied the state’s ability to dictate the terms of their love based on their skin color. Mildred, who was of African American and Native American descent, and Richard, who was white, wed in 1958 in Washington D.C., because interracial marriage was illegal in their native rural Virginia, as well as 15 other Southern U.S. states.

When the Lovings returned to Virginia, however, local police raided their home one early morning after being tipped off by another resident. They declared the Lovings’ marriage license invalid within the scope of the state, placing the couple under arrest.

The Lovings pled guilty to “cohabiting as man and wife, against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth,” and were sentenced to one year in prison. A judge later agreed to suspend the sentence if Mildred and Richard left Virginia and did not return for 25 years.

The couple relocated to Washington, D.C., but they did not end their story there. In 1964, attorneys from the ACLU filed a motion on behalf of the Lovings, requesting the charges and sentences against the Lovings be dropped. The Lovings appealed the local ruling all the way to the Supreme Court, where their sentence was unanimously overturned in 1967.

“Under our Constitution,” Chief Justice Earl Warren said in his decision, “the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.”

Two years before this verdict, in the spring of 1965, Life magazine photojournalist Grey Villet spent time with the Lovings, as well as their family and friends, documenting the lives of a couple whose love had transcended the everyday to become the stuff of legends.

Villet’s photo essay, titled “The Lovings: An Intimate Portrait,” captures Mildred and Richard when word of their civil rights battle was spreading throughout the country and the fate of their relationship remained unknown. Through black-and-white images, the photographer captures the subtle glances, spurts of laughter and moments of quiet determination that, together, comprise a love story whose power echoes today.

We commemorate the Lovings’ bravery and tenacity in the face of prejudice and the systems of white supremacy. Villet’s photos help us remember the Lovings not just for what they represented, but who they were. The simple moments of connection, support and companionship that provided the strength to change the world.

The Lovings: An Intimate Portrait is available on Amazon.

Wherein AVA GARDNER: A LIFE IN MOVIES co-author Anthony Uzarowski discusses the legendary actress

Ava Gardner. I heard that name many times as a child. My mother used to tell me that Ava was my grandfather’s favourite movie star, and as I never got the chance to meet my grandfather, seeing her on screen somehow made me feel closer to him. The first film I ever saw Ava in was THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA (’54). This was a grand introduction; if the film lacks certain vitality, the image of its leading lady is certainly unforgettable. Whether dancing the flamenco in a Gypsy camp, floating seamlessly through a casino wearing a breath-taking Fontana gown, or sunbathing on a millionaire’s yacht; Maria Vargas is, in the words of François Truffaut, ‘one of the most beautiful portraits of woman ever filmed, in the person of Ava Gardner, Hollywood’s most exquisitely beautiful actress’.  

But the movie that really solidified my love of Ava was the 1964 adaptation of Tennessee Williams’s THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA. It was one of those films that was often shown late at night on TCM, and as a teenager who had a pretty hard time at school, I found solace in those late night viewings. In fact this is the best way to watch THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA- at night. There is a certain breed of films which are best enjoyed long after everyone else has gone to bed, when you feel it’s just you and the film, the rest of the world is asleep. 

THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA is special for many reasons. It blends the lyrical poetry of Williams with the tough, no-nonsense direction of John Huston. As a result, the film avoids sentimentality or pretentiousness, despite dealing with some pretty big questions. The promotional slogan for the film declared that ‘since man has known woman, there has never been such a night- the night of the iguana’. In this case, the man is Richard Burton, as the defrocked minister T. Lawrence Shannon, who encounters a string of very different women, all of whom alter his life during one hot night on the Mexican coast. The cast is superb; as the film’s pace relies heavily on dialogue rather than on more conventional action, Huston really went all out in assembling a troupe of actors that is nothing short of perfect. 

Ava Gardner, known the world-over for her glamour and staggering beauty, but never given much credit as an actress, finally triumphs. Not only is she able to hold her own alongside Burton, Deborah Kerr and Grayson Hall, but, as Life magazine put it at the time of the film’s release, ‘she all but runs away with the picture’. Her Maxine Faulk, the earthy hotelier, is a woman of multidimensional character, each façade delicately crafted and expertly handled by Gardner, who manages to be at once tough and vulnerable, pragmatic and romantic, fierce and heartbreakingly forbearing. 

I could say, if you only watch one of Ava’s movies highlighted by TCM, watch THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA, but in fact I do believe that you should watch all of them. Of course, you may say, the fact that I have just co-written a book about her makes me biased. Perhaps so. But Gardner really is magical on screen, at her best you don’t see much else, nor do you want to. In her best films, and TCM has chosen a pretty solid selection, she is a great actress, as well as a knockout. I think it’s high time that we break this news, in 2017- it is entirely possible to be beautiful and have talent! Ladies and gentlemen, I give to you Ava Gardner.

Tune in tonight for a whole night of movies staring Ava Gardner starting at 8pm ET and buy AVA GARDNER: A LIFE IN MOVIES here: http://myt.cm/AvaBook

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In 1948, UNICEF sent photographer David “Chim” Seymour to report on European children who survived WWII.  In a Polish special needs school, Chim photographed Tereska Adwentowska.  When given the assignment to draw a picture of her home, Tereska covered the chalkboard in scribbles.  The photograph was initially published in LIFE Magazine, bearing the caption: “Children’s wounds are not all outward. Those made in the mind by years of sorrow will take years to heal.”

For almost seventy years, it was unknown what became of Tereska after her photograph was taken.  Polish researcher Patryk Grażewicz and human rights journalist Aneta Wawrzyńczak recently uncovered details of Tereska’s life after investigative research.  Time Magazine recounted her life story as follows:

Teresa Adwentowska came from a Catholic family. She was one of two daughters of Jan Klemens, who was an activist in the Polish Underground State, the Resistance. During the Warsaw uprising (August-October 1944), he was heavily beaten and all his teeth were broken by the Gestapo at their Warsaw headquarters and prison. During the war, Tereska’s mother Franciszka did her best to make ends meet, for instance visiting the Jewish ghetto in order to trade goods.

During the bombing of Warsaw by the German Lutwaffe, Tereska’s home was destroyed, and her grandmother was most likely shot by Ukrainian soldiers who were helping the Germans annihilate the Warsaw Uprising. Tereska was struck by a piece of shrapnel that left her brain-damaged. Fleeing Warsaw after the bombings, four-year old Tereska and her 14-year-old sister Jadwiga spent three weeks trying to reach a village forty miles away from Warsaw - on foot, in a war-ravaged country. They were starving. That episode left her with an insatiable hunger, and her physical and mental condition steadily deteriorated. During the 1954/1955 school year, she had to be sent to a mental asylum in Świecie (about 190 miles from Warsaw). Since her early childhood she had loved drawing, mainly flowers and animals. As a teenager she got addicted to cigarettes and alcohol, and became violent towards her younger brother. Since the mid-sixties, she spent her life at the Tworki Mental Asylum near Warsaw; the only things that meant anything to her were cigarettes, food and her drawings.

In 1978, at the Tworki Mental Asylum, Teresa Adwentowska met with a tragic death: she accidentally choked on a piece of sausage that she had stolen from another patient.

Chim’s photograph of Tereska, which has become a symbol of the fate of children during war and has inspired the Tereska Foundation, remains one of the only portraits of her as a child. As if caught in the tangled web of her own chalk lines, she remained frozen in time: for Tereska, war never ended.

The researchers also recovered records from Tereska’s teachers at the school where she was photographed.  One note read “She is talkative, keen on schoolwork, and actively contributes to reading and counting classes.”