New Year’s Day

“Though Torn In Two We Can Be One
I Will Begin Again, I Will Begin Again
Oh And Maybe The Time Is Right
Oh Maybe Tonight
I Will Be With You Again
I Will Be With You Again”

 
 

 
 

It was released as War‘s lead single in January 1983. Written about the Polish Solidarity movement, “New Year’s Day” is driven by Adam Clayton‘s distinctive bassline and The Edge‘s piano and guitar playing.

The lyric had its origins in a love song from Bono to his wife, but, as stated before, was subsequently reshaped and inspired by the Polish Solidarity movement. The bass part stemmed from bassist Adam Clayton trying to figure out what the chords to the Visage song Fade to Grey were.

 
 

 
 

The video was one of their first to see heavy rotation on MTV. It was filmed in Sälen, Sweden in December 1982 and directed by Meiert Avis. The band only appeared in the performance scenes of the video as it was filmed in the dead of the Swedish winter. U2 guitarist Edge revealed in the official U2 biography that the four people riding on horseback in the video that appeared to be the four U2 members were in fact four Swedish teenage girls disguised as the members of U2 riding on horseback with masks over their faces. This was done as the band were frozen from shooting the video in sub-freezing temperatures the day before. Their biography states that Bono refused to wear any headgear despite the cold weather and had a lot of trouble mouthing the lyrics.The video also features footage of Soviet troops advancing in winter during World War II.

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Swan’s Way

Blazon

For the Countess of Peralta

 
 

The snow-white Olympic swan,
with beak of rose-red agate,
preens his Eucharistic wing,
which he opens to the sun like a fan.

 

His shining neck is curved
like the arm of a lyre,
like the handle of a Greek amphora,
like the prow of a ship.

 

He is the swan of divine origin
whose kiss mounted through fields
of silk to the rosy peaks
of Leda’s sweet hills.

 

White king of of Castalia’s fount,
his triumph illumines the Danube;
Da Vinci was his baron in Italy;
Lohengrin is his blond prince.

 

His whiteness is akin to linen,
to the buds of the white roses,
to the diamantine white
of the fleece of an Easter lamb.

 

He is the poet of perfect verses,
and his lyric cloak is of ermine;
he is the magic, the regal bird
who, dying, rhymes the soul in his song.

 

This winged aristocrat displays
white lilies on a blue field;
and Pompadour, gracious and lovely,
has stroked his feathers.

 

He rows and rows on the lake
Where a golden gondola waits
For the sweetheart of Louis of Bavaria.

 

Countess, give the swans your love,
for they are gods of an alluring land
and are made of perfume and ermine,
of white light, of silk, and of dreams.

Ruben Darío

 
 

Photo: Bruce Weber

 
 

Carmen Dell’Orefice by Norman Parkinson, 1980

 
 

Swaroski logo

 
 

Bathyllus in the swan dance, Aubrey Beardsley

 
 

Henri Matisse making a study of a swan in the Bois de Boulogne, c. 1930

 
 

Advertisement illustrated by René Gruau

 
 

Illustration to Garcia Márquez’s short story Bon Voyage Mr. President, by Josie Portillo

 
 

Still from The Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky, 2010)

 
 

Anna Pavlova

 
 

Still from The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (Bill Condon, 2011)

 
 

Helena Bonham Carter

 
 

Laetita Casta. Photo: Mario Testino

 
 

Uma Thurman and Mikahil Baryshnikov as The Swan Prince. Photo: Arthur Elgort

 
 

Truman Capote styled his beautiful and wealthy female friends “swans”

 
 

Accompained by Lee Radziwill and Jane Haward

 
 

With socialité Babe Paley in Paris

 
 

Escorting CZ Guest

 
 

Capote and Gloria Vanderbilt Lumet arrive at New York’s 54th Street Theatre for the opening performance of Caligula., 16 Feb 1960

 
 

Gloria Vanderbilt ad campaigns

 
 

Ludwig II (Luchino Visconti, 1972). He was sometimes called the Swan King

 
 

Mirror, Mirror (Tarsem Singh, 2012)

 
 

Robert Redford and Mia Farrow in The Great Gatsby (Jack Clayton, 1974)

 
 

Leonardo di Caprio. Photo: Annie Leibovitz

 
 

Madonna. Photo: David LaChapelle

 
 

David Bowie

 
 

Ad campaign featured in Vogue, January 1997

 
 

Tory Burch swan-print wedge sandalias

 
 

Swan Evening dress by Charles James, 1951

 
 

Kate Moss wearing a Givenchy gown by Ricardo Tisci, Spring-Summer collection 2011

 
 

Giles Deacon Spring-Summer 2012 collection

 
 

Erin O’Connor wearing a gown by Alexander McQueen. Photo: Tim Walker

 
 

Eglingham Children and Swan on Beach, Tim Walker, 2002

The Man Who Would Be Gatsby

F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald

 
 

While a teenager, Francis Scott Fitzgerald was collecting ideas about the goings on in West Egg and not just those of the community but those of a specific man: W. Gould Brokaw, a now-forgotten Long Island socialite, playboy and gentleman automobile racer. He literally could not escape his shadow.

 
 

W. Gould Brokaw

 
 

Brokaw was the son of hugely successful New York clothier Vail Brokaw of Brokaw Brothers, and grandson of a railroad tycoon; he inherited a fortune of around $4.5 million and never needed to do anything in particular for work. His circle of friends was the cream of New York society: Astors, Whitneys, Guggenheims, Vanderbilts, Goulds, Morgans, all of them interested in speed, whether horses, greyhounds, yachts or cars. Brokaw was an elder statesman for that set of young millionaires, having been born a decade or more before most, in 1863. In later legal proceedings–of which there were oh so many, he was described as “a rich and fashionable clubman.”
 

According to Some Sort of Grandeur, Matthew Bruccoli’s biography of Francis Scott Fitzgerald, the character Jay Gatsby is based on the bootlegger and earlier World War I officer Max Gerlach. In the 1920s, when Gerlach knew the Fitzgeralds, he operated as a bootlegger and allegedly kept Fitzgerald topped off with booze. Born in Yonkers as Max A. Stark (or possibly Max A. Stork), he claimed direct German ancestry and went by the names of Max Stark Gerlach and Max von Gerlach later in life (his gravestone reads Max Stork Gerlach). Nevertheless, Gatsby is a composite, as are all Fitzgerald’s characters, and there’s a certain amount of Scottie himself in Jay.

 
 

Robert Evans and Ali MacGraw

 
 

About the filming adaption of The Great Gatsby directed by Jack Clayton in 1974, it was originally conceived and developed as a wedding present vehicle for Ali MacGraw (formerly Diana Vreeland’s assistant at Harper’s Bazaar magazine) from her then-husband Robert Evans. The project was derailed from its initial purpose when MacGraw fell in love with her The Getaway (Sam Peckinpah, 1972) co-star Steve McQueen and divorced Evans.

 
 

Evans in his home Woodland, built by architect John Woolf

 
 

The producer with Tatjiana Shoan. Harper’s Bazaar, 2004

 
 

Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw

 
 

Stills from The Great Gatsby (Jack Clayton, 1974)

 
 

Automobiles are almost treated as a character in the plot of Fitzgerald’s book. Myrtle Wilson was knocked down by a car and this sad event unchains the climax of the story. Plus, Fitzgerald to his editor Maxwell Perkins that the name of Jordan Baker (a character based on the golfer Edith Cumming) is a combination between the two then-popular automobile brands, the Jordan Motor Car Company and the Baker Motor Vehicle, as an allusion to Jordan’s “fast” reputation and the freedom now presented to Americans, especially women of 1920s.

 
 

Ralph Lauren

 
 

Ralph Lauren who (as we know) made the costumes for Jack Clayton’s The Great Gastby, has a penchant for cars. His collection of classic automobiles is another dimension of his own persona. An amazing lineup of 50-plus dream machines that have all been restored to glory, the convoy is a portal to the past, when men like Brokaw drove their race cars home from the track at the end of the day and manufacters were the manifestations of their designers: Jean Bugatti, Enzo Ferrari, Ferdinand Porsche… RL’s gateway drug was a white ’61 Morgan convertible with red leather seats, which he bought in 1963- back when he was a travelling salesman for the Boston-based tie company A. Rivetz & Co.- and was later forced to sell when he couldn’t afford a garage in Manhattan.

 
 

Steve McQueen

 
 

And it’s a little bit curious and probably not coincidental that one of Ralph Lauren’s cottages is adorned with black-and-white photos of Greta Garbo, Johnny Depp and Steve McQueen, a man who also loved engines and made himself just like Jay Gatsby and Lauren did.

Brief Treatise of Elegance

Theoni Aldredge won the Academy Award for Best Costume design in 1974, beating out 3 other Paramount movies.

 
 

In The Great Gatsby fashion is almost another protagonist of the story. Francis Scott Fitzgerald depicts every garment worn by Nick Carraway, his cousin Daisy Buchanan, Tom, Daisy’s husband, Jordan Baker, the titular Jay Gatsby and so on the secondary characters. In Fitzgerald’s own words, all the people who attended Gatsby’s parties were always “well dressed”.
 
Myrtle, the woman who cheated on George Wilson with Tom Buchanan, tells how disappointed she was when discovered Mr. Wilson borrowed “somebody’s best suit” to get married to her in. Later, Myrtle tells why she felt attracted to Tom and started the affair with him: “It was on the two little seats facing each other that are always the last ones left on the train. I was going up to New York to see my sister and spend the night. He had on a dress suit and patent leather shoes, and I couldn’t keep my eyes off him, but every time he looked at me I had to pretend to be looking at the advertisement over his head.”
 
In this short story every detail in the deco and in fashion counts, it’s almost an essay about style and about the importance of good appearance. It helped Gatsby to get social ascension and wealth. “I saw right away he was a fine-appearing, gentlemanly young man”, said Mr. Wolfsheim, Gatsby’s mentor when he remembered the first time he saw him.
 
It’s not very distant from Nick Carraway’s first impression about Gatsby: “His tanned skin was drawn attractively tight on his face and his short hair looked as though it were trimmed every day. I could see nothing sinister about him.”
 
The origin of the word elegance (from Latin elego, to choose) is strongly interrelated not only with our appearance, but our decisions. That’s why the clue that is given by Gatsby’s father about how his son started his determination of getting success is so important.
 
“On the last fly-leaf was printed the word Schedule, and the date September 12, 1906, and underneath:
Rise from bed. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.00 a.m.
Dumbbell exercise and wall-scaling. . . . .. 6.15-6.30 ”
Study electricity, etc. . . . . . . . . . . . 7.15-8.15 ”
Work. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.30-4.30 p.m.
Baseball and sports. . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.30-5.00 ”
Practice elocution, poise and how to attain it 5.00-6.00 ”
Study needed inventions. . . . . . . . . . . 7.00-9.00 ”
 
General Resolves
 
No wasting time at Shafters or [a name, indecipherable] No more smokeing or chewing Bath every other day Read one improving book or magazine per week Save $5.00 {crossed out} $3.00 per week Be better to parents”
 
This story is told from a relativist point of view by the narrator, Nick Carraway, a trait he inherited from his father: “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”

 
 

In the novel, we know through Jordan Baker that Daisy used to dress in white when she was younger. Aldredge added  ivory and pale tones and even black into the palette of colors worn by Mia Farrow.

 
 

Bruce Dern (as Tom Buchanan), Sam Waterson (as Nick Carraway) and Robert Redford (as Gatsby) in the movie directed by Jack Clayton.

 
 

“His bedroom was the simplest room of all — except where the dresser was garnished with a toilet set of pure dull gold.”

 
 

“Gatsby, in a white flannel suit, silver shirt, and gold-colored tie”, according to Fitzgerald describes the scene when Gatsby met Daisy again five years after.

 
 

 
 

“Recovering himself in a minute he opened for us two hulking patent cabinets which held his massed suits and dressing-gowns and ties, and his shirts, piled like bricks in stacks a dozen high.”
 
-“I’ve got a man in England who buys me clothes. He sends over a selection of things at the beginning of each season, spring and fall”, said Gatsby.
 
He took out a pile of shirts and began throwing them, one by one, before us, shirts of sheer linen and thick silk and fine flannel, which lost their folds as they fell and covered the table in many-colored disarray. While we admired he brought more and the soft rich heap mounted higher — shirts with stripes and scrolls and plaids in coral and apple-green and lavender and faint orange, and monograms of Indian blue. Suddenly, with a strained sound, Daisy bent her head into the shirts and began to cry stormily.
 
“They’re such beautiful shirts,” she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds. “It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such —such beautiful shirts before.”

 
 

 
 

“At two o’clock Gatsby put on his bathing-suit and left word with the butler that if any one phoned word was to be brought to him at the pool. He stopped at the garage for a pneumatic mattress that had amused his guests during the summer, and the chauffeur helped him pump it up. Then he gave instructions that the open car wasn’t to be taken out under any circumstances — and this was strange, because the front right fender needed repair.
Gatsby shouldered the mattress and started for the pool.”

Another Turn of the Screw

Or how a script was screwed

 

Paramount Pictures executives commissioned Truman Capote to pen the screenplay for the third filmed version of Francis Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, The Great Gatsby. They offered to pay him $135 for the script.
 
By its structure, like an extensive flashback, by its brevity and, above all, by its elegiac tone, The Great Gatsby has a lot in common with The Grass Harp and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Basically, Truman was delighted by the commission. “Fitzgerald has a charm”, he said. “It may be a silly word, but I think that is maybe the word that fits. I like The Great Gatsby a lot and that nostalgia, it’s both sad and joyful.” Capturing and portraying Gatsby’s ephemeral features into a screenplay turned out to be a task much harder than what Capote ever thought. It was a nightmare for him.
 
Jack Clayton, the British director who specialized in bringing literary works to the big screen, had previously worked with Capote on The Innocents (1961), a movie based on Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw. By a suggestion of the author of In Cold Blood, Clayton was hired to direct The Great Gatsby.
 
Capote finished the draft in January 1972, and on the whole he felt satisfied with what he had constructed. However, Paramount rejected the script, considering it “unacceptable” and for being too similar to the literary version. A young, UCLA screenwriter named Francis Ford Coppola came in and did a basic transfer of the novel to screenplay form. It was a solid script but perhaps too respectful. On his commentary track for the DVD release of The Godfather, Coppola makes reference to writing the Gatsby script at the time, though he comments: “Not that the director paid any attention to it. The script that I wrote did not get made.”

 
 

Truman Capote portrayed by Irving Penn, 1965