- RSS Channel Showcase 9739350
- RSS Channel Showcase 8018975
- RSS Channel Showcase 7511276
- RSS Channel Showcase 3563308
Articles on this Page
- 06/27/14--10:13: _Our Favourite Festi...
- 07/08/14--09:30: _A Boy, A Girl, And ...
- 07/15/14--07:39: _Rowing Blazers.Rowi...
- 07/16/14--10:51: _Malevich at Tate Mo...
- 07/25/14--05:06: _Holiday Reading Lis...
- 07/25/14--12:04: _Summer Style On Fil...
- 07/31/14--09:04: _The 69 Colebrooke R...
- 08/01/14--09:10: _The MurdockMan Book...
- 08/21/14--06:15: _To Catch A Thief In...
- 08/21/14--08:32: _The Boundary Roofto...
- 08/22/14--10:03: _3 Tips Before You B...
- 08/22/14--11:15: _Labour And Wait's P...
- 09/03/14--08:28: _Barbers After Hours...
- 09/11/14--10:44: _Matisse Cut-Outs fr...
- 09/17/14--09:28: _The MurdockMan Book...
- 09/18/14--10:51: _Late Turner At The ...
- 09/19/14--10:42: _Films Better Than T...
- 09/19/14--10:59: _The Botanist 'Forag...
- 09/20/14--06:39: _Lessons From a Life...
- 09/26/14--06:45: _An Afternoon In Slo...
- 07/08/14--09:30: A Boy, A Girl, And A BikeA Boy, A Girl, And A Bike
- 07/15/14--07:39: Rowing Blazers.Rowing Blazers.
- 07/16/14--10:51: Malevich at Tate Modern. Malevich at Tate Modern.
- 07/25/14--05:06: Holiday Reading List. Holiday Reading List.
- 07/25/14--12:04: Summer Style On Film. Summer Style On Film.
- 08/21/14--06:15: To Catch A Thief In Cinemas. To Catch A Thief In Cinemas.
- 08/21/14--08:32: The Boundary Rooftop.The Boundary Rooftop.
- 09/11/14--10:44: Matisse Cut-Outs from Taschen. Matisse Cut-Outs from Taschen.
- 09/18/14--10:51: Late Turner At The Tate.Late Turner At The Tate.
- 09/19/14--10:42: Films Better Than The Books.Films Better Than The Books.
- 09/20/14--06:39: Lessons From a Life Drawing ClassLessons From a Life Drawing Class
- 09/26/14--06:45: An Afternoon In Sloane Square.An Afternoon In Sloane Square.
We're festival lovers here at Murdock and the sad thing is that we are currently here at Murdock rather than enjoying the love of Glastonbury festival. So in attempt to make us feel better we had a think about our favourite festival performances. It's only made us feel worse.
James at Murdock Head Office
Beach House - Glastonbury 2010
The perfect band to play a breezy 4pm festival slot. That limbo period when you're caught between daytime exhaustion and evening anticipation. A truly mesmerising performance from this band affirmed that Glastonbury's Park Stage is my favourite place to see live music. As the sun began to drop for the day, the mellow vibes of Beach House encapsulated the entire audience into a glorious collective haze. I don't think anybody spoke throughout the entire set. Reading back on the performance apparently half of the PA system broke half way through as well. I didn't even notice.
Haim - Great Escape 2012
Just two years ago, I saw the much lesser-known Haim play a basement in Brighton to an audience of about 40 people at The Great Escape. This was my first taste of their music and from the very first song it was clear that this trio was going to explode very quickly with their fusion of sunny pop and ridiculously catchy melodies. A performance as passionate and captivating as their Glastonbury appearance will be this afternoon.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Leeds Festival 2009
As a band who soundtracked my teenhood, this main stage performance brought me full circle. A back catalogue of some of my favourite songs, giant eyeball balloons, Karen O screaming every word, a glorious sunset during Maps - every aspect of this performance was perfect. I didn't need to see anything else all weekend.
Chris, Murdock Head Office
Bonobo's band - Garden Party
Seeing Bonobo's band show up in the end, after we thought they'd been cancelled due to his involvement in a car accident. The band played spectacularly with a perfect view of the sun setting on the Croatian peninsula!
Will, Murdock Head Office
Mystery Jets - Glastonbury 2008
'I think this is the best place in the world' announced the then Mystery Jets bassist Kai from the Park stage. The cheery audience enjoying the splendour of the Park area in its first year clearly agreed. Sometimes everything just comes together at a festival. The sun is out but it's not too strong, everyone's level of tipsiness starts to outweigh their hangovers, and the band are beaming with happiness at their situation in that moment. This set was one of those. It was just after their second album had been released so full of good time tracks like Two Doors Down and Young Love. The latter of which the band were joined on stage by Laura Marling for. At one point Kai and guitarist Will sat playing on the edge of the stage with their legs hanging into the photographers pit. It was the feeling that everyone was just extremely happy and wanted to soak it all up. Quite simply, it was just really good fun.
Prince - Hop Farm 2011
Normally I don't like going to see once amazing and brilliant musicians in the latter stages of their career/lives as they rarely sound or look as good as they did back in their prime. There's always the sound of collective wincing from the crowd as the ageing voice strains to hit the notes they used to decades previously. Obviously there are exceptions to this: Leonard Cohen's deep voice and dark love songs of longing and loss fit him even better in his old age, as his Glastonbury 2008 set proved. Some artists though just don't age, as Prince proved at Hop Farm. He looks the same as he has for the past twenty or thirty years, his voice is just as strong as ever, his guitar playing is incomparable, and his dancing, my oh my, can that little man move his tiny waist. He is quite simply the best performer I have seen and that set was the best I've ever been fortunate enough to experience. The 'Ooooh oooh oooh oooohhhs' section in Purple Rain alone, which seemed to go on for 9 minutes, would've been worth being covered in all the mud in Kent for. The fact that it was warm and sunny made it all the more perfect.
Blur - Glastonbury 2009
There's nothing like a good crowd sing-a-long at a festival and on the Pyramid Stage it's extra special. The above video is the greatest sing-a-long I've ever been part of.
If the Tour de France beginning its historic first stage in Yorkshire last weekend had you grabbing your bike and pedalling for the Dales then that's marvellous news for you, the sport of cycling and for the county's tourist board. However, if you're more of an armchair cyclist and now in the mood for watching more two-wheeled journeys through beautiful British countryside then you could do worse than have a look at 1949 British film A Boy, A Girl and A Bike.
Proving that Britain's love affair with cycling isn't as embryonic as many would believe it's based around the Wakefield Wheelers cycling club and features lots of lovely shots of high-spirited post-war Brits racing round the magnificent Yorkshire scenery on just as lovely looking bikes. It also features a pre-platinum Diana Dors and a pre-Pussy Galore Honor Blackman in early film roles.
All in all, a rather delightful and light desert to the excitement of le Tour.
Rowing Blazers is a new book that explores the tradition of the signature blazers worn by the oarsmen and oarswomen of University and school rowing clubs across the world.
The photographer F.E. Castleberry, a man who knows about prep - he runs the Unabashedly Prep blog and was a director of concept design at Ralph Lauren Rugby, has shot current and former rowers at their clubs or universities clad in their idiosyncratic blazers. His characterful photos perfectly capture subjects revelling in the intellectual and sporting tribal distinction that wearing their team's colours gives them.
Written by Jack Carlson, a former US and Oxford rower, the beautifully put-together tome recounts the histories and anecdotes behind each blazer and Carlson's words act as a friendly hand leading you into the some of the elite institutions of an often esoteric sport.
You don't have to know about rowing or even be a slightly bit interested in it to enjoy the fantastic style shots.That's certainly why it caught our eye.
Rowing Blazers is out now. Published by Thames & Hudson.
Black Square 1929 © State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
Tate Modern's new Kazimir Malevich exhibition takes an expansive view of one of the 20th century's most radical and influential modern artists.
Tracing Malevich's career from his early paintings of Russian landscapes and religious scenes, the exhibition explores his sculpture and involvement with theatre as well as his ground-breaking Suprematism works of abstract geometric shapes and bold colours, including the radical Black Square. A painting which was one of the first to make people question 'what is art?' and caused a shocked and confounded reaction similar to Duchamp's 'readymade'.
An artist thinking well ahead of his time in a similar vein to the star of the Tate's other current centrepiece show Henri Matisse. The two exhibitions work as a colourful, thought-provoking double bill.
Suprematist Painting (with Black Trapezium and Red Square) 1915
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
Woman with Rake 1930-32
State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia
Supremus No. 55 1916
Krasnodar Territorial Art Museum
Malevich is at the Tate Modern from 16th July - 26th October 2014
Many say that this great American writer is too often characterised as simply a hunting and bull fighting boozer. Well this novel is full of bulls and booze. It's also a striking example of Hemingway's sparse writing style and the subtle way he tells this story of drunk and entangled British and American expatriates in Paris travelling to Pamplona for the running of the bulls. The heat, hangovers and heartache experienced by the damaged, tragic characters are palpable.
Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The fourth and final novel from the author of The Great Gatsby pits the glamour of young, rich Americans enjoying a party lifestyle on the French Riviera against the pains of mental deterioration. A man caught between tending for his ill wife and his young movie starlet lover. If you're after some gentlemanly introspection whilst lying on the beach, then this will get you thinking about your life and loves.
Berlin, the Greek Islands, London and California. 1928, 1932, 1938 and 1940. Four portraits, four settings, four narrators, all known as 'Christopher Isherwood'. Often regarded as the best of his novels, Down There on a Visit tells the vivid stories of Isherwood's life that, together with The Berlin Novels, were to have comprised his great unfinished epic novel.
The Talented Mr Ripley – Patricia Highsmith
If you come across any young, well dressed young, rich Americans idly spinning their time chilling around the Mediterranean and think to yourself ‘I’d like to be in their position, If only I could take what they have,’ then this is the book for you.
On a remote Greek Island, Nicholas Urfe finds himself embroiled in the deceptions of a master trickster. As reality and illusion intertwine, Urfe is caught up in the darkest of psychological games. John Fowles expertly unfolds a tale that is lush with over-powering imagery in a spellbinding exploration of human complexities. By turns disturbing, thrilling and seductive, The Magus is a feast for the mind and the senses.
The Gringo Trail by Mark Mann
On The Road is the classic modern travel novel but where Kerouac's coast to coast trip was running on Benzedrine, Mann's story is coked up to the eyeballs whilst arguing with hand-grenade holding Colombians. This is no Fear and Loathing though, as the story is full of the culture and history of the places on this South American tour.
The sixth novel in Fleming's 007 series and, of course, the basis for the first film and many of the most memorable Bond moments. All the adventure you need whilst lying on a beach, sipping a Martini and waiting for Ursula Andress to emerge from the water.
Another Mediterranean set story because that's our summer vibe. It's a lush, ruminative account of a worldly Sicilian Prince coming to terms with rapid change. He also spends a good deal of time maintaining his whiskers; which is always a good literary subject matter in our book!
The Circle by Dave Eggers
While you cut yourself loose from your computer, the latest novel from McSweeney's main man Dave Eggers about a Google/Facebook like globo-tech giant will have you thinking twice about your online presence when you return home. If hiked-up data charges weren't enough to the reduce your Instagram sunset snaps then this entertaining Orwellian inspired satire of the internet age surely will.
Cinema is the glitzy, aspirational art form and so no wonder we take much of our style inspiration from some of our favourite films. Particularly from the 50s and 60s when leading men really dressed like men behind whom everyone else followed. So here we've picked five of our favourite films for summer style.
Alain Delon and Maurice Ronet in Plein Soleil (Purple Noon)
Despite both it's French and English titles this is in fact the first film adaptation of Patricia Higsmith's novel The Talented Mr Ripley, pre-dating the US version by almost 40 years. It's tense and twisty but above all, very, very stylish. The most bizarre thing about the film is that everyone's speaking French even though they're meant to be American. Sill, just look at those shirts and you'll soon forget all about that.
Matt Damon and Jude Law in The Talented Mr Ripley
And three decades later, here is the American version. Just as beautiful and as stylish as the first but with a little more Ivy League prep than Côte D'Azur playboy going on in the costume department. And more pomade too.
Cary Grant in To Catch A Thief
The leading man of all leading men trying not to be followed by the police in this French Riviera set Hitchcok classic. What we would describe as the perfect cat burglar on holiday look.
Sean Connery in Dr No
This powder blue ensemble was the inspiration for the colour of Daniel Craig's breath intaking shorts (for the audience and probably for him judging by their genital squeezing tightness) in Quantam of Solace but this is the outfit, even though it's all one colour, that would suit most men better. We wouldn't recommend the gun as an essential accessory.
Jean-Paul Belmondo in Pierrot le Fou
Godard and Belmondo, the pair that brought you Breathless, together again but this time they've got colour. They use it well with that striped shirt and cream chino outfit. And the parrot of course.
A visit to 69 Colebrooke Row, one of London's finest cocktail bars and speakeasies should be on the to-do list of every MurdockMan.
After 5 years in business, the 'Bar With No Name' has recently released a cocktail anthology, written by owner and pioneering drinks creator Tony Conigliaro.
The cocktail book, or rather bible reveals the inner workings of the bar whilst celebrating the location, its stunning cocktails and the clientèle.
A perfect signature Soy Cubano
For those yet to pay a visit, the bar is reminiscent of a 1950's Italian café, and influenced by film noir. It thrives on the ability to surprise, reinvent and experiment. For Tony and his team, great care has been taken in sourcing unusual ingredients to make each drink entirely unique. From re-workings of classic cocktails such as a Fig Tom Collins and Green Almond Army & Navy, as well as cocktails of his own making, the drinks combine bespoke flavour profiles and offer a delicious sensory experience.
'The pleasure of drinking in a bar is a pleasure of many kinds. Each of my drinks will tell you a story, if you are willing to hear it.' says Tony, and the photographs and illustrations bring life to each iconic recipe. Recording some of the most innovative serves created by the team at 69, our favourite pick from the selection is naturally the 'Barbershop Fizz' – inspired by the refreshing sensation of an open razor shave combining pine-infused gin, birch and vanilla syrup, patchouli-infused mint, lime juice and soda water.
Be sure to make room on your coffee table for this one and let yourself indulge in Tony's cocktail mastery.
69 Colebrooke Row is published by Ebury Press and available to buy online.
The second title for the MurdockMan Book Club In Association with Vintage has arrived!
First published in 1958, Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's The Leopard is a great chronicle of the changes in Sicilian life and society during the Risorgimento.
'In the spring of 1860, Fabrizio, the charismatic Prince of Salina, still rules over thousands of acres and hundreds of people, including his own numerous family, in mingled splendour and squalor. Then comes Garibaldi's landing in Sicily and the Prince must decide whether to resist the forces of change or come to terms with them.'
The book has been hailed by E. M. Forster as 'One of the great lonely books…not a historical novel, but a novel which happens to take place in history’ and will be available to read in all Murdock branches as of next week.
We will also have one copy to win for the MurdockMan who sends us the best review on Twitter with the hashtag: #murdockmanbookclub, so get reading!
Over the next couple of week's a few British cinemas are rounding off the summer with impeccable taste by showing Alfred Hitchcock's Riviera set classic To Catch A Thief.
The 1955 film is one of the most stylish films ever made with two of the most glamorous Hollywood stars; the epitome of a Hollywood leading man, Mr Cary Grant and the Princess of Monaco herself Mrs Grace Kelly. It's a relaxed comedy thriller that revels in its Côte d’Azur settings and fashions. A perfect August bank holiday weekend film.
Check To Catch A Thief's IMDb page for screenings near you
As the height of summer has started its decline, it is imperative to soak in and enjoy the remaining golden rays of evening sun as best possible.
Where better to do this than on Boundary's luxurious rooftop bar on Redchurch Street. Offering superb views of the city, the atmosphere and aesthetic provide a peaceful environment in which to properly relax amongst the business of Shoreditch.
With the opportunity to enjoy a well-earned beer or tasteful cocktail after work, there is also a cigar selection on the menu if you're looking to sit back and absorb the sights and sounds of the city in true Mad Men style. With a group of friends you're likely to simply get lost in the environment and feel like you've been whisked away to the Riviera.
Meditteranean inspired, the food menu further reflects such romanticised and ideal summer evenings. The traditional selection of hors d'oeuvres is certainly a must to try, paired ideally with a Blueberry & Ginger Caipirinha or shared pitcher of Aperol Spritz.
As the evenings begin to turn, members of staff are at hand to offer blankets in order to keep summer holiday spirits as alive and well as possible.
The bar is open until 11pm daily and the good news is that even when summer is truly over, the rooftop will remain open thanks to the weatherproof pergola.
With queues to be expected you can now also book a table in advance online.
Boundary Hotel, 2-4 Boundary Street Shoreditch, E2 7DD
The Great British Bake Off has not always been a show which has seemed required watching to The MurdockMan (or at least to this MurdockMan - others in Murdock HQ have been avid viewers for the last few series). Perhaps it was Paul Hollywood's goatee and school boy wet look fringe that was putting us off.
Well in this new series the level of good beardedness has risen like a strong white loaf in a Hovis ad. Belfast born and London residing Mr Iain Watters has entertained us with his agonised facial expressions and impressed us with the good growth and tri-colour of his rusty beard. It's started us thinking about the correct preparations for kneading the dough with facial fur.
It gets hot in the kitchen and even hotter if you're sporting a half-mask of hair on your face. And that means your beard and skin will get dry and itchy. You don't want to start scratching and find loose whiskers in your Victoria Sponge or sprinkle your ginger bread with flakes of dry skin. So prepare with Beard Moisturiser to ensure your facial hair is smooth, soft and healthy and your skin is moisturised.
2. Think About Pirates
Black Beard, Red Beard, Silver Beard. These are all great names for pirates. Cake Mix Beard and Flour Beard are not. We're not saying being a pirate is something that you should morally or professionally aspire to, just that the classic Jolly Roger and eye-patch types had a knack for strong facial hair based monikers. Something to think about when you next fancy a quick taste of the coffee and walnut mix. So don't be tempted to lick the bowl or start itching or handling your facial hair. Beard Moisturiser can help with the latter, it's up to your will power on the former.
3. Get A Man's Apron
Our Shoreditch friends over at Labour & Wait sell some great work aprons and this will be your beard's perfect partner in your masculine baking endeavours. However, a heavy work apron will add to the heat which makes Tip 1 all the more imperative.
We've caught the Bake Off bug at last. We can't deny it. We've even been thinking about how best to prepare our beard before we bake bread. (Which you can read about here.)
However, now we've decided that hours in the kitchen encasing cheese in dough plaits and building biscuit sculptures is how we want to spend our Autumnal weekends, we need to make sure we do it in style. So we asked our Shoreditch homeware friends Labour And Wait for their picks for the gentleman baker. All of which you can find in their unequivocally fantastic Redchurch Street store or on their website.
A LABOUR AND WAIT classic, our bib apron is made in England from hardwearing 100% Cotton Duck fabric. This apron has a large practical gussetted pocket on the front with a smaller top pocket.
Simple, no fuss, practical oven gloves.
Pestle and Mortar
A real classic that no kitchen should be without. Essential for seeds, nuts etc.
Cook’s Dry Measure
This clever item is calibrated for all dry ingredients from cornflour to cocoa, breadcrumbs to barley – it even gives American cup equivalents. Hand made in England.
These traditional Laboratory jars make an ideal spice jar.
Marbled Loaf Tin
This distinctive enamel loaf tin will make baking a pleasure.
"I started From Disco to Disco about 5 years ago. Back then there was nowhere that great in Reading to go out to listen to the music that my friends and I where into. My birthday was coming up, so I organised a little party with all my mates DJing in a back room of a bar in Reading. It was lots fun, its had a nice house party vibe, but with club level tunes. From Disco to Disco was born! It then became a monthly party, playing all the best Disco/Nu Disco, and generally got a bit heavier as the night progressed into the night with some house and techno. It grew over the years from paying friends in beer to DJ to booking amazing acts like, Justin Robertson, Ejeca, Filthy Dukes, Magnier (House of Disco), Debonair and lots more. It was amazing to see acts like this in a 80 capacity venue and 90% of the time if was free entry!"
"Since moving to London, the FDTD nights have sadly stopped. I would love to bring the FDTD nights to the capital but for now I am currently working on some Disco Edits and getting myself some more DJ sets in and around the city. I love my disco, so my sets are generally full of classics, edits and Nu Disco numbers."
To hear Mr MacGregor's most marvellous mixes check out the From Disco To Disco Soundcloud here.
- Ryan MacGregor's all-time favourite Disco classics
The Whispers - Keep On Lovin' Me
Luther Vandross - Never Too Much
Chic - Everybody Dance
George Benson - Give Me The Night
Evelyn Champagne King - Love Come Down
If you missed Tate Modern's summer blockbuster show of Henri Matisse's Cut-Outs then Taschen's new tome of the great man's 'drawing with scissors' makes a rather lovely consolation. If did you make it to the exhibition and experienced the marvel of colour and shape that Monsieur Matisse created in his later period then we think you'll fancy bringing that work onto your coffee table. That's certainly how we feel.
The new book is full of prints of Matisse's signature gouache cut-outs that represented a revolution in modern art when he created them in the 40s and 50s in his Seventies. A book to brighten up your living room full of art that will art brighten up your life.
Creole Dancer, 1950
© 2014 Succession H. Matisse/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, for the works of Henri Matisse
The Sheaf, 1953
©2014 Succession H. Matisse/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, for the works of Henri Matisse
Two Dancers, 1937–38
Study for the curtain of the ballet “L’Étrange Farandole”
©2014 Succession H. Matisse/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, for the works of Henri Matisse
Caption: Henri Matisse working on the monumental cut-outs, Nice, 1952
©laif/Photo: Hélène Adant
Henri Matisse. Cut-Outs. Drawing With Scissors is out now.
Having introduced our Book Club with Graham Greene's Brighton Rock and followed with Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's The Leopard, we are excited to announce that the third title for the MurdockMan Book Club In Association with Vintage will be Oscar Wilde's The Picture Of Dorian Gray.
First published in 1890 to much controversy (even more so than the terrible 2009 film adaptation) this is 'both a cautionary tale of a life of depravity and sham, and a tender portrait of the aesthetic urge unbridled and spinning out of control.' - Irvine Welsh.
'Dorian is a good-natured young man until he discovers the power of his own exceptional beauty. As he gradually sinks deep into a frivolous, glamorous world of selfish luxury, he apparently remains physically unchanged by the stresses of his corrupt lifestyle and untouched by age. But up in his attic, hidden behind a curtain, his portrait tells a different story...'
According to The Guardian, 'Wilde set the gold standard for chroniclers of decadence’ with this novel and you can enjoy every page across all Murdock branches as of next week.
Keep your eyes on our Twitter page as we will soon be running another #murdockmanbookclub competition with copies to give away to lucky winners.
War: The Exile and the Rock Limpet, 1842
Late Turner – Painting Set Free is Tate Britain's newest exhibition, showcasing J.M.W. Turner's work created between 1835 and his death in 1851. Being one of Britain's most celebrated artists, we are most excited about getting a closer look at some of his magnificent paintings of London.
The exhibition begins in the year that Turner reached 60, and closes with his last exhibits at the Royal Academy. With 180 works sourced from the UK and overseas, the aim is to redefine ideas of one of Britain’s greatest and best-loved painters, challenging the myths, assumptions and interpretations that have grown around his later work.
Ancient Rome; Agrippina Landing with the Ashes of Germanicus (pictured above) has been lauded as one of the exhibition's highlights due to its visual magnificence. The painting has also been reunited with Modern Rome – Campo Vaccino (pictured below), having been first exhibited together in 1839.
Throughout the exhibition, Turner is revealed as a painter as distinguished by the broad scope of his knowledge and imagination as he was by his radical and exploratory techniques, processes and use of materials.
The show brings together major series' of works including a group of unusual square pictures, casting a light on his innovative techniques.
Late Turner is running until 25 January 2015, with a host of special events, talks and lectures taking place within its duration.
"It's just not as good as the book.."
This sentence has been uttered enough to make you wonder how so many authors have gladly let their printed masterpieces fall into lacklustre cinematic hands. This was most certainly the case for the 2009 film adaptation of Oscar Wilde's The Picture Of Dorian Gray. The fantastic novel is the latest addition to the MurdockMan Book Club reading list and will soon be available to read in all of our branches. We cannot recommend enough approaching this version instead.
With the reputation of such a highly acclaimed novel put into question by its cinema counterpart, we got to thinking this week about the film adaptations that have broken the boundaries and actually done justice to their printed origins. There have been several exceptions over the years when a select few directors and screenwriters have been able to take a perfectly good novel and use their creative talents to develop it excellently into a visual format.
Be it the ability to directly address and emphasise style, atmosphere or location rather than be restricted to finding the best descriptive words, this list of films proved to meet their printed makers and indeed surpass their influence.
N.B. Each of these books are still highly worthwhile picking up.
Nicolas Winding Refn subtly blew audiences away with Drive. The minimal dialogue, beautiful cinematography and an immense selection of electro-infused tracks combined to produce a contemporary screen icon and anti-hero In Ryan Gosling's Driver. Superb supporting performances brought further attention to character relationships that extended beyond James Sallis' novel.
One of the biggest films of the 90s, Steven Spielberg's take on Michael Crichton's book brought CGI capabilities to a new level. Crichton being directly involved with the screenplay probably went a long way in its authenticity too. With so many memorable scenes that brought great levels of suspense and picturesque beauty, the excellent cast including the late Richard Attenborough further helped to bring such an outrageous concept to life. A vast amount of credit has to also go to John Williams for curating the iconic score.
The Talented Mr Ripley
Taking Patricia Highsmith's novel, Anthony Minghella created a film version that evoked immense levels of character development and visual style - to the point where come summer, fashion brands still continue to use it for reference. With a previous cinematic version in the form of Rene Clement's 'Purple Noon' to compete with, Minghella excelled in providing us with alluring characters with assurance and depth. The stunning coastal Italian setting simply adds to the visual delights too. Rather than imagining what the setting must look like, you're just dying to be there instead.
Critically recognised as one of the greatest films of all time, it's safe to say that Francis Ford Coppola managed to surpass the greatness of Mario Puzo's novel. As with Crichton for Jurassic Park, Puzo himself directly contributed to the screenplay which will have gone a long way in visually portraying exactly what the author originally envisioned. Acclaimed acting performances and still topping all-time lists, this is probably the most successful book and film combination to have been produced. At least regarding Part One...
Let The Right One In
Before you begin to panic, we are of course referring to the original Swedish version directed by Tomas Alfredson. John Ajvide Lindqvist (again involved in the screenplay) had his book turned in to a contemporary cult horror classic in 2008. The steady-paced nature and stylishly bleak atmosphere truly brought the intelligent dark fantasy to life.
The Wolf Of Wall Street
The most recent film adaptation in our list, Martin Scorsese's work on the story of Jordan Belfort was a joy to behold as he rinsed every drop of entertainment value that the story had to offer cinematically. The true story of a wealthy stock-broker's rise and fall and his experiences throughout was always going to tease cinematic opportunity. Thankfully with the screenplay written by Terence Winter and excellent choices in casting, the transition from page to screen proved hugely succesful and much more entertaining to consume.
It's nearly the time of year where we manage to consume even more cocktails than we usually would in a week and have the perfect excuse to do so, it's London Cocktail Week!
From 6th -12th October there'll be festivities across London celebrating the city's unrivalled cocktail culture. As ever, the hub of activity is around Seven Dials and on Wednesday 8th we'll be sharing our Monmouth Street shop with progressive distillers The Botanist in an event all about foraging for gin.
The Botanist are distillers like no other, producing a small-batch, artisanal gin from the Hebridean island of Islay. Having a core of the nine classic gin botanicals, The Botanist gin is then uniquely augmented by 22 hand-foraged island botanicals.
Describing their drink as 'a progressive exploration of the botanical heritage of our Isle' they'll be explaining about their passion of responsible foraging of local herbs and flowers, bringing a sense of the magnificent hills, shores and bogs of their Scottish islands to central London and delighting us with tastes of their explosive Hebridean flavours.
Tickets are free but limited and all attendees will receive two free exclusive The Botanist for Murdock London cocktails. The talk and tasting will start at 7pm and after at 8pm we'll be opening our doors to London Cocktail Week wristband wearers as we turn the store into The Botanist bar. And yes, that would be a free bar.
If you'd like to attend the Foraging for Gin talk then RSVP to email@example.com. Places are very limited so book quickly!
We like to think of ourselves as having a little artistic nature here at The MurdockMan and as such like to express that in a few creative endeavours. On occasions we have been known to take in a local life drawing class in order to hone our draughtsmanship but a Murdock friend who spends every day of their week doing such things at a celebrated art school has also gained some extra little lessons in the behaviour of the human body. Whether these are of any value is highly debatable.
Lesson 1: Erections arise at the most inopportune moments
Sometimes they happen when you wish they wouldn't, sometimes they don't happen when you wish they would. When you are the male model in a life drawing class you'll probably be wishing it won't. You're being paid to hold the same pose after all. However, we have been told of such a moment. A young gentleman had the strength to control most of his body to stay in the same position for up to an hour but didn't quite have the same command over that notoriously single minded body part. Although he did try his darndest not to affect the artists sketches, he was offering them more of a lesson in capturing movement than still-life; up and down, up and down. As his face turned the same shade of red as his penis had grown he rushed from the room to rectify the situation so as the issue would not arise again. He came back into the class and held his pose. This time it didn't waver.
Lesson 2: Bodily functions happen, regularly
And sometimes more mature gentleman make loud sounds (and other strong sensory stimuli) continuously. Just keep on sketching.
Lesson 3: Some people really don't care about being naked in any situation
Normally when you're a nude model for the day in between classes you wrap up in a robe to have lunch and a cup of tea. However, we do know of one chap who would only ever wear a very small piece of cloth which he would wrap around his waist and not quite cover himself. This practically nakedness did not cause him to readjust his thinking in terms of personal space. For when the whimsical art school students, all good, clothed, friends, decided during a break to launch on top of each other in a jovial pile-up, they weren't expecting the model and his precariously wound loin-cloth to jump on too.
Lesson 4: Always be a gentleman
With all this natural human behaviour on show, the well-dressed artistic gentleman should not be embarrassed nor snigger but take it all in his stride and think of himself as lucky. He came thinking he would receive a lesson in drawing the human shape but has also received a little lesson in human behaviour. As well as far more conversational matter than he could have hoped for.
Sloane Square is one of the city's most highly regarded areas to visit.
With the King's Road strip and even more prestigious labels in the surrounding area, it could certainly be classed as a retail paradise. With plenty of culture to soak in around the vicinity too however, we have laid out how to really make the most of an afternoon in the area...
What better way to start the day than with a luxury wet shave from one of our talented barbers? Located at the top floor of Hackett's glorious store, after being expertly groomed, take the opportunity to have a bespoke suit measured whilst picking up some menswear essentials from their current collection.
As you approach The King's Road just around the corner, you will be met by one of London's sleekest book shops. Taschen publish an incredibly varied amount of titles, so be it a new novel that you're looking for or indeed a new addition to the inspired coffee table collection, you can be sure to pick it up here. The Matisse Cut-outs book would be a great place to start.
Stood within its picturesque grounds, the Saatchi Gallery is a must-visit and will probably take up most of any art-buffs' afternoons. Featuring globally recognised artists in the grand, minimalist interior, the gallery showcases a great array of installations throughout the year (see Xavier Mascaro's current 'Departure' below).
A supermarket worthy of making a dedicated trip to? That's absolutely right. As one of the few family run food shops in Central London, Partridges excels with their wide array of traditional, quality goods and also rarer overseas offerings. Boasting an incredible deli counter, café and wine bar you can't really go wrong as a food and drink lover. Be sure to save room on Saturdays too for their equally-as-impressive outdoor market. Located just opposite the Saatchi Gallery, you can't miss it!
Once you're full to the brim on natural, organic food and the shopping bags are starting to wear your arms down, take in some culture at the Royal Court Theatre. Or even just pop-in for a pit stop in their bar. The theatre itself is dedicated to new work by innovative writers from the UK and around the world and was once described by the New York Times as ‘the most important theatre in Europe’. If your afternoon in Sloane Square happens to be a Monday then be sure to take advantage of the discounted ticket rate.