Monday, 28 September 2015

A Short History Of Tractors in Ukrainian

Nikolai is a 84-year-old immigrant from Ukraine and now a pensioner who came to the UK after the II World War with his wife and 2 daughters - Vera and Nadezhda. Soon after his beloved Ludmilla passes away - crazy old man falls in love with a 34-year-old Valentina and decides to marry her.

Valentina is an Ukrainian pink bunny with a sparkly lip gloss and a matching nail varnish, taste for furs in the summer and high heel shoes with a bit of fluffy material around the front. It is obvious she is after the British citizenship, needs to stay officially married to Nikolai for a few years and ideally produce some offspring in order for her status to become clear and permament. Although the age gap is apparent - the old man does not seem to mind as long as he can enjoy her company and ocassionally play with her wonderful breasts. She seems to be happy as long as Nikolai buys her a Rolls Royce and a gas hob (instead of an electrical one).

Problems start when the Rolls Royce breaks down and the old man can not afford to fix it. He asks his daughters for money. Vera and Nadezhda will not rest untill their pink fake step-mother disappeares from their lives.

The book is a colourful story of war and one complicated family drama. Written by Marina Lewycka and published by Penguin Books - it is a page-turner that will make you laugh and cry - and laugh and cry again.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Why not watch The Man From U.N.C.L.E. with your uncle?

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is a modern adaptation of a legendary 1964 black & while TV series. Set in a cold war scenery - it is a story of 2 agents from opposite sides of the nuclear conflict and their feisty girlfriend Gaby. Traditionally enemies - they unite in order to confront a new player on a scene of radioactive power who becomes a threat to the order.

Napoleon Solo is a former thief, turned CIA agent with a perfect British accent, spotless manners and a fantastic suit. Illya Kuryakin is a Russian spy in a leather jacket and a flat hat who can run as fast as the bad robot in Terminator 2 and damage a car with his bare hands. Solo is smooth. Illya is rough. When Illya goes around fighting, destroying motorboats and almost dying - Solo listens to romantic music, eats grapes and makes love to beautiful women in white lace underpants. Naturally challenging and hating one another to start with - they need to work together. But how will it be even possible?

With references to fashion, a subtle gey theme (or rather a bromance), fantastic scenery of car races, glamorous parties attented by the rich and famous and the city of Rome as a picturesque background - it is the most enjoyable film to watch.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Legend: Gangster Twins of London

"Legend" is a new film by Brian Helgeland starring Tom Hardy as both Reggie and Ronnie Kray - the gangster twins who ruled London in the 1950s and 1960s.

Reggie meets Frances - a red-haired girl from East End. He is gorgeousely good looking and romantic - she is shy and sweet. He tells her he is not a gangster but a businessman who might have done a few things on the boarder of the law but from now on would like to live an honest life and have a family. Problems start when he tries to focus on his marriage but gets into trouble protecting his mentally ill twin Ronnie.

Surrounded by toy boys Ronnie gets into sexual contacts with some male politicians which leads into a scandal. Essentially sweet and volnurable - he turns into a dangerous man because of his illness and can't cope on his own. He needs his brother to take care of him. But how is that going to work if Reggie has a new wife and wants more "me" time to enjoy other aspects of life than harrassement, fraud, beating people up and killing them if necessary?

The film is a masterpiece within its own rights. Tom Hardy does such a great job playing two different characters that it is hard to believe it is really the same guy. There are also plenty of scenes where both Reggie and Ronnie are together in. Technology and effects involved in that are remarkable. The film lacks some historical accuracy though. "Legend" sells the London equvalent of Al Capone to the American  and gey audience perfectly well but it falls into a bit of a cliche in the way of describing their lives.

Ronnie and Reggie Kray were gangsters who managed to cross over from the world of crime to the world of celebrities. They started as professional boxers and used their skills when providing "protection" for London businesses in their early career. Although cruel and ruthless - they were also quite likeable. They mixed with aristocrats and artists. Their lives have been photographed by David Bailey. Ronnie - pictured as gey in the film - was essentially bisexual. Although he had  sexual relationships with men - he also got married twice in his life and had some very strong feelings for women. Reggie's first wife - Frances - presented as a victim in the film - was actually a glamorous young lady who outshone Barbara Windsor and some other female stars Reggie had been seeing back in the days. 

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Me, Earl and the Dying Girl

I neglecled this blog for 2 years thinking that it has no viewers only to find out that over that time it has been visited by 67 000 people. Not bad. Thank you for that. It is like finding out that in high-school you turned heads of the biggest sweethearts even though you were the most unpopular kid.

Over this time I have started some new projects which took most of my attention. But writing and sharing thoughts with others is an enjoyable way to pass time.

Me, Earl and the Dying Girl is an endearing film I watched yesterday in the Stratford-upon-Avon Picturehouse. It tells a story of a teenage boy called Greg whose friend from school Rachel has been diagnosed with blood cancer. Greg and his best mate Earl have been making low budget films ever since childhood and now have a collection of 42 home productions - each one with a seperate poster that really tells the story. The films are a few minutes impressions on some contemporary movie classics like The Clockwork Orange or Eyes Wide Shut

Rachael finds out about them and watches them all. It is all very secret as she is the only person in the world apart from Greg's quirky dad who has ever been allowed to do that. And she loves them. This way or another the boys decide to make a film specially for her using their cheap cameras and a phone. 

Greg spends time with Rachel everyday after school as her condition deteriorates. She loses her hair, but wears a funky pink wig and a Boy George hat. He makes comments about fluffy pillows and a tree wallpaper in her girly room. She enjoys his sense of humour.

It is a rather raw love story full of art, where a young man walks into a girl's intimate world at the time most difficult for her and doesn't quite know how to go about it. But he decides to stand by. No kisses. Beautiful.

Saturday, 1 March 2014


Books & Comics Selfie Project #4


"Who said that reading novels and writing about them must be boring?"

Peter Kolinsky's favorite place for an evening out is Insomnia Cafe run by an amazing bar tender Angela. Suffering from sleeping disorders, he finds her presence somewhat soothing.

When Angela feels she can trust Peter, she takes him to the Archives - a secret and most fascinating library on the planet where books being now written by the world's most famous authors are available for reading. However, when the writers put their pen down, the books disappear from the Archives' shelves.

Peter gets confused and steals one of the books. Soon he learns there is a heavy price to pay for breaking the rules of this unusual place.

"Insomnia Cafe" is a grasping comics novel created by an acclaimed Turkish illustrator living in New York - M.K. Perker. Published by Dark Horse Books, it is eerie and will keep surprising you till the last page.

Friday, 28 February 2014


Books & Comics Selfie Project #3


"Who said that reading novels and writing about them must be boring?"

Helen and Phil are about to get married in a few days time. She goes on a hen weekend with her best friends. He flies to Amsterdam for his stag party. For both of them it will be a test of their fidelity.

A sudden meeting with Helen's ex-fiance Aiden leaves her with mixed feelings about her wedding. Over the years he became a big TV and radio celebrity and still has got strong feelings for her. Confused Helen calls her husband-to-be for reassurance but she can't get through to him for a few days. Is it just a minor connection issue or is Phil up to something naughty? Will Helen cancel her wedding? What is Phil really doing in Amsterdam?

"The Stag And Hen Weekend" by Mike Gayle published by Hodder and Stoughton is a collection of 2 novels: one about Helen's stay at a luxury hotel spa and the other about Phil's trip to Amsterdam. Both stories happen at the same time. The book is fantastically designed.

Thursday, 27 February 2014


Books & Comics Selfie Project #2

"BILLIE TEMPLAR'S WAR" by Ellie Irving

Who said that reading novels and writing about them must be boring?

"Billie Templar's WAR" is an amazing and funny story about a naughty girl who becomes a local hero. Written by Ellie Irving, published by Random House children's division - it is a great book not only for the little ones.

Billie lives in Merchant Stanton. Her dad is a British soldier fighting in the Armed Forces abroad. Missing him and wanting him back home she goes to the Buckingham Palace to have a word with the Queen about it. Elisabeth II is away on a holiday though. Unable to meet her Billie decides to bring the head of the country to Merchant Stanton instead. She organizes a military tattoo for the Diamond Jubilee and gets all of the town involved in it. Things go a bit complicated when everybody is ready to perform in front of the Queen but she is not there...

Great novel for parents to read together with their kids.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014


Books & Comics Selfie Project #1


Who said that reading novels and writing about them must be boring?

With this photo I am starting Books & Comics Selfie Project where I take pictures of myself with the books I love, trying to reflect their content. 

"The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil" is a phenomenal graphic novel by Stephen Collins published by Random House. Beautiful illustrations, amazing style and a quirky storyline make it a mandatory position on every geek's Must Read List.

On the island of Here life is simple and predictable. Everyone wears clean and elegant clothes. All trees are cut in the same way. Men are nicely shaved and women are always stylish. But one day everything goes out of order.

As Dave is in his office preparing for a business meeting out of the blue moon a massive beard starts growing on his face. It grows really fast and is resiliant to trimming. After a few days it gets so big there is no more place for it in his house. It soon gets out through the doors and windows and starts overtaking the island. All Here's stylists, hair-dressers and gardeners are hired to keep it under control. But will they be able to fight the element?


LONDON / SOUTHBANK CENTRE / 29 January 2014 - 27 April 2014

Until April London's Southbank Centre is hosting a retrospective exhibition of Martin Creed's work.
Winner of the 2001 Turner Prize, Creed is recognized for his playful installations and minimalistic, but witty approach. Crossing all artistic media and including music, he transforms everyday materials into surprising art forms. After 20 years of his presence on the British art scene, it is about time to sum it all up in one major exhibition.
Martin Creed was born in Wakefield in 1968 and currently lives and works in London. Apart from being an artist, he is also an independent musician. On February 3rd he released his second album Mind Trap via Telephone Records.

Monday, 17 February 2014


"Shortcomings" by Adrian Tomine / Photo by Agnes Prygiel

"Shortcomings" is a poignant graphic novel by Adrian Tomine, published in Britain in 2012 by Faber and Faber.

"Shortcomings" by Adrian Tomine / Photo by Agnes Prygiel
Ben is a 30-year-old university cinema manager and more or less a normal guy whose relationship with Miko falls apart after she organizes an independent film festival at the campus and gets a small modelling job. Ben feels insecure and slightly jealous of her career as he himself is a bit stuck with his job and life in general. With Miko distancing herself he turns for support to his lesbian friend Alice and starts some small sex experiments with other girls.

With art, campus life, a fascinating trip to New York and of course love - "Shortcomings" is a really interesting graphic novel to read.