Reasons to Visit Prague

Prague

That the capital of the Czech Republic is a beautiful city is not news. But did you know that it is also excellent when it comes to steampunk?

I have visited Prague twice so far and admittedly only stayed in the Praha 1 district, so I can only guess what hidden gems lie in the other parts of the city.

Prague is full of beautiful Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Jugendstil architecture. You can walk through the town and you’ll be amazed at the beauty of the buildings everywhere, from high streets to small streets that seem to be hardly used other than by those that live there. Continue reading

Taschen to Release “The Charlie Chaplin Archives”

The Charlie Chaplin Archives cover

The Charlie Chaplin Archives cover

Who doesn’t know Charlie Chaplin, the silent film actor known for his often funny ways, suits and bowler hat? Pretty much everyone I’m sure, and for the fans TASCHEN (quite known for their beautiful art books) just released a beautiful new book, The Charlie Chaplin Archives.

The book is edited by film historian Paul Duncan and includes making of information on every film Chaplin ever made, hundreds of photographs, memos, storyboards, interviews with both Mr Chaplin and people that surrounded him, press clippings, archive material and so much more to tell you not only about the iconic movies he made, but of the actor’s life also.

And to top it off: the first print of the book, which is set to be 10 000 copies, will include a 12-frame film strip from Chaplin’s 1931 film “City Lights” at the price of € 150.

Now whilst this is great news for fans and collectors alike, be warned that these sort of editions may carry a hefty price tag. No need to worry for those on a budget though, TASHEN has the habit of releasing more economically priced editions also.

In any case, if you want a first edition, I wouldn’t wait too long to get your copy! Continue reading

Ultra Swank: Reliving the Space Age

Ultra Swank logo

Our recommended website of the day is Ultra Swank, an online magazine that promises to take you back in time into the kitsch, chic, swank and camp living of the 1940s to the 1970s.

The website mostly focus on the design, style and fashion of the happy-go-lucky and space-age-living mentality of the era, including advertising, architecture, ephemera, furniture, interior design and travel.

We might feature some of their stuff here at The Gatehouse but here are some nuggets for you: a tour of the Sterling Cooper & Partners Office from Mad Men; a perspective on Brutalist architecture; and never-built Los Angeles.

Movie Review: The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Guy Ritchie — maker of the two recent steampunky Sherlock Holmes movies starring Robert Downey, Jr. — gives us a great spy-fi comedy adventure this summer that dieselpunk fans ought to be interested in.

Although the The Man from U.N.C.L.E., based on the 1960s television series of the same name, takes place in the post-dieselpunk era, it contains many of the genre’s tropes and themes: spies, unrepentant Nazis in a plot against the two superpowers, missing nuclear weapons, speedboats, helicopters, industrial decors reminiscent of Thunderbirds and dashing Space Age costumes.

Critics say the plot is rather weak and they’re right. But this isn’t Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. pokes a bit of fun at the spy thrillers of the 60s, dazzles with its gorgeous production design and allows us to sit back and have a good time.

The cast is a blast. Henry Cavill, the latest Superman, is there to deliver deadpans as the serial womanizer Napoleon Solo. Many of the jokes come at the expense of his Soviet counterpart Illya Kuryakin, played by Armie Hammer. Alicia Vikander, a Swedish actress, plays the heroine, Gaby Teller. Elizabeth Debicki, from Australia, is a delight as U.N.C.L.E.’s villain, Victoria Vinciguerra, daughter of an Italian fascist and heir to his business empire.

The ending leaves the door open to a sequel but so far, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. isn’t doing terribly well at the box office. So go see it in the theaters and help make that sequel happen!