The Australian News Aussie News Fri, 19 Jan 2018 15:16:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Lion’s Cam Rayner Backed by his Peers to Make the Biggest Splash in 2018 Fri, 19 Jan 2018 15:16:23 +0000 [Read the full story] ]]> Lion's Cam Rayner Backed by his Peers to Make the Biggest Splash in 2018

Source: AFL Feeds via Facebook

Cameron Rayner has been selected by his fellow AFL draftees to be the player most likely to impress in his first season playing in the premiership. Earlier this month, more than 100 of the country’s most talented youngsters headed down to Melbourne to attend the AFL Players’ Association Induction camp, where they had the chance to vote for their fellow colleagues.

According to the AFLPA, 21 percent of the draftees believe that the Lions’ number-one draft pick will be awarded the best first-year player honours, with North Melbourne’s Luke Davis-Uniacke tipped as the second-favourite on 14 percent, followed by Carlton’s Paddy Dow with six. Currently, Rayner is the fourth-favourite at $11.00 to take out the rising star award according to the latest AFL odds, and the Brisbane faithful will be excited about what he can bring to the table this season.

Lion's Cam Rayner Backed by his Peers to Make the Biggest Splash in 2018

Source: TAC Cup via Facebook

The player voted the most likely to surprise the competition went to Tim Kelly who was picked at number 24 by the Geelong Cats, with West Coast’s Liam Ryan closely behind him on seven percent.

The youngsters also had the chance to vote on which existing stars they most admired, and Luke Hodge took the number one spot with nine percent, Nat Fyfe on seven and Joel Selwood with six.

During the two days at the camp, the players were addressed by several speakers including the AFLPA president Matthew Pavlich, Kane Lambert from the Richmond Tigers, as well as retired veterans Drew Petrie, Leigh Montagna and Andrew Swallow.

Rayner said that the camp had been extremely beneficial and opened his eyes up to how much support there is within the game. He realised that the key to having a long and successful career was to do something off the field as well as giving it your all on the pitch.

Brett Johnson, the AFLPA’s general manager of player development, said that the camp was designed to provide the draftees with an opportunity to understand the type of support that is available to them. They want to show the players that there are many different programmes on offer to enhance their AFL careers both on and off the field. There is a strong focus on encouraging them to pursue a career outside of footy, and be prepared for what they might look to do after their football years are behind them.

Lion's Cam Rayner Backed by his Peers to Make the Biggest Splash in 2018

Source: John Blackman via Facebook

Even better news for the Lions is the fact that Rayner has signed with the club for another two seasons already, meaning he will be at the club until at least the end of 2021. The player said that he feels the organisation is moving in the right direction and he has been surprised with the amount of young talent already playing at the Gabba.

Brisbane coach Chris Fagan has been extremely pleased with Cameron’s development over the past few months and the desire he has to learn from his more experienced teammates. Fagan tips Rayner to have a highly successful career in the AFL due to his competitive nature and willingness to work hard. After the Lions struggled for much of last year, it would be fantastic for the club if the youngster can help to turn things around and bring them back into the top eight in the next couple of seasons.

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On this day…in 1895 Thu, 28 Dec 2017 04:00:09 +0000 [Read the full story] ]]>

On this day in 1895, the world’s first commercial movie screening takes place at the Grand Cafe in Paris.

The film was made by Louis and Auguste Lumiere, two French brothers who developed a camera-projector called the Cinematographe. The Lumiere brothers unveiled their invention to the public in March 1895 with a brief film showing workers leaving the Lumiere factory. On December 28, the entrepreneurial siblings screened a series of short scenes from everyday French life and charged admission for the first time.

Movie technology has its roots in the early 1830s, when Joseph Plateau of Belgium and Simon Stampfer of Austria simultaneously developed a device called the phenakistoscope, which incorporated a spinning disc with slots through which a series of drawings could be viewed, creating the effect of a single moving image. The phenakistoscope, considered the precursor of modern motion pictures, was followed by decades of advances and in 1890, Thomas Edison and his assistant William Dickson developed the first motion-picture camera, called the Kinetograph.

The next year, 1891, Edison invented the Kinetoscope, a machine with a peephole viewer that allowed one person to watch a strip of film as it moved past a light.

In 1894, Antoine Lumiere, the father of Auguste (1862-1954) and Louis (1864-1948), saw a demonstration of Edison’s Kinetoscope. The elder Lumiere was impressed, but reportedly told his sons, who ran a successful photographic plate factory in Lyon, France, that they could come up with something better. Louis Lumiere’s Cinematographe, which was patented in 1895, was a combination movie camera and projector that could display moving images on a screen for an audience. The Cinematographe was also smaller, lighter and used less film than Edison’s technology.

The Lumieres opened theaters (known as cinemas) in 1896 to show their work and sent crews of cameramen around the world to screen films and shoot new material. In America, the film industry quickly took off. In 1896, Vitascope Hall, believed to be the first theater in the U.S. devoted to showing movies, opened in New Orleans. In 1909, The New York Times published its first film review (of D.W. Griffith’s “Pippa Passes”), in 1911 the first Hollywood film studio opened and in 1914, Charlie Chaplin made his big-screen debut.

In addition to the Cinematographe, the Lumieres also developed the first practical color photography process, the Autochrome plate, which debuted in 1907.

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On this day…in 1900 Thu, 21 Dec 2017 23:00:33 +0000 [Read the full story] ]]>

On this day in 1900, the first car to be produced under the “Mercedes” name is delivered to its buyer: Emil Jellinek, the Austrian car racer, auto dealer to the rich and famous, and bon vivant.

Jellinek had commissioned the Mercedes car from the German company Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft. It was faster, lighter, and sleeker than any car the company had ever made before, and Jellinek was confident that it would win races so handily that besotted buyers would snap it up. (He was so confident that he bought 36 of them, paying D-M-G 550,000 marks in all.) In exchange for his extraordinary patronage, the company agreed to name its new machine after Jellinek’s 11-year-old daughter, Mercedes.

In 1886, the German engineers Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach had built one of the world’s first “horseless carriages”: literally, their vehicle was a four-wheeled carriage with an engine bolted to it. In 1889, the two men built the world’s first four-wheeled automobile powered by a four-stroke engine. They formed Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft the next year.

In 1896, Emil Jellinek saw an ad for the D-M-G auto in a German magazine. Jellinek was a rich tobacco trader and banker with a passion for fast (of course, “fast” was a relative term), flashy cars.

As the story goes, Jellinek traveled to D-M-G’s Cannstatt factory, charged onto the factory floor (wearing a pith helmet, pince-nez, mutton-chop sideburns and a luxurious moustache), and demanded the most spectacular car the company had. The first of his D-M-G cars was sturdy, but it could only go 15 miles per hour—not even close to fast enough for Jellinek.

In 1898, he ordered two more cars, stipulating that they be able to go at least 10 miles per hour faster than the first one could. Daimler complied; the result was the eight-horsepower Phoenix. Jellinek was impressed enough with his new cars that he began to sell them to his friends: 10 in 1899, 29 in 1900. At the same time, he needed a racing car that could go even faster than the Phoenix. Jellinek went back to D-M-G with a business proposition: if it would build him the world’s best speedster (and name it the Mercedes), he would buy 36 of them.

The new Mercedes car introduced the aluminum crankcase, magnalium bearings and the pressed-steel frame, a new kind of coil-spring clutch and the honeycomb radiator (essentially the same one that today’s Mercedes use). It was longer, wider, and lower than the Phoenix and had better brakes. Also, a mechanic could convert the new Mercedes from a two-seat racer to a four-seat family car in just a few minutes.

The new car was a hit. In 1902, the company legally registered the Mercedes brand mane, and in 1903, Emil Jellinek legally changed his own name to Jellinek-Mercedes.

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Wino’s thought for the day Wed, 20 Dec 2017 02:05:48 +0000 [Read the full story] ]]> It’s simple.

In life, only one thing is certain, apart from death and taxes. No matter how hard you try, no matter how good your intentions, you are going to make mistakes. You’re going to hurt people. You’re going to get hurt.

And at the end you must accept regrets, as long as you can keep the good memories.

And if you ever want to recover… there’s really only one thing you can say…

Courage, see me through. Heart, I’m trusting you.

My name’s Wino…and I’m an alcoholic (apparently this is good for my therapy).

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Remember – Remembrance Day Sat, 11 Nov 2017 03:01:08 +0000 [Read the full story] ]]> Remember Remembrance Day – the 11th month, 11th day, 11th hour.

This is one of my favourite photos – so, if you can, have a minutes silence.

And if you can’t do it now, then do it at GMT (Zulu time) at 11:00am – which will be 10pm tonight eastern time, 7:00pm tonight western time.



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Pastor demands video of him restoring parishioner’s erection be aired on TV Thu, 09 Nov 2017 18:58:36 +0000 [Read the full story] ]]> A televangelist who allegedly used the power of prayer to revive a parishioner’s erection is demanding his handy work be shown on on TV despite it being branded pornographic.

Pastor Paseka Mboro Motsoeneng

South Africa’s Soweto TV refused to air the footage because during ceremony the man immediately used his newly re-found virility to have sex with his grateful wife in front of the film crew.

Incredible Happenings Ministries leader Paseka ‘Mboro’ Motsoeneng is now planning a march on the station to protest about his weekly show being canned.

Pastor Mboro said: ‘I tried to stop them but they told me that they couldn’t stop because they were starving for months.

‘The husband was excited that he got an erection back and even offered to pay me.’

He said ‘Thabisile came to church a while ago and complained that although she was blessed with three children and recently got a promotion at work, she was sex-starved because her husband suffered from erectile dysfunction.

‘I went there and entered their bedroom and asked them to put their hands on their private parts. After that I prayed for them and the husband immediately regained his erection.’

Grateful wife Thabisile said: ‘My husband got his erection back and when he came back from outside to call the crew to film our testimony, we were already busy having sex. We just couldn’t wait as it had been long since we had sex.

‘I apologised to the pastor for doing that because that was embarrassing.’

Pastor Mboro has blurred out the sex for his TV show and claims the testimony of the couple is no more pornographic than other programs on the station.

‘Every weekend we watch movies which have episodes where people are shown having sex. Here there is no sex but they can’t show it. They have not shown two of my shows as a result of this dispute.’

‘My only concern is that I want the testimony to be aired. I told the camera crew to blur out the couple having sex but it is important that they (the couple) have the right to share their testimony.’

Pastor Mboro is a controversial figure in South Africa due to the phenomenal success of his Incredible Happenings Ministries and his lavish wealth.

He appeared in a BBC documentary with Reggie Yates in 2004 called The Millionaire Preacher.

Soweto TV community liaison manager Jonathan Ramotsei said ‘The concern was just around the episode and the series will continue.’
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Western Sydney Wanderers Appoint Josep Gombau as Popovic’s Successor Thu, 09 Nov 2017 18:18:02 +0000 [Read the full story] ]]> Josep Gombau was appointed as the new head coach of Western Sydney Wanderers at the beginning of November and the 41-year-old has huge shoes to fill at the Parramatta Stadium. He took a watching brief during his first A-League assignment and would have been pleased with his sides battling performance against Melbourne Victory to earn a creditable point.

Western Sydney Wanderers Appoint Josep Gombau as Popovic's Successor

Source: Josep Gombau via Twitter

Gombau is a familiar name to A-League fans from his two-year stint at Adelaide United which saw his side beat Perth Glory in the FFA Cup Final. He was also famed for bringing a Spanish style to the division and has been chosen as the man to succeed the extremely popular Tony Popovic.

Popovic virtually built his squad from scratch, bringing plenty of success to the club and few fans could begrudge him the opportunity to manage Turkish top flight side Karabukspor. His assistant Hayden Foxe remains at the club and is looking forward to working alongside the incoming boss.

Gombau left Adelaide to take up a coaching role with the United States back in 2015 and since his last A-League stint, he’s also been working with the Australian Under 23s.

Western Sydney Wanderers were believed to be chasing Croatia boss Ante Milicic but weren’t able to secure his services prompting a delay in appointing Popovic’s successor. Gombau has a decent squad to work with including fellow Spaniards Alvaro Cejudo, Raul Llorente and Oriol Riera. The latter missed a spot-kick during the 1-1 with Melbourne Victory, spurning the chance to secure three points in front of his new boss.

Western Sydney Wanderers Appoint Josep Gombau as Popovic's Successor

Source: Sport Daily via Twitter

Under Foxe’s tutelage, Western Sydney Wanderers have made a bright start to the new A-League season and sit in fourth place with five games played. They’ve suffered from too many draws this season but remain unbeaten and it gives the new coach plenty to build upon. Wanderers chairman Paul Lederer was impressed by Gombau and stressed that his appointment is part of their long-term vision. Very few fans are expecting a title bid this year with the club only starting as fifth favourites at the beginning of the season but they are now firmly eyeing up the Champions League spots.

Their good recent form has seen them move up to third in the betting and any soccer fans who wish to back them for success this season or more realistically to finish in the top two can take advantage of a number of sign-up offers from Australian bookmakers including $250 of free bets with Ladbrokes, which can be used to back the Wanderers to flourish under Josep Gombau.

Western Sydney Wanderers must continue to make themselves difficult to beat if they are to close the gap on runaway leaders Sydney FC, who were the pre-season favourites to make it back-to-back titles under Graham Arnold.

Gombau isn’t the sort of coach who will rip things up and stamp his authority on the club which is the best approach to a unique team such as Western Sydney Wanderers. They have begun the season positively and the appointment of the Spanish coach should help them to continue their upward momentum.

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On this day…in 1980 Mon, 06 Nov 2017 23:00:57 +0000 [Read the full story] ]]> On this day in 1980, the actor Steve McQueen, one of Hollywood’s leading men of the 1960’s and 1970’s and the star of such action thrillers as Bullitt and The Towering Inferno, dies at the age of 50 in Mexico, where he was undergoing an experimental treatment for cancer.

n 1979, McQueen had been diagnosed with mesothelioma, a type of cancer often related to asbestos exposure. It was later believed that the ruggedly handsome actor, who had an affinity for fast cars and motorcycles, might have been exposed to asbestos by wearing racing suits.

Terrence Steven McQueen was born on March 24, 1930, in Beech Grove, Indiana. After a troubled youth that included time in reform school, McQueen served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1940s. He then studied acting and began competing in motorcycle races. He made his big-screen debut with a tiny role in 1956’s Somebody Up There Likes Me, starring Paul Newman. McQueen went on to appear in the camp classic The Blob (1958) and gained fame playing a bounty hunter in the TV series Wanted: Dead or Alive, which originally aired on from 1958 to 1961.

During the 1960’s, McQueen built a reputation for playing cool, loner heroes in a list of films that included the Western The Magnificent Seven (1960), which was directed by John Sturges and also featured Yul Brynner and Charles Bronson; The Great Escape (1963), in which McQueen played a U.S. solider in World War II who makes a daring motorcycle escape from a German prison camp…and The Sand Pebbles (1966), a war epic for which he received a Best Actor Oscar nomination. McQueen played a detective in one of his most popular movies, 1968’s Bullitt, which featured a spectacular car chase through the streets of San Francisco. That same year, the actor portrayed an elegant thief in The Thomas Crown Affair.

In the 1970s, McQueen was one of Hollywood’s highest-paid actors and starred in hit films such as director Sam Peckinpah’s The Getaway (1972) with Ali MacGraw, to whom McQueen was married from 1973 to 1978; Papillon (1973), with Dustin Hoffman; and The Towering Inferno (1974), with Paul Newman, William Holden and Faye Dunaway.

Although McQueen was combative with directors and producers, his popularity put him in high demand and enabled him to command large salaries.

He began a romance on the set with Ali McGraw, his co-star in The Getaway, causing her to divorce her husband, legendary Paramount Studio head Robert Evans.

His son Chad played one of the “Kobra Kais” in The Karate Kid  (1984) and his grandson, Steven R. McQueen, is a regular on the series The Vampire Diaries.

In the summer of 1980, McQueen traveled to Rosarito Beach, Mexico, where he underwent an unorthodox cancer treatment that involved, among other things, coffee enemas and a therapy derived from apricot pits.

On November 6, 1980, he had surgery to remove cancerous masses from his body; he died the following day.

His final films were Tom Horn and The Hunter, both of which were released in 1980.

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Alfred Hitchcock and his Birds Sun, 05 Nov 2017 01:30:28 +0000 [Read the full story] ]]> Behind the camera, his pendulous lips exhaling bad breath and extraordinarily obscene jokes in a lugubrious Cockney accent, stood the corpulent figure of Alfred Hitchcock, acknowledged as cinema’s master of murder, mayhem and suspense.

In front of the camera, poised, elegant, remote, and seemingly unattainable, reclined the exquisitely beautiful Tippi Hedren, his latest star, and the last in a long line of ice-cool blonde screen goddesses with whom Hitchcock had become fixated during his 40-year career.

Hedren, a former model, was then 34 — more than 30 years his junior. She had a six-year-old daughter — now the movie star Melanie Griffith — and was about to marry a second husband, her agent Noel Marshall.

But Hitchcock, in spite of knowing this, had become dangerously obsessed with Hedren, behaving as the ultimate Svengali. He had started to bombard her with crude sexual overtures, and had ruthlessly sought to control every aspect of her life, off the screen as well as on it.

The flare-up that occurred that day had been a long time coming. After their second film together — the psychological thriller Marnie, in which she starred opposite Sean Connery — Hedren was nominated for the Photoplay Award as the most promising new actress of the year.

She asked Hitchcock’s permission to travel to New York to appear on The Tonight Show, where the award was to be presented. But Hitchcock could not bear the prospect of her departure, even for two days. He abruptly refused permission for her to go, telephoning the network on her behalf to reject the award and cancel her appearance.

For two years, Hedren had preserved an iron self-control in her dealings with the great director, refusing ever to rise to his sexual advances.

But that day, unable to contain herself any longer, all the pent-up emotion poured forth as she exploded, screaming at Hitchcock and allegedly calling him ‘a fat pig’ in front of the assembled crew on the set. Hitchcock froze. ‘She did what no one is permitted to do,’ he complained bitterly. ‘She referred to my weight.’

Furious, Hedren demanded to be released from her exclusive contract with Hitchcock.

From that moment, he brutally excised her from his life, threatening to ruin her career and declining even to address her personally, except through intermediaries. He never again uttered her name, referring to her only as ‘that girl’.

This astonishing saga is the subject of a 90-minute BBC2 television drama, The Girl, starring Sienna Miller as Hedren and Toby Jones as Hitchcock, with Imelda Staunton as Hitchcock’s wife, Alma, and Penelope Wilton as his loyal assistant, Peggy Robertson. This is a few years old now (about 4), but still worth a viewing.

Miss Hedren, now 82, is the artistic adviser on the film. Her ‘one reservation’, she says, ‘is that I worry they will not portray me as strong a character as I was — and still am. I had to be extremely strong to fight off Mr Hitchcock.

‘He was so insistent and obsessive, but I was an extremely strong young woman, and there was no way he was going to get the better of me.’

Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, the son of a Catholic greengrocer, was born in the East End suburb of Leytonstone in 1899.  His father, William, was a strict disciplinarian who took to sending his son to the local police station with a note explaining that he had been ‘naughty’.

On arrival, a custody sergeant known to the family would lock the boy in a cell for five or ten minutes before releasing him. The clanging of the door, Hitchcock always insisted, used to cause him ‘dread’, and gave him a lifelong fear of arrest, jails and policemen. It also evidently appealed to his sense of drama.

His mother, Emma, was sharp-tongued and exacting. She compelled her son to stand at the foot of her bed and recite his daily activities — something he later referred to as his ‘evening confession’.

For years afterwards, he bitterly resented his mother’s tyranny, and close friends suspected that whenever he had one of his heroines murdered or violated on screen, he was mentally attacking his mother.

His marriage in 1926 to the film editor and screenwriter Alma Reville was to prove sexless. With the exception of one isolated occasion when they somehow succeeded in conceiving their daughter, Patricia — an experience in which he would admit to finding the ‘mechanics unpleasant’ — Hitchcock would remain celibate for the rest of his days.

By way of explaining this to friends,  he would insist that he was  ‘sexually impotent’.

His love life and more extreme sexual fantasies thereafter were played out on screen through his celluloid heroines, rather than in reality. And as the years passed, the line between that reality and his darker fantasies, arising out of his own desperate frustrations, often became invisible.

From adolescence onwards, Hitchcock’s principal obsession was with blonde women. Significantly, his wife, who had reddish hair, did not belong to that category.

His first screen blonde was the West End musical comedy star known only by her first name, June.

Her natural hair colour was light brown. But when he cast her as the threatened heroine in his silent version of a thriller called The Lodger in 1927, about a Jack-the-Ripper-type serial killer who enjoyed slicing up golden girls on foggy nights near London Bridge, Hitchcock insisted that his leading lady had to be blonde.

To her outrage, June found herself compelled to wear a blonde wig, the curls on which Hitchcock meticulously arranged personally. ‘By the end of the first week,’ she complained, ‘I looked like Harpo Marx.’

His second British blonde was the bisexual Joan Barry, mother of Henrietta Tiarks, Duchess of Bedford. As the young wife in Rich And Strange, Barry was filmed by Hitchcock in a water tank swimming with her husband, played by Henry Kendall.

Barry stands astride, daring him to swim between her legs. When he does so, she suddenly locks his head between her thighs until bubbles rise from his mouth. As he surfaces, he splutters: ‘You almost killed me that time.’

Barry responds: ‘Wouldn’t that have been a beautiful death?’

To Hitchcock’s infinite regret, the scene — perfectly capturing his lust for, and fear of, the alluring blonde — was killed by the censors.

The biggest star Hitchcock directed in the new talkie era was the reigning sex symbol of the day, Jessie Matthews. But Matthews, though teeming with sex appeal, was brunette and had no sexual message for Hitchcock.

She was also too powerful a box-office asset for Hitchcock to be able to  impose his will on her, and she abruptly rejected his suggestion that she should adopt ‘a mincing operetta style’ in Waltzes From Vienna.

When he tried to insist, the head of the studio, Sir Michael Balcon, ordered him to desist, fearing that Matthews would walk off the picture and away from the studio. Hitchcock never forgave her snub to his authority, and was still hostile to her 40 years later.

Much more to his taste was the crystal-cool blonde Madeleine Carroll, star of The 39 Steps. But like his other blondes, Carroll fell victim to Hitch’s sexual fantasies. His fascination with bondage was satisfied on the first day of shooting by handcuffing Carroll to her co-star Robert Donat, whom she had never met before.

He then pretended to have lost the keys, leaving them shackled together in embarrassing discomfort and proximity for most of the day — a predicament they then also had to act out in the film.

A streak of ruthless sadism began to characterise Hitchcock’s dealings with his leading ladies. His first Hollywood blonde, Joan Fontaine, playing the shy second Mrs de Winter in the 1940 film Rebecca, was deliberately isolated by him.

‘He would constantly tell me that no one thought I was any good except himself,’ she said. He then undermined her by saying that her co-star, Laurence Olivier, disliked her and that she was liable to be replaced.

The much earthier Swedish blonde, Ingrid Bergman, tried to arouse Hitchcock’s dormant sexuality, but left him utterly humiliated when he proved physically incapable of responding to her overtures. He was hopelessly infatuated with her, a situation that caused tensions in his marriage to Alma.

Bergman, a warm-hearted, highly-sexed woman who was genuinely fond of him, believed him to be starved of affection and tried to remedy this, but his repressed libido could not be aroused, even by her.

Hitchcock’s perfect prototype of the screen blonde was undoubtedly Grace Kelly, the future Princess Grace of Monaco.

He was not deceived by her sedate, ladylike and refined facade. He would dine out with glee on her convoluted love life during the filming of Dial M For Murder, in which her frenzied struggle against strangulation had distinct sexual overtones.

‘That Gryce!’ he would declare in his sibilant Cockney. ‘She fucked everyone! Why, she even fucked little Freddie (Frederick Knott), the writer!’

American Kim Novak was another blonde whom Hitchcock bent to his will.

‘Before filming started on Vertigo,’ records one of his biographers, ‘he invited her to his house and chatted about everything except the movie — art, food, travel, wine — all the things he thought she wouldn’t know much about. He succeeded in making her feel like a helpless child, ignorant and untutored, and that’s just what he wanted — to break down her resistance. By the end of the afternoon, he had her right where he wanted her, docile and obedient.’

Janet Leigh also became a blonde sex object for the director. In the notorious shower scene in Psycho, the blade of the knife was employed to convey the impression of violent rape and sexual invasion.

As one of his screenwriters, Arthur Laurents, remarked: ‘He lived in the land of kink. Perverse sex, kinky sex, that fascinated him . . . essentially he was a voyeur.’ And then, one day in 1961, while watching a TV commercial for a diet drink, Hitchcock glimpsed his greatest blonde obsession of all, Tippi Hedren.

Putting her under exclusive contract at $500 a week — Poverty Row pay by Hollywood standards — he chose her clothes, her make-up, her jewellery, her coiffure, advised on what she should eat, whom she should see, and how she should live.

‘She’s already reaching the lows and highs of terror,’ he announced in 1962, and it was almost an understatement.

As the distraught heroine of The Birds, she was assured by Hitchcock that only mechanical birds would be used, instead of which Hedren endured five days of prop men, protected by thick leather gloves, flinging dozens of live gulls, ravens and crows at her, with their beaks clamped shut with elastic bands.

When one of the birds gouged her cheek, narrowly missing her eye, Hedren collapsed on the set, crying hysterically. A physician ordered a week’s rest, during which she was assailed by ‘nightmares filled with flapping wings’.

Small wonder, as she increasingly realised the full extent of Hitchcock’s domination of her, that in panic she finally rebelled and broke free from him.

He kept her on salary, holding her to her contract for two years, during which he refused all other requests for her services, including one from the acclaimed French director, Francois Truffaut, an offer of which Hitchcock never even informed her.

In 1967, after finally breaking free by accepting Charlie Chaplin’s invitation to appear in his film, A Countess From Hong Kong, Hedren grudgingly agreed to have tea with the Hitchcocks at Claridge’s.

The idea was a peacemaking bid by Alma, but it proved to be a strained and tense occasion on  which Hitchcock could barely  conceal his bitterness towards her. There are those who believe  he never recovered from the blow to his pride that Hedren’s defection inflicted. He made only four further films after Marnie — Torn Curtain, Topaz, Frenzy and Family Plot — none of them vintage Hitchcock.

By 1980, when he was belatedly knighted, he had utterly withdrawn into himself, was declining  food, refusing to get out of bed,  and staring coldly at the very few visitors he received. He died on April 29, 1980, three months short of his 81st birthday.

If Tippi Hedren, through his egomania, lost her chance of major stardom, at least in the end she won back her freedom and reasserted her independence from a tortured and tormented genius.

There’s something eerie about sitting almost alone in a large cinema. It’s as though something has happened somewhere else and you are the only one who doesn’t know.

by Helena Bryanlith

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Women in their forties are getting more sexually adventurous Fri, 03 Nov 2017 09:30:47 +0000 [Read the full story] ]]> Do you know what women desire? A recent survey went out and asked 1,400 women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s about their deepest dating and sex secrets.

Ask a group of ladies what they look for in a man, and buzzwords fly. Confidence. Independence. Humor. Kindness. Looks. It’s as if we women are all seeking the exact same guy.

But here’s the rub…these priorities depend on where we are in our lives.

“What a woman looks for in a partner changes as she ages,” says Helen Fisher, Ph.D., a professor of anthropology at Rutgers University and a relationship expert, whose most recent book is Why Him? Why Her?

So if you want a decent shot at success, you have to recognize what she values at this stage of her life, and know what to expect if you plan to stay with her. A woman who once prioritized, say, grinding to Lil’ Wayne on the dance floor will eventually start to prefer intimate conversation accompanied by a glass of Barolo and a plate of homemade Bolognese.

These changes extend into the bedroom, too. Very few women become set in their sexual ways. Quite the opposite…a  survey of nearly 1,400 women found that sexual tastes shift with the passing years. To be specific (and the women we asked were very specific), two-thirds of the women in their 30s and almost half of the women in their 40s revealed that their sexual palates had evolved in the past decade. And change can be good.

For example, a woman who once avoided being on top because she worried about how her double D’s looked might eventually become sexually confident, knowing exactly what she wants, how she wants it, and how to guide you there. Sex becomes more of an adventure with age, it appears.

But that doesn’t mean you have to wait. Whether the woman you’re dating or living with is in her 20s, 30s, or 40s, here’s your guide to hitting her hot spots.

by Susan Floyd

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