And from there most of us press on further through the glossy rag to the styles section's barometer column which exists (thank you to PR planted promotions) to tell us 'what is hot this week, and what is not.' As such, I ashamedly found myself scanning the Guardian's 'The Measure' column on Saturday to find Cartier love bangles going up the trend measuring barometer and Lily Allen going down. Okay, am I splitting hairs, or are those two trends unlikely to appeal to the same readership? On the one hand we have, Sloane Ranger, Cath Bridson (the 'modernists' Laura Ashley) shoppers who are addicted to afternoon cakes at Paul's; and on the other, teeny bopper MySpace addicts who get tickled by the rhyming of Tesco with al fresco.
Or maybe that is just what the weekend magazines are about in these days of declining readership and pressurised advertising spend: spread betting. Which is more than understandable and if it preserves the shelf-life of print journalism we all but encourage it. Except that it can leave us in an information lurch as to those things that really matter to us (such as, is the Royal Academy's new Rodin exhibit worth choosing over Modigliani and his Models, and is it acceptable for old-timer Jack Nicholson to still be publicly randy?
So in informal (and unaccountable) blogger fashion, we feel motivated to write the the first (and possibly only) 'City Slicker Informer': where nothing is reviewed that hasn't been viewed.
On the 'In':
The Queen: A surprisingly fun fictionalised view behind the doors of the Palace. Mirren is superb at making you empathise with the stuffy, but beloved order that is living out its doomed days. (With all due respect to Her Majesty, was anybody else suspicious that Mirren's ankles were padded for the part?)
Marie Antoinette:Female queens are back on both sides of the Channel, but not in a Scarlett Johannsen (wanna-be) bouffant way. Rather check out the brilliant article, Dressed for Excess: Marie Antoinette, out of the closet, from this week's New Yorker. A good, quick study before Sofia Coppola's film about the ex-Queen due for a London release later next month.
Kandinsky: at the Tate Modern. Last week to see the work of one of the greatest abstract painters of all time, who was also believed to have had synaesthesia, a harmless condition that allows a person to appreciate sounds, colours or words with two or more senses simultaneously (isn't it funny how female multi-tasking applied to a man sounds so artistically inspired?). Look out for the painting, "Moscow, Red Square"; a soothing image of urban life much welcomed after the disturbing (but also powerful) ones from Children of Men.
On the 'Out':
Michael Sheen: No relation to Charlie or Martin. Current London golden boy. Excellent as the budding, but insecure journo in Frost/Nixon and equally as smarmy Tony Blair in The Queen, but a sense (real or otherwise) of personal arrogance is hard to dismiss. Not to mention Sheen resembles an eerie cross between Boy George and Juliette Lewis (photo above deliberately chosen for emphasis).
The Gender Gap: The Washington Post digs into the real differences between male and female brains, as articulated by pop psychiatrist Louann Brizendine in her new bestseller, The Female Brain. Not much new to anyone familiar with John Gray, with men, or with women. But receiving a lot of hype amongst the Yanks.
Piano/Forte: Terry Johnson's expected hit at the Royal Court Theatre's early Autumn season falls flat. Proposed as a black comedy about a disgraced Tory MP and his dysfunctional family, it hits all the wrong notes: melodramatic pretension combined with shallow stereotypical familial dynamics. Don't bother.