Saturday, November 30, 2013

Painter Jarji Balanchivadze

Jarji Balanchivadze, nephew of George Balanchine, the renowned choreographer. Jarji, pictured with his family, is a Georgian composer and painter.

His apartment has not changed since the days when Stravinsky and Shostakovich used to meet there.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Benedict Joseph Groeschel, with Beret

Benedict Joseph Groeschel, C.F.R. (born July 23, 1933) is a Catholic priest, retreat master, author, psychologist, activist and former host of the television talk program Sunday Night Prime, which is broadcast on the Eternal Word Television Network. He has also hosted several serial religious specials in addition to Sunday Night Prime. He is the founder of the Office for Spiritual Development for the Catholic Archdiocese of New York as well as a former associate director of Trinity Retreat and a former executive director of the St. Francis House. He is professor of pastoral psychology at St. Joseph's Seminary in New York and an adjunct professor at the Institute for Psychological Sciences in Arlington, Virginia. He is one of the founders of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.
In 1960, Groeschel became the chaplain for the Children’s Village, a Dobbs Ferry, New York based facility for emotionally disturbed children. In 1965, he joined the staff of St. Joseph's Seminary and has taught classes at Fordham University, Iona College and Maryknoll Seminary. In 1967, he founded The St. Francis House in Brooklyn, New York, which provides a safe haven for young men looking for a new start in life. The results of his counseling, teaching ability and the manner in which he treated his subjects attracted the attention of many, including Terence Cooke, then Archbishop of New York. In 1974, at the request of Cardinal Cooke, he founded the Trinity Retreat in Larchmont, New York, which provides spiritual direction and retreats for clergy.
Groeschel made controversial comments in a 2012 interview published by the National Catholic Register related to the sexual abuse of children by priests: "Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him. A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer."  He later apologized for his words. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Rebellion in Patagonia, with Berets, naturally

Rebellion in Patagonia (La Patagonia rebelde) is a 1974 Argentine drama-historical film directed by Héctor Olivera and starring Héctor Alterio, Luis Brandoni, José Soriano and Federico Luppi. It was written by Olivera with Osvaldo Bayer and Fernando Ayala, based on Osvaldo Bayer's renowned novel Los Vengadores de la Patagonia Trágica ("The Avengers of Tragic Patagonia"), which was based upon the military suppression of anarchist union movements in Santa Cruz Province in the early 1920s.
According to a TV interview with the author of the novel, in order to film a scene with a workers protest, the director asked the Santa Cruz governor Jorge Cepernic for extras. The governor then asked the Juventud Peronista (Peronist Youth) to take part. Among those people was Néstor Kirchner, the former President of Argentina (and deceased husband of the present President Cristina Kirchner). 
It was entered into the 24th Berlin International Film Festival, where it won the Silver Bear.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Leopoldo Torre Nilsson

Leopoldo Torre Nilsson (1924 – 1978), aka Leo Towers and as Babsy, was an Argentine film director, producer and screenwriter. Born as Leopoldo Torres Nilsson (he later changed his paternal surname from Torres to Torre) was the son of Argentine pioneer film director Leopoldo Torres Ríos, with whom he collaborated between 1939 and 1949. He debuted in 1947 with the short El muro. His mother was an Argentinian citizen of Swedish descent.
Leopoldo Torre Nilsson (left) with Alfredo Alcón during the filming of El Santo de la Espada (1970)
Torre Nilsson's first full-length film, El crimen de Oribe (1950), was an adaptation of Adolfo Bioy Casares's novel El perjurio de la nieve. In 1954 he directed Días de odio, based on Jorge Luis Borges's short story Emma Zunz. Güemes: la tierra en armas (1971), about Martín Miguel de Güemes, was entered into the 7th Moscow International Film Festival. His 1973 film Los siete locos won the Silver Bear at the 23rd Berlin International Film Festival
He is acknowledged as the first Argentine film director to be critically acclaimed outside the country, making Argentina's film production known in important international festivals. He died of cancer in his native Buenos Aires in 1978, at the age of 54. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Jon Trimmer Ballet Trophy

Photo © Jaymee Morrison
Grand Master of the New Zealand ballet Jon Trimmer has featured numerous times on The Beret Project, but this post is actually not about him, but about my daughter Marshida, who won the 'Jon Trimmer Ballet Trophy' this year.
Not too keen a beret wearer herself, her father and Jon Trimmer make up for that!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Raul Seixas, con boina

Raul Santos Seixas (1945 – 1989) was a Brazilian rock composer, singer, songwriter and producer. He is sometimes called the "Father of Brazilian Rock" and "Maluco Beleza", the last one roughly translated as "Crazy Cool". 
His body of work consists of 21 albums released along his 26-year career. His musical style is mostly rock and ballad, although he wrote songs in many different styles, including variations of styles typical of his native Northeastern Brazil like Forró and Baião, and in fact often used more than one style in the same song, as in "Let Me Sing, Let Me Sing". His debut album, Raulzito e Os Panteras (1968), was produced when he was part of a band of the same name. 
However, he only gained prominence and critical audience with songs from the album Krig-Há, Bandolo! (1973), such as "Ouro de Tolo" ("Fool's Gold"), "Mosca na Sopa" ("Fly in the Soup"), and "Metamorfose Ambulante" ("Walking Metamorphosis"). Raul Seixas developed a unique musical style that emphasized the maverick and the mystic. His album Gita (1974), influenced by figures such as Aleister Crowley, expresses his views very directly.
Many songs in Gita were co-written with his frequent collaborator, then fellow mystic, and future worldwide bestselling author Paulo Coelho. Raul was interested in philosophy (especially metaphysics and ontology), psychology, history, literature and Latin. In October 2008, nineteen years after his death, Raul Seixas was placed in 19th position in a List of One Hundred Greatest Artists of Brazilian music sponsored by the Brazilian edition of Rolling Stone magazine, topping the likes of Milton Nascimento, Maria Bethania, Heitor Villa-Lobos and others, demonstrating the influence that Seixas' music continues to hold today.
Every year on Seixas' birthday, legions of fans, including hundreds of impersonators (many even changing their last name to Seixas as a sign of idolatry), throw a parade in his honor in downtown São Paulo.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Pamela Green with Beret

Pamela Green (1929 – 2010) was an English glamour model and actress, best known at the end of the 1950s and early 1960s. She modeled for Zoltán Glass, Horace Roye, Jean Straker, Joan Craven and John Everard.
Green started figure modelling to pay for her art school studies and moved on to photographic modelling because it paid more. 
In 1954 Pamela started to supply the bookshops and newsagents of London's Soho with her own postcard sets of glamour photographs, to supplement her work as a photographer's model. 
Her first film appearance was in 1960, when she starred in Michael Powell's psychological thriller Peeping Tom, which included her in a nude scene. In the scene, a model (Green) lays naked on a bed to be photographed. In one scene one of her breasts is exposed very briefly. The scene is regarded as the first female nude scene in a postwar English language mainstream feature film. The film was panned by the critics at the time and it destroyed Powell's career in the United Kingdom. In 1961, Green appeared in the nudist film Naked as Nature Intended, written and directed by Marks.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Rebel

The Rebel (1961) (US title: Call Me Genius) is a satirical comedy film. Starring the British comedian Tony Hancock, it was written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson. The film was made by Associated British Picture Corporation and distributed by Warner-Pathé (ABPC's distribution arm).
Hancock plays a downtrodden London office clerk who gives up his office job to pursue full-time his vocation as an artist. Single mindedly, and with an enthusiasm far exceeding any artistic talent (his 'art' has a 'childlike' quality - to put it mildly), he sets to work on his masterpiece Aphrodite at the Waterhole, moving to Paris where he expects his genius will be appreciated. While his 'ideas' and persona gain acceptance (indeed plaudits) among the "beat" set, legitimate art critics, like Sir Charles Broward, (George Sanders) scoff at his work. He manages to achieve success, however, when the work of his former roommate, a genuinely talented painter, becomes confused with his own. The confusion is eventually resolved after a series of art exhibitions, and he returns, down but not out, to London, where he pursues his 'art' in defiance of whatever others may think of it.
The film consists of many scenes parodying modern art and poetry. The scene showing Hancock splashing paint onto a canvas and riding a bike over it, is quite reminiscent of Jackson Pollock's technique. The childlike paintings parody the naive style.
The film explores existentialist themes by mocking Parisian intellectual society and portraying the pretensions of the English middle class. Galton and Simpson had previously satirised pseudo-intellectuals in the Hancock's Half Hour radio episode "The Poetry Society", in which Hancock attempts to imitate the style of the pretentious poets and fails, and is infuriated when his idiot friend Bill does the same and wins their untrammeled approval.
In 2002, the 'London Institute of Pataphysics' organised an exhibition based around the recreation of all the art works seen the film and presented the exhibition as if it were a retrospective of a real unknown artist called Anthony Hancock.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


On SPECIAL now: Txapelduns, at a discounted price from the old standard price!.
The txapeldun is the quintessential Basque beret, the most perfect embodiment of a tradition that goes back centuries, a symbol for champions (in the Basque Country the txapeldun is often used as a trophy in competitions of sports and the brain), the ultimate protection from sun, rain and snow for the Basque shepherds in the Pyrenees mountains, a hat widely adopted by artists with a reminiscence of the Renaissance and generally, a fantastic beret to wear.
South Pacific Berets sells two sizes of txapelduns, the 15" and the very-very large diameter in 16" (which is respectively 13.7" and 14.6" in US sizes and 34.9cm and 37.2cm in the metric system).
It takes a bit of courage to wear a txapeldun, but once you do - you won't want anything smaller. Most customers buying our txapelduns find it an excellent hat for hiking and tramping, offering the best possible protection from any weather and still easy to roll up and fit in a daypack or pocket.

Jesus Mari Arruabarrena

Jesus Mari Arruabarrena is a photographer from Euskal Herria, the Basque Country, and in me he has found a great admirer. Obviously, the many berets featured in his works play a role, but much more the humanity that speaks from his photographs.
Arruabarrena paints a picture of Basque life in its many facets; old traditions, street photography, but also subjects like cruelty to animals.
Arruabarrena studied at the Centre of Video Studies in Madrid and followed workshops by Antoine D´Agata, Giorgia Fiorio, José Manuel Navia, Ricy Dávila, Oscar Molina, Juan Valbuena, Arianna Rinaldo, Matias Costa and Victor Steinbserg.takes. He takes part in the (National Geographic) project: “Conocer España”, gives photography workshops in in some of the cultural centres in Biscay as well as workshops on documentary photography in UEU (Basque Summer University).

So far, he has published four books of photography, but not all are readily available through bookshops. I ordered mine directly from the author

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Bassari, con Boina

Ignacio (also Inazio or Iñaki) Eizmendi Manterola, better known by the nickname Basarri (1913 - 1999) was an improviser (a poet-improviser in the Basque language ), journalist and writer in Castilian and the Basque language. He is considered one of the most important representatives of poetry-improvisation of the 20th century.
The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and the post-war period were black for improvisation, seen as suspicious separatism activity to the Francoist authorities. During those years Basarri, along with Uztapide, was one of the improvisers who kept alive this activity during the feasts of the small rural towns in the Spanish Basque Country.
One can consider Basarri on the one hand as the main improviser, along with Uztapide, who served as a bridge between the pre-war generation and the one that appeared in the last years of the Franco regime. On the other hand he was one of the first theorists of improvisation, which introduced the improvisation in theaters.
Parallel to his work as bertsolari, Basarri was a journalist. In the Basque Country (and especially in Guipúzcoa), he was a well known radio and newspaper journalist, writing articles in both Basque and Castilian. His work as a journalist used to be primarily focused on the world of Basque rural culture.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Delivery Target Times for Christmas Deliveries

Yes, it may still seem a long way away, but Christmas and the accompanying holidays are definitely approaching. Presently, the delivery target times for beret parcels are still pretty accurate, but soon you can expect delays in delivery due to the holidays busyness.
And although South Pacific Berets remains 'open' 24 hours year round, berets ordered between 22 December and 12 January will be posted with a delay on 13 January. The Beretman is taken a break at a Northland beach these holidays, seeing how well the summer berets deal with the northern NZ sun!
So, if thinking of getting yourself or your loved one a nice beret for Christmas this year, best to order soon to receive it well in time!

"Put the beret on too" Barcelona’s Euskal Etxea launches a campaign to reach 500 members

The Basque Center of Barcelona wants to break the 500 member barrier, and so to do this, they have launched a membership campaign, entitled “Posa’t la txapela tu també!” (Put the txapela on too). The campaign has two objectives: the first one economic, since the membership dues sustain the club; and the second, to let people know of the association’s existence, inviting people to get to know and enjoy the Basque culture. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Night Clubbing & Clubwear

Yesterday's post triggered an exploration into 'Clubwear & Berets' and yes, there are some nice samples to be found.
Interestingly, berets in London's, Barcelona's and NY's night clubs seem to be a feminine affair, really.
True Basques are hard to find though, but who could tell in the dim light?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Cable Night Club London Shut

London nightclub Cable has closed down. The stylishly stark venue, housed in a tunnel under London Bridge, has been in business since 2009, in which time it has established itself as a hub for underground music with nights by promoters including Renegade Hardware, We Fear Silence and Butterz. Time Out named it ‘Best Club’ in 2011.
The venue closed suddenly today following what the Cable team describe as ‘two years of ongoing legal battles with Network Rail’. A statement from the club expresses disappointment at events, ‘due to them allegedly requiring the space back for the redevelopment of London Bridge Station.’ Not only clubbers with beret, I like the CABLE logo too!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Ian Parmenter's Berets

Ian Richard Parmenter is a London-born Australian celebrity chef, winemaker and author who presented 450 five-minute programs of the cookery show Consuming Passions on the Australian ABC television network. The program was also broadcast in many other countries.
Parmenter was a Fleet Street, London journalist before moving to Australia in 1971. He joined the national broadcaster in Perth and qualified as a TV producer in 1974. He has developed a culinary flair in private life, confessing to having no trade or professional or experience in foodservice.
He has also written several recipe collections and three books.

Wines, not Mines in Margaret River; Ian Parmenter
On 26 January 2011, Parmenter was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the food and tourism industries as an event director, author, journalist and broadcaster.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Parmeshwar Godrej

Parmeshwar Godrej (68), wife of Adi Godrej, the chairman of Godrej Industries, is the undisputed hostess with the mostest, the Queen Bee, the A-list socialite. An intrepid collector of the world’s prettiest, most powerful people, she may have Bill Clinton and Richard Gere on her speed dial list and Oprah Winfrey on her guest list; but she is also recognised worldwide for her untiring efforts as an HIV/AIDS activist through her Heroes Project, a national advocacy and communications NGO that has initiated several award-winning HIV awareness campaigns, via print, television, radio, film and multimedia. 
Aishwarya Rai and Parmeshwar Godrej
While the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation became the primary funder for the Avahan programme, an ambitious effort to bring varied NGOs together under one umbrella to work on various aspects of HIV-related work, her efforts have also been recognised by UNAIDS, the Clinton Foundation and other organisations both global and national. She is also committed to working on women and children’s issues beyond HIV, including childhood immunisation, rural development and women’s empowerment.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Basque Smurfs from Bilbo

I am still a bit puzzled by these "Basque Smurfs", a book advertised as: "The Untold Story of the Basque Smurfs'.
I have posted on Smurfs before, but apart from the blue paper this comic is printed on, I see little resemblance of the Smurfs of my youth. But yes, there are a good number of berets in this comic.
The author, Piru, has sold his comics for years through shops in Bilbao at the rate of 4 photocopied sheets for 1 Euro. Now you can buy the whole collection in one piece - a collectors item of sorts, I guess....