By Abraham Menéndez. December 3, 2012


Abe the Ape. Behind this name with animal appearance hides the thinking and drawing mind of the illustrator and textile designer Abraham Menéndez. Graduated in Advertising and part of the ranks of the IED (Istituto Europeo di Design), this Asturian artist has worked for different labels such as Kling, LaMune, Steve Mono, Moisés Nieto, La Casita de Wendy and Moschino Cheap & Chic, combining all of it with the creation of his personal project, Abe the Ape. From his large experience in front of the TV and the cinema screen he gifts us this myth-adoration selection of videos to make you laugh, cry or scream.


Cyd Charisse
and Fred Astaire hate each other but are doomed to get along. At one point their paths cross: they are strolling through a wonderful papier-mâché Central Park and suddenly –many years before Björk counted steps on her way to the gallows– we can hear that wonderful song by Dietz & Schwartz, Dancing in the dark. A three-way dance by Fred, the beautiful Cyd and Minnelli’s camera in which not only we see the moment in which both our heroes fall in love but it is also the scene in which the spectators fall in love with what they are watching, all fabulously choreographed by Michael Kidd. For me, the best musical in the history of cinema. If Singing in the rain represented the euphoria and optimism felt when reaching the summit, The Band Wagon characterizes the nostalgia and melancholy of the comedown. And all of it complemented with a perfectly closed script, memorable performances and the elegance and evocative beauty that can only be understood in the musicals produced by Metro in the fifties. Cinema with a beauty that does not question its existence, with no pretentions or visible judgments. Which simply happens.




This film has two scenes so good you could cry. First, a scene in which Rosalind Russell, in a poignant and drunken display never seen before, digs up all her repressed sexuality and ends up ripping apart William Holden’s shirt, revealing his naked torso for the pleasure of the audience. The second is the scene I have chosen: Kim Novak is a provincial beauty, like some sort of Miss Bikini but with first-class raw material. Beauty queen of her small town, dreams of escaping all that mediocrity; because Kim is above all banalities and she lets us know in this scene that she is pure sex and well understood erotica. The way she walks down those stairs, how she claps, how she moves her hips, those looks… those breasts squeezed in a Tomahawk bra! In this sequence everything is coitus and orgasm. The year we fell in love with her feline gait.


'I’m a broken woman and I’m only 43'. Something as brutal and devastating could only come from Romy Schneider’s lips. This Austrian with infinite beauty and superlative talent longed so much for happiness that it got away from her. Gored by life, by Alain Delon and by everything one could imagine, only the tragic death of her son ended with all her fortitude (Romy would die ten months later). And that’s where this video with the screen tests for Clouzot’s L’enfer comes in. This never finished film, according to what has been seen, portraits Romy as she was in real life: a ghost. Grace, charm, perfection, appeal and disquieting overflowing sensuality (with music by Bruno Alexiu) which shows that only some ugly guy who wanted to dip his wick could have thought of the saying 'beauty is subjective'.


The story of two losers, a bubbly lift attendant and a puppet social climber wannabe who lends his apartment as bachelor pad for his bosses and superiors with the only intention to achieve a rise that he never gets. Billy Wilder described it as a 'dirty fairy tale' and he had his reasons. You have to be very talented to entertain with what is bitter and grotesque. The final New Year’s Eve scene is unbeatable: Shirley MacLaine  runs like crazy in a long take that makes us part of it in such a way that we want her to reach her destination as fast as she can. But especially that champagne bottle that fools us in a film in which the threat of suicide is always present. And there she is, with foam overflowing. How it withstands the shot! Gushing out with a presence that would make Katherine Hepburn jealous. And the final scene with that poker game and MacLaine getting comfortable as if it were the most natural thing. As if nothing has happened; at the end of the day, that is love. The most hopeful ending that has ever been filmed. Miss MacLaine: I adore you too.


Lansbury is the most charismatic old-young actress that has ever come out from Hollywood. Even when she did The Picture of Dorian Grey –when she was only 20– she seemed like an old lady who was about to open her purse to give you your pocket money. Oddly enough, her physical appearance came to a standstill forty years ago and today she is (almost) a nonagenarian wonderfully preserved in formaldehyde who appears on cool covers thanks to Terry Richardson for The Gentlewoman and who carries on acting on Broadway eight times a week. In her menopausal period she made a series of videos to show how to slow decrepitude down that are a real treasure. While in Spain Concha Velasco advertises incontinence pads, Angie teaches us how to contract the vagina. Goddess!

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