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By The Gay UK, Oct 30 2014 01:40PM

Writing in a column in Bloomberg today, Tim Cook, chief exec at Apple has said that he is proud to be gay.





It wasn't a secret that Tim Cook is gay, especially around Silicon Valley, but up until today he hadn't formally come out, in an attempt to maintain some privacy.


In his article he said, 'While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.'


'I don't consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I've benefited from the sacrifice of others," he wrote.


'So if hearing that the CEO [chief executive] of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it's worth the trade-off with my own privacy," he added.


Cook also wrote how being gay gave him more empathy saying, 'Being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day. It’s made me more empathetic, which has led to a richer life. It’s been tough and uncomfortable at times, but it has given me the confidence to be myself, to follow my own path, and to rise above adversity and bigotry. It’s also given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you’re the CEO of Apple.'




By The Gay UK, Oct 30 2014 09:20AM

Premiums for male motorists have risen by almost double that of females compared to this time last year.



Fiesta
Fiesta

- Car insurance premium prices up in Q3 2014 vs Q3 2013 – first year on year rise since 2011 peak


- MoneySuperMarket urges drivers to compare insurers to find the best deal for them


Male motorists have been hit the hardest by rising car insurance prices, as year-on-year their premiums have increased by 3.2 per cent, almost double the 1.8 per cent increase for women, according to the latest analysis from MoneySuperMarket.


The UK's number one comparison site analysed 55 million car insurance quotes run on the site between April 2010 and September 2014, and found the average premium for male drivers has increased £14 from £425 in Q3 2013, to £439 on average this year. This compares to a £6 increase for women, with cover now costing £360, up from £354.


This is despite the ECJ gender neutral ruling coming into force in December 2012. This prevents insurers charging men and women different amounts purely on the basis of their gender.


Overall, car insurance premiums are up across the board when looking at Q3 premiums for all drivers, over the last three years. Premiums were flying high in Q3 2011, with a peak average price of £512 a year. This fell steadily – dropping to £456 on average in Q3 2012, and bottoming out at a wallet-friendly £394 in Q3 2013. This year has sadly seen the first premium price increase for all drivers, with overall premiums rising to £401 for annual cover at the end of September.


Kevin Pratt, Car Insurance Expert at MoneySuperMarket said: “Premium prices do fluctuate, and while we've been in a deflationary market for car cover for the last few years, costs are now creeping back up. What is surprising is that, despite the fact that gender neutral pricing has been in place in the car insurance market for several years, it turns out that men are still paying more. Insurers look at a wide range of factors when calculating premiums, such as postcode, profession, make of vehicle, driving history and points on a licence. Clearly, for whatever reasons, men are registering higher when it comes to insurer risk profiling, and they're paying more than women as a result.


“For car insurance, the key message is always to keep an eye on your renewal premium, and always to shop around and seek out the best possible deal for your circumstances. With premium prices currently trending upwards, it is even more important to make sure you aren't paying over the odds on your renewal.”



By The Gay UK, Oct 30 2014 09:20AM

Premiums for male motorists have risen by almost double that of females compared to this time last year.



Fiesta
Fiesta

- Car insurance premium prices up in Q3 2014 vs Q3 2013 – first year on year rise since 2011 peak


- MoneySuperMarket urges drivers to compare insurers to find the best deal for them


Male motorists have been hit the hardest by rising car insurance prices, as year-on-year their premiums have increased by 3.2 per cent, almost double the 1.8 per cent increase for women, according to the latest analysis from MoneySuperMarket.


The UK's number one comparison site analysed 55 million car insurance quotes run on the site between April 2010 and September 2014, and found the average premium for male drivers has increased £14 from £425 in Q3 2013, to £439 on average this year. This compares to a £6 increase for women, with cover now costing £360, up from £354.


This is despite the ECJ gender neutral ruling coming into force in December 2012. This prevents insurers charging men and women different amounts purely on the basis of their gender.


Overall, car insurance premiums are up across the board when looking at Q3 premiums for all drivers, over the last three years. Premiums were flying high in Q3 2011, with a peak average price of £512 a year. This fell steadily – dropping to £456 on average in Q3 2012, and bottoming out at a wallet-friendly £394 in Q3 2013. This year has sadly seen the first premium price increase for all drivers, with overall premiums rising to £401 for annual cover at the end of September.


Kevin Pratt, Car Insurance Expert at MoneySuperMarket said: “Premium prices do fluctuate, and while we've been in a deflationary market for car cover for the last few years, costs are now creeping back up. What is surprising is that, despite the fact that gender neutral pricing has been in place in the car insurance market for several years, it turns out that men are still paying more. Insurers look at a wide range of factors when calculating premiums, such as postcode, profession, make of vehicle, driving history and points on a licence. Clearly, for whatever reasons, men are registering higher when it comes to insurer risk profiling, and they're paying more than women as a result.


“For car insurance, the key message is always to keep an eye on your renewal premium, and always to shop around and seek out the best possible deal for your circumstances. With premium prices currently trending upwards, it is even more important to make sure you aren't paying over the odds on your renewal.”



By The Gay UK, Oct 30 2014 08:39AM

Things look to be hotting up between Johnny Carter and Ben on Eastenders - but Ben has something to tell Johnny.




Oh we want this to happen - quite badly, but it looks as though Johnny (Sam Strike) is going to get the 'I'm not gay' treatement from Ben (Harry Reid) this week on Eastenders.




The pair have been getting close but during a Halloween party at the Queen Vic Johnny and Ben have a moment, and a furious Ben tells Johnny in no uncertain terms that he isn't one of the boys.


So our Johnny may have to wait just a little longer for love.





By The Gay UK, Oct 29 2014 03:06PM

Just as Maggie is about to fill her mouth with enough pills to ensure she shakes off her mortal coil, she gets a telephone call from a Nurse in a Hospital E.R. room telling her that Milo her twin brother has just attempted suicide. The news means that she puts her own plans on hold and flies out to L.A. to visit her sibling that she hasn't spoken too for the past 10 years.

By Roger Walker-Dack | 29th October 2014



The Skeleton Twins
The Skeleton Twins

Milo is just out of another failed relationship and cannot get an Agent, let alone an acting job, so is suffering from depression. Maggie on the other hand is a dental hygienist who is unhappily married to the sweet gregarious Lance who doesn't suspect for one moment that his wife is as miserable as sin. When the twins meet in the hospital neither discuss their own predicaments and they cover their awkwardness at being together with funny banter like they shared in their childhood.


Despite their estrangement Maggie persuades Milo to come back home with her to upstate New York to recuperate but it turns out that she also wants him to be a buffer with Lance and her marriage. There is a clue as to how the twins reached this level of dissatisfaction with life when they have a surprise visit from their annoying new-age mother who had abandoned them long ago after their father had taken his own life.  

The Skeleton Twins
The Skeleton Twins

As part of trying to re-adjust to living in his old hometown Milo plays a visit to his old English teacher with whom he had an inappropriate relationship with he was the man's pupil. Rich now has a live-in girlfriend and a teenage son but it doesn't stop him sleeping with Milo again which messes with both of their heads. Maggie meanwhile has taken to trying all sorts of classes to learn new skills... the current one is scuba diving... and she inevitably sleeps with each instructor before moving on again. Lance is blissfully unaware of anything going on under his roof and thinks that he and Maggie are trying to have a baby, where instead of being upfront with how she feels, is secretly taking birth control pills. When he discovers the truth and Maggie discovers that Milo has been seeing Rick again, all hell finally lets loose. The one thing the siblings now realise is that they are capable of hurting each other like no-one else can.


This terrific acutely written piece about two tortured souls trying to valiantly cope with the lives that they have ended up with is a sheer joy mainly because of the effusive humour that prevails throughout the whole piece. Directed and part-written by Craig Johnson who cut his teeth on the mumble-core hit 'True Adolescents' that starred Mark Duplass - who turns up here with his brother Jay as Producers. What elevates the movie from a run-of-the-mill melodrama are the shockingly good performances from two ex SNL alumni Kirsten Wiig and Bill Hader whose familiarity with each other helped them create the most perfect chemistry as the siblings. We know from her previous roles such as in the blockbuster 'Bridesmaids' that Ms Wiig is a very talented actress but Hader's performance as a confused gay man was so pitch perfect and such a delight. You would have to be made of stone not to be in aisles laughing at the hilarious sight of the pair of them outrageously lip-syncing to the 80's disco hit 'Nothing's Going To Stop Me Now'.





The Skeleton Twins
The Skeleton Twins


They are supported by Luke Wilson playing it straight as the cuckolded Lance, Joanna Gleason in an all-too-small cameo role as the ridiculously annoying mother, and Ty Burrell getting as far way from possible from his usual role on Modern Families to give a beautifully understated performance as the ex-school teacher Rich.


For a story that starts with two failed suicide attempts, this turns out to be an incredible funny and touching movie that I highly recommend.







By The Gay UK, Oct 29 2014 02:37PM

There is a photograph in a grid. Taken in the harsh yet flattering light of a locker room. You click on the picture and then read the shopping list.

By Richard Glen | 29th October 2014



''Vers''

''Under 40''

''Smooth''

''Muscle''

''Neg Guys only''


And then there is it; the three word clause, so common as to be almost a default mantra of the hook up app profile;


''No Time Wasters''


You do a quick sum and calculate the amount of time it will take to travel the 1.2km it says he is away. Hey, you may be horny but you're busy too and can only spare an hour. Two max.


So please don't waste my time.


We know just what those words on the phone screen mean. Showering and douching for the fit muscle guy a couple of streets away that never shows. The chain of hot cock pictures that abruptly goes cold. In order to secure a casual Sunday afternoon hungover f**k, we write it on the list. When you encounter yet another one; curse those f'king apps and I AM gonna delete all them this time for definite; it becomes another piece of evidence to pluck out and present how all gay men are shit.


So we write it down. If only to save ourselves from minor irritation. After all that half an hour spent negotiating could have been invested in a hot bloke who followed through. It's annoying isn’t it... Every gay man can swap war stories of the casual time waster that's inconvenienced him, the ones who don't show up, the guy that didn't text back.


Much has been documented about the ''Together Alone'' nature of social media and how isolating the faux intimacy of virtual relationships can be. There is something brutal about how the Grindr and Scruff's of the online world at their most ruthlessly efficient can pare interaction down to the bare minimum. Why spend half a day traveling into the city to engage in drinks 'n small talk with a good looking potential conquest when one can in theory be naked with a like minded individual in the vicinity via the exchange of a few messages?


At a time when we are told we work on average far longer hours than our parent's generation, it's hardly surprising that more so than ever time has become a currency not to be squandered. In the prehistoric pre web days, quick casual sex was the domain of the scuzzier gentlemen's toilet and public park cottages. Now though, due to health fears, the risk of law and advances in portable technology, sex on the doorstep has become infinitely more convenient. Not unlike putting in a grocery order online. Witness the amount of gay businessmen away from home who reach for the smart phone and check out who's nearby barely a split second after the hotel room door is shut.


It's true that No Time Wasters has become a hook up app cliché but it's there though because phones and laptops have made us increasingly impatient and searching for what's instant. No matter how small the investment we've made with that currency.




By The Gay UK, Oct 29 2014 01:49PM

For those of you who don't know David Allison, he’s a high flyer, literally as he works for one of the top airlines, he's a social media personality, making people laugh on both Facebook and Twitter, and he's also a fundraiser. Every other year he takes part in a fundraising cycle ride over in the States to raise both awareness and much needed funds for AIDS research and support and has fun and lycra chaffing to prove it. As he prepares for the upcoming 2015 event, I managed to catch up with him to find out more about the event, and his fundraising to date:

By Chris Jones | 29th October 2014



David Allison
David Allison

How and when did you become involved?

A friend of mine put a link on Facebook for sponsorship back in 2010. I donated to his fundraising and followed it up with a message to wish him luck. Following that conversation he asked me “why don’t you do it too?”. I gave it some serious thought for a few days and thought ‘why not?!’ I had to change around some annual leave at work and once that was in place I simply signed up. Now I find myself training for my 3rd AIDS LifeCycle. My aim is to do it every other year due to the logistics and time off required. So far I’ve done 2011, 2013 and now training for 2015. Next year’s ride will be even more special as I’ve now been certified as a Training Ride Leader by ALC.


From all the charities out there, why this one?

Being a gay man (not that I am restricting those affected by HIV to one group or another) I have friends that are either directly affected by HIV or involved in Fundraising for HIV charities. No matter who it affects, it is a worth while cause. We have to make a difference in the world however we can. There are many charities, many fundraising efforts and many heroes. We each have to do our bit to help. We should all strive to be the best version of ourselves and share the love.



David Allison
David Allison

How do you prepare for this event?

My first year I didn’t even own a bike! Once I had all the necessary equipment I just began cycling as much as I could fit into my week, my month, my year. Someone once told me “do a LOT of hill training” and oh how right they were. Some of these hills (I’m tempted to say “mountains") even have names such as ’The Evil Twins’ and ‘Quadbuster’… I rest my case.


Because of my job and the fact I don’t always have access to a bike I utilise whatever I can to train. This usually meant lots of training in hotel gyms. I do recall spending 8 hours on a hotel gym bike once; I had a bag of food and bottles of water/sports drinks and I just got peddling whilst everyone else was sunning themselves by the pool. It was so un-glam, but by the end I had buns of steel so firm you could break a diamond on them.


I also own a ‘Turbo Trainer’ which allows me to attach my own bike to a prop which has a roller on the back, essentially allowing me to train on my own bike at home. The great thing about this is you can train indoors when the weather isn’t so great, watch TV and get your backside accustomed to your saddle, which trust me, NEEDS to happen.



David Allison
David Allison

Talk us through some of the things that happen along the road - and keep it clean, or not!

Being a fully supported ride there are scheduled rest stops and water stops every so many miles. Each and every stop has a theme, Roadies dress up, food and water stands are decorated and there is just a general theme of fun and hilarity. You’ll even find interesting things to read in the portaloos! At certain points of the ride there will be entertainment; again provided by the roadies. It’s simple touches like this that can keep your spirits elevated.


One of the most motivating things apart from roadies and fellow cyclists have to be random strangers cheering you on at any given time; the toot of a horn, the ring of a bell or even a whole school of children coming out to cheer you on are real energisers.


My favourite day has to be ‘Red Dress day’ for a number of reasons; firstly because we get to dress up and secondly because it’s the shortest day at only 42 miles. This day was originally called ‘Dress Red day” but you know what happens when you get a bunch of gay guys and gals together! The purpose of this day was to emulate a huge AIDS ribbon cycling the route.


Camping can bring about some interesting stories I’m sure, personally I’m too exhausted to think about anything other than having a shower, eating and getting to bed. You’ve not lived until you’ve had a shower in a truck specifically designed for the purpose! 


Each night in camp after you’ve joined the line for food (which is served to you by more awesome roadies) there are speeches, videos and pictures. Each night you are reminded of the day you’ve just completed, whether that be pictures taken by riders or video interviews of the people you are helping with your fundraising or sometimes even a musical guest or two. There are guaranteed to be laughs, tears and some heartwarming stories. Then it’s time for a hot chocolate and to hit the sack. I usually get up at 5am each morning and am on the road by about 6am ready to spend around 10 hours in the saddle. Trust me when I say that I make up for all these early nights and good behaviour when I get to LA as it’s Pride the day after the finish *insert cheeky grin*.


What’s the atmosphere like on this race? Who does it attract in terms of other participants?

Firstly it’s not a race, don’t get me wrong there are some competitive people out there but for many it’s just a chance to be able to make a difference and cycle all 545 miles. As far as the demographic I can honestly say the AIDS LifeCycle attracts every single creed, colour, sexual orientation, size and fitness capability. It’s like a rainbow flag of people, every colour and each one as bright and as beautiful as the last. 



David Allison and Family
David Allison and Family

What experiences have you had along the road?

Each year the town of Bradley (population 120) parks their school bus on the outskirts of the town welcoming riders. When you cycle into Bradley there is a huge sense of love and community. They have a BBQ stand selling burgers to riders to raise money for their school and the children wearing official ALC T-shirts. It makes you think if a small town like this can be accepting of this cause then why can’t others?


When people said to me that this ride would be life changing, they were right. Apart from fellow cyclists, the ride gives you the most amazing time for reflection. You are quite often riding roads that are simply in the middle of nowhere, facing the most mountainous of hills, breathtaking of views or just your own thoughts. It is a great opportunity for thinking about the way you live your life, the people you’re helping or how you can do things better. This ride literally fills you up with love for the human spirit. This reflection culminates in camp on the last night. After dinner there is a candlelight vigil on the beach. As Sofia from The Golden Girls would say “picture it..." 2000 people, each holding a candle yet sitting in silence. It can put you at peace, make you cry or just be happy to be alive and marvel in the accomplishment of your week. It is without doubt one of the most spiritual experiences; so much so I believe it fills you with energy for the last day. I don’t know where it comes from but the energy I feel when cycling those last few miles to the finish line is purely electric.


The single most memorable moment of my two ALC rides has to be last year when my Mum surprised me at the finish line. Bearing in mind the longest flight she has ever done would be around 4 hours; to have her there cheering me on was just immeasurable. Thankfully someone took at video of it as it all happened so fast. I have always been fortunate to have my American friends and work colleagues at the finish but to have her there was just awesome… and yes… there were tears.


And finally, where can we donate?

You can donate directly to my fundraising efforts here www.tofighthiv.org/goto/davidallison and may I say a huge thank you in advance.


Previously I’ve blogged en route but this time around I’m going to do it in video format via Instagram, if you’d like to follow along you can do so here www.instagram.com/dfa73 


What can I say? This guy is an inspiration - to take to two wheels and cycle this distance, raise funds for charity and also have fun doing it with a bunch of like minded individuals is one heck of a feat. The images David provided from previous events shows that this is hard work - but that everyone pulls together to make it an event to remember for these taking part, and that it raises as much as possible for these worthwhile causes.


If you can, donate - and follow David on his Instagram feed, following the link above.


For those of us who haven’t heard of Aids Lifecycle, can you give us some background


(Taken directly from the ALC website)  "AIDS/LifeCycle is a fully supported, 7-day bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise money and awareness in the fight against HIV/AIDS. AIDS/LifeCycle 2015 will take place May 31st through June 6th, 2015. Every year, this landmark ride through beautiful California delivers a life-changing experience for thousands of participants from all backgrounds and fitness levels united by a common desire to do something heroic.”


ALC usually has around 2000 participants and around 500-600 Roadies who support the cyclists and the team. Collectively this year’s ride raised over $15million USD. Each participant commits to raising $3000; this money goes directly to the charities (San Francisco AIDS foundation and LA LGBT Centre). Costs such as flights, hotels pre/post ride etc are paid for by the individual rider. That said, through the week we are fully taken care of by the ALC team; we camp in tents which are provided by ALC as are food, hydration, medical professionals, bike technicians to name a few. ALC is such a massive undertaking each year; I sometimes think the cyclists have the easy job because as you’re cycling or getting ready to ride there are a team of Roadie’s getting up earlier to serve breakfast or setting up that next rest stop. While you’re riding the whole ‘village’ is being transported to the next camp.


Both the San Francisco AIDS foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Centre provide numerous services such as testing, support, education, research and nutritional advice etc. These centres are a lifeline for many, many people who ordinarily wouldn’t have access to help. These organisations make a huge difference in people’s lives and in some cases it literally saves them.


You can find a ton of information about the ride at www.aidslifecycle.org 






By The Gay UK, Oct 28 2014 10:46AM

The Bourbon Room is the hottest club on the Sunset Strip, being the epitome of rock ‘n’ roll excess. Run by Dennis and Lonny, the club finds itself under threat from an over-eager property developer and so tries to raise money by staging a farewell gig by Arsenal, the biggest rock band around, fronted by the charismatic Stacee Jaxx. Meanwhile, bar tender Drew craves to be on stage and Sherrie, who is just a small-town girl, arrives in LA to chase her dreams. Drew and Sherrie fall in love, but neither quite say it, so when Stacee Jaxx comes between them and the club is about to be pulled down, can Rock ‘n’ Roll win through?

By Paul Szabo | 28th October 2014

★★★



Rock Of Ages
Rock Of Ages

This jukebox musical was crammed full with a truckload of guilty pleasure soft rock classics, including “We Built This City”, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”, “Just Like Livin’ in Paradise”, “Here I Go Again”, “Wanted Dead or Alive” and “Don’t Stop Believin’”, with the musical numbers coming thick and fast, accompanied by the live band a scantily clad ensemble.



Rock Of Ages
Rock Of Ages

Ben Richards, as Stacee Jaxx, was criminally underused, but spent most of his time making the audience swoon as he stripped to the waist and swaggered around the stage. Cameron Sharp stole many scenes as the camp German, Franz, and treated the audience by displaying his thighs which would make a pro-rugby player jealous. Noel Sullivan exceeded expectations as Drew and Cordelia Farnwoth was a versatile lead. But the energy and enthusiasm of Stephen Rahman-Hughes as Lonny, the comedic narrator, made him stand out from the remainder of the cast.


The stage was busy and detailed, combining a static background, video projection and moveable props, all complimented by some well-designed lighting. The live band was good, and the balance between music and vocals were about right. The costumes reflected the stonewashed denim and excessive lace of the era, but the choreography and dancing could have been tighter than it was.



Rock Of Ages
Rock Of Ages

Rock of Ages is energetic, bold, brash, loud and in your face – reflective of the rock movement at the time – and nestles neatly between being an affectionate tongue in cheek tribute to the times and a knowing, self –mocking piece of fun with an abundance of flesh on display and a playful feel to it. It amounts to a generally fun but throwaway piece of musical theatre which was lapped up by the crowd and the finale garnered whoops and cheers, bringing everyone to their feet and singing along.


Rock of Ages is currently playing at Sheffield Lyceum Theatre until Saturday 1st November 2014, before rounding off its national tour. For more detail, visit the official website at: www.rockofagesmusical.co.uk/





By The Gay UK, Oct 27 2014 08:36PM

The directorial debut of GIa Coppola, Palo Alto is an exploration of high school teenagers experimentations with sex, drugs, and alcohol, and it's an impressive debut.

★★★★



Coppola, granddaughter of Francis Ford Coppola and niece of Sofia Coppola and Nicholas Cage, turns James Franco's book of the same name into a gritty yet honest movie of a bunch of teenagers in a Palo Alto, California High School. Franco's book was a series of stories, and Coppola's film links them up beautifully to create a film that flows, with characters who we could all relate to.


April (an amazing Emma Roberts) is the class virgin. April's popular amongst her peers and is a star soccer player. She is also being chased by her creepy soccer coach Mr. B., whom she babysits for (Franco, in one of his best roles in years). But Mr. B. just doesn't like April, he also 'likes' other girls at the school - he's a pedophile.


Meanwhile, Teddy (Jack Kilmer), and Fred (Nat Wolff) are the best of friends, yet it's Fred unpredictable behaviour that at times becomes explosive and dangerous. And Teddy has a huge crush on April, and he is unaware of her relationship with Mr. B.


Zoe Levin plays Emily. She's basically the school slut, and sleeps with Fred. Teddy, taking a page from Fred's book, is caught drunk driving and has to perform community service, in a library where Fred visits and proceeds to deface a book. Throw in a mix of more parties and more romances and what you have is a teenage high school film that is made for grownups.


Coppola gives us a film that is seen through the eyes of the teenagers; their angst, their anxiety, semi-innonence, boredom and excitement. It's a movie that feels real, with performances to match. Roberts, niece of Julia, was the perfect choice for the role of April. She's 23 years old but in the film looks like she's 16. Kilmer (son of actor Val Kilmer, who has a cameo in the film as a stoned-out stepfather), is also very good as Teddy, tight friends with Fred yet trying to win April's affections. And Franco is perfect as the lecherous soccer coach - his guilty smile and glint in his eyes says it all - he's very handsome yet very dangerous. Franco trusted his book to Coppola to turn it into a movie, and she does a fantastic job. Not bad for a first-timer. Francis Ford and Sofia Coppola should watch their back, another Coppola family member is on the way up.


by Tim Baros




By The Gay UK, Oct 27 2014 08:23PM

A young graduate working on a history project bought a suitcase full of photographic negatives in a Chicago auction hoping that one or two them maybe useful in his research. However what John Maloof discovered that day in 2007 was a treasure trove of what is undoubtedly one on the finest collection of street photography ever made. They all turned out to be the work of one person a Vivian Maier, someone so totally unknown there wasn't a single mention of her on Google or any other Internet search engine.

★★★★★



A curious Maloof turned detective and his painstaking research helped him very gradually put together a picture of this mystery genius and at the same time discover and purchase even more of her work. Vivian Maier had been born in New York in 1929 and had then spent much of her childhood in France before returning to Chicago where she worked for almost 40 years as a Nanny. Every new discovery Maloof made about the unknown Maier was a shocking revelation as very few of the people she had worked for had any sense that this extremely odd woman they had hired to look after their offspring was a prolific obsessed photographer with such a remarkable eye. It seems most of her young charges knew as Nanny Maier dragged them through the seamier rough spots of the city clutching her camera looking for subjects as part of their daily constitutional.


As Maloof pieced together Maier's story like a jigsaw what emerged was a picture of a very eccentric loner and a compulsive hoarder who was an immensely private person. It's only when he traces her steps in France does he discover that Maier knew that she was talented but apart from a brief correspondence with one printer did she ever talk about letting people see her work. The fact that news of the discovery of the 100000 plus negatives and the 700 plus undeveloped rolls of film had gone viral, there were still doubters from the people who new Maier that she would have ever wanted this worldwide fame and recognition.




This new documentary that Maloof wrote and directed, along with writer/producer Charlie Siskel, is exceptional for two distinct reasons. Firstly the very human story about this rather bizarre woman who was described as being 'so awesomely unique' and 'a very closed cold person' and who ended up losing one job with the mother explaining to her child 'Vivian has got a little too crazy even for us'. The reminisces of the people who knew her are riveting and poignant. And then there is this whole superb body of work which is so exceptionally wonderful it stuns you into silence at times. Howard Greenberg a leading NY Gallerist who holds exhibitions of her work claims that no other photographer's work has ever generated this much interest in his time.


Credit to Maloof on several counts. Not only for recognising the significance of his find, and for his sheer doggedness and determination to 'finding' Vivian Maier, but also for the impressive way he put this all together in this, his first ever movie.


There are so many components of this story that will keep you wondering and wanting to know more. Like why would this aggressively shy person produce so many ingenious portraits of herself that she could have been credited as being the creator of the ubiquitius selfie?


Unmissable : and you will want to see it at least twice.





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