Velvet Was The Night – Silvia Moreno Garcia

Image credits: Del Rey Books

“Maite understood little, but she grasped this: that beneath banal phrases and appeals to the good of the nation something dangerous simmered.”

Velvet Was The Night is an historical novel written by Silvia Moreno Garcia. I love her book Signal to Noise, which I read about seven years ago, and was very excited to read other books by this Mexican-born author.

Both books are set in Mexico; this one is a political noir, as it takes place in 1970s Mexico City at the beginning of what is commonly known as the “Dirty War.”

The story is told in third person and narrated through the point of view of two characters who lead very different lives. Maite is a thirty-year-old woman who enjoys reading romance comics (which, according to the author, were pretty popular in Mexico during those years); she is a secretary at a law firm and her days are lonely. Since she has a somewhat estranged relationship with her mother and sister, she lives by herself and spends non-working days in the company of her comic books and her vinyl records (she has a huge collection of imported vinyls, which I found super interesting, as I am a vinyl collector myself). Her life suddenly turns upside down when her neighbor Leonora vanishes after leaving her cat for Maite to take care of, and the protagonist finds herself involved with political dissidents while trying to solve the mystery of Leonora’s disappearance.


TOP FIVE Favorite Movie Soundtracks On Vinyl (Part I)

Part of my movie soundtrack vinyl collection

When I buy music on vinyl, I usually go for movie soundtracks; I have always been a cinephile, since my grandfather was very passionate about cinema and used to own a massive collection of movies, both on VHS and DVD. His music tastes verged more towards classical composers (Beethoven, Mozart, etc.), but I will talk more about this in a post dedicated to classic music.

Today I wish to make a top-five list about my favorite movie soundtracks on vinyl. It’s been hard to decide which ones to pick because my soundtrack collection has become pretty big over the years, so I think I will write more than one article about it. This is going to be Part I, and I may also write a post on CDs, too.

The soundtrack is one of the essential components of what makes a good movie; moreover, there are certain songs that you hear and they immediately make you think about the movie in which you first discovered them.

The records I’m going to list (in no particular order) are beautiful editions of popular movie soundtracks that I fell in love with and consequentially decided to own in the vinyl format.

1) The Godfather OST: the soundtrack to one of the most famous and beloved movie trilogies produced by Paramount Pictures. The music of the film was composed by Nino Rota and the vinyl record label is Universal Music. This movie score has become one of the most iconic and recognizable of all time; Love Theme from the Godfather is its most famous track and I love to put this record on during a hot summer afternoon, as it creates a perfect atmosphere. I love the Godfather trilogy (it might seem weird because I’m a woman, but I have always been a fan of gangster movies and 007) and I will probably review it on the blog in the not-too-distant future. I bought the vinyl off Amazon; it seemed discontinued at first but then it came back in stock and I was lucky to find a copy. It is a must-have if you collect movie soundtracks!

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Portrait Of A Dog – George (Clooney)

George at lunch time

I have always thought of George, our Pekingese, as a little lion. He’s one of the oldest dogs we have and one of the very first dogs my father’s partner bought.

He is almost eleven years old and he comes from a Pekingese breeding centre on the outskirts of Rome.

When we first met, he was a bit shy but then he started spending the evenings on the couch with me while I was working on my laptop. Having nine dogs, we usually don’t allow them to enter the living room all at once because they would probably destroy it, especially if we aren’t home, but we like to allow one or two dogs at a time to stay with us when we watch TV.

George is the one who is always present in the living room, be it on the couch or the pouf. He loves playing with other dogs (especially with Byron, our Setter Gordon; let’s say he enjoys bossing him around!) but he also likes falling asleep next to us.


Throwback Thursday: My Experience At The Venice International Film Festival – 72nd & 74th Edition

72nd Venice International Film Festival

It’s that time of the year when the Venice International Film Festival (Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica della Biennale di Venezia) takes place.

Held annually in Venice, Italy, it is one of the biggest film festivals worldwide and one of the oldest, since it was founded in 1932.

I studied acting for a few years while working in the fashion industry and I later switched to photography because the whole machine surrounding the business was giving me anxiety and I felt I didn’t love what I was doing anymore; I was more interested in other forms of art, as I wanted to stick with fashion and pursue photography as a hobby and a freelance job.

During those years I had the chance to attend two of the Venice Film Festival editions, both in 2015 and 2017; the first time I was there with a friend who was showcasing an independent film in the Venice Days section (apart from the Official Selection, there are other award categories like Horizons, Lion of the Future and Glory to the Filmmaker Award). The Lido di Venezia (Venice Lido), where the festival takes place, is part of the Venetian lagoon, on the Adriatic sea, which is famous for its golden sand beaches. The highlight of the experience for me was watching the movies; I consider myself a cinephile so it was exciting to see movie previews, especially because some of the ones screened in Venice are usually among the highest-anticipated of the year.