The professor teaches Eliza to speak

Pygmalion was the name of a mythological sculptor who made a statue so beautiful that he begged the gods to bring it to life. Which they did. He called it Galatea. The myth has been worked and reworked over the millennia and still has purchase – Trading Places is a version of the basic idea, so is Damien Chazelle’s breakthrough film Whiplash. In all the best updates there’s a conversation going on in the subtext about appropriate behaviour. When does tough love become abuse? When should the sculptor accept that “his” creation now has a life of its own? It’s all here in this film version from 1938, an adaptation of George Bernard … Read more

My Fair Lady

Wilfrid Hyde White and Audrey Hepburn, plus hat.

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 14 January Cecil Beaton born, 1904 On this day in 1904, Cecil Hardy Beaton was born, in Hampstead, London. This son of a timber merchant was only interested in art from a very early age. Young Beaton was taught to use a camera by his nanny, and went on to spend his life making photographs of one form or another. He studied art, history and architecture at Cambridge University though left without a degree and after a short time trying to work in his father’s business set himself up as a photographer, using his society connections to get him the sittings for … Read more