In a world replete with me-too glossies telling us to tone up, act sexy and shell out on in-season fashion, Frankie is like a bright shooting star in the night sky – respite from the Gossip Girls and bikini bodies and Hollywood hoo-ha.
Frankie reader Georgie has this to say about her favourite magazine: "as I carefully flip each new page, I anticipate what exciting things will be on the next, hoping and praying that there is no end to this little comfort that distracts me from study".
I imagine that Fanny Brawne did much the same for poet John Keats – distracting him from his writer's angst and ailing health and encouraging him to create. I think we all need a Fanny or a Frankie in our lives – someone to inspire us and hold our hand and believe in us like Wendy and Peter Pan when worldly worries threaten to take away our ability to laugh and play. Frankie is not Jesus – in fact, I'm not sure how Jesus would feel about its overarching theme of unashamed 90s slackerism and frequent f-bombage – but it's still a bright shining star*. These are the top 12 things I like about Frankie this issue:
1. The 'Frank Bits' pages have the same effect on me as going into a Borders store armed with a gift voucher: hello, giddy. So much goodness, what to choose? Each morsel of text and accompanying picture must be appreciated like the layers of a licorice all-sort. And, like a lucky dip (or visit to etsy), you never know what you're going to get (like Miss Bookmaker's vintage notebooks, Little Jane St's handprinted ribbon, a Q&A with Gideon from Joe Gideon and the Shark, Pony Rider's Flowerbomb cushion covers, Happy Helper wine stoppers by The Small Object and the Status Anxiety "Amelie" coin purse).
2. Jason Bateman's self-deprecating comment on being cast in Up in the Air opposite George Clooney: "When cool people invite you to a party, you immediately clear your schedule and lay your outfit out the night before on the bed and get ready to go, and that's what happened here. I've been invited to hang out with the cool kids and I don't want to do anything to get kicked out."
3. Angelique May-Bennett, of fashion label myPetsQuare, in 'Homebodies'. Pretty to look at and pretty darn cool, too – she is an orphan who has bought and renovated five homes. She likes the security of having her own digs with husband Killerwhale and dog Fizzy (names in correct order, I believe). Note Playboy in magazine rack. Interesting.
4. Little Golden Books aplenty, page 34. Nostalgia rating: v. high.
5. Pip Lincolne's Hoop Pin Boards DIY project. Fun! I have a lot of time for Pip in my life. She is the Mary Poppins of craft.
6. 'In the Garden State' is a pretty shoot starring Millicent from Vivien's Models in various floral arrangements and braided hair shot by Amanda Austin on a backdrop of flowery wallpaper. 'Who, What, Wear', shot by James Mills, features model Catherine (@ Priscillas) in cute '60s outfits and some nice black eyeliner work. While Frankie's models always look forlorn and in need of a choc-chip muffin, I think they meld seamlessly into the magazine – like nice curtains.
7. Jason Schwartzman, whose voice stars in the upcoming Mr. Fox, reminds us men have insecurity issues, too: "You know, 10 months ago I was like, what's happening with my life? I'm not doing anything, what does it all mean? And now all this stuff I've made is coming out. Now I'm like, god I hope people like it. What if I suck? What if they think I'm a dick?"
8. 'Language warning' with Benjamin Law. Learn how to say basic phrases in Arabic ("lusty, back-of-throat emphases"), German (Wo ist meine Wurst = where is my sausage?), Hindi ("Think of Bollywood but acapella"), Mandarin (by far the most spoken language in the world today), Spanish ("Hands will become more expressive; eyebrows will be put to use") and Russian ("out-of-control, mind-bogglingly, will-make-you-weep difficult")! Also, this issue, Law educates us in the boganification of homosexuals (and vice versa).
9. The portfolio of Aussie champions of unicycling, highland dancing, air guitar and button accordion. Lina the accordion player leads a fascinating existence (she won the Australasian Championships in 2007). Where does Frankie find these people?
10. The 'Badge of Honour' accessories shoot. Too cute.
11. Global affairs get an airing with Benjamin Law's 'World Issues In a Paragraph'. The GFC, Emissions Trading Scheme, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Proposition 8, Northern Territory Intervention, War in Afghanistan, Tensions With Iran and Asylum Seekers in Australia – each topic is given the "in a nutshell" treatment and a "further reading" list. If aliens were to land on Earth today, this would sum up things nicely for them.
12. And the final bright star – author and illustrator Dalla Clayton talking about the book he created about dreaming big for his son, The Awesome Book, which has now sold 30,000 copies. "It's allowed me to set up my new foundation, The Awesome World Foundation, which donates a book for each copy I sell to a school, or hospital, or charity. The reality is definitely beyond anything I had expected."
*WIN! TICKETS TO SEE BRIGHT STAR THIS WEEKEND!
Some films are just made for sharing with the women in your life, especially if your husband thinks Jane Campion is an Olympic runner.
Bright Star has all the makings of a sophisticated cinematic experience to be discussed at length over a coffee. There's Abbie Cornish, who plays Fanny Brawne, the nextdoor neighbour, muse and romantic interest to Ben Winshaw's ailing poet John Keats; the romance that ensues between them and gives him the will to write as he battles tuberculosis ("Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art..."); and, of course, the period costumes and cinematography, which are no-doubt Oscar-worthy.
If you have no concrete plans for the weekend but would like to partake in a screening of Bright Star, thanks to Hopscotch Films, I have 10 double passes to give away (valid weekend of December 18-20 at participating cinemas).
Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org with details of your Brightest Birthday Ever, name and mailing address and tickets will be popped in the post so you too can be in the GWAS birthday spirit (oops, did I mention it's my birthday tomorrow?)! Make it quick!
Girl With a Satchel