Thursday, 12 August 2010

Two retro discoveries

Please forgive the odd pairing of the sublime and the ridiculous. The sublime is a classic movie I have inexplicably never seen before, Sunset Boulevard. I don't know why I missed it, I had some idea it was going to be really dull and worthy. In fact it is a fantastic, dark, gothic thriller in a rather Hitchcockian vein, starring the amazing Gloria Swanson, herself of course, a great old Hollywood star. Most of all I loved her crumbling mansion and enigmatic manservant played by Erich von Stroheim. And of course, her spectacular car!

The ridiculous is a tin of Zam-buk ointment, which I bought purely because I loved the classic packaging. When I worked in museums we had some tins of this and I swear it is practically unchanged for a century. I didn't expect it to be a virulent green though. It has an interesting herbal smell. Zam-buk originated in South Africa in the Boer War and has been in mainstream production since 1903. It is an antiseptic pain reliever and was famed for its use in sport. Available in Boots and just about everywhere.

No comments: