Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring Blossoms

In my end of the world spring comes when the cherry blossoms and magnolia trees are in bloom. This week I drove home one evening with the world still wearing it's winter robe, and drove to work the next morning with an explosion of flowering trees around me. Chinese cherry blossom, Japanese cherry blossoms,  and magnolia trees all around me, a symphony of pink now surrounds me everywhere I go.

Spring is bittersweet for me these days. Our springs are very short and soon in mid May will come the hot, humid, hell of our summers. The world will turn various shades of green soon enough. 

Our blossoms of spring remind us how fragile life is. They bloom, they peak, and very soon will fall and carpet the ground around us with their pink flowers. 

This year our Japanese Cherry Blossoms remind us of the suffering of our fellow human beings.  To donate to Japan earthquake and tsunami relief click HERE.

*photos from Smithsonian website.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Results of FanstRAvaganza Polls

Below are the results of the two FanstRAvaganza polls.

Poll #1 - Best/Favorite Kissing Scene:

Winner  37% of the Vote

John Mulligan - "Moving On"

Second Place with 30% of the vote

Dr. Alec Track - "The Golden Hour

Third Place with 26% of the Vote

Ian Macalwain - "Ultimate Force" 

Poll #2 - Favorite Armitage Expression

Winner with 43% of the Vote

"I adore you"

Second Place with 28% of the Vote

"I'm not believing a word you say"

Third Place with 17% of the vote

"I don't believe you just said that"

A big "Thank You" to everyone who voted

Monday, March 21, 2011

"The Armitage" Revisited and Last Day of FanstRAvaganza

As my last post for FanstRAvaganza2 I wanted to revisit my earlier post on Richard Armitage's profile, and more specifically his marvelous nose. 

(As one of the comments mentioned, maybe RA would not be happy with us talking about his nose, but I hope if by some miracle he does visit my blog, that he knows it's because he has a beautiful nose.)

I asked for comments on a new definition for his nose since none of the definitions of nose types (Aquiline, Greek, Straight) seemed to fit his unique profile. I'll summarize below the very helpful and interesting comments from that blog post, as well as comments received privately. At the end I'll attempt to put all ideas together and come up with a definition of " The Armitage Nose".

To read the previous post and all the comments click on the link:

1.  The nose is more Greek thank Aquiline, though Aquiline is more literary (Mesmered), and maybe a particular type of Greek nose (Grecian, Doric, or Hellenic? ) (Mulubinba).  

Greek Nose 

Greek Male Sculpture

 Aquiline Nose

2.   Maybe more Roman than Greek (CDoart) making him look more interesting and appealing.  Sort of an Aquiline/Lite (Judiang).

Roman Nose - Emperor Trajan

Roman Coin - Caesar

3.  Or maybe the nose is more Aristo/Plantagenet (Fitzg), and since Richard III was the last of the Plantagenet kings and Richard Armitage was named after him, and has an interest in producing a film or TV series based on the real story, this is a good match.

Henry V

Richard III

Richard the 1st in our Hearts

4.  I did get an additional suggestion that maybe it was more of a French nose. A Gallic nose perhaps? Along with a photo of Napoleon Bonaparte's death mask.  (Napoleon was born in Corsica of Italian ancestry, but also had a prominent nose).  I found an illustration of Henry I of England, born in France, also as an example of the French nose.

Napoleon's Death Mask

Napoleon Bonaparte

Charles I of England

Charles V of France

5.  His nose may also be described as Native American (Avalon). 

 Henry Roman Nose

6.   I think we can all agree that he has a wonderful profile, beautiful nose included (Jonia, Joanna)! That his chin harmonizes with his nose (OneMoreLurker). It is the epitome of masculinity (Summer) , and breathtakingly unique (Bccmee).  His 3/4 profile is perfect (Ricrar).

So in conclusion, the new definition of -

 "The Armitage Nose":

A long aristocratic nose with elements of Aquiline, Gallic, Greek, and Roman, and notes of Plantagenet Kings and Native American tones.  Often described as breathtakingly unique and beautiful and the epitome of masculinity. A harmony of chin and nose, the result is a perfect profile.


Check out the other bloggers participating in FanstRAvaganza2. You can find the links on the right hand side column.

I'll post the results of the two polls on Wednesday.  I don't always post about Richard Armitage, but I hope you will come back and visit my blog in the future. 

Thank you to those who contributed to the first post, I greatly appreciate your help and contributions:

Thank you everyone who visited! I appreciate and love your comments and participation. 

Muchas Gracias, Much Thanks to the organizers of FanstRAvaganza 2  for all their efforts and for asking me to participate this year.  Thank you to my fellow bloggers for a fabulous week!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Look of Love

"...Seriously, you look at the person, think of them in the most desirable way you can and then suppress the desire to do anything about it. There are many ways to smoulder..." Richard Armitage, The (London) Independent, December 2, 2004

Imagine a man looking at a woman with burning passion, desire and adoration.  When you look at his eyes and the expression on his face you know this is the woman of his dreams.  But imagine you must look at someone that way that you’ve only met ten minutes ago, or even someone you don’t particularly like.  It is the job of the actor to create this dream world for us, to look at another actor and create that illusion.  Then comes the close up and the actor may be alone looking at the cold lens of the camera with the look of love.

We have all seen love scenes on film that make us believe, but we’ve also seen scenes when we feel there is no chemistry between the two actors.  What makes Richard Armitage special to me is that every single time, even when the female acting partner is not right for the role, or not as skilled an actor, I know there will come that moment when I’ll see the look in his eyes and believe that his character’s passion and love is true. 

(click on the images below to see a larger version)

The fascination of what he can do with his eyes and eyebrows and the muscles on his face is that he can convey more than smolder.  With his eyes and slight turn of his face he can range from deep affection, to desire, to regret, in a few seconds on screen. The emotions we register from him always feel true.

There are moments when the look and the arrangement of his cheeks and chin, and position of his face, can almost make him look like a different person per second on screen. We read the subtle changes as a flow of barely contained emotions from John Thornton as he becomes aware of Margaret's love for him in North and South.

At times the look of  love can be mixed with uncertainty. In the caps below the character of Guy of Gisborne in Robin Hood goes from hope to uncertainty to hope. Even when his back is turned away from the object of his love, Marian, his eyes and face clearly show he's aware of her every word and every move. Will she show him gratitude and love in return, or will she betray him again? 

Sometimes the look is not bold and direct, but shy and tentative at first.  We see an example of this in The Golden Hour. A man like Alec Track, secure in his skills as a doctor, but shy and insecure about his status with the woman he loves. 

Sometimes it's not his eyes that convey deep emotion, but the movement of his face, profile, and hands.  Below we see another scene with the two doctors in love, as he first holds her and then comforts her in a protective way by completely surrounding her with his face and hands,   

The scene below from Spooks Season 8 show Lucas North and Sarah Caulfield together at a turning point in their romantic relationship.  More than any words I can say, or indeed either character says in this scene,  Lucas' (Richard Armitage) facial expressions clearly lets us know he's fallen in love.  

What do you think about Richard Armitage's ability to make us believe in the "look of love"?

**Check out Phylly3's post on the same subject :)

*caps thanks to and my own caps.

 FanstRAvaganza participating blogs are listed below. Enjoy

and me of course:

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Flicker of Expression (and Poll)

"I try to be quite a detailed actor. People were really picking up on that. Even if it was just a flicker of the eye or something, they got it."  Richard Armitage,  The Sunday Times, April 30, 2006

I love the attention Richard Armitage gives to each character he plays, no matter how little or how much time he has on screen. I especially love the combination of his eyebrows and eyes working together to form just the perfect Armitage expression of anger, sadness, passion, or joy. 

I know I have my favorite Armitage Expressions, but I want to know what everyone else thinks about them.  So here are your choices below, and as usual, the poll is on the right hand column.

Pick a favorite Armitage Expression from the choices below (poll on the right):

1.  The "I don't believe you just said that" look:

2.   The "I'm not believing a word you say" look:

3.   The "I adore you" look:

4.  The "Whatever happens, don't laugh" look:

5.   The "Yes, I'm a cad, so what of it" look:

The poll will close on Monday, March 21.

Don't forget the "Favorite Kissing Scene" poll also on the right hand column!

To celebrate the weekend and to take a look back at where we started here on FanstRAvaganza week, a few more photos of RA's handsomely gorgeous face:

*Photos and caps thanks to and RichardArmitageOnline.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Hello Richard, Can you Hear Me Now?

I always wonder how actors manage to make those phone scenes believable. I mean in reality there is really no one on the other end of the conversation, but they have to make us believe that they're really having a conversation or a conflict.  We as the audience of course can often see the two sides of the conversation, but the actor is either alone with the phone prop, or having someone off camera reading the other person's lines, or if they're very lucky the actor on the other side of the call is standing behind the camera doing their part of the conversation. But still, has to be difficult to make it believable.

I think Richard Armitage has had more than his share of scenes when he's talking on the phone and having to do some quite emotional scenes.  I think he's amazingly good at making us believe this conversation or confrontation is truly happening. You can see how his eyes especially change depending on how the conversation unfolds, and make us believe he's listening to what the characters on the other end have to say for the very first time.  He also manages to do it in character and to look quite good when he does.

While looking through photos and caps of RA on the phone I was happy to find several  of him talking on  land lines. There's a lack of mobility for the actor when tied to a phone on a desk or a table. But again he manages not only to make the conversation believable, but also to give the sense of the character and the emotion of the moment. 

*screencaps thanks to and RichardArmitageOnline

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Poll: Best Kissing Scene

Richard Armitage is a master of the screen kiss. I think no actor on TV or the big screen today can come even close.  How does he do it? How does he make us feel the kiss when we're watching him through the screen?

I thought I would do a poll on a few of Richard's kissing scenes and see which one ends up being the favorite, or the best.  But, to have a fair poll, I really couldn't include the train station kiss on North and South, or Sir Guy kissing Marian, or the "close your eyes" scene on I've selected a few of his other maybe less well known screen kisses.

Based on screen kissing technique, select the best scene or the one that's your favorite.

Below is a video of each scene, and on the right hand column is the poll. You have until March 20 to select your answer.  I'll post the results on the last day of FanstRAvaganza.

1.  John Mulligan:  Scene from "Moving On":

2.  Alec Track:  Scene from "The Golden Hour":

3.  Ian Macalwain: Scene from "Ultimate Force":

4.  Lee: Scene from "Cold Feet":

I hope you will also comment and share the reasons for your selection.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Richard Armitage: That Profile! Part 2

Richard Armitage: That Profile!  Part 2

“It’s quite funny – no, it’s hilarious to be considered a sex symbol. In school I was a beanpole with a nose I hadn’t grown into.”  Richard Armitage,, May 30, 2010

Can we describe his lovely long nose as Aquiline or Roman?

Below are descriptions of three types of noses:

The Roman or Aquiline Nose: This type of nose is convex in shape, like a hook. It is also known as 'hooknose' because of its shape. The word aquiline is derived from the Latin word 'aquilinus' which means 'eagle like'.

 The Greek or Straight Nose. This type of nose is perfectly straight with no curves or hooked like shape. It is known as Greek nose because it is generally noticed that the Greek people have this kind of nose.

The Hawk Nose: The hawk nose is so called because it is very convex, to the extent that it almost looks like a bow. It is very thin and sharp as well. Since it resembles the beak of a Hawk, it is known as the hawk nose.

(after Albrecht Durer’s Four Books on Human Proportion, 1528)

Is it a classically proportioned nose like Michelangelo’s David? 

Richard’s nose doesn’t look like a hook, or the beak of a hawk, nor is it perfectly straight like the straight nose.   I think we need a separate classification for his nose: “The Armitage”

How would you describe "The Armitage" Nose? 
 (Would love your suggestions in the comments below)

The nose is as unique as the man himself. It is a powerful nose that can be aggressive, but also elegant and aristocratic.

In profile we can truly observe his angular features , including his strong chin, and those surprising long and flirtatious lashes.

It is always surprising to me when he’s in character how different all the elements of his profile can look.  Even knowing his profile well, we can still see the different men he’s created.

Does he consciously  turn and angle his head to offer a wealth of information about what the character is thinking and feeling…or is it instinct from building his characters layer by layer?

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