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Mr. Majestyk

In 1974, the same year that then 52-year-old Charles Bronson became one of the most popular action stars of the era with his vigilante pivot in Death Wish, he also starred in Mr. Majestyk, as the titular Vietnam vet turned melon farmer who finds himself in conflict with violent gangsters. With an original screenplay by the king, Elmore Leonard (who also wrote the novelization tie-in for the movie), and directed by Richard Fleischer (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea; Fantastic Voyage), the film has an idiosyncratic charm, thanks to Bronson and Leonard, which perfectly complements the movie’s very impressive thrills. (The Ford Motor Company even licensed exciting footage of Majestyk pushing a ’68 F-100 pickup to the limit for their 1976 truck commercials.) While it remains somewhat obscure in the canons of the greats who made it, Mr. Majestyk is primed for re-appraisal, thanks to a recent release on Blu-ray courtesy of Kino Lorber. ( Carter


The Plot Thickens: Lucy

In the 1930s, two decades before starring in I Love Lucy, a teenage Lucille Ball moved from Jamestown, New York, to Manhattan. It went terribly. Casting directors were quick to tell her that she was far too flat-chested to become a star. After failed “cattle calls”—her words—she would go home and eat the only tomato soup she could afford to make: ketchup diluted with hot water. At 17, she fell ill with rheumatoid arthritis and moved back home. (Well, others dispute the diagnosis, but Ball’s charm is in her exaggeration.) The third season of Turner Classic Movies’ podcast, The Plot Thickens, a documentary series about the films and figures of Hollywood, looks at Ball pre- and post-sitcom. Over 10 episodes, host Ben Mankiewicz details how she went from a brunette (struggling actress) to a blonde (budding actress) to a redhead (the actress). ( —Jensen Davis



Since its inception, in 2004, Catbird has had a lock on the market for small, delicate gold jewelry. They even have a team of welders at their SoHo boutique ready and willing to zap a filament-like Forever Bracelet (clasp-less, custom-fit) onto your wrist. Though it sounds scary, it’s anything but—and we highly recommend it. Now, just in time for Valentine’s Day, the house’s illustrators have devised a new collection of vintage-y charms for every month’s birth flower. Crafted from 14-karat recycled gold, they make an ideal gift. While we’re tempted to stop at just one, we can also imagine a world in which a single chain holds a collection of them, symbolizing the birthdays of those near and dear. Just a thought! ($158–$178, —Ashley Baker



Chanel has recently introduced a skin-care collection, No 1. de Chanel, based on sustainably developed formulas made with naturally derived ingredients, such as the red camellia flower. There are creams and serums galore, but our favorite product—so far—is this Lip and Cheek Balm. The camellia’s chemical composition protects the skin’s barrier as it’s absorbed—without any stickiness. Accordingly, this handy little balm has all the nourishment we rely on in dry, subzero weather, but with a touch of color to restore our complexion to life. It’s the kind of multi-purpose, high-impact product that always belongs in our bag (and even in our desk drawer). ($45, —Ashley Baker

Carla Bruni


Carla Bruni wears all leather and puffs on a cigarette at a Paris nightclub in 1991; Alicia Silverstone straddles a plush killer-whale toy in 1994; Lana Del Rey, back when she was still Lizzy Grant, gives Index Magazine a tour of her New Jersey mobile home in 2008. These photos and videos graced my Instagram feed thanks to @treytaylor. Taylor, who is not just an account but a person, curates archival photos and clips of singers, models, actors, politicians, and socialites for his 87K followers. He finds ones that haven’t been endlessly re-circulated, and, especially uncommon, gives context—dates, years, anecdotes—in his captions. If it weren’t for his account, I wouldn’t know that when Bill Gates visited Belgium in 1998 to meet with European Union officials, someone shoved a cream pie in his face. ( —Jensen Davis


Hum London

Hum London started the way many good businesses do: by accident. During lockdown, Hermione Gee looked for a simple way to spruce up her room and pass the time. One weekend, she painted a pair of tired old lampshades. Once finished, she and her sister, Ellie, were struck by how good they looked. The sisters saw an opportunity. Together they launched a collection of brightly colored, hand-painted lampshades—think stripes, animal prints, and gingham. They experimented with paints, looked for materials that were both durable and attractive, found a U.K.-based lampshade-maker, and were off. Now, in addition to selling their shades, they’ve started hosting workshops to teach others their D.I.Y. homeware tricks. ( —Bridget Arsenault

Issue No. 134
February 5, 2022
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Issue No. 134
February 5, 2022