garbo was never a favorite of mine growing up because she was always on the periphery; I didn't see much of her, and her cold eyes and husky voice didn't really do it for me until I grew up to prefer that kind of thing. then suddenly it all made sense. she was choosy with her roles and therefore wasn't prolific, and the films just aren't in the public consciousness anymore...that is, unless you're dick cavett, who is probably talking or writing in his diary about her right this minute. what a stage name, too. garbo? i hate the sort of genericising that happened to surnames in the past. let her be gustafsson. garbo is a name fit for the lost marx brother.
i think most of my early exposure to her had been in jest, too. watching camille brought to mind all of the old cartoon caricatures of her. remember?
she is fascinating. i do envy people who don't - or can't - pretend. i guess won't is the word for her. the rejection of all of the superfluous bullshit of her profession and the world. by exterior accounts, she had everything every two-dimensional simpleton could ever want: beauty, career, and acclaim. unable to tolerate the glitzy cellophane life of the hollywood starlet, particularly the parts about being pawed, photographed, and speculated upon at all moments, she abandoned her career early in life. this came at a time when she was in control of her contract (rare) and in good credit with her public. the empty world of stranger-compliments and being celebrated for the least (spiritually, intellectually) valuable trait of all evidently did nothing for her, another rarity. her remark about having no interest in being the temptress is like a single, thoughtful island in a sea of misplaced, naive vanity. she said, in sum, why would she ever want to feel that her primary purpose and primary pleasure should be to dangle herself before men? what an unfulfilling, cheapening thing to do. the same thing that most women do every day of their lives without knowing why and perhaps without actually cognizing an end result.
"Life would be so wonderful if only we knew what to do with it." -GG
you said it, sister.
i find it very heartening when i see others appraise the lives that we are supposed to want, and then reject them. societal standards seem so real and confining the more we hear about them, but that's not correct. that's just herd mentality and oh lordy of all the herds i don't want to be running with, it's this one.
I enjoy that she was/is so prized for her beauty because I find her to be a bit awkward. i think people were attracted to much more than the symmetry of her face. she has that sort of mantis-stance that tall, thin women often do, which was exacerbated x1000 by those 1930s gowns. shoulders a little too far forward and the trunk of the body in a concave curve. this looks highly glamorous, however, when encased in gray or cream satin and garnished with a cigarette. best combined with those icy blonde features.
she and carole lombard are like opposite-sisters. carole inhabiting the warm and sunny sphere while greta stands arms-crossed in a cold, rainy, gray landscape. los angeles vs. stockholm.