Sunday, September 29, 2013

Weirdest weekend.

My mom asked me to attend a funeral with her.  He was a high school friend of hers and someone I had never met.  Normally I wouldn't have gone, but knowing that she knew that and asked me anyway, I figured it was important to her.  Observing the funeral of someone you never knew is strange, awkward.  I felt like a spectator.  Still, it was somehow moving in a way I didn't expect, and I felt that I sort of knew some of the people there.  Not that I thought that I had met them, but in that their lives were parallel to mine in some way.  This guy grew up where my mother did, his children are my age, and his story was both familiar and fascinating.  I felt affected by it in a way that I couldn't explain, and was moody and contemplative for the rest of the day.

Or more than usual.

Monday, September 16, 2013


Norma Shearer's a pretty good writer.  She describes being rejected by silent era director D.W. Griffith at the beginning of her career:

"The Master looked down at me, studied my upturned face in the glare of the arc, and shook his eagle head. Eyes no good, he said. A cast in one and far too blue; blue eyes always looked blank in close-up. You'll never make it, he declared, and turned solemnly away."

She was rejected on appearance alone so many times that it is amazing to me that she continued on her dogged path.  Her primary "flaws" were being stouter than the rest as well as having one eye that wouldn't quite stare in the same direction as the other.  She does look somewhat cross-eyed in some scenes, but it comes across as either endearing or exotic.  Her strange eyes make her seem almost cat-like in early films, and when she tilts her head down and scowls determinedly, she's almost frightening in a witchy way.  Earlier in life, she had learned daily eye exercises that allowed her to exert more control over the errant one, although only for periods of time, not permanently.

She was rejected for her eyes and figure instantly and vehemently for five years, only gaining a foothold by killing a couple of minor roles and striking up a cautious camaraderie with ferocious genius Irving Thalberg, a very in-charge producer in Hollywood at the time.  She later married him, etc.

Although she played "bad girl" roles in a very authentic, disarming and terribly modern way (The Divorcee and A Free Soul, already discussed on this blog), my favorite role of hers is Mary Hanes in The Women, the greatest movie of all time.  Mary simpers around a little bit, but mostly she's a very enlightened, noble creature who, while not quite a badass, fails to take shit from anyone.  All the best lines belong to comic foil Rosalind Russell in that movie, but the heroine never gets to be funny.  Isn't that stupid?

The Divorcee

The Divorcee - See?  I said witchy.  Some Theda Bara shit here.

Sunday, September 8, 2013


No offense, Ky-Ky, but I prefer the Nick-Blixa combination here.  Nixa.

Oh god the violin.

I have multiple itunes libraries living on a couple of computers, and when transferring music from one to the other, discovered a cache containing a library circa 2007.  It was full of all sorts of music that hadn't made it over on a transfer made at that time.

Now I am continually hearing songs that I loved in past lives and somehow forgot about when they went away.  I still love them.  Hearing certain songs for the first time in years is sometimes shocking, thrilling and gutting.

I had PJ Harvey's "Dry" on tape (am old) and have scarcely heard it in the last decade.  I listened to it the other night and felt like screaming.  THIS IS SO GOOD.

Is Suede not super famous?  I thought they were.  I find living entirely in my own world to be an accomplishment, but sometimes it leads to confusion.

I forgot about this song, and Disintegration in general, until I watched Marie Antoinette last summer.  I was amazed at how good it is.  What the hell have I been doing?  I think I should do a Cure song trawl post where I ramble excessively about my various feelings about various songs.  FUNSIES