...after committing one of the most terrible sins in blogging: not posting in ages (well, it was like a week and a half). Let me start by telling you that —just like Regina Lampert said—I'm not a lady of leisure anymore. I got that good journalism internship offer that I told you about, so I'll be very busy from 9.30 am to 19 pm starting tomorrow and ending in September.
So this is gonna be the last long post that you read in my blog in months (I've planned to answer a survey that will provide me an easy to make post per day for a month). And this last long post it's gonna be very random, since I'm gonna try to cover all the things I didn't wrote about last week. So fasten your seat belts, it's gonna be a bumpy post.
Finished "The secret lives of a princess" by James Spada and I tell you, I wouldn't trade my life for Grace's. I mean, she had an awful family, her father was obsessed with success but never said something nice about her little girl, even when she won an Oscar; her sisters were abusive when she was a kid, and her mother sold stories about Grace to the press! Had lots of famous lovers but couldn't settle down with any of them, mainly because of her family opposition. Loved to act, was great at it, but her studio (when it didn't lend her to others) just gave her stupid parts. Then she marries the Prince —who had a list of possible Hollywood actresses to wed just to improve Monaco image— in a ceremony paid by MGM. She has to suffer all the archaic customs of the palace, but she was prohibited to make another movie, even when Hitch offered a role in "Marnie". The only escape she found was raising her kids the better she could, but the girls turn out to be rebels and had dissipated lives. AND then she died in a car accident. So, no thanks, poor Grace.
This knowledge increased my inner debate about whether is good or not to classic film fans to investigate the private lives of performers and directors. I mean, sometimes you really loved someone's work, but then you read something bad about their behavior, something sad about their lives, or you realize that they beliefs are very very different to your own, and then what was more important —the films— are kind of overshadow to your eyes by this knowledge. Anyway, it doesn't happen to me frequently, one of my cases is Norma Shearer (I've been avoiding watching more of her movies) because I read somewhere that she got the parts mostly because she was married to Irving Thalberg. And of course, it does happen the other way around, for example, I appreciate the work of Myrna Loy even more since I learned about her fight for human rights.
Anyway, been reading "People will talk" by John Kobal, and I want to read more of his work. It's like any of us, classic movie lovers, have had the opportunity to sit down and chat with the stars. Loved his interviews with Gloria Swanson, Ingrid Bergman, Mae West and other famous actresses and professionals related to movies. Loved the way he describes the way the stars treated him (like Marlene Dietrich putting him up in her hotel room, since he had traveled a long distance and didn't have a place to stay). Or the way the stars of silent films described their work, so vividly...If you find this book, buy it, I'm loving it.
Well I saw a lot of movies in May, I talk about the most of them in previous mini-reviews. But the last two weeks a saw three great films:
a) I remember mama: Irene Dunne was a great actress. When you see her in this film, you forget who she is, you forget the other roles she played, because she really is the Norwegian immigrant mother. There are some scenes that break your heart, especially when she goes to visit her little girl at the hospital.
b) Witness for the prosecution: I love Billy Wilder, I just had forgotten how much I loved him. My Film Review teacher always said that we should avoid treating the subjects as masters, but he was one. Laughton was terrific, Marlene was terrific, Tyrone Power was great, and Agatha Christie did it again.
c) Three Comrades: Maybe the movie written by Francis Scott Fitzgerald is the weakest of the three, but I liked it very much. Saw it last night and I couldn't sleep well. Saw the scenes over and over in my mind. Robert Taylor is #7 in my top 25 favorite classic actors (someday I'm gonna update and translate that post), and I don't care if his characters are pretty much the same in every movie I've seen him in, I always enjoy his presence on screen. I just had seen Margaret Sullavan in the "Shop around the corner" but her performance is really heartbreaking, her character seem so defenseless, but at the same time strong minded and generous.
Well, I can't write more, because we're too many in this house using one computer, but let me finish this post with this picture I captured from "Stardust, the Bette Davis story" I saw today. Don't you think that the classic stars can look even more modern than modern actors? I want to see this picture in the next Everlast campaign :)
Well, see ya tomorrow with the first post of this meme.