Jan 31, 2010

Some random bits of wondrousness:

1. Last night I finally watched FORBIDDEN PLANET, after having had it vehemently recommended to me, and after having bought some Robby the Robot toys in Berlin not knowing what they were from, and I was blown away. Not only did I think it was one of the coolest movies of all time, BUT I think I might want to LIVE IN IT. All those 50s space age sets, including glittery pink couches and diamond-shaped metal corridors and fake looking gardens with tigers roaming through them, had my friend Barb and me a-swooning. And the clothes! Look!

2. Speaking of a-swooning, I also recently sat down for a private MARLENE DIETRICH festival with my friend Michael that involved the extremely gorgeous Song of Songs and Seven Sinners (with John Wayne!), both great, both absolute luxury to look at -- like a silky hot bubble bath, for your EYEBALLS -- and both chock-full of wardrobe concoctions that will make you lose yo breath. I mean really, look at this lady.

3. And while I am speaking of glamorous ladies, I thought it was funny and sweet that on Facebook recently, for the little who-is-my-celebrity-doppleganger game, my friend Christy said she'd describe yours truly as a mixture of JULIA CHILD and BETTIE PAGE. I wouldn't say I look like either, or any other I was compared to (Megan Fox -- ha, Genie Francis, Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet) but I love the idea of that combination... Honestly, can you imagine a better duo of pure awesome mind-reeling kickass womanhood:

I know.

4. Another movie I really liked recently was An Education, set in England in the early 60s, where Peter Sarsgaard seduces a 17-year-old girl who's thirsty for culture and adventure by taking her to glamorous clubs and concerts and eventually to PAREE. And they're always hanging out with this other super-fashionable couple and smoking out of long cigarette holders and listening to French pop music and twisting up their hair like they was some AUDREY HEPBURN and wearing little leopard caps whilst driving about in snappy sports cars. It's all very swoony and made me wanna smart smoking even tho I already smoked through all my teenage years and most of my twenties, near ruining my lungs, and have been smoke free for ELEVEN YEARS now. Actually, this film is totally a bad influence and I forbid you to see it.

5. So my friend David's play The History of Invulnerability (about the creator of Superman, Jerry Siegel) is going to be opening at the CINCINNATI PLAYHOUSE IN THE PARK in April, and this is a big deal, I read this play as a draft and I saw it performed in a reading as part of the Barn Series of the Labyrinth Theater Company, and now it's gonna be a PROPER PRODUCTION, and so my mama and I are driving to Cincinnati for the opening, which I am very excited about. And also, whilst there, we will hopefully see the late-in-life second husband of my late great aunt Dee Dee. They had one of those great romantic tales: they fell in love as teenagers in Ohio but were forbidden to marry by their families and so went on to marry other people. They lost touch with each other, they moved away, they raised families, lived their lives, grew old.. and eventually his wife died, and he got to thinking about his first love and spent a long time tracking her down, and found her living in Kentucky and also widowed (or else her husband died at some point after, I forget). They fell madly in love and married. My mother, sister and I visited them in Lousville a few years back, and they were very clearly madly in love, and she was sick, and he doted on her and took care of her. I think they had a handful of years together before she died, and now he is back living in Cincinnati. So I cannot wait to see him. I also understand that, way back in the day, Dee Dee's family lived in a great big Cincinnati mansion where "maids churned butter in the basement." !

6. I mentioned how one of the highlights of my time in Germany was seeing MAX RAABE & THE PALAST ORCHESTER with my friends Eric and Uli. I loved them so much that I'm seeing them again with my sister at Carnegie Hall on March 4, and also persuaded my parents to go see them in Erie, PA, on February 27 and even found said parents a lovely B&B to stay in and agreed to look after their crazy and possibly psychopathic dogs whilst they're away, as added incentive. Max Raabe is a huge deal in Germany but less known here, and he's about to do this odd sort of mini-tour of the US (from Carnegie Hall to Erie PA!) and so if he's coming to your town and you like you some OLD-TIME GLAMOUR -- that word needs a U -- then you must go see him! He and the show in general are just completely charming and elegant (in a most extreme, exaggerated way) and hilarious and heartbreaking and sweet sweet sweet.

Here, look:

So imagine: this most perfect, glossy Art Deco-lookin tiered stage, a perfect little orchestra composed of all white-tuxedo-ed men and one woman, the violinist, who sits in the midst of them in a bright red sparkly gown, and Max Raabe in front, leaning against the piano, long and lean in a black tuxedo, never smiling, wry and bored and mischievous, kinda like if Marlene Dietrich were a DOOD, moving his eyes slyly about, and then they start playing all those best best most lovely old songs, sweet and simple but always a bit melancholy and nostalgic and wistful even when all they're saying is you're the cream in my coffee. And all this is punctuated by these unexpected moments of pure magic.

LIKE, for example, after the intermission... the curtain opens, and they are all on stage, Max Raabe and the orchestra, totally quiet and still, and then, out of nowhere, this sleek silver zeppelin floats into the stage, slowly slowly, and the contrast to the gorgeous art deco-y elegance of the orchestra, this sleek gleaming space age kinda thing, is sort of shocking and lovely, and the zeppelin floats over the stage and then slowly turns, and begins to float over the audience, and -- now I'm switching into past tense! -- everyone sort of gasped as this thing floated over us, really slowly, so strange, and it kept going and going and floated right out of the back of the theater and disappeared. And once it disappeared, the show just started up again as if nothing had happened. It was so simple, but in those few moments it seemed like everything in the world had stopped, and it felt like everyone in that theater forgot to breathe... It reminded me of this moment in the Italian film Stanno Tutti Bene, where these characters suddenly get stuck in a traffic jam and the narrative just stops for a few minutes as they get out of the car and walk, everyone's walking everyone's abandoning their cars to see what's happened, and they all come upon this great beautiful elk standing in the middle of the road, and they just stand there before it, one beat two beats, before the narrative starts up again as if nothing's happened...

One of the loveliest moments in film, if you axe me.

The end.