|Gold Diggers of 1933|
Happy Christmas Eve!
What a great holiday season I have had so far. I'm in awe! I had a fun Halloween, an epically great Thanksgiving, and now I'm even enjoying Christmas! My goodness. The days when I had to self medicate with Hugh Grant movies seem to be over. I did see one Hugh Grant movie at Thanksgiving, but it was just for fun. I am watching movies, though, and there is a theme.
What I've been watching are movies from the 1930s, trying to imagine that time in America. My parents were teenagers during the Depression. How awful! It's hard enough to be a teenager in happy times. They, as the rest of the Greatest Generation, were forever changed by that experience. Teenagers during the Depression, young adults during WWII. They had it tough, they did.
The idea of the Forgotten Man haunts me. It is mentioned in all the depression era movies, it was so prevalent. My Man Godfrey, with William Powell, is a total fantasy - as they all were - but the most compelling depiction of Depression era homeless I've seen so far. He was irresistible.
The rich people in these movies are depicted as extremely weird, all of them. In some movies, they are despicable, in others, adorable, but they all seem crazy. They're dressed to the nines, enjoy every luxury, but in order to do that in the midst of the Depression, there has to be a heavy layer of denial at play.
First there was the "Great" War, after which people lost their minds for awhile: the roaring 20s. The Depression was a hideous National hangover from all that. It's interesting to think about.
The movies are fabulous, though. Great historical sociology. I highly recommend Gold Diggers of 1933 in particular. Busby Berkeley designed the song/dance scenes. They are so trippy! My Man Godfrey is awesome. I watched King Kong, too. He is the only character in the movie I cared about. It'll show you how differently we think about animals, for sure. And Fay Wray, screaming her heart out over and over. I wonder what that film did to her larynx? The character only takes the job because she is fainting from hunger, out on the street. She is saved by the insane, cruel director. Bizarre!
I had planned to watch Dinner at Eight with Kansas City born and raised Jean Harlow tonight, but was invited at the last minute to dinner on Tennessee Avenue. I'll take a walk with Presley, the dog I'm going to dog sit starting tomorrow, receive massage at the Willard Hotel, one of the most happily haunted old hotels in DC, then have dinner with the husbands.
A great Christmas Eve. It will bring me back to 2013, almost 2014, as it should, from the crimped platinum blond hair, speakeasies, pencil mustaches and cigarette smoke of the 1930s. Oh yeah.
Happy festivals of the returning light. Shalom.
|This is Presley, wearing a yarmulke.|