It’s been pleasantly busy for the past few weeks. I went to the Jazz Age Lawn Party, which stirred up a lot of inspiration for me and reminded me of just how much I like to be around “old” things. I’ve gotten further in In Search of Lost Time than ever before. And have started on a project to draw one portrait every day, along with a summertime poem-a-day project. So far, so good.
In the past week, I also curled up with quite a few flicks. It’s been just warm enough that you can open the windows at night for a sweet breeze, but not so hot that this old house sans air conditioning has turned into an oven.
Possibly everyone knows this already, but I think Marilyn is underrated as a comedic actor. She’s got excellent timing, a subtle understanding of the absurd, and a sweetness that makes everything she does look earnest.
I love Lauren Bacall’s determined grace in How to Marry a Millionaire, and Betty Grable’s snarky sense of humor. It’s a fun, carefree flick that shows a unique perspective of a group of young women trying to make it, albeit through their (potential) husbands.
Ready for some blasphemy? I’m not big on Audrey Hepburn. She’s talented and will always be perfect as Holly Golighty, but she doesn’t have that added spark for me. But in Sabrina, I can’t help but identify with her character who really grows into herself after going to cooking school in Paris.
I first went to Paris when I was 16, and felt similarly about the changes I saw in myself when I returned home. Suddenly, I felt like I had a new way of viewing the world. There are moments and trips and events in our lives where we gain a new perspective in a flash. Though, as Sabrina demonstrates, those changes just keep evolving even when we come back to our regularly scheduled lives.
I totally watched Seven Chances for inspiration before the Lawn Party. Hats in the 1920s are a bit of an obsession of mine, as is Buster Keaton. He always makes me laugh, but there’s something particularly droll about Keaton’s deadpan face running from hoards of women in makeshift wedding dresses.
To Kill a Mockingbird is another one of those books that I read far too late in life. The movie does a particularly excellent job of portraying the magic of childhood, especially during the summertime: those late nights when it’s finally cool out, but still warm enough that your skin feels enveloped by warmth. When it’s already dark, but you’re waiting for your parents to call your name before you finally make your way home. All those little mysteries you create to help the time pass more quickly.
5. The Help
A new movie about an older time period. In general, I prefer to read the book before watching a movie, but The Help is definitely a movie you get sucked into once you start watching. It’s a moving story that reminds you that the Civil Rights struggle took place much more recently than we like to think.
While Skeeter is a brave and ambitious character, it’s Aibileen and Minny who drive this tale. Their perspectives, their subtle rebellions, their courageousness – yes, there were tears involved.
Photo of How to Marry a Millionaire from Wikimedia Commons