Thursday, March 24, 2005

A couple days ago, I got back from my sister my copy of Caitlin R. Kiernan's In the Garden of Poisonous Flowers. What a pretty book--a little green hardcover with illustrations by Dame Darcy. I like just having it sit here next to me.

I watched the 1951 version of Show Boat last night. It's the first version I've seen and I gather it's not as good as the 1936 version. Still, I kind of enjoyed it. It starred Howard Keel, Kathryn Grayson, and Ava Gardner. I'm actually starting to like how Keel always seemed like he was doing a Superman impression, with an affected sounding deep voice and eerily good-natured veneer. He's simply impossible to take seriously, which somehow kind of makes me take him seriously.

Kathryn Grayson was a pretty lady with a decent voice and acting ability. And that was good enough. She looks a bit like a huskier version of Claudette Colbert, and I enjoy admiring her rather perfectly shaped nose.

Ava Gardner had a supporting role and didn't appear in 70% of the movie, but she was in practically all the best scenes. The movie shines when it digresses into meditation on the relations between black and white people in 1894. Not to mention 1951--The Breen Censorship office tried to get a scene removed where it's discovered that Ava's character had a black parent and a white parent. This fascinating little scene, where the lady is fired because of her heritage, segues into the song "Old Man River", performed beautifully by a large black workman on the boat, who seems to have almost no interaction with the main characters for the rest of the movie. The scene is easily the most emotionally effective in the movie and you wonder if Oscar Hammerstein wanted badly to take the film in a direction utterly impossible at the time.

I oughta get moving as I need to be out of here pretty soon. I'll probably go eat at Einstein Bagels, although I hope that doesn't turn out like yesterday, where the Veg-Out on Sesame Bagel mysteriously came with bacon and turkey on, a fact I didn't discover until I'd taken a bite. I've been a vegetarian since I was thirteen or fourteen years old, so maybe that's why a single bite of bacon gave me such a monstrous stomach ache that I had to find a bench and just sit down for about an hour.

Or maybe I'll eat somewhere else.

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