Posted: 15 Feb 2012 10:13 PM PST
Normally, I do my Fred and Ginger posts over at my blog, Fluffy Stuffin, but I thought I'd share this one with the Ambiance readership.
Color Fred and Ginger from 1939! (there is no sound) This is from the film The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle, the last film they made for RKO in the 1930′s. They did a color film 10 years later for MGM, The Barkleys of Broadway, but alas, no color for them in the RKO days except for little snippets like this. They were going to have a color sequence in 1938′s Carefree for the song "I used to be color blind", but RKO cheapened out when Fred's solo film in 1937, A Damsel in Distress, failed badly. This sequence is quite odd; it's a fantasy dream sequence, mostly shot in slo-mo…and having it in color would have been cool! Hollywood experimented with color in small sections of black and white films, (The Women comes to mind) but they pulled out all the stops for the big blockbusters like Wizard of Oz and Gone With The Wind. I believe this bit we see here was shot with Ginger's own camera, which she would take to sets:
Posted: 14 Feb 2012 11:35 AM PST
The god of love has one year to prove he's still relevant. The lovers he's been assigned as his final exam–two yearning, prickly, battle-scarred, independent middle-aged people, Evan and Eve–aren't exactly making it easy.
Set in Vermont maple syrup country, NYC, and SF, A Godsend, my buddy Dalma Heyn's "love story for grownups"—wry, hopeful, sexy—is available today in all e-book formats for only 99 cents — the price of a song. Literally*. What have you got to lose? And if you know somebody else who might like it, please pass it on.
A love story for all of us who are no longer kids; who are hopeful even in changing times, and who know that love can happen in an instant . . . at any age.
*Don't you love it? When someone says, "You can have it for a song," now we can put a number to that!
Posted: 11 Feb 2012 03:17 PM PST
Reduced, as we are, to the enforced aphorisms of Twitter, or a few laconic lines in Facebook, the scolded diktat to be pithy in blog posts seems like a piece of Victorian social morality, (pace Strunk & White and Professor Althouse) made quaint by technology and new circumstances. So, I don't think it impolite to ask you to read something that might tax a Twitterer's dried-up brain.
Not having the Latin of Martial to write epigrams, it might do this blog, and our brains, a little good to see some lengthy, honest English prose, albeit from a time when the educated knew Martial, and their English wasn't as honest as it might have been. They also generally understood the allusions Laurence Sterne put into Tristram Shandy, his comic masterpiece that came out in nine volumes between 1761 and 1767. It was full of everything from Rabelais and Cervantes to the Bible and obscure bits of Classical learning, not to mention Sterne's bawdy humor and ridicule of solemnity. Schopenhauer counted Tristram Shandy as one of the four most important novels written, along with Goethe's Wilhelm Meister, Rousseau's Nouvelle Héloïse, and Cervantes' Don Quixote.
So, here is the first chapter of Book VII of Tristram Shandy, published in 1765, and which I hope can loosen our virtual tongues to say something about in 2012. Sterne, so full of good spirits, and ready to fly halfway around the world to avoid him, did have the honor of Death knocking at his door three years after these lines were written, having been summoned by the "vile cough" he writes of, or as we know it in our modern, clinical way, tuberculosis:
* * * * * * * *
No——I think, I said, I would write two volumes every year, provided the vile cough which then tormented me, and which to this hour I dread worse than the devil, would but give me leave——and in another place—(but where, I can't recollect now) speaking of my book as a machine, and laying my pen and ruler down cross-wise upon the table, in order to gain the greater credit to it—I swore it should be kept a going at that rate these forty years if it pleased but the fountain of life to bless me so long with health and good spirits.
Now as for my spirits, little have I to lay to their charge—nay so very little (unless the mounting me upon a long stick, and playing the fool with me nineteen hours out of the twenty-four, be accusations) that on the contrary, I have much—much to thank 'em for: cheerily have ye made me tread the path of life with all the burdens of it (except its cares) upon my back; in no one moment of my existence, that I remember, have ye once deserted me, or tinged the objects which came in my way, either with sable, or with a sickly green; in dangers ye gilded my horizon with hope, and when DEATH himself knocked at my door—ye bade him come again; and in so gay a tone of careless indifference did ye do it, that he doubted of his commission——
"There must certainly be some mistake in this matter," quoth he.
Now there is nothing in this world I abominate worse, than to be interrupted in a story——and I was that moment telling Eugenius a most tawdry one in my way, of a nun who fancied herself a shell-fish, and of a monk damned for eating a mussel, and was shewing him the grounds and justice of the procedure——
"—Did ever so grave a personage get into so vile a scrape?" quoth Death. Thou hast had a narrow escape, Tristram, said Eugenius, taking hold of my hand as I finished my story——
But there is no living, Eugenius, replied I, at this rate; for as this son of a whore has found out my lodgings——
—You call him rightly, said Eugenius,—for by sin, we are told, he entered the world——I care not which way he entered, quoth I, provided he be not in such a hurry to take me out with him—for I have forty volumes to write, and forty thousand things to say and do, which no body in the world will say and do for me, except thyself; and as thou seest he has got me by the throat (for Eugenius could scarce hear me speak across the table) and that I am no match for him in the open field, had I not better, whilst these few scattered spirits remain, and these two spider legs of mine (holding one of them up to him) are able to support me—had I not better, Eugenius, fly for my life? 'Tis my advice, my dear Tristram, said Eugenius——Then by heaven! I will lead him a dance he little thinks of—for I will gallop, quoth I, without looking once behind me, to the banks of the Garonne; and if I hear him clattering at my heels——I'll scamper away to Mount Vesuvius——from thence to Joppa, and from Joppa to the world's end, where, if he follows me, I pray God he may break his neck——
—He runs more risk there, said Eugenius, than thou.
Eugenius's wit and affection brought blood into the cheek from whence it had been some months banished—'twas a vile moment to bid adieu in; he led me to my chaise——Allons! said I; the postboy gave a crack with his whip——off I went like a cannon, and in half a dozen bounds got into Dover.
|You are subscribed to email updates from Ambiance |
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.
|Email delivery powered by Google|
|Google Inc., 20 West Kinzie, Chicago IL USA 60610|