Tuesday, July 28, 2009

il fait chaud

It is so hot. It is so very hot that the only thing I can do is sit inside with the air conditioning going and think.... Lately, all I've been up to is looking at pretty things online, watching 1930s movies, doing yoga and listening to music. In regards to the 1930s, I am extremely drawn to the styles, looks and sounds of those days. I know I tend to be the type to romanticize the past, but I find it hard to stop myself. Sometimes I even wish I could know what it would be like to live in an America where there weren't gigantic supermarkets every couple of miles, where a Coca Cola was a novelty, never something you'd buy in bulk from Costco....where I'd really suffer a bit...not be so insulated, cushioned and sheltered. I watch way too many films for my own good. The Great Depression was no joke, and I'm sure I wouldn't enjoy it, nor would I enjoy WWII rationing. But people were in better shape because they didn't spend so much money on things they didn't need. They cooked for themselves, and they had to make most things from scratch. I feel that life was harder, life took time, but in a way, the simplicity, the joy that comes with a little hard work, a little DIY, can be somehow blissful. I put off cleaning sometimes, but cooking and cleaning is very therapeutic. I'm not saying I want to do it every day, and be a full-time house maid to a husband whose slippers I bring out at five till six o'clock every night. However, I wish the world could have slowed WAY down seventy years ago. I wish we could've paused a little longer, there. I wish my senses weren't constantly overloaded.

The latest 1930s film I've seen!

Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933) is the first Busby Berkeley musical I have seen. It seems ridiculous that this is so, since I consider myself if not a queen of old movies, at the very least a viscountess. The film is dripping with the era. It's a delicious morsel of 1930s Hollywood glamour mixed with strong, comical female characters, silly music, lavishly rich production numbers and costumes. The film stars Aline MacMahon, RubyKeeler, Joan Blondell, Dick Powell and Ginger Rogers. There is some (how do I put this? ah yes) bad acting from certain souls here and there (though, I think the main ladies are spot on). I don't care for Dick Powell. His character was bland, sweet and snore-inducing, but he's really only there to play Romeo and sing, anyway. What's great about this film is that it talks about the Great Depression. While most films I see from this era might hint at it, none of them (especially not the glamorous musicals) really delves into it.

Fun fact: Ruby Keeler's career was launched by Florenz Ziegfeld and she was married to Al Jolson for a time.

Here's a great number from the movie, the only number that has a serious note. Joan Blondell sings/speaks.

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1 comment:

The Clothes Horse said...

I love that film. It is wild to think how different life was and how much we romanticize it. I mean, I love the 1920s but women were so powerless then--even with the flapper craze going on!
Also, it's sweltering here too (100 degrees) and we don't have ac. :(