Saturday, March 18, 2006

Odd and Disturbing Beauty

I could write about the odd movie I saw last week Swimming Pool with the mesmerizing Charlotte Rampling. I saw her interviewed for this film three years ago, which led to an interesting discussion with Andrew about her movies. This then led to a yearlong search for a copy of The Night Porter which I had to watch in bits I found it so disturbing…unforgettable, difficult and darkly beautiful.

In Swimming Pool I loved Ludivine Sagnier’s voice. I am a straight woman so the rather frequent shots of her sans clothes were neither here nor there but her voice…

I’ve had the opportunity to travel to a pretty high-end resort in the Caribbean twice and her character in the movie reminded me of some of the French girls I saw there. Charlotte Rampling reminded me a bit of…well…me, when I am feeling unhappy. I so admire her ability to play not particularly sympathetic characters.

And speaking of beautiful but unsympathetic characters I am reading Lee Miller — A Life — by Carolyn Burke. This book seems to exist to make one feel like one has led a dull life. I am most interested in her as a photographer but her story has much to say about being a woman in the arts, a stunningly lovely woman at that.

Unlike the reviewer linked to above I am not all that crazy about the way the book is written but she did do amazing research and I am enthralled. My oldest sister was into Surrealism in a big way when I was growing up and I read a great deal about it when I was too young to fully comprehend the raging libidinous qualities included. Reading this book is like visiting long lost friends and seeing them in a new light. Speaking of light I love the description of Lee and Man Ray discovering the process of “solarization”.

I could write about Renoir’s French Cancan, which I have but haven’t watched yet. Andrew has, and has interesting commentary on it.


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