Thursday, August 28, 2008

Summer Classics Update 2

Labor Day means it is the end of summer, but the classics still continue. I think I will have to see this through until the official last day of summer in mid-September.

Great Expectations: Somehow I managed to get away with not reading this in high school. Actually, this is my first time reading Dickens. Thought it would be hard, but it wasn't, and I was surprised that I found myself liking it at first. This young boy, this crazy old man in the graveyard, nice ol' Joe. But then the boy grew up, I found myself counting the pages until the end, even when the crazy old man came back. Also, still can't figure out what was so great about Estella. How can you be in love with someone who is so boring? She just sits there and looks beautiful and says mean things. I don't get it.

Their Eyes Were Watching God: This book is supposed to be one of the best works in Africa-American and women's literature, about a black woman living in the South in the 1920's who figures out that she's got to do what makes her happy, not what others think should make her happy. Got to respect that. What's interesting is that this book was written by this woman Nora Zeale Hurston, who was college educated and rose within the literary community and the Harlem Renaissance, even getting a Guggenheim fellowship. But then her life took this crazy downward spiral and she got sick and had financial troubles and died in an unmarked grave, unforgotten, until Alice Walker and some black writers in the 70s were like, what happened to this writer, she was awesome, and brought her works back into fashion. Crazy. I know that this book was made into a movie starring Halle Berry, so the whole time I was reading it, I was just thinking about Halle Berry.

The Apartment: Is Jack Lemmon the greatest actor of all time? I am familiar with Jack from Some Like it Hot and Grumpy Old Men, but his work in this movie just blew me away. It's an unlikely plot--a guy trying to make it up the corporate ladder lends his apartment out to the bigwigs so they can go there while they cheat on their wives--but it still holds out because of Jack. I love any story about people who try to find their happiness in Corporate America and discover it's bull. I loved this movie.

All About Eve: Brian came over for the All About Eve movie party, complete with dinner from the diner downstairs (I was craving a grilled cheese sandwich and fries big time). I found the movie quite witty and funny and loved spotting a young Marilyn Monroe. Brian and I arrived at this conclusion: If some woman unexpectedly comes to your door one night and claims she's your biggest fan, the next day, don't let her live with you and become your personal assistant. Just don't.

My Fair Lady: I love musicals, and I've seen snippets of this one on TV but never sat through the whole thing. In case you don't know, this movie is about two men who make a bet on whether they can turn a woman (Audrey Hepburn) selling flowers on the street into a high-society woman and become believable at a royal ball. About half of this three-hour movie focuses on changing Audrey's accent. But Audrey not only changes her accent but her entire personality. She was so unlikeable and grating in the beginning and she changes voices and suddenly she's all witty and smart and normal? And then the men act like changing her accent is the most important thing in the whole world, and at one point being like, "We can't go on, this is too dangerous..." Like seriously. Aren't there more important things going on in your life? Costumes, great.

I have not advanced in my music classics and it's Dan's fault. He insisted that we do a listening party for Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited album (next on my list) because he's such a royal expert but he never makes time for us to do it. He'll probably read this post and say it's my fault, but then why am I so far along in my books and movies and I am lagging behind in the one category that Dan is involved in. The conclusion: Blame Dan for everything.


Willytheprince said...

oh my, Great Expectations is one of my favorites. Mostly, because I relate--at least with the shame part. It always made me feel guilty about the way he snubbed the villain. I knew deep down I would have done the SAME thing and It kills me.

I guess as a kid, I was always waiting for the “big reveal” that happens in fairytales. You know when someone would tell me I was really a princess, or I had a secret benefactor, etc. So deep down I put myself in that position and knew what I would do.

Brian said...

I know summer is coming to an end, and I don't know if being released in 1979 precludes this from being classic material, but I want to see The In-Laws. My parents said it's really funny.