Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Gone with the Wind

On Sunday Ed, Alex, and I had a second classic movie afternoon. We arrived with varying degrees of lateness, bearing food, and all a bit hung over/hysterical. We settled in and at about 3pm began watching what is considered one of the greatest films ever made.

The first half was amazing and we were in the best frame of mind for it. We laughed at pretty much everything. Scarlett and her spoiled brat, man eating, 'fiddle dee dee' ways, her crazy Irish father, the whispered scandals, the fakeness of some of the sets and special effects. We generally had a great time - the war came and it got all intense and exciting and the young servant girl Prissy's voice was too amazing to be true, especially when screeching 'But I is scared of cows!'.

Come the interval, we were feeling pretty good about it - well I know I was. We made cups of tea, rotated snacks, and settled back in. FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES.

It felt like it anyway. That movie just goes on and on and on and on. We thought it was about to end so many times, but we knew we had to wait for the immortal, 'Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn' line before it was truly about to be over. Just so much happens and keeps happening in that second half - stealing finacees, getting rich, super quick pregnancies, people dying, people hating each other then loving each other then hating each other again, questionable angry 'romantic' rape scenes, self-inflicted abortion, scandal, good will. Which is all gripping stuff, just quite tiring after 4 straight hours.

But of course it did end and we didn't really know what to do with ourselves. It was almost 7pm. It was dark. It felt like we'd spent a large part of our lives watching that movie. But I was glad we did. I won't be rushing to watch it again, although I really liked the first half and could imagine watching it as a stand alone movie again. I guess the second half just gets very domestic and narrowly focussed.

We couldn't work out whether Scarlett was meant to be liked in the end. Even though she is a spoiled brat who is immensely mercurial and selfish and generally a complaining, irritating, cold woman, she stuck it out and made something of herself (although she used many questionable methods to do so) and ultimately saved some people's lives. I won't be using her as role model any time soon though, although I did really like her 'I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow' philosophy. I think that could do some good for helping me get a bit of sleep at the moment.

Other favourite lines were 'No, I don't think I will kiss you, although you need kissing, badly. That's what's wrong with you. You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how' (we decided we liked Rhett in the end); Prissy's whole ridiculous stereotyped character with her high pitched voice, maniacal singing, and 'Lawzy, we got to have a doctor. I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' babies'; and:

Rhett: Did you ever think of marrying just for fun?
Scarlett: Marriage, fun? Fiddle-dee-dee. Fun for men you mean.

Two classics down, and now a dilemma about what to watch next. A comedy? A musical? A slightly more recent classic? So many to choose from. Luckily there are many more Sundays to come.

(Also, that movie poster - when does Scarlett ever bare that much flesh in the film?! And, the life of Margaret Mitchell who wrote the original Gone with the Wind novel is pretty interesting. Although, such a tragic death on such an idyllic street name...)

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