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The Laughing Academy
A Life of Noisy Desperation
So: Killer Queen, Brainwashed Mama’s Boy, or Fairies? 
31st-Jul-2004 05:29 pm
Steeplechase
I’m definitely gonna spend the better part of this evening in front of the TV; it’s just a question of what will be on the screen. NBC is showing The Talented Mr. Ripley, which I enjoyed on the big screen but have no burning desire to see again. Except...mmm, Jude. Maybe I’ll just watch until his character bows out.

Ooh! The local PBS affiliate is showing the original version of The Manchurian Candidate at 11! I own it on video, but haven't watched it in a while. I have fond memories of the fight scene, which I think has a conviction and realism that most recent on-screen mayhem lacks. Maybe it’s because Sinatra and the other guy skip the taunts and challenges; it’s just door opens, mutual horrified recognition, WHAM! [ETA: Also, there is no exciting fight music, just the sound of shattering furniture; and neither combatant looks like he’s having any fun at all—they’re simply pounding the living sh*t out of each other. Brad Pitt woulda been candy for these guys.] Also, Meryl Streep will have her work cut out for her matching Angela Lansbury’s terrifying version of murderous maternity.

Or, I could finish the video of the 1935 b&w Hollywood film of A Midsummer Night’s Dream that I borrowed from the library. It has its shortcomings: Mickey Rooney’s Puck is, astonishingly, even more annoying than I remembered; Dick Powell has thus far made an abysmal Lysander (dude, they’re threatening to forcibly cloister or kill your lover unless she marries someone else! Is a little fear or anger too much to ask? Smug idiot), and Oberon’s first line might as well have been, “Ill met by moonlight, perky and saccharine Titania.” On the upside, Olivia de Havilland has done right by Hermia (I loved her blurted “So is Lysander!” in response to Theseus’s comment that Demetrius is a worthy gentleman), I’m totally digging James Cagney as Nick Bottom (“Let him roar again!”), the sets are gorgeous, and I loveloveLOVE! the costumes—the grecian armor! Hippolyta’s panniered gown with the lamé snake at the neckline! [hyperventilates]
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