Saturday, September 26, 2015
An Evening at Home
I still felt bad last night when Ili came home from work, and she was tired, so we decided to slip on "pajamas" and just stay in. It was 5:30. What to do? We put a pizza in the oven and put on a movie: "The Thin Man." If you haven't seen it for awhile (or if never), it is pretty good fun. What strikes you first, of course, is how varied the dialects of the American populace were. Watch any films from the '30s and you will hear the same thing. America was far more multicultural then than it is now, of course, as immigrants came to the country every day to be a part of the American Dream. People had more distinct features then, too. The ingredients of the great American soup were still fresh and undiluted.
And that is the second thing you notice. Part of it was fashion, but that is the good part of it. Dresses were elaborate. There were hats and jewelry. But the hair--oh, my. The hair is usually a hot mess. They just didn't have the products, I guess, and now there are many tools for shaping. But they had bleaches and dyes. All the "dames" in "The Thin Man" had bleached their hair platinum.
But not Myrna Loy. Oh, what a true beauty she is.
She was a knockout. The two pictures I have posted and the ones that follow were all taken before she was in the "Thin Man" series, I am sure. Holy smokes! I try to imagine what happened to men who passed her in the street. Surely she affected their inner ears.
As Nora Charles, she was more than beautiful, though. She is a franchise. According to one source, "The film’s producers at first thought Loy was wrong for the part of the carefree socialite, claiming she was better cast as an exotic temptress. But after the first film was made, the public clamored for more Powell-Loy chemistry, and five sequels were produced after the original 1934 film."
When the film was over and the pizza eaten, we decided to watch the second movie in the series, "After the Thin Man," and to cook another pizza. Outside, the rain came down. It was a grand and perfect evening. In bed by ten.
I watched the films and thought of the great writers of modernism--Hemingway, Faulkner, Fitzgerald--trying to realize this as the world they inhabited. The greatest writer of the 20th century, James Joyce, was enamored of movies. He actually invested in a movie theater. Hemingway, Faulkner, and Fitzgerald all wrote film scripts for Hollywood. As crazy as it seems. . . .
I am still struggling with whatever has happened to me. I'm not quite myself. This is sure to be a quiet Saturday for me. For kit-kat, too. She seems to be struggling, too, and doesn't want to come inside except to eat. She staggers when she walks, I think, and is looking thin. They say that pets and their owners come to resemble one another, and maybe it is true.