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Salma Hayek is the new Audrey Hepburn

I took the pretty way to the cinema last night and found a friend from the bookshop displacing her thesis along the canal path. We chatted about the bookshop and work and other inconsequential stuff, just automatic small-talk while I looked at the sun touching her bonde hair into a halo of floating white light, her eyes, neon-bright and the clear blue-green of shattered safety glass. She's pretty amazing, really; a committed Christian from America, I love hearing her talk about college life and dating; but in the sun like that, I couldn't give her my best attention. I encouraged her to take a break on Saturday and come visit us at the shop; I hope she will.

I was on my way to see Frida, which I unfortunately found annoying. Of all the major struggles in Frida Kahlo's life (art, communism, her body) they had elected to concentrate (almost to the exclusion of everything else) on her relationship with two-times husband Diego Rivera, a foolish decision considering that Hollywood has no current method of presenting promiscuous people in a positive light; so it chose to play up his infidelities and play down hers to give it the proper movie-of-week, long-suffering wifey feel. In particular I took exception to the endless bloody scenes of two women discussing a man; the endless bloody scenes where she was taking men food; the fact that such scenes as there were with her lovers (male and female) were either totally sex-focussed or silent; the fact that she didn't talk, just delivered the odd (not particularly) bon mot. I wanted a film about a genius; instead I got a wacky West-End musical about the little peasant girl made good. It was so ... old-fashioned! Let me misquote someone (Winterson or Woolf, I forget who) for the last word. "We do not have the history of women; we have the history of their husbands, fathers, children -- but their own lives remain a mystery."

That said, the accident scene was brilliantly done.

On the bright side, I saw a trailer for big-in-Denmark Dogme drama, Open Hearts, about which BBC Films says, Nor should even the most devoted cineastes consider it a date movie - unless you're in a relationship you wish to end. I think I might go and see that.

Then I went home and cooked couscous with onion and mushroom and smoked pigeon breasts with peppers for Damian and me. The kitchen smelled quite unique. Farmers market, first thursday of the month; unusual meats and apple juice with therapeutic properties. Mmmm.


( 11 worms — Feed the birds )
4th Apr, 2003 05:32 (UTC)
What a lovely description.
4th Apr, 2003 06:09 (UTC)
I've read and see a lot about Frida, biographies, and her diaries, documentaries--and it may not sit very well with contemporary audiences but the film was actually very true to her life--she and Diego had a lifelong tempestuous relationship that both fed and destroyed Frida. He was pretty much a flaming bastard too, that's well known, even outside of Frida-loving circles. I thought it was interesting that at least they showed her indiscretions too-- she seemed a very fully fleshed out character to me.
4th Apr, 2003 17:18 (UTC)
I really didn't have much objection to
her having a tempestuous relationship -- but if that were the case she seemed horribly reserved -- most of the people I know who go the stormy route are *always* stormy -- but in the film there are all these endless calm shots, all these shots of her doing *nothing* but calmly talking, sitting around, all those long-suffering looks at Diego -- and in a life so packed with incident and interest, do we really have the time to waste on reaction shots?

Of *course* I don't want to make her relationship all hearts and flowers, or pretend that it wasn't important (being the wife of the most important painter in the country not important? Oh yeah, right) but the way that on her side it was indiscretions (and completely unimportant) and on his side major, dreadful betrayals (that were important) struck me as something that needed explainations, not assumptions that everyone in the audience would automatically understand -- also the fantasy peasantizing of people who were essentially very rich, influential people struck me as a frill too many.

I suppose it's a question of what you expect, really.

Or possibly I'm just annoyed because I'm seeing her do exactly what she did in Dogma, as comedy, being plauded in Frida as "completing her craft" ...

That said, the accident scene was great.
4th Apr, 2003 19:42 (UTC)
Re: I really didn't have much objection to
Didn't see Dogma. But Frida Kahlo was hardly even *known* in her lifetime--she really was *the wife of Diego Rivera--who also paints* -- but no one really wanted to look at her paintings. All of her popularity has come about in the last 30 years.
7th Apr, 2003 02:32 (UTC)
famous after her death
Hmmm, ain't that the curse of the female artist ....

Er, sorry, you probably didn't want to hear that. Though I hear things have improved in recent years, and that sometimes a woman artist's career can pick up after they're eighty or so.

Unfortunately, according to the death clock ( http://www.deathclock.com/ ) I'm due to die when I'm 79. Ah well, you win some, you lose some.
7th Apr, 2003 05:32 (UTC)
Re: famous after her death
LOL--absolutely! cursed! cursed! cursed am I!! oh woe is me-- aaaargh!!
4th Apr, 2003 06:56 (UTC)
Smoked pigeon breasts! I can't begin to imagine what they might be like.
4th Apr, 2003 17:03 (UTC)
pretty good actually ...
dense, flavoursome, a little bit tough. I was very impressed to see them on sale; the people on the stall looked a little confused, as if they couldn't quite remember why they'd done them.
4th Apr, 2003 09:07 (UTC)
Onwards! Lead more Good American Christian Women (TM) down the primrose path of Perdition, Damnation, and Sin (TM). :-)

Good luck and happy hunting.

Also, don't take her to the Dogme film eh. :-)

Incidentally, I did love 'Festen' - damn fine film, the sort that had me squirming in my seat from the discomfort of those genuine-feeling social situations.

Seen 'Hotel' yet? Apparently the latest split-screen production from the same guy who did 'Timecode.' Anyway, iirc, you still need to see Timecode? Or was that jinty ?

4th Apr, 2003 17:22 (UTC)
Re: Hehehehe
I think that you may be misinterpreting the situation, Zac. Us artists can appreciate people in a quite non-sexual way, you know -- if the mood struck me a similar rhapsody about your soft-spikey hair and easy smile might be forthcoming.

And anyway, she belongs to a very strict sect.

Not seen Hotel yet. Heck, not seen Tinecode yet. It's coming.
5th Apr, 2003 09:11 (UTC)
Re: Hehehehe
Ooo...rhapsody! Must be said though, that when that word and hair are used in the same sentence, I'm struck with the memory of Charlie Chaplin polishing a bald man's head to Bohemian Rhapsody (iirc - and I may be entirely incorrect on the musical sampling front). Hmmmm...

Strict sect, schmirct sect! ;-p

Yeah, not seen 'Hotel' yet either. 'Tinecode' ... now that'd be cool, one
way of looking at digital communications within a
circuitboard I suppose. ;-)

( 11 worms — Feed the birds )