Today is the day: my one-year anniversary for Love Letters to Old Hollywood. I’m glad I’ve been able to keep this venture up, especially since when it comes to actually writing a piece out instead of outlining it, I tend to get lazy and push it off for as long as I can. (This is why I don’t publish posts nearly as much as I’d like to.) I really enjoy having a classic movie blog—but I’m not so sure anyone else does. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s like shouting into a void here. I started this blog so I would have people to discuss my passion with, and so far, no takers. I want to make it to many more anniversaries, but if it is all going to be me giving and no one taking, I may have to call it quits. It just isn’t any fun. Sorry for bringing the party down, but when you’re a super shy person like me, sharing ideas and thoughts about my deepest love in life and not getting a response feels an awful lot like rejection. Anyway, on to other things…
Tomorrow is my first day as a college sophomore. I’m so nervous, I keep giving myself stomachaches. Interacting with new people and having a totally different daily routine freaks me out, and I’ll admit it, living away from my parents and my adorable poodle gives me a lot of anxiety. The sad thing is I'm not even that far away from home and I come home every weekend for my job. I didn’t say I wasn’t pathetic. But I’m excited because I have a cinema class this semester in the IU Cinema (which is my favorite place on campus, of course). It’s called “Sound and Cinema,” which is basically as it sounds—focusing on music and whatnot in films. The list of films we’re concentrating on is nothing to sneeze at, either: Now Voyager, The Royal Tenenbaums, Psycho, and others that I was excited for but can’t remember.
Because I’ve been so busy moving in to my new on-campus apartment (exhausting!) and getting ready for the school year, I missed my darling Gene Kelly’s birthday yesterday. I’ve been a fan of Gene’s for a long time, and he never fails to make me gush like an idiot. The first time I watched The Pirate, I immediately had to tell my sister about his absolutely scandalous short shorts during the fantasy sequence. (I tend to act very grandmotherly towards these kinds of things—sue me, I’m a prude.) When a professor of mine last year dared to say that Gene didn’t have a great singing voice, I had to fight the urge to jump up and yell “It’s not true!” As you can see, I’m pretty protective of Mr. Kelly. He wasn’t modest, I know. And he could be seen as a little gruff (re: cruel) to some of his co-workers, like Esther Williams and Debbie Reynolds. But he furthered the movie musical and brought to dancing a sexiness and masculinity that challenged the ideas of what dance could be for people and how it could be presented. He and Astaire didn’t just add their talent to musicals, they gave it a whole different kind of legacy.
To celebrate the late great, I’m going to close this post with some quotes and pictures. Enjoy.
“I wasn't nice to Debbie [Reynolds]. It's a wonder she still speaks to me.”
“There was no model for what I tried to do with dance . . . and the thing Fred Astaire and I used to bitch about was that critics didn't know how to categorize us. They called us tap dancers because that was considered the American style. But neither of us were basically tap dancers.”
“If Fred Astaire is the Cary Grant of dance, I'm the Marlon Brando.”
"There is a strange sort of reasoning in Hollywood that musicals are less worthy of Academy consideration than dramas. It's a form of snobbism, the same sort that perpetuates the idea that drama is more deserving of Awards than comedy."
"As one of the handful of girls who worked with both of those dance geniuses, I think I can give an honest comparison. In my opinion, Kelly is the more inventive choreographer of the two. Astaire, with Hermes Pan's help, creates fabulous numbers – for himself and his partner. But Kelly can create an entire number for somebody else ... I think, however, that Astaire's coordination is better than Kelly's ... his sense of rhythm is uncanny. Kelly, on the other hand, is the stronger of the two. When he lifts you, he lifts you! ... To sum it up, I'd say they were the two greatest dancing personalities who were ever on screen. But it's like comparing apples and oranges. They're both delicious." – Cyd Charisse
P.S. I'm thinking of changing the background and colors again. This one seems to keep messing up my spacing and whatnot. What do you all think? And remember, I am completely inept at this kind of stuff, so explain it to me like I'm five.