This week in old films.

This week in old films.

I’ve decided to go on a bit of a mission to watch more old films – cause there are SO MANY that I haven’t seen, and I feel like there are so many favourites out there that I just haven’t met yet! Old movies make me happy, and I am trying to actively cultivate happy things at the moment. Plus it feels like I am accomplishing something by learning about vintage fashions and culture and everything, and learning makes me happy! My parents and I watched FIVE old movies this last week! Pretty good start if you ask me 😉

Monkey Business (1952)

This was a hilarious romp of a time (Wikipedia says it’s genre is “screwball comedy” which seems to be to be a great genre) with cool people in it, and a monkey who does some very advanced science. It was very silly and fun! I didn’t really know Cary Grant before this movie, but he has a really cool accent and I enjoyed that a lot. Apparently this is called a transatlantic or mid-atlantic accent – a sort of British-American mixture that nobody really spoke unless they were very rich or in theatre. So everybody was kind of faking this accent to seem fancy, but Cary Grant spoke this way a tiny bit more naturally than most, because he was born in England and only moved to America when he was 16. Anyway, I discovered that Cary Grant is pretty cool, so most of the other movies we saw this week had Cary Grant in them 😛

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Ultimate chemist.

You can read more about the weirdness of the trans-atlantic accent here if you’re super keen 😉

https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2013/08/the-rise-and-fall-of-katharine-hepburns-fake-accent/278505/

 

We’re Not Married (1952)

This one wasn’t really the best hahaha but it was still entertaining! There are multiple storylines but they all just play out in sequence rather than being interwoven in any way, so it’s sort of like many short stories, rather than a Love Actually situation. There is a lot of bickering. The best bit is when Marilyn is overjoyed not to be married! She’s just fabulous. Cary Grant is not in this movie.

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Marilyn being overjoyed.

 

Houseboat (1958)

Sophia Loren is charming, and Cary Grant plays a bit of an idiot, but he gets it together in the end. This movie was made fantastic by the hilarious youngest child, Robert, who is an absolute gem and tells everybody what is what. It’s worth watching just to see this kid in action. Sophia Loren also teaches us how to keep your cool when somebody buys you a tacky dress as a mean present: just take the giant flowers off it, and turn it into a knockout, and it will all backfire on them. Also in this film, Sophia Loren teaches us a great song called “Bing! Bang! Bong!”. So really, there is a lot to learn from this movie!

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Robert telling everyone what’s what.
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Ugly dress with tacky purple flowers…
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…BAM now it’s gorgeous!

And here is the Bing! Bang! Bong! song:

 

Bringing up Baby (1938)

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I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS MOVIE. Katherine Hepburn manages about a million words a minute, Cary Grant is a paleontologist, and Baby is actually the name of a very talented leopard actor who plays both a tame leopard and a mean leopard. It’s disastrous the entire way through and just very, very funny. According to wikipedia, this is another “screwball comedy”. Wikipedia has also informed me that one of the main features of screwball comedies is that they have strong female leads. I have decided I am a big fan.

At the time, this movie was totally dismissed. It was such a flop that Katherine Hepburn got labelled as “box office poison” until her later success with The Philadelphia Story, when she became all the rage again. In more recent times however, it has won many accolades and is now considered one of the all-time comedy greats.

Wikipedia on screwball comedies:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screwball_comedy_film

A cool little video the New York Times made:

 

The Philadelphia Story (1940)

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I’ve been an enormous fan of the 1956 musical remake of this film, High Society, for a very long time, and have been meaning to get around to watching the original for quite a while! Watching Katherine Hepburn in Bringing Up Baby reminded me to watch it… and to my surprise, on finding the movie, I realised it also starred Cary Grant! What an excellent coincidence.

This film is gorgeous, and High Society is a very very close remake, so it felt very familiar! Their scripts are almost identical. Although I think High Society is still my MOST favourite, it’s really a very very close call! I mean, Katherine Hepburn vs. Grace Kelly?! Cary Grant vs. Bing Crosby?! James Stewart vs. Frank Sinatra?! It’s really not possible to choose! High Society however also has the fabulous Louis Armstrong, and substitutes jazz music for alcoholism, so for me it justttt takes the cake 😉

Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn’s on-screen chemistry is magic, and their comedic timing stellar. Turns out they were in two more romantic comedies together – so those are definitely on my to watch list!

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IMPOSSIBLE JUST IMPOSSIBLE

That’s it for this week in old movies!

tl;dr – screwball comedies are the TOPS; Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Sophia Loren and Marilyn are always ever amazing; go watch Bringing Up Baby, you will not regret it 😉

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That green light, I want it.

I did a cover of Green Light by Lorde this week!

This song has meant a lot to me over the past couple of months.
I’ve been recovering from pretty severe depression and anxiety, and the past while has been a frustrating stage of feeling ready to move on, wanting to get better, and not quite being able to!
Green Light really resonated with me because it so perfectly captures that stage. I haven’t been going through a break-up, but for me, this song has been meaningful and healing.

The Magnificent Lauren Child.

The Magnificent Lauren Child.

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Yesterday, Mum and I went to a talk given by Lauren Child, as part of the Auckland Writers Festival. This was EXTREMELY THRILLING for me.

I feel like I grew up on the Clarice Bean books. I read and read and re-read them. My favourite parts of them, though, were always the bits about child super-brain secret agent, Ruby Redfort. In these books we got tiny glimpses into the Ruby novels and TV series that Clarice devoured, and I felt a kinship with Clarice as I, too, devoured every glimpse we got. I laboriously copied and compiled every Ruby Rule we saw, in chronological order, into my own Ruby Rules notebook – to help me out on my own secret agent missions of course 😉

I dreamed and wished that the Ruby Redfort books were real – and when I was sixteen, to my enormous surprise and delight, my wish came true. It seems that I was not the only child wishing that Ruby was real, because children requested, and Lauren wrote! Each of the past six years has brought a new Ruby book, and the entire series has been wonderful, and perfect, and everything I had hoped they would be. With their complicated codes, nail-biting mysteries, wonderfully nefarious villains and infinitely endearing characters, they were pure gems.

Lauren Child is also a pure gem. Sometimes when you see somebody in real life, they’re somehow not what you thought they might be, but as with Ruby, this was most definitely not so. She was witty and brilliant and funny, and Mum and I loved every minute of her talk. She talked about illustrating and feminism and thrillers and superheroes and the unexpected, and it was all just marvelous and refreshing and inspiring.

The last Ruby book arrived at the point when I was really my most unwell, and it was a ray of sunshine in quite a dark time. And now that I am recovering, and taking baby steps back into being creative again, and trying new things again, and just starting to feel like me again, this talk came at a time where I really need sparkling moments like these.

Lauren Child, I’ve never met you, but I feel like you have given me so much.

Thank you.

Healing moments.

Healing moments.

I skyped my therapist on Monday. It was way harder than I thought it would be!

I’ve just returned two weeks ago from a year in Singapore, where I got hit pretty hard with depression and anxiety. I found a wonderful therapist over there, who really helped me through the rough times, and with the support of my boyfriend and mum, I finally got to a place where I could travel home. 🙂

I’m doing much better than I was at the start of this year, but everyday is still a rocky ride. I’m just taking things a day at a time, and trying to find little lights in all of the toughness.

Even though I’ve been seeing this therapist for months, and we get along really well, talking to her through a screen really weirded me out! It was a different kind of interaction, and change can be so hard! But we just had a short session, and talked about ordinary things, and it wasn’t so bad. We’ll keep chipping away at it, and I think I’ll adjust to it pretty quickly.

Before we hung up, she said to me to keep trying listen to my body and emotions, and to accept them as they are. It’s a challenge not to get frustrated. She said “any moment can be a healing moment.” It was a reminder that I needed.

Change is happening. I just have to be patient, and find the little lights; the healing moments in the difficulties. 🙂