Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thursday March 24

When a determined to have content be anything but the Big Bads of the news cycle, it can be a little overwhelming sometimes trying to find that content. That is, if that person has also decided to avoid the names Charlie Sheen, Nancy Grace, Lindsay Lohan, Anybody Named Kardashian or Jenner (do you think when the cameras are turned off that Bruce Jenner ever gets annoyed by the constant insistence that it's the Family Kardashian--does he ever say, "I actually won a Gold medal at the Olympics. Seriously--what have you people ever done of value? Why isn't this the Jenner family?"), many more.

So, here's my attempt at something other than the dregs...or endless Elizabeth Taylor links.
Okay, maybe one Elizabeth Taylor link! I really like Andrew O'Hehir's writing over at Salon, and his article, "The short and strange career of Elizabeth Taylor, movie star" has the line,

She's far more famous for being famous -- but she began as a profligate, sexy, immensely compelling actress.

Which immediately got my attention. So, there you go..

I grew up during the Taylor-Burton marriage. To me, growing up in a small town without a cinema, watching very little tv, they were images from the black and white tabloids I saw near the cash register at the supermarket. As I got older, People magazine turned up, and Elizabeth Taylor turned into this colour-image:  the unbelievable eyes which everyone described as violet, and I realised, seeing them, that there really was no good way to describe that rich dark blue that no one else on the planet seemed to be walking around with. At the time, she had turned from goddess and icon into a joke (Joan Rivers solidified her career as a comedian with her "Liz Taylor is fat" jokes)--the marriages, the boozing, the not-so-slow dissolution of her glory during her marriage to the stolid John Warner.

When I moved away from that small town, and ventured out into the world, I found a world where one could see movies in theatres, on tv and on video. At some point, I don't remember when, I saw Cleopatra. I know I turned it on thinking snidely, "Let's see how bad this is!".  Within minutes, I desperately wished I had one gram of the charisma, energy and beauty of Miss Taylor (and promptly fell madly in love with Richard Burton).

All of that is to say that in a world where Taylor has not been a working actress in decades and today's young ones have no clue who she is (my teenager announced, "Liz Taylor, I love her!" and when I glared at him for being a smart-ass, he happily pointed out that she had been a voice on The Simpsons. Not that he loves her--but he loved an opportunity to pretend she was relevant to his world), I still have a residual fondness for her.
The beauty, the talent, the fierce support of her friends in their struggles, the tireless activism, the rollicking ridiculous embrace of living--a woman who happily announced with a giggling pealing cackle of laughter that she was "just a broad".

Maybe--but the very best a broad could be.
One last line...Carrie Fisher, said in a statement of the woman who was for five years her stepmother,
"This was a remarkable woman who led her life to the fullest rather than complacently following one around." 

We should all be so lucky...
So, we all like to roll our eyes and complain when we hear about Hollywood remakes. Right now, it seems as if they're all films from the 80s so there are those of us who saw those films in first-run. We express loud and considerable surprise because we're not really emotionally equipped to do the math and figure out just how long ago that was and that most of those in the desirable 18-35 demographic for advertisers and movie execs weren't even born then.

Anyway...this ain't a film from the 80s. And it's not beloved. And...I for one am a little surprised that anybody thought there was any reason whatsoever to remake Plan 9 from Outer Space.

I kid you not.

Last, but not least...

Making the rounds of the comic-centric internet this week has been links to comic creator Dean Trippe's blog. There he posted ideas from a long-ago pitch to DC Comics for Lois Lane Girl Reporter. The designs, by Daniel Krall, are beyond wonderful. The idea--fantastic. Would have utterly appealed to girls, young and old--and the appeal would have gone far beyond that, utterly proved by how far 'round the 'net it's going, and all the positivity and regret being expressed by fans and creators alike.

Do yourself a favour and wash all memory of current hsyterical newsreporting out of your mind (ignoring you N***y G***e)  by checking out the designs--even without a whole book to read, you will still get a smile out of the characters.

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