Friday, November 11, 2005

Anyone else cry over old movies?

I disgraced myself yesterday by dissolving into FLOODS at my oldest friend's dad's birthday party. The evening included (convoluted explanation omitted) a viewing of an astonishing film from the 1940s entitled HUMORESQUE, starring Joan Crawford and John Garfield, with Oscar Levant as light relief/fantastic pianist. John Garfield plays a gifted young violinist from a disadvantaged background in New York. Joan Crawford is an older(ish), wealthy, married, society party-giver who helps his career and falls for him in the process. He falls for her too. She drinks too much, is deeply insecure and a little short-sighted (in many ways). He plays music, music and more music - played on the soundtrack by Isaac Stern. Music arranged and conducted by Franz Waxman, including his wild version of the Liebestod from Tristan for violin, piano and orchestra - to which Joan Crawford ultimately goes to pieces and drowns herself. The screenplay is multilayered, insightful, accurate and original and turns out to be by Clifford Odets. I was a snuffling wreck at the end.

Sample line: "A French philosopher once wrote down 300 ways of committing suicide. He left one out: fall in love with an Artist..."