Saturday, June 10, 2017
Sarah Churchill, Zadie Smith and Synchonicity.
I am half way through the Zadie Smith novel Swing Time - a great read - so it was with bemusement that I sat down yesterday night to see that the Fred Astaire movie Royal Wedding was on the Turner Classic Movies Channel.
The fact is, I don't believe I've ever seen that particular movie! I don't think it has played much on TV over the years.
Yes, I've seen the famous dance bits, with the hat rack and the anti-gravity wall dancing, but that only divorced from the movie.
Remember those successful re-wind films, That's Entertainment and That's Entertainment 2? Well, I saw those in the 70's - like most everyone else.
The colourful Haitian bit, well, I think it's been censored over the years, for obvious reasons Zadie Smith explores in her wonderful novel. Maybe I am wrong.
Syncronicity, I guess, is the reason Royal Wedding played last night on the television while I was in the middle of a new book by one of my favorite authors.
But, I swear, I've never before seen Royal Wedding, not once ever.
Then, there's Sarah Churchill, who plays Astaire's love interest.
I guess I knew that Winston had a daughter who was an actress but I didn't know she had been given a big showcase role in 1951, dancing with Fred Astaire.
She's a nice dancer.
When Churchill's character first came on screen, I thought she was Rosemary Clooney, only lankier. It couldn't have been a good thing for her to look like one of the most talented stars of the time, even with her famous name.
Sarah Churchill died in 1967, relatively young.
I wonder why this movie hasn't been played and replayed ad-infinitum on TV lately, like many of Astaire's lesser movies.
Maybe it's a rights issue.
I wouldn't have watched Royal Wedding last night, being so tired, but the host said it had great scenes.
So, maybe Royal Wedding has played a lot, but I haven't bothered to watch.
Royal Wedding takes place during Queen Elizabeth's coronation, way back when, before I was born.
I didn't know much about Rosemary Clooney, either, until lately. (Well, except for watching White Christmas every year.)
I was born in the 1950's.
Although a huge star in the fifties, in the sixties, as her famous nephew succinctly put it, she was forgotten.
iTunes and such has brough her a new audience, including myself, who can now appreciate her note-perfect singing. I love those 40's tunes.
Well, I did have an acquaintance with Rosemary. My parents bought me her "children's album" and I remember loving Teddy Bear's Picnic. Her mischievious vocal stylings are forever etched into my brain.
Rosemary Clooney's photo was on the cover and it displayed her considerable cleavage. I recall in college a male friend of mine remarking on that same cover. It had had some kind of effect on him as a boy.