Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Big Knife and other thoughts

My Tooth
I know it isn't manly to complain about my sore tooth, but this is a blog.  No one said it had to be manly.  A blog should be true, most of the time.  I hope the rare reader has caught onto to my exaggerations.
The Big Knife
I watched the DVD for this movie, which I purchased at Nan Chang Market third floor, Sunday night.  It was a block buster movie that mostly took place in a living room.  The actors looked big and their lines were so over written that a committee of writers must been hired to write them.  The film was shot in stark black and white of the era just before all movies were to be made in colour.  The music was jazzy and would suddenly clang loudly as dramatic moments in the plot had occurred. 
Since the film was about a movie star, played by Jack Palance, in trouble and being blackmailed by the studio, nothing in the film could have been other than blockbuster  -- the living room was filled of expensive paintings and sculpture, a butler would come into the living room occasionally, every person was dressed to the nines, and all the actors wore the snazziest of suits with the most perfect of coifs.  The studio head, played by Rod Steiger, reminded me of what Marlon Brando could have been if he had chosen to be an actor instead of Marlon Brando.  (I have never had a bead on what Rod Steiger looks like even though he is a famous actor.)  Ida Lupino reminded me of Elizabeth Taylor.
So what made an impression on me from this movie is the look of it.  But I think it tried too hard and ended up far too spoofable.  All its cleverness was entirely forgettable.
Primary School
This afternoon, I am teaching at a Primary School.  What fresh horrors await me?
With Charity Towards None
I just finished re-rereading Florence King's With Charity Towards None:  A Fond Look at Misanthropy for the twentieth time since I have been in China.  I still get something out of it. 
I can't say I am a Misanthrope.  They are born, not made, said King.  I might well be the sort of characters Misanthropes despise:  I am a fool and I am too tolerant of others' foolishness.
Be that as it may, the book always fills me with a positive glow when I finish with it.  Sure, people are generally rotten but there is no point in being miserable about it  -- you have to try to cultivate a sense of humour about it.
I don't think I have a sense of humour -- still, I try.

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