Tag Archives: katharine hepburn

Arrivederci

The Film Experience’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” series takes a trip to Venice this week for David Lean’s bittersweet romance Summertime (1955). My favorite shot from the film is a simple one. To set the stage: less than ten minutes of movie are left, and Katharine Hepburn’s wistful American tourist has an announcement to make. “Listen, Renato,” she tells her Italian beau, a gentle man played by Rossano Brazzi. “I’m leaving today.”

This two shot, lasting roughly two minutes, contains the whole of their final conversation. “I shall always love you,” confides Renato, leaning toward her. She gives a little rolling nod and tries to stiffen her jaw, tears quickly pooling in her eyes. “Yeah,” she sighs, and the syllable has unexpected gravity thanks to her inimitable New England accent. This is a very tight shot, but Hepburn shifts whatever would normally be said with body language into her face, which is rigid, then loose; distraught, then opening into a melancholy smile.

All the while, water ripples in the canal behind them. These surroundings are quiet and out of focus, keeping all our attention on the couple in the foreground, but still the water and brick pillars linger as a reminder of of the Venice she’s about to leave behind—and as the hypotenuse of a loose right triangle that further tightens the shot’s emphasis on its actors. This shot isn’t showy, but it is beautiful. It advances the plot and showcases Hepburn’s acting while still providing us something rich to gaze upon. This is how you stage a break-up: with visual modesty and minimal fuss.

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Link Dump: #7

Damn, life in 1930s Connecticut was swanky. Look at that dress! It’s really perfect leopard-petting apparel. Here’s some links I gathered over the past week that could come in handy if you need to go “gay all of a sudden“:

  • From the “Last Year’s News” department, I just read this 7-month-old article by Paul Tatara bitching about Avatar and eulogizing Eric Rohmer. I wouldn’t link to it, but it’s so insightful, well-written, and bittersweet that I couldn’t help it. Besides, it contains a still from Claire’s Knee.
  • Say it ain’t so, PTA! The Master, the latest project from the genius/director of Magnolia and There Will Be Blood, has been indefinitely suspended. And it would’ve starred Philip Seymour Hoffman, too!
  • Shanna Katz writes in “No, I’m NOT Her Roomate” about heteronormativity and fuckers who refuse to acknowledge queer relationships as legitimate.
  • Static Nonsense at Some Assembly Required talks about sexuality and OCD, touching on some problems with the word “bisexual.”
  • Jezebel has the scoop on what’s next for DADT. Maybe soon the answer can firmly be “repeal”? Eh, Obama administration?
  • Dan Savage has started the beautiful It Gets Better project on YouTube to help gay teenagers. It’s really inspiring; go watch some of the videos. (Happy Bodies talks about It Gets Better as well.)
  • Big Think has a 20-minute interview with John Waters about filth, art, his new book Role Models, Salò, and more! The man is an indisputable genius and you need to watch this whole thing. Right now.
  • From the 13th issue of Rouge, a film magazine, published in March ’09, here’s an essay entitled “The Secret Life of Objects” by Mark Rappaport. It’s lengthy, but very rewarding, as it addresses Hollywood studios’ reuses of certain sets, paintings, and statues across the films of the 1940s and ’50s. Give it a read.
  • You know what’s freaking aweso.me? Freaking Aweso.me’s “ridiculous detailed” zombie poster. It’s a rotting hand and it’s got the names of almost 1,000 zombie movies/books/video games and you can zoom in to read it closer online. All I can say is, “BRAAAINS!”

This was a disappointing week in search terms, but we did get some wacky pussy-related entries. Like that immortal question, “woman puts dog food in pussy why”? Why indeed. Or another timeless riddle: what is the “sound made by pussy when fucking”? Forsooth, learned men have been pondering the sound of one pussy fucking for eons now. Someone wonders, “do you see princess mononoke’s pussy”? I reply: 1) her name’s not actually “Princess Mononoke,” but San and 2) NO, YOU DON’T! Duh. Next: “pregnant open pussy and baby can be seen.” Ummm. Yeah. And finally, “the old testament the book of smut.” I do not believe the Old Testament contains such a book. But I could be wrong.

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Filed under Cinema, Feminism, Media, Meta, Personal, Sexuality