Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Summertime Blues

Began the morning with breakfast and Those Wonderful Thirties: The Stars of Hollywood's Golden Era. I picked up this two-disc LP set at Abbie Road at least five years ago or so. While there's some familiar tunes in this collection, notably Judy Garland's famous version of "Over the Rainbow," most of the songs featured are more obscure today. My favorites include "September in the Rain" by James Melton, "The Object of My Affection" by Pinky Tomlin, and "It's Raining Sunbeams" by Deanna Durbin. Looked over A Song In the Dark, a great book on the musicals of the early talkies, before I got ready for work.

Work was generally pretty quiet, as it has been since the week after the 4th of July. It was hot, sunny, and murderously humid. I spent a lot of it outside, doing carts. The managers said to only be out for ten or twenty minutes at a time, but that's not realistic. You can't really get anything done outside in that amount of time. Not to mention, there were also men outside repairing pot holes in the parking lot whom I had to avoid. A nice breeze helped somewhat. I also bagged, gathered baskets, cleaned the bathrooms, and shelved returns. Got stuck in the register for the last ten minutes. The manager finally called someone to come in for me...by which time, the lines were gone.

Rushed home after that. Worked on writing for a while when I got in. An angry Harry tries to knock Laurence's blinding white teeth out, but he and Charel are restrained. They're all marched to the office on the main floor, where Vader reveals their fate. He's taking Leia, Charel, Luke, and Clarence back to Coruscant with him. Harry was traded to Yasmin Hutt for the Sword of Wisdom, which she got from an illegal antiquities ring. Roberto Fettara will take him back in a crate to keep him from running off.

Charel attempts to attack the guards, to Clarence's horror. The big Russian is supposed to be helping him to stay on his feet, not getting him even more hurt! Harry gets him calmed down, telling him to look after the twins and the servants. Leia runs to his arms and kisses him passionately. He manages to tell her a certain famous reply before they're torn from each other's arms and he's knocked out and sealed in the crate.

I got so into writing. I didn't break for dinner until 7. I ate quickly, then worked on what I need to figure out to start a commercial blog. My biggest stumbling block is actually selling the blog...and where to sell it to. I avoid a lot of social media. Twitter and Tumblr are often so negative, they seem more "anti-social" to me. I got tired of the constant barrage of negativity in the Star Wars and American Girl fandoms and have largely dropped out of both (other than the fanfiction). I have no idea who the audience for this will be, or how to talk to them.

Finished the night on a relatively somber note with Phantom Thread. It's 1954, and fashion designer Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) is at the top of his profession, creating fabulous gowns for fashionable ladies. He's also a bit of a controlling ass who is still haunted by the death of his mother and who is largely ruled by his sister Cyril (Lesley Manville). Traveling to the country, he stops at a restaurant where he meets Alma, a waitress and aspiring model (Vicky Kreps). She becomes his muse and constant companion, but they argue constantly. She tries to make him dinner, but he say she's not sticking to his routine. Tired of his routine, she finally poisons his tea just to force him to settle down and let her take care of him. But old habits are hard to break...and when he finally tells her to leave, she decides she has to once again weaken him in order to get him to let her in.

Elegant and sumptuous, with excellent performances by an an Oscar-nominated Day-Lewis (in what supposedly will be his final performance) and Kreps. Paul Thomas Anderson keeps things appropriately dreamy, aloof, and even creepy towards the end, where Alma has somehow decided that the only way to keep her man is to poison the heck out of him. The classical-inspired score and appropriately gorgeous period costumes did win Oscars.

While this was a little too creepy to be something I'll seek out all the time, I don't regret having seen it. Worth checking out for fans of Day-Lewis, dark romantic drama, or historical movies with stunning eye candy.

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