Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

29 July 2005

That Cement Is Just There for the Weight, Dear

I really want to see Louis Malle's Elevator to the Gallows, which is screening at the cinema down the street, but how can I justify seeing a film from almost fifty years ago when there are so many movies from 2005 calling my name? I think I will see Me and You and Everyone We Know instead.

PLUS I still have Pather Panchali, Last Tango in Paris, and The Razor's Edge sitting at home just waiting to be sent back to the nearest Netflix hub.

I turned on my personal radio at work today. I never know if I will get KPFK, KCRW or KUSC, such is the temperamental nature of my radio, but I lucked out. The voice coming out at me from the ether was unmistakably Bette Davis's, clearly in her sixties doing an interview where the public was asking her the coolest questions! After it was over, the announcer told me that I was listening to one of the Pacifica Radio Archives' newest finds: an audio recording from 1969 of a Q&A Davis did at the San Francisco Film Festival where she was being fêted for her body of work.
Davis picked out her favorite films, discussed modern filmmaking as opposed to the old studio system, talked about actors she would have loved to work with, discussed Mike Nichols (with love) and said that she begged to be allowed to play Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (this, she says, was before Nichols was attached to the project.) One of my favorite things she said was that the only distinction her film Beyond the Forest will ever have is that "Mr. Albee wrote 'What a dump!' Nothing else good ever came from that terrible film."

Good times.