English poet (1926-2011)
April 5, 2015 at 8:15 am (Fun) (Alan Cumming, birthday, Broadway, brothers, Cabaret, Canada, candles, Cartoons, Colin Firth, dreamers, Easter Bunny, English and French, grandparents, Heather O'Neill, Jesus Christ Superstar, language, metaphor, Montreal, Montreal men, new books, Not My Father's Son, old loves, poets, politics, referendum, simile, St. Trinian girls, stars, The Girl Who was Saturday Night, UK movies, YouTube)
The stars in the sky were like candles on the birthday cake of a one-thousand-year-old man. (p. 318)
1) Annual Traditions – every year, sometime around Good Friday, I watch Jesus Christ Superstar. This year I’ve already viewed the 1973 version 3.5 times. It is my favourite version. When it first came out my grandparents (my mother’s parents were strict Lutherans and argued with conviction that JC and the disciplines would not have had long hair and that the popular music was sacrilegious) were very much against us going to see the movie. Thankfully, mom let us go anyway and my younger brother and I spent many Saturday afternoons singing along to the LP. This Good friday, I watched a 2000 version of the play as it was produced in London (England) that is much darker than the 1970s movie.
2) New books that bring me joy and insight and remind me of old homes. Of all the cities I’ve lived in, I miss this city the most. I was English and there during the last referendum so reading about an honest recounting of the French point of view was enlightening.
After the 1980 referendum, everyone with prospects left the city. Everyone here now was a direct descendant of a dreamer. (p. 164)
Heather O’Neill, the author of this book set in Montreal, has a poet’s way with language and an unique way with similes and metaphors.
I looked in the closet for a warmer coat. … Moths flew everywhere around me, like I was in a little snowstorm. It was me. I let winter out of the box. (p. 207)
Arguments lasted longer. They hid behind couches and under the table. (p. 236)
Montreal is Canada’s New York City; it is a place for dreamers, actors, poets, and writers who have no choice but to also mingle with politicians and big business. It is a commercial city and a university town and a dreamer’s paradise as contradictory as that all sounds.
3) YouTube. Ah, but New York city has Broadway. I thank the stars for YouTube. I have been a Broadway Musical fan since forever. I search YouTube relentlessly for clips of past and present plays. It is the only place I have seen Alan Cumming in Cabaret. I so wish I could have seen Cabaret with him and Emma Stone as Sally. I settle instead for YouTube and memoirs. Alan’s new biography Not My Father’s Son is a must read for his fans! I finished it in a day and searched YouTube for clips of his vast acting credits. A very enjoyable day it was. If you’re a fan of Cabaret you must watch this documentary.
4) Memories of old loves. The Girl Who Was Saturday Night describes Montreal men perfectly divinely. Sigh! I miss him.
You could have a graduate class on him at Universite de Montreal. The prerequisites would have to be Russian Realism, The Death of the American Dream, The Bad Guy in Henry James, French Postwar Existentialism, and Seventies Independent Cinema.(p.284)
5) St. Trinian’s. I always wanted to be a St. Trinian’s girl and now to discover a new series of movies with Colin Firth in them. Ah happiness! Ah bliss! I know what I’m watching Saturday night. We (North America) need better access to movies from the UK, the good and the silly. I thank the stars that my library system is so diverse.
Happy Birthday Week to me (why celebrate just one day)!
More Tribbles and Bits here.
All quotes from:
The Girl Who was Saturday Night
by Heather O’Neill
Toronto, Ontario: HarperCollins, 2014