Thursday, May 15, 2008

Stranded with Bette Davis

My girl's car is making a "funny" noise. ("Funny" to us. I doubt the beloved, our first-line car guy is amused.) Anyway, he's busy this week, so she's taken my car, and I'm somewhat stranded till Friday. Perfect writing time, you suggest?

It should be, but I had myself a Bette Davis marathon. Not her more well-known stuff. A Stolen Life, where a "good" twin takes over a "bad" twin's life, and Glenn Ford turns out to be surprisingly attractive (though one must suspend disbelief to think he wouldn't catch on). The Letter, which is just an amazing movie. Woman shoots in self-defense, although I don't ever remember believing her self-defense story, so I'm not sure you're supposed to. And The Great Lie, in which Mary Astor has Bette's husband's baby, but Bette becomes his mother. This may be my favorite. It's a good story, but also, it feels like a slice of 1941 life.

What an actress. These are definitely not all a-list movies, but there are moments in each of them where I forget Bette's acting or someone's telling a story. That's the funny thing about telling stories for a living. Forgetting you're watching/reading/hearing one grows ever more difficult--even though that's any storyteller's goal.

To get out of the way and let the story live its own life.

I put that on its own line so I'd remember. "Pretty" writing can be so seductive! ;-)

Note to self: No movie marathons today!

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