Ring-A-Ding-Ding-Along With Me

1 January, 2008 at 3:05 pm (clerical, film)

Bits and bobs to begin being the beguine, if you take my meaning…

Doonesbury 21 October 2002+ I’ve closed down The Brothel, an internet forum I’ve hosted since March of 2003. It was good fun, and good conversation. If you participated in it in any way, thanks for hanging out. I find that I miss it, and still have regular instances where I find I’m itching to go there and type out something. My hope is to start writing this stuff in letters again, like I used to. If I used to e-mail you a lot and don’t any longer, now would be a good time to hit me up again for my patented brand of twitchy correspondence.

+ Aileen regularly gives her fellow statemates a bit of a going over for complaining about the weather. And she’s got a point. Complaining about the weather is a particularly ineffectual use of one’s vitriol, whether one is bitching about the unpredictability of the daily expression of the climate, or whether one is moaning about the totally predictable display of living someplace where there are seasons. And even if one had gotten used to the past three years of warmer winters, brown Christmases, and less frequent shoveling, one really can’t find much in the way of forensic ground to complain about a return to normalcy.

That said, the guy who who plows my driveway got stuck in the snow and ice that had accumulated there over the past few days. It’s a hoary old joke, but yeah. The plow. Got stuck. In the snow. I think it’s time to call a moratorium on precipitation for a little while, okay, Old Man Weather?

+ My mother has just called me to recommend that I go see Lars and the Real Girl, the heartfelt tale of one man’s relationship with his Real Doll. I can’t tell if this is because she thought it was weird and funny, or is that she’s given up on my ever getting married and has switched to a twisted new tactic.

+ There are a couple of films that I watch annually. While Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo recently debated the best Christmas movie of all time (Die Hard all the way, baby!), I find myself deviating from their list and regularly rewatching Billy Wilder’s The Apartment as my sole piece of personal seasonal entertainment. Bridging the gap between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, it’s my touchstone of a certain kind of solitary melancholy.

This year, upon rewatching, I was suddenly struck by the presence of a Chagall painting in the background in one scene.

Jack Lemmon and Marc Chagall in The Apartment

How odd, I thought, that this Chagall would be used as a print in both The Apartment and years later in Notting Hill. It was an odd sort of subtle tribute. Or maybe it was because the rights to displaying the image were held by the studio. Or something else. In any case, it was an interesting coincidence, and the sort of blog post that Glenn Kenny would have been proud of. I scampered off to grab a screencap from both films, only to find out that it wasn’t the same painting at all.

Julia Roberts, Chagall, and Hugh Grant in Notting Hill

I haven’t the faintest idea where else I’ve seen the painting in The Apartment, then. I had a suspicion that it was in the Chagall exhibit at the Kunstmuseum Heidenheim, but a review of the programme indicates otherwise.

So I got nothin’. Instead, I’ll merely quote the endearing Richard Curtis dialogue from Notting Hill:

I can't believe you have
that picture on your wall.

You like Chagall?

I do. It feels like how
being in love should be.
Floating through a dark blue sky.

With a goat playing the violin.

Yes... happiness isn't happiness
without a violin-playing goat.

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