Going to the movies
by Jon Rappoport
January 22, 2015
“Why should art be considered a side-branch of life? I’ve never understood that. For me, it was always the other way around. Want a vacation from art? Visit life. If you do it that way, you find out life is much more interesting than you thought it was. Put in a few thousand hours working in theater, acting in plays, walk out on the street and you begin to realize what’s actually going on there.” (The Underground, Jon Rappoport)
His Girl Friday (Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, 1940) generates a breakneck conversational effervescence that’s unmatched in film-comedy.
Ros Russell is steel, glass, and tight-satin immortality. But she’s also in love with Cary, hopelessly, beyond her control.
Howard Hawks delivers a film of merciless happiness. And if you wanted real religion, the film would be playing in your chapel every day as a central object of contemplation.
In acting schools, teachers say, “Reveal! Don’t indicate!” His Girl Friday contains not a single word or gesture that indicates.
Cary Grant plays a con man you would let into your home to take away every possession you have—and you’d be ecstatic about paying the price to have him there for a little while. He’s Hermes, the trickster god, in a suit and tie, rolling along.
During the film, a few characters are dented, but by the end there are no victims. Everyone finds his level.
The first time you see His Girl Friday, you find it hard to believe you haven’t seen it before. Some part of you has been waiting for it and anticipating it. And there it is. Ordinary reality transformed without ever having to leave the street or the office.
Cary Grant carries so much magnetic force around with him—but as in no other film, he meets his female match. Russell keeps up with him, line by line. Dissatisfied with the way her character was written, she brought in her own writer to lift her to Grant’s level. It worked. That, plus bits of stirring improvisation, of which Hawks happily approved, made the Grant-Russell duo unique wizardry.
Assuming magic is always and only an ancient subject is nonsense. Magic has to be explored as something that can be invented now. Well, His Girl Friday, made in 1940, is as modern as it gets.
The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at NoMoreFakeNews.com or OutsideTheRealityMachine.