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.
“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.
When I was in my twenties, I was a big fan of movies. Stories that had a beginning and an ending. You walk out of the theater and it was over.
That always bug me. The ending bug me. And then what, I would ask myself?
In real life, whatever situation happens to you (unless you die), life keeps on with new situations to face and deal with every day.
Then one day, I turned on the television and started listening to what I thought was a movie. Since I had nothing particular to do that day, I listenned to it.
I liked it. It felt like real life, ordinary diversified folks, interesting situations and great dialogues. And then it ended in the middle of an intersting plot. I was shocked!
That’s when I realized that it was a Soap Opera playing “The Young and the Restless” and it was followed by another soap that I also took the time to listen to “The Bold and the Beautiful. It was just as interesting as the first one. Both soaps written by William J, Bell and Lee Phillip Bell.
The next day I had a very busy schedule, so, I decided to record these two soaps just to see if they would be as interesting as they were the day before. They were. I’ve been hooked since.
People can say what they want about soap operas, that they are far-fetched, but I’ll tell you that it take an incredible imagination to write such captivating intreguing stories days after days for 40 years and more with the same characters. Hats to the Bell brothers!
What is so intersting about these soaps is that there is no ending in sight, just like in real life. As soon as a situation is in control, another one pops up. And believe me, they cover almost every possible situations you can find in real life.
I sometime dream of writing a soap opera. Maybe if I was much younger, I would try to beat the Bell’brothers long time record…lol
“I sometime dream of writing a soap opera.”…
It is never ever too late. As a matter of fact this is exactly the right time to write it….N’est pas?
Start with yourself as a character. ..young Montreal Frenchman, fiercely in love with art, obsessed by world current events. Secretly, he writes online about his thoughts on these subjects. He has a fetish for sneaking into old french film noir movies late late at night with his tinfoil beret and a drag along garbage bag of popcorn.
LOL… you just read my mind, Michael.
Combine art and imagination with pure reality. A tinfoil beret artist obsessed by the plan of the Elites and trying to awake all the people around him.
Imagine all the nonchalant characters in the soap, denying reality? It would almost turn out to be a comedy. I can write French quite easily and with a special style. I used to write letters to the editors of “La Presse”, and they would always pick up my articles everytime and published them. So I know, I could do it.
But, where to start? And do I have the energy to start this no ending lifetime soap? That is the big question?
And would I find one day, the CIA at my doorsteps…lol?
Oops, I made an error. They are not brothers but a couple. Lee Bell is a woman. I didn’t know that up to now, when I decided to go look on the internet about the lives of these two authors.
I couldn’t agree with you more Jon…this piece really stirred up emotions in me.
When I was a kid, all those old movies stars lit me up… Rosalind Russell, Lana Turner and especially Kim Novak.
Yes the magic of them all. I was in awe at the importance of their lives, up there above the rest of us, on that huge screen. It seemed the movie was we the voyeurs looking in on the average day or maybe not so average day of these wonderful acting humans.
My life had to have a similar power and meaning like theirs…it had to be big not necessarily on the screen, but above the rest, a part played by me in the theatre of life. And if it wasn’t played it seemed it was destined to be boring and blech…play was the key word here, always play…but not mundane and serious like the rest of the world. I couldn’t become just like the world, living each day as another day at the gristmill. Up to my hilt in debt and tears and misery.
There is something deeper to life besides the usual humdrum. There has to be a magic. Artists are born from and greatly inspired by such thoughts.
I was determined to not just live an ordinary life, and so my fascination as a youth with older Hollywood actors and the black and white movies of the past.
And acting becomes my great desire…I acted and participated in smaller theatre groups, really digging in on the art of it, learning the craft… which lead me to thinking about movie acting as a career. I took acting classes and proceeded forward only to find one had to sell something very dear to be a success, like a soul…literally.
I left Canada for California and the dream. What I found?…old Hollywood didn’t exist anymore, maybe it never really existed. Maybe it was just those few great artists at that particular time period.
It had been taken over by the reality machine and it had stopped making art and magic…it was now about ideas, societies, propaganda, the psychology of ideas…political ideals, war propaganda. Religious propaganda. The machinery of making illusions. Actors having opinions and lifestyles and things to say about world events and especially to you the voyeur the worshiping fans…and of course lots of dirty laundry.
Hollywood is about endless dirty laundry.
I spent about a year and half in Carmel, California and my world and consciousness expanded, that was a great time in my life. I found the real me there. That is when I really became the artist that I am now. It was my baptism by truth. I was soon to find out that my nature was for painting, drawing and sculpting, rather than acting…and the power of imagining my own worlds and images.
Hah…I once saw Kim Novak just walking down the street in Carmel. It was a sunny day, a beautiful California day. And those pretty shops in Carmel at that time, the very early seventies. I was about 21 yrs old. And I was absolutely bowled over by her walking by me, because… I had been so impressed by her presence on screen. The magic she was, was still there, years later…I had a great crush on her when I was younger. I had saw her a number of times co-starring with Jimmy Stewart in Hitchcocks ‘Vertigo’. Its my favorite old flick. She was pure genius in it, she was like the Hindu avatar of a great Goddess. She had such power on the screen…they don’t show movies on those big screens anymore.
We are now left with modern Hollywood…minus the magic.
“Every young man’s heart is a graveyard in which are inscribed the names of a thousand dead artists but whose only actual denizens are a few mighty, often antagonistic, ghosts.”
– Andre Malraux