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1THE WAY WE WERE
A New Life-Trajectory in '73
The month I separated from my first wife, the film The Way We Were was released. It was October 1973 and I was living in Australia. That marriage had begun six years before in Canada. I did not see the film until several years later. I don't remember when but this afternoon, in another October nearly 40 years later, during my retirement from the job world, I chanced to see two or three short segments of that film.1 I won't give you the story of the plot or all the details leading to its release because you can easily google all the details about the film at several internet sites.
I was especially interested, though, in the beginning of the story which was told in flashback. It was the story of a Katie Morosky and Hubbell Gardiner, who met at college on 3 June 1937. It was about this time that my parents first met. They both worked at the Otis Elevator Company in Hamilton Ontario. In that year, 1937, the Baha'i teaching Plan, a Plan I have been associated with for nearly sixty years, was first implemented in North America,.
Morosky and Gardiner met again after WW2. They fell in love and married. By then, my parents had also married and I was one to two years old. Arthur Laurents(1917-2011), an American playwright, stage director and screenwriter, wrote the original screenplay which became, eventually, the movie. While an undergraduate at Cornell University, Laurents was introduced to political activism by a member of the Young Communist League. This student was the model for Laurents, of Katie Morosky, a fiery campus radical who organized rallies and a peace strike. The memory of her fervour remained with Laurents long after he lost touch with Morosky and Cornell University.
Laurents also wrote the 1958 musical West Side Story and the 1959 musical Gypsy, based on the memoirs of the stripper Gypsy Rose Lee. In 1962 Laurents directed the film I Can Get It for You Wholesale which helped to turn the then-unknown Barbra Streisand into a star. How Streisand and Robert Redford become the two main characters in the film I watched this afternoon and which began with this experience of Laurents in 1937 is a complex story which can also be found at Wikipedia.2 --Ron Price with thanks to 1ABC1, 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. and 2Wikipedia, 8 October 2011.
You1 were beginning to find success
in my first years of contact with this
new Faith,2 & it was coincidental that
The Way We Were was released in the
same month my first wife and I came to
separate........A whole new success story
resulted for Streisand and Redford and a
whole new life trajectory opened for me
Downunder where I would lay my bones
long after that movie The Way We Were.3
1 Arthur Laurents wrote the screenplay West Side Story which opened in 1958
2 My first association with the Baha'i Faith was 1953 and I joined in 1959
3 October 1973
9 October 2011
RonPrice posted in the forum: MAKE ‘EM LAUGH: ABC2, 11:40pm - 12:38am, Saturday, 25 June 2011.
I'd had a long day. I'd had my evening sleep to recover from the demands of the day on my psyche. Even though I have now been retired from the anxieties of a job for more than a decade(1999 to 2011) and am in what is sometimes called the evening of my life, my psyche can be and is often stretched to its limit without too much trouble.
By midnight I've nearly always had a minimum of at least four hours of reading and research, writing and editing---and sometimes as many as eight. As I consumed by late-night snack, I chanced upon an ABC2 television program entitled: Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America. It was sub-titled Would Ya Hit a Guy with Glasses?/Nerds, Jerks & Oddballs.1
From the early pioneers to the most biting satire on television today, this TV program featured some of the funniest moments in American entertainment including: Charlie Chaplin, Lucille Ball, Cheech and Chong, Woody Allen, Steve Martin and Robin Williams. Most of this comedy was on the periphery of my life, although the funny-side of life moved to the centre as I moved from Canada to Australia, and from young to late adulthood, from the age of 20 to 65. -Ron Price with thanks to 1ABC2, 11:40pm - 12:38am, Saturday, 25 June 2011.
I did not really get into laughing
until I moved to Australia where
laugher is just about compulsory
with that cynical-beneath-surface
mentality that I have come to see
as part of a survival kit. Humour
is the main thing I've learned in the
last 40 years living here Downunder.
It helps to give a balance to serious
stuff that has been bread-and-butter
for me in the arts and sciences away
back---as far I can remember---after
playing and having fun occupied my
time in those childhood years, and as
I got into religion1 and politics2 by a
series of sensible & insensible degrees
from my adolescent years to those of my
young adulthood: twenty to forty years old.
1 My parents, especially my mother, had eclectic religious tastes and by the time I was 15 I had attended many religious groups and joined the Baha'i Faith.
2 My interest in politics became, by my mid-teens, non-partisan, having been inoculated against party politics by the experience of having political meetings in our home. The Baha'i Faith was a non-partisan religion. My study of politics at university was mainly academic as was my teaching of the subject from the 1970s to the 2000s.
26 June 2011
RonPrice posted in the forum: Eight Decades of Horror Films: An Personal Overview
I just dropped into this site to answer some of the feedback which has come in during the last two years. Life is busy even when one retires and gets close to 70 years of ago. Thanks, Rock, for your response. I still appreciate encouragement as I get into my declining years.-Ron
RonPrice posted in the forum: John Ford: The Man who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
I just saw your post, Movientvfan. Have a good sleep. I do the same as you with posts I don't like, don't want to read or get bored with. The main difference between me and you is that I don't tell the person. Your honesty, your frankness, has its virtue and I wish you well both on the internet and in life in giving that honesty expression. Watch out, though, with that gun. When you say: "I've got a gun and I know how to use it!" such a feeling or sentiment can be dangerous. I would encourage you not to use a gun if, in fact, you own one.-Ron
I just saw the post of Movientvfan written some 11 months ago and I would like to say a few words, belatedly, in response. First, thanks for your honest reaction to my post. Second, one can only keep some of the people happy some of the time---if one tries to keep all the people happy all of the time one would probably (a) die trying or (b) get some kind of mental illness.-Ron
RonPrice posted in the forum: The Passion of the Christ: The Passion of Christ: Mel Gibson
My belated thanks for your encouraging response to my post, Liken. I wish you well from Downunder in Tasmania.-Ron Price. George Town, Australia
I want to thank the moderators of this site for removing the post of "Supes." It is useful to have honest and even critical feedback, as was the case with Movientvfan above. But sometimes a person's post goes too far. In the end, of course, such a decision is in the hands of moderators and administrators of sites. Again, thanks.-Ron Price, Tasmania
I thank this forum's moderators for deleting the inappropriate post(s) that were sent in response to my initial item here on Jackie Gleason.-Ron Price, Australia
Thanks for your responses, especially Movientvfan's honest reaction to my prose-poem. As in daily life, so on the internet and at the movies, we can't please everyone all the time. Some people like what a person writes and says and some don't. Often, too, in life and in writing, as in the movies, Supes, the way things are and the way they seem are very, very different. See you all lateRon
SIDNEY LUMET DIES
LIGHT UPON LIGHT!?
Director Sidney Lumet died yesterday. He was 86. This prose-poem will not tell you chapter and verse about his legendary career which, if you don't know it, you can read about it. Lumet's published memoir about his life in film, Making Movies (1996), is "extremely light-hearted and infectious in its enthusiasm for the craft of moviemaking itself," writes film-historian Stephen Bowles, "and is in marked-contrast to the tone and style of most of his films.1 The tone and style of Lumet's films is serious, honest, and passionate.
He was a master of social realism and of portraying morally complex American life and its drama. In a radio interview I heard today Lumet said that each setting, each location, each shoot scene with all the supporting actors, guest stars, producers and director, as well as the entire production crew on hand make for a collectivity, an event, a social scene which he found part of the very raison d'etre for his work, indeed, his life. -Ron Price with thanks to Wikipedia, 10 April 2011 and Stephen E. Bowles, International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, The Gale Group Inc., 2001.
Perhaps if I made films, Sidney,
I would make them light-hearted
and infectious like your memoir.
My memoir was serious, honest
and full of the complexity of our
modern world-----like your films.
I must say, Sidney, that I hardly even
knew you.........I've been busy myself
as far back as you were working for..
CBS directing hundreds of episodes of
Danger('50-'55), Mama ('49-'57) and
You Are There('53-'57).....I won't follow
your career until your death yesterday,
but I would like to know if you ever met
any Baha'is in NY in your many decades.
You are, arguably, in that land of light &
you will, also arguably...continue to play
with light, character, & condition humaine1
in that new country, that oh so mysterious
Kingdom to which you winged your way!?!*2
1 The phrase 'the human condition' in French
2 'Abdul-Baha, Memorials of the Faithful, Wilmette, 1975(1971), p.134 and p.158.
10 April 2011
Indeed, R1phil, not many keep their girlish profile, as you say. Especially after the age of 60, 70 or 80. My manly profile, now as I head for 70, has long gone with 70 pounds put on since the age of 40. "Such is life," as the Australian outlaw, Ned Kelly, is reported to have said on his way to the gallows in 1880 in NSW Australia.-Ron
Führer(spelled wrong in the above and I am unable to correct the "ü") is a German title meaning leader or guide. It is now most associated with Adolf Hitler, who modelled it on Benito Mussolini's title il Duce as well as Georg von Schönerer, whose few followers also commonly referred to as "Führer", and used the "Sieg Heil"-phrase. The word Führer in the sense of guide remains common in German, but because of its strong association with Nazi Germany, it comes with some stigma and negative connotation when used as the meaning of leader.
Perhaps you should have been in
Gone With the Wind in '39 when
you were only seven. But, it was
said you had a strange sort of beauty
back then when I was born in '44....&
when I was conceived in October '43
you were in that Lassie Come Home.1
Yes, 1944 was a big year for you and a
big year for me------you with 20thCFox
playing the character of Helen Burns in
a film version of that Bronte novel Jane
Eyre and with MGM in The White Cliffs
of Dover. I was in my cradle on Hamilton
Beach with Lillian and Frederick Price and
Alfred Cornfield to help me get into that
world just three days after the attempted
assassination on Hitler in his Wolfe's Lair.2
National Velvet made you famous and I was
only 4 months old. They say the film helped
people believe anything was possible with a
philosophy of life, in other words, a film which
acquired the status of a generational classic . .3
I wish you well, Elizabeth, in your new starring
role in the Land of Lights where the beauty of
the soul, it is said, and the beauty of the body find
some place that befits their immortality, perhaps?
1 This film, Taylor's first, was released on 7 October 1943 and I was conceived in the following week in Hamilton Ontario. In 1944 she signed a 7 year contract with MGM at $100/week.
2 The famous plot on 20 July 1944, an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Führer of the Third Reich, inside his Wolf's Lair field headquarters near Rastenburg, East Prussia. It occurred 66 hours(circa) before my birth on 23 July 1944.
3 Alexander Walker, Elizabeth: The Life of Elizabeth Taylor, Grove Press, 1997(1990), p. 14.
26 March 2011
You Can't Win Them All
In the classic Roman Polanski noir thriller, Chinatown (1974), Jack Nicholson was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor. I did not see the film until this week, more than 10 years into my retirement from FT work and 40 years after the film was conceived in 1971. What a life it has been for me and for Nicholson since Chinatown was released on 20 June 1974. It has been called one of the greatest films ever made.
With 12 nominations (eight for Best Actor and four for Best Supporting Actor), Jack Nicholson is the most nominated male actor in Academy Awards history. Nicholson earned his first Best Actor Oscar for portraying in 1975 Randle P. McMurphy in the movie adaptation of Ken Kesey's novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. This was my favorite oscar moment ever. The film was directed by Miloš Forman and it had much impact on me due to my personal history of mental illness as a young man in the late 1960s.
In 1974 I had just begun my career in post-secondary education in Tasmania. In 1975 I taught at a Tafe college in Melbourne. That oscar year was a big one for me personally looking back more than 30 years. I spent the years from 1974 to 2005 in post-secondary education and, although I received no awards or prizes, those years were enriching, and fulfilling.
The year before I joined the Baha'i Faith, 1958, saw the beginning of the career of Jack Nicholson. He was born on the first day of the Baha'i teaching Plan in 1937. The Baha'i Faith has not been a career but it has provided me, alongside my work as a teacher, with a core of life experience around which I have centred my life. Nicholson found his centre in the field of cinema. -Ron Price with thanks to Wikipedia, 14 February 2011.
You made it big, Jack,
in the last half century
as I went from my teens
to two old-age pensions.
I had my ups-and-downs
in the world of romance
and marriage, but nothing
like your slings-&-arrows.
And your millions, Jack,
what have you done with
all the millions? Bought
Marlon Brando's house &
had seasons' tickets to the
Yankees and Lakers games
so I have read.1 Go for it...
Jack. You were a likeable
chap in the movies, a very
popular guy, a real winner
by the 1970s. And so was I,
Jack, a real winner in my own
way from one end of Australia
to the other from kids to adults.
Of course, you can't win them
all, can you, Jack? Can you?
No way....eh Jack?
1 Readers who want to know what Nicholson has done with his money can google the subject.
15 February 2011
While I was turning my career to the teaching profession in the late 1960s, David Puttnam was turning his career to film production. In this world of burgeoning academic disciplines, cinema productions and, indeed, a myriad forms of the creative and performing arts, it has become impossible to be a member of the cognoscenti in all these artistic and scholarly forms and activities.
And so it was when David Puttnam appeared this afternoon on ABC1 TV here in Australia,1 I could not help but take note. He was an engaging person, interviewee, who had obviously achieved much in life. But I had never heard of him. Puttnam has been one of the world's most influential producers since those late sixties. While I was having my heart and mind filled with students, with community work, with two marriages, with raising children, with mental health problems, with life in 20 towns and 20 houses across two continents, I just never came across this giant of the film world: David Puttnam. I found what he said sufficiently moving to write this prose-poem. -Ron Price with thanks to 1ABC1 TV, "Scene By Scene," 4:30-5:30 p.m., 12 December 2010.
What a career you've had, David!
I could list your achievements in
this prose-poem, but I will leave
that to readers who want to know
about your life. You and I are....
from post-war Western society....
but cinema got under your skin &
other things got under mine as we
went in different directions through
our young, middle and late adult life.
As you say, though, David, those late
teens and early twenties were the main
formative years for you and they were
for me, too....Set the direction for my
entire life and still do into the evening
of our lives, eh David? We could both
be around for another thirty years, eh??
And so now, at the age of 70, you are
going to try to build the world your
father was trying to build after WW2.1
Those were even earlier years, David,
your childhood years. And here I am,
a little younger than you by only three
years, trying to build the world that my
father way trying to build......His dear
legacy in a new Faith he joined in the
evening of his life, his last gasp before
night fell and carried him to that world,
that hole where men speak no more:
that gathering-place of splendours.....2
1 David Puttnam in interview on ABC1 TV, 12 December 2010.
2 'Abdu'l-Baha, Memorials of the Faithful, Baha'i Publishing Trust, Wilmette, 1971, p. 103.
12 December 2010
Ginger Rogers reached her apogee in the film Swing Time.1 By now she had a dancer's body as beautiful as any the screen has ever seen. The glimpses of her legs, with her calf-length skirts flying as they tap in "Pick Yourself Up," are enough to make you gasp. Her spine can now arch and bend in many ways, all apparently full of feeling; the slenderness of her waist is always ravishing. The history of dance on film begins, some say, with Ginger Rogers and, of course, her partner, Fred Astaire.
Swing Time is considered by many aficionados of dance on film to be Astaire and Rogers' best dance musical featuring, as it did, four dance routines that are each regarded as masterpieces of their kind. "Never Gonna Dance" is often singled out as this partnership's most profound achievement in filmed dance; "The Way You Look Tonight" won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and went on to become Astaire's most successful hit record. In 1936 it was first in the U.S. charts. Their partnership, it is said, never again quite regained the creative heights scaled in this and previous films. The film, Swing Time, was released at the end of August 1936 and was popular throughout 1937.
Astaire and Rogers made ten films together including: The Gay Divorcee (1934), Roberta(1935), Top Hat(1935), Follow the Fleet(1936), Swing Time(1936), Shall We Dance (1937), and Carefree(1938). Six out of the nine Astaire-Rogers musicals became the biggest money-makers for the movie studio, RKO records. All of their films brought a certain prestige and artistry that all studios coveted at the time. Their partnership elevated them both to stardom. As Katharine Hepburn reportedly said, "He gives her class and she gives him sex."--Ron Price with thanks to 1Wikipedia.
Her ordinariness and spontaneity
made her attractive as she and he
became divinities, epitomizing as
they did: glamour and love, dance
and impulsive rapture...depth and
complexity---and just as humanity
was entering the outer fringes of the
most perilous stage of its existence2
and as an immense field beckoned
a few to gigantic tasks and sacred
obligations in a most holy enterprize.3
2 By 1936/7 the world was indeed gearing-up for another war "to end all wars," WW2.
3 Shoghi Effendi, Messages to America: 1932-1946, Wilmette, 1947, p.8.
17 December 2010
(1) In 1999 Swing Time was one of Entertainment Weekly's top 100 films. In 2004 it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". In the new America Film Industry's 100 Years.....100 Movies, 10th Anniversary Edition, it has been added at #90.
These posts need to be deleted since they are not relevant to the thread.-Ron Price, Tasmania
RonPriceJoined Dec 28, 2006
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