Autumn crashes in; the genius of Angela Lansbury

Christ do I ever feel like a moldy old sponge today. I’m a bit ill, but not ill enough to call in sick – if I had an office to call in sick to. Still, it took quite a bit of effort to step out of bed to turn the modem on and pull my laptop out of my closet and switch it on. Like I said – moldy old spongeā??

Here in Blackbridge, the sky is dull white and hosts air that is greasy, cold and wet. There’s still a lot of green on the smog&exhaust-fed trees, bushes and grass, but that’s all on the verge of turning autumn-coloured – a touch of red and a hint of yellow, but mostly brown. Flock after flock of birds haul ass over the dumb grey apartment blocks across the road, cars moan by my window, and I am jonesing hard for a cigarette. I wish I could get as comfortable and content as Mikesh, who is curled up cozily beside me, dreaming, I assume, of fresh salmon dinners, full clean litter boxes and good mouse and bird hunting – or maybe he’s just dreaming of a good day’s sleep.

Ok, maybe I’m getting a bit carried away here. I’ll take the old Czech excuse and blame it on “Autumn Depression” as we head into a long stretch of short cold days and long frozen nights. Alright, holiday season, which I always enjoy (with the glaring exception of “Act-Like-a-Brainless-Twat-With-Fireworks Week”, which takes place from December 31 until whenever the local kids, drunks and dolts run out of fireworks), is just around the corner. Nevertheless, when I was shopping in my local Albert last week, I got kinda bummed out when I saw the big Christmas display that had been set up in the middle of the shop. I know it’s trite to talk about how shops start peddling holiday wares earlier and earlier every year, but in September? Too much.

For me best thing about the crap weather and the resulting cocooning is that I have a great excuse to stay in and watch movies. Not that I really need an excuse to do that, I suppose.

I decided it was high time I took a break from comedies this weekend. Saturday was spent with a couple of spliffs, a few bottles of beer and The Manchurian Candidate (the original 1962 version) and Vertigo. The latter was enjoyable, more interesting than thrilling, but the former blew me away – especially Angela Lansbury’s turn as a thoroughly evil conniving bitch mother and wife from hell. Yes, I’m talking about sweet little old Jessica Fletcher from Murder She Wrote. She absolutely owns the film every time she’s onscreen.

In her key scene, a scene with intensity that almost rivals that of the film’s climax, Lansbury hits the audience with everything that makes her loathsome, then amazingly evokes an equally potent sense of sympathy, and then goes on to shock, confuse and disgust – and still manages to make us feel sorry for her.

The next day I watched On the Waterfront. Much has been said about the “Contender” scene with Marlon Brando and Rod Steiger, and it is indeed a compelling bit of film. But Candidate’s “My life before my liberty” scene with a terrifyingly poisonous Lansbury and mentally shattered Laurence Harvey is the kind of stuff that sends chills up and down the spine and compels one to rewind the scene to watch it again immediately.

I’d better stop gushing now, otherwise I’ll end up spoiling the thing. John, if you’re reading this, you have got to screen this movie at Villa Incognito – beaucoup thanks for lending it to me.

Oct 3, 12:02 (Filed under: Personal )

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  1. Well , i got your email and it is true that i said it was a hot blog in my first comment . I sittin at here at work and gotta say when you need to liven it up a bit really expresses my true feelings. Come on i mean you don’t know what a chance you have,you could be such a help to us all, i mean i put a few people up on your blog and they say the same thing. In help to us all i mean you as a english speaking homie from the 51st state(Canada), you could share alot more information on how you got to living there and how we could start this process without some of the mistakes you made. But i am be for real, i read your blog so it can’t be that bad, i just wish you touched on some subjects we would like. like how you got your residency, cost of living, i read about some of the racist views of the cops. that was good. what else is new ,sounds like the d.c. cops. So i am stop hatin on your blog and let you do your thing.
    Big NOYD hotaki    Oct 12, 17:55    #
  2. Cheers BNh. I’ll handle your requests re. my residency and the cost of living in the coming days, though I don’t really see how that will liven things up. Have you looked through the archives?

    Unfortunately the way the blog is set up now, you have to get to the really early stuff in a rather roundabout way – you’ll notice that at the bottom of each entry there are links to the previous and next entries. To get to the early stuff you have to keep hitting the links to previous entries. I’ve been after the webmaster to take care of this and am still waiting.

    If you and the people you’ve sent to Dog Eat Blog have any specific questions about living in Prague, gather them up and send them via email and I’ll do my best to cover them all here, though I think it would be far more practical for you to ask your questions in the Prague Spot Forum since any advice that I post here will eventually get buried in the archives.


    Patrick    Oct 12, 19:35    #