There are going to be a lot of films in my life this fall. This week, fewer than last. The foreign movie of the week at the college was an oldie that made me feel very old indeed. Fellini's first Oscar for best foreign film, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, three farcical sketechs with unbelievably youthful Marcello Mastroiani and Sophia Loren. The sketches have aged into ridiculousness. The two who were in each section are just gorgeous but did far better work later in their careers.
This week I didn't go to any documentaries -- the ones shown I'd seen and didn't wish to see again. But today I went to see the new My Old Lady with many reservations. I'm not a Maggie Smith fan but no one else could have been more perfectly cast. Originally a play by Israel Horowitz, it began a bit broadly but developed into a much deeper and more complex story between Kevin Klein, Maggie Smith and Kristan Scott-Thomas than I expected. It's not really a spoiler to say that I think we Americans, as a people and especially writers, make too much fuss about extra-marital affairs. But given that attitude the story becomes truly tragic-comic. The three carry the movie. This was a play, the screenplay adapted by Horowitz, and another Horowitz was the independent producer. The story depended on character and uncovering a difficult past. As so often small Broadway plays a man's lack of success in life goes back to family trauma. My quibble would be that about five minutes from the end there was a very dramatic bit I thought was overdone, too Hollywood drama-ish. But the movie redeemed itself with a touch of opera at the end -- I mean operatic music that I didn't expect and absolutely loved. Only an indy film would put in that operatic bit. Hurray!
The mid-70s are a surprise! Part of me remains in the 50s -- age, I mean, not decade of 20th century. It's a joy ride, new experiences land in my lap and I've become a better quilter, poet, writer than I expected. It's a rich life for a person never rich financially. Hey, this is what the mid-70s are like!