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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Movie Icons Some Of You Are Too Young To Remember

I've been cooped up sick for the past few days, and it's really been kind of fun to have an excuse to just to lie around watching movies and taking naps. Right now I'm watching "An Unmarried Woman" with Jill Clayburgh. I've always loved this film, and I started remembering the very first time I ever saw it. I was 17, very impressionable, and my parents had just gotten a divorce. This film hit very close to home at the time. In fact, I wept so copiously that my boyfriend, who was always a sensitive soul, asked if I wanted to leave the theater. I didn't, and I've seen it many times since then. I admired Jill Clayburgh's character's independence and the fact that she worked in an art gallery, in equal measures. She seemed sooo glamorous, and then there was that white tank top and billowy skirt she wore when she said goodbye to Saul and carried his painting home in the last scene... I started to wonder then which other movie heroines influenced me. At first I kept getting distracted by outfits that had influenced me, but, that was probably just the decongestant talking. Let's save that topic for another day. When I was able to focus, I recalled both Shirley McClain and Ann Bancroft in "The Turning Point," one's sacrifice for her child, the other's sacrifice for her art; two very strong women. Plus, I just love a dance movie (especially one with Mikhail Baryshnikov in it). Jane Fonda as Lillian Helman in "Julia" was intrepid and loyal; Ellen Burstyn in "Alice Doesn't Live Her Anymore," funny and tough,"Marsha Mason in "The Goodbye Girl," vulnerable and strong, at the same time, and a dancer, Faye Dunaway in "Three Days of the Condor," glamorous love interest for Robert Redford and a talented photographer, Meryl Streep in "Out of Africa," an autonomous woman and a writer, Dustin Hofman in "Kramer vs. Kramer." Yes, of course I know he's not a woman (although he was a cross-dresser in "Tootsie"), but he was what I wanted to be: a loving, devoted parent and a person that drew pictures for a living. I started to see several themes emerging: All of these characters were strong, independent, and highly creative. Several were strong, independent, and highly creative parents. Did I identify with them? You bet. Did they influence me at all? Certainly. Did I turn out like them just a little bit? I sure hope so.

I'd love to know which movie characters you identified with or influenced you, so, if you feel like it, leave a comment or drop me an e-mail and let me know.



Kate Robertson said...

I saw you on Violette's message board. You picked some great heroines. I liked Marsha Mason in the Goodbye girl and of course Out of Africa is a classic. My new favorite in Diane Lane in Under the Tuscan Sun.


Janet said...

You picked a lot of good ones. One movie I always related with was "The Way We Were"....not sure why but it really stayed with me.

violette said...

I never did see an unmarried woman.......sounds like a great film. I'll have to see if my video store carries it. This is food for thought......i too liked Marsha Mason in the Goodbye girl and i liked Dian Lane in The Tuscan Sun....that had a big impact on me.

love violette

Tammie Lee said...

This is really fun. i love your style. I hope you are feeling better!

*jean* said...

how about lena olin's character in the ubearable lightness of being...have you seen that one???

or frances mcdormand in any role she's ever had??

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