July 21st, 2009

jim with pipe

APED: "archie leach"

Archie Leach was born outside of Bristol.
The son of a pants-presser, Cockney-voiced, and tall.
His mother was committed, his father worked till it was late
The only joy and life he saw was in the music halls.
And he went across the ocean seeking fortune,
as an acrobat, an actor, and buffoon,
too young to live out on his own,
but he scraped up a little dough,
and pretended he'd be coming home right soon.

But they didn't much like Archie where he went to.
He walked stiffly, didn't have much style.
And they didn't like his accent,
and they didn't like his name,
and he'd lost a tooth, so had a closed-mouth smile,
and so he just pretended he was who he hoped to be --
and he turned into Cary Grant, so I guess there's hope for me.

Archie learned the secret that we're after.
He became its master, tamed it, kept it well.
He wore it in each tailored line, each careful step, and given time
He turned it into armor and kept safe within its shell.
And he became a Hollywood sensation,
the greatest man Mae West had ever seen,
and he shacked up with Randolph Scott,
found Dyan Cannon hot to trot,
and women chased him on the silver screen.

They didn't much like Archie where he went to.
He walked stiffly, didn't have much style.
And they didn't like his accent,
and they didn't like his name,
and he'd lost a tooth, so had a closed-mouth smile,
and so he just pretended he was who he hoped to be --
and he turned into Cary Grant, so there's hope for you and me.

You'll become the thing you want to if you just pretend to be,
Like Archie Leach and Cary Grant and maybe someday me.
cass groovy

up at Ma's

Up at Ma's; her birthday is coming. Notable events of visit so far:

-- DOG. "OH HI THERE BOSS I MISSED YOU."

-- Saturday night, my birthday present: went to see Stacy Keach do KING LEAR. Fabulous performance by Keach, of course, terrific staging, excellent modernization (it's got a strong Eastern European vibe, with at least one character's wardrobe coming straight out of Russian mob chic), and a wonderful supporting cast.

The best Shakespeare I've ever seen remains Keach's RICHARD III. Saw it in the old Folger theater, maybe fourth row. That was 19 years ago, and my mother and I still talk about it. How good was Keach? Lemme put it this way: I saw Ian McKellan do his 1930s Richard III onstage. Keach was better. BY A LOT.

-- Sunday night, discovered that a local theater was showing a 70mm print of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, which is possibly my favorite movie of all time. I had missed seeing the restoration when it was originally done, so had been kicking myself for years. I hastened to the theater, and PROBLEM SOLVED. Holy crap is that amazing on the big screen. There's so much detail, so much color, so much glorious photography that you don't know where to look as you're desperately trying to see everything you've been missing. (I discovered, for example, that when Lawrence uses his pistol as a makeshift gavel in the Arab National Congress meeting, the lanyard ring leaves little depressions in the wood.) Peter O'Toole's eyes are astounding on the big screen, and Omar Sharif's profile has to be seen to be believed.

-- Yesterday, took the dogs on a walk. We went about four and a half, five miles. Saw an insane number of deer, which the dogs were disappointed that they weren't allowed to chase. The walk did the dogs good; they slept the rest of the afternoon.