Mar 10, 2004

Jerry Goldsmith Afternoons

Yesterday, my friend Mark invited me to see A Patch of Blue at LACMA. It was such a gorgeous day, and the museum campus was all abuzz with children in school uniforms and old ladies complaining about the service at the ticket window. Sigh. The film was wonderful. It set all manner of things loose in my head. How important it is to receive feedback from the outside world. How dangerous and damaging it can be to be isolated when the people who surround you tell you that you are worthless or ugly or unlovable. How important it is to leave the house and sit in the park. The gift of someone else's ability to see potential in you. There were other ideas churning, too. The danger of romance. Expectations being raised to only risk being crushed. Isn't it easier to live in the absence of those expectations? Wouldn't Eliza Doolittle have been happy enough and fine on her own? Was the improvement she underwent to her benefit? Even she fears that she has been ruined -- made a lady only to find that she can no longer live independently or respectably. This movie is another Pygmalion tale. Only it's Sydney Poitier and a blind girl. And the Jerry Goldsmith score is delicate and beautiful with tinkling piano keys and tender motifs.

After the movie, I stopped in at the exhibit of costumes and designs for the Ballets Russes, mostly by Erté. It was really inspiring. Beautiful and grand. The costumes are preserved beautifully and made of such delicate materials. And you can't get over how small those dancers were. And then you can't get over how intricately detailed Erté's drawings were. Gouache on paper with the tiniest, most uniform little strokes. Gorgeous stuff. If I were a temperamental girl., I would have burned the place down for not having thought to provide an exhibit catalog. I so wanted one.

Then I looked at the Jasper Johns' Numbers exhibit. Also inspiring. I can't laud enough the value of seeing works of art in person. Seeing all those clumpy layers of oil paint made me want to rush home and make a mess of my own on canvas. The ideas start cascading through my brain and I feel like rushing out of the exhibit before I lose them. This happens to me often at museums. Especially because I am a member and can get in without paying. I walk into an exhibit and can only bear to stay for five or ten minutes before the urge to run out and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT overtakes me. Not so, my father, who likes to look at every little thing in a meticulous and careful (read: slow) manner. You might catch him reading a placard with instructions for evacuation in case of fire, and, unless you tell him, he'll think it's part of the exhibit. It's modern art. How's he supposed to know? Anyway, no stone goes unturned or unread with my dad. Even when he was perusing my art journals. He's the only person who ever looked at them and actually read what I wrote. Many of my friends and family members paged through them with such swiftness I wondered if they were afraid of catching something if they were to linger any longer. Art journal cum flip book, I guess.

Then I went out to those brick steps and read for a while. Until I got tired of flicking ants off my arm.

I went to the gym today and am still being carried by that wave of self-satisfaction that comes from getting that chore out of the way. I always feel a little taller when I leave there. It's embarrassing to think how proud I feel after running in place for an hour. What would the ancients think.

On my way to the gym, I waved at my UPS guy and he flagged me down because he had a package for me. I realized how glad I am that there are people who know me in my neighborhood. Even if every encounter with him is guaranteed to contain two things: a package changing hands and the delivery of a compliment, innuendo, or proposition.

My friend Simon in Australia alerted me today that he hasn't been able to keep up with my blog as much because apparently my entire site has been blacklisted at his company for inappropriate content. I am both upset and delighted. What a weird thing. I guess, in the eyes of business owners, I say risky things. Simon wrote because he had received the postcard I sent out about my script reading. He said:

I've been showing off the card to people, it's not every day I receive
an invitation to a salubrious shindig on Hollywood Boulevard. It's quite
an honour. My little brother wants to know if you have written any plays
around one hour long for around six actors... I showed him the card and
then I was like "She does improv comedy and plays the violin and..." and
he interrupted with "I know who Mary Forrest is" while looking at me as
though I was a caveman. So there you go.


He also said: "In other news I have been doing weights." And he signed the email "Beefcake McMeataxe". Ah, Simon. Australia's finest son. I love that guy. He made me a CD a while back called The Mary Forrest Choice Bro Mix. And I always remind myself that these niceties are the product of the Internet, wondrous thing that it is.

One other impression A Patch of Blue left on me: Blind people must have really dirty hands. Watching Selina gingerly run her fingers over buildings, signposts, people, crosswalk buttons, and then begin serving food or leveling the instant coffee on the spoon with her fingertip or feeling the contours of her lover's face...well, you see where I'm going with this. I mean, they didn't show her washing her hands once. Sidney Poitier even sent her into a public bathroom alone. Imagine what she touched in there.

posted by Mary Forrest at 12:21 PM | Back to Monoblog


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