Until next post—Martin
Monday, 28 November 2011
Monday, 14 November 2011
A few years ago I wrote a lukewarm Amazon review regarding Shirley Conran’s LACE. I titled it “More Like Cotton”, referring to the degree of smoothness this tale of revenge on mama lacked overall. The novel, far from being perfect, failed to stir any warm feelings on my part, like the adapted mini-series did when it first aired in 1984. Someone replied to my less than enthusiastic comment about the book, labeling it rubbish on account of my gender. That bothered me. I replied by saying that I'm sure a man's perspective wouldn't have mattered had this been a rave review, which I still believe today. Frankly, a novel is as good as its author makes it out to be.
But, alas, this discovery does not make LACE a better read a second time around. Yes, the main story line about sex symbol Lili wanting to find her real mom is as intriguing as it can be, but besides that, everything else is a struggle. Conran’s narrative is wordy and, let’s not mince words, almost dull. You barely come out feeling anything for these career gals. Moreover, the men in their lives are the bad guys. The author makes sure we, the readers, know it over and over as we go along.
This never really annoyed me before, since I’m from (and all for) the Jackie Collins school of get away from me bad men as I conquer the world and look stunning while doing so. It’s just that in this novel, no one with a schlong is friendly, and while it usually still makes for swift reading in any other work, Conran’s LACE ends up irking more than pleasing. Perhaps I would have enjoyed it better had it been a bit more pro-male. So, yes, I guess that Amazon person was right all along. You shouldn’t give credence to my point of view regarding novels for women about women such as LACE. I'd much rather watch the sensational TV adaptation, anyway.Until next post—Martin
Thursday, 3 November 2011
I always had a soft spot for Margaux Hemingway, especially after sitting through the delectable awfulness that is LIPSTICK. Here is the then-million dollar contract model for Babe perfume trying to succeed as an actress and failing miserably (according to many insiders, but more on that later). I’m sure her entourage had something to do with this, not only encouraging her for the sake of money; but making sure that she turns a deaf ear to any true criticism (or self ill-feelings) toward her onscreen performance. But whatever the cause, LIPSTICK bombed at the box office in 1976 and her career in films soon fizzled after that. In 1996 Margaux died supposedly of a massive epileptic seizure; some say of a suicide. Who knows? What’s sure, however, is that she died all alone in her house in Bel Air. She was in her early 40s and her days of making it in Hollywood long gone. Oh, she did continue to work, mostly in B-grade films like KILLER FISH or INNER SANCTUM but she never reached the A-list sphere so much expected with the release of LIPSTICK.
Legendary Anne Bancroft, who co-stars in the film portraying Margaux’s feisty attorney, has nothing to worry about, acting-wise. Clearly, her talent is miles ahead over Margaux’s. Still, when sharing the screen with others but Bancroft, Margaux does manage to hold her own. You can clearly see some evidence of sparks in her performance, despite the many negative criticisms over it. But clearly it is Mariel, her little sis, who steals her thunder. She delivers some of the sweetest and finely-tuned moments in the film. She single-handedly saves LIPSTICK from becoming a total disaster (should we really thank her for that?). Every nuance of her emotional face shows the making of a great actress, and she did become one for a while, as her older sister stumbled and stumbled into even more forgettable Z flicks.
Until next post—Martin