“Film as dream, film as music. No art passes into our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls.” So said Ingmar Bergman and hey, who am I to disagree with arguably the greatest film auteur of all time. All I know is that I love film and I especially love film from what is considered the Golden Era of Hollywood , which in my book is anywhere from the 1920s to the 1950s. Now that is not to say that anything after this gets the cold shoulder, au contraire, but there is something about the films and the stars, perhaps even more so the stars, of this time that just holds a special appeal for me.
I love the clothes, the style, the dialogue, and that everyone smoked and drank without guilt or consequence. I mean the clothes alone are enough but it’s even more than that. It’s the sound of the ice clinking as they drink a cocktail, it’s the white linen tablecloths, it’s the blinding sparkle of bling, its the shimmer, the sashay, the oozing sensuality of dames like Mae West, Jean Harlow and of course Marilyn. Marilyn so gorgeous, so intoxicating and yet so screwed up. But what a presence, what a luminous sublime presence. And she is never too far from a glass of bubbly and a bag of potato chips – I mean it just doesn’t get better than that.
So apart from the glorious glamorous films themselves there are the glorious glamorous film stars. Their lives off screen were amazing, difficult, incredible and incredulous. The scandals, the mysteries, all of it just so darn arresting that just when you think you’ve seen and heard it all. Bam you discover yet another piece of trivia about a certain starlet that pops all your balloons.
That these women and men led interesting lives is the understatement of the century, but what is interesting is just how much advice, how much guidance these stars can offer us today. So it was with this in in mind that I began this blog. I wanted to learn more about the people behind the Golden Era and how their words still resonate eighty and a hundred years later.
Personality is the glitter that sends your little gleam across the footlights and the orchestra pit into that big black space where the audience is.