Sunday, November 24, 2013

Notes from my personal cinematic history.

I wanted to be her.
1. Nanny.
2. Neglected children.
3. Nun.

The three N's, the people, which lead us inexorably to The Sound of Music, where, indeed, the hills were alive with the sound of

4. Nazis,

(and also music, of course).

Were there neglected children in this story? Indeed there were--their mother had died. Did they need a governess, aka nanny? Indeed they did! And who better to be this nanny, aka governess, than a nun, or novice, or Julie Andrews with the hairdo of a boy five weeks past his haircut appointment? No one, that's who.

The Sound of Music, too, was in the heavy rotation of the Saturday chore-doing music of my growing up years. So it goes without saying that I knew all the words and could sing all the parts to each and every one of the songs. I don't know if anyone ever actually caught me singing all the parts of "So Long, Farewell," but I certainly could, whilst cleaning the mirror tiles on our entryway wall. And it is also true that I mustered a superb Mother Superior voice for "Climb Ev'ry Mountain," like a champ, epic and heartfelt, with the heavy vibrato that she pulled from the depths of her wise, epic soul.

But the secret "N" of The Sound of Music is nuptial, as in that spectacular wedding scene:

I wanted my wedding to have that much veil in it.
Holy amazing veil! and stately music that reiterates an earlier theme about how she was kind of a troublemaker but still lovable! And all those adorable Von Trapp children fluffing her trappings prior to the processional! Well, that's a wedding, is all I can say. Also this was pretty good:

YES.
Not too long ago, I went with friends to the sing-along Sound of Music at The Tower. It could not have been more wonderful. There I was, singing the second and third verses with rawther perfect recall, but softly, because most people had dropped out after the first verse. (That was probably good sing-along etiquette on their part, if you want to know the truth.)

But Christopher Plummer, the people! His faintly--and not-so-faintly--disdainful air. His patrician bearing and his way with a guitar. His courtly and--it must be said--sexy way with the choreographed Ländler:

Hell yes.
Good heavens. I'd forgotten that, but there it was: hot Captain Von Trapp, dancing his way into a confusing but very gratifying declaration of love to Maria. She runs away, the Mother S. tells her to quit her mousing around and meet her destiny. Awesome veil, cathedral wedding, Nazis, and a daring escape.

I guess Christopher Plummer didn't much like the movie when he was working on it. "The Sound of Mucus," he acknowledges now having said at the time. But that hauteur actually worked for the role, I think. And those songs are undeniably splendid, and Julie A. never looked more lovely, even working marionettes or wearing a dress made out of draperies, or glowing next to the super-refined but unlucky-in-love Baroness. Julie the Nun was the star, even wearing an unlovely dress.

"You brought music back into the house. I had forgotten," the Captain said to her. Yes: his heart beat and sighed with it, the hills alive with it.




4 comments:

Amelia said...

It is a moment of great pride that I can sing the descant part of Do Re Mi. When you know the notes to sing..... you can sing most aaaaaaaaaany thiiiiiiiiiiiiing!

Ann said...

I've been enjoying SOM riffs lately, but this blog post of yours ranks as the best. Good stuff, HTMS.

Stephanie said...

Good stuff indeed, HT. Fraulein Maria is my hero!

Kristen said...

Yessss. So much yes.

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