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Author Topic: Greta Garbo Tour  (Read 6246 times)

Sandy

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Re: Greta Garbo Tour
« Reply #30 on: September 03, 2015, 11:50:32 PM »
Mata Hari

Like a reoccurring theme, I tend to react strongly to something and then as I learn more, I find that I don't know much at all. I feel very humbled and take back my impassioned reaction. Thank you for reminding me to have that open mind and in my case with this movie, it's better late than never, right? :) I agree, a most wonderful performance by Garbo. The best I've seen so far too.

colonel_mexico

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Re: Greta Garbo Tour
« Reply #31 on: September 04, 2015, 12:52:06 AM »
You know it is a wonderful reading your impressions for everything, and the passion you had for that particular scene where he betrays something so sacred for a love in his heart, was very strong and commendable.  He does do something for the sake of a woman and she uses her power over him to get him to cross a line he thought he would never cross.  Both are equally to blame, both have their parts and for what is worth, born out of those special, smoldering ashes was a new kind of love.  His innocence now lost and her guilt finally becoming something that even she can no longer bear.  And out of the tragedy of all of it, the situation, the world around them, the life she has led, and his unknown fate there still is there love, hers now just as powerful as his.  In the DARK KNIGHT film they speak of this good vs evil in the idea of what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object and here we find the same phenomena, the same spark to flame of these opposing ideals (innocence vs guilt, love and lust vs evil motives and desires) where something completely new is wrought.  And it ends fittingly and honorably, as honorable as can be for these characters.  I'm glad you were able to visit it and find something good about it.  :)
"What do you want me to do draw you a picture?! Spell it out?! Don't ever ask me, as long as you live don't ever ask me more!"

Sandy

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Re: Greta Garbo Tour
« Reply #32 on: September 04, 2015, 09:09:00 AM »
Pure poetry :'(

You speak of brokenness/failings and how it's by way of that descent where the connection took hold as they both grasped onto the beginnings of redemption together. It's all so big, that I can hardly comment on it. These are intricate, soul wrenching concepts and I find that I have so much to learn.

Your beautiful words bring two song lyrics to mind (When I am at a loss for words, lyrics come in very handy. :) ).

Out of these ashes,
Beauty will rise
And we will dance among the ruins
We will see it with our own eyes




So here's to the heartache
Here's to the mistakes
...With time comes grace



Thank you for articulating this story so very well.

colonel_mexico

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Re: Greta Garbo Tour
« Reply #33 on: September 04, 2015, 09:39:35 AM »
Thank you for the kind words, I wrote that very late and having made my way through a film for school I was just musing.  Lots of mistakes in there (there for their, sigh just like me to make plenty of mistakes lol).  Love the song!  Yes, that is precisely the thought I was having, though I had not thought of that song.  I was having this discussion with a friend about the idea of not knowing what's really good for you and how sometimes the things that hurt the most may be the things that are the best for us, we just don't know/realize it. 

GRAND HOTEL today, I'm ready for this now :)
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Sandy

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Re: Greta Garbo Tour
« Reply #34 on: September 04, 2015, 01:39:29 PM »
Any writing after midnight should not be subject to spell checking. :)

Your friend has very good insight. May I learn to have such an expansive perspective, for it is freeing to be open like that.

Hope you enjoy the parade of stars in Grand Hotel!

colonel_mexico

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Re: Greta Garbo Tour
« Reply #35 on: September 04, 2015, 03:33:22 PM »
GRAND HOTEL (1932)-  How I've never seen or even really heard of this is beyond me.  This is a fantastic film and while I've known Lionel Barrymore forever, his brother John Barrymore is unknown to me. He is magnificent and every bit the kind of man I am (the gentleman scoundrel) and wish to be (the real gentleman and good man).  This is also the type of movie that I would like to have seen Tarantino play with, though along the lines of JACKIE BROWN as opposed to the god awful 4 ROOMS.  Joan Crawford is also quite cute and she is someone I'm totally unfamiliar with, except for her supposed real life aversion to wire hangers.  She is cute and pretty, dainty, yet strong and fits in so well with our other cast of characters trying to make their way.  Fate has them all earmarked for each other to cross paths in this Grand Hotel California, from which the only escape is through each other.  And of course there is Greta, who is strangely pretty, but not gorgeous and for some reason I think it has to do with her hair.  When I think of her great beauty I think of how she wore it in CONQUEST or QUEEN CHRISTINE, here it seems wilted as is her character.  The ailing diva ballerina who has no hope, no faith, and only that desire to be alone.  Yet, she does not know that the aloneness is what's really ailing her.  It takes our anti-hero John Barrymore to wake her up, to bring life back to this semi-suicidal, lost soul.  The way she looks at him and says his name, "Flix" you see the love and life, it's truly what makes Garbo so great and beautiful to me.  I feel the chemistry between her and John, and the way she brings her character back to life is magnificent.  Sigh, I could gush all over this film, but it is also quite dark.  We have a unique bad guy in Wallace Beery who gives a commanding, if despicable performance as the great magnate who owns the world or at least is trying to whether it takes lying, robbing, or even killing.  His interactions with Lionel Barrymore show his depravity and while Lionel may fit the bill as a loser in the magnate's world, Lionel has something better a lust for life and a set of friends.  No man is richer when he is enjoying life for it's little pleasures and a feast of true friends.  John though gets the best and worst of Beery the magnate and our ending is so heart wrenching I had to rewind to make sure that is what happened.  When I watch this again I will wish every time that John makes a different choice.  I have never seen an ensemble cast give a dominating performance in anything ever.  This rockets into my top ten displacing my beloved ROYAL TENNENBAUMS at number 2.  And what's funny is Greta's role here is minor, I'd give Joan the better supporting job in this.  I read a review (someone blogs about her reviews I bellieve :) ) where she talks about Lionel Barrymore as the detestable Mr. Potter and here he is lovable, friendly, obnoxious, but endearing.  A good man and one George Bailey most certainly would have shared some of his honeymoon money with.  Whew, I think I might need a baseball game or pre-season football game to clear my head because anything I watch now will be so much less.
"What do you want me to do draw you a picture?! Spell it out?! Don't ever ask me, as long as you live don't ever ask me more!"

Sandy

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Re: Greta Garbo Tour
« Reply #36 on: September 04, 2015, 06:40:05 PM »
 :o :))

I was hoping you'd like it, but I didn't dare guess to this level. I remember being pretty astounded by the performances and about it being dark, but honestly, I think my mind must have blocked out that specific ending, for my own sake. I might have tipped my hand otherwise, before you got a chance to see it. Good thing for psychological amnesia! :)

I do remember Garbo's character coming to life and her sweet chemistry with The Baron. So happy they resonated with you as well as you liking Lionel's character and his simple joys. Those are the things that mattered most to me and what I kept about the movie.

Wonderful review. I can feel the impact that it all had on you, through your words. Makes me want to watch it again!

I don't know much about Joan Crawford either. Maybe you could do a marathon on her sometime. :)

colonel_mexico

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Re: Greta Garbo Tour
« Reply #37 on: September 07, 2015, 04:16:06 PM »
CAMILLE (1936)- Well, I don't suppose even after a bit of time between GRAND HOTEL and this I was going to be unimpressed, but here I am not enjoying this at all.  A great cast with Garbo as our Lady Marguerite not quite a courtesan, but a lady who moves in circles of wealthy men (a baron in particular).  Henry Daniell as our Baron who supports his Lady and plays this terrible disease of a man that cares only for what he can take from women and nothing else.  Robert Taylor also stars as Armand and is slightly charming as an up and coming noble man who only aspires to love Marguerite.  We also have Lionel Barrymore back into his crotchety and despicable personality as Armand's father.  The cast is fine as are the performances, but I found nothing about this film lovable.  Not Armand's gallant hope to rescue this woman trapped in her own human frailties and desire for creature comforts.  Not Marguerite's glorious beauty and as she makes the hard and honorable choices I still cannot bring myself to adore her as I have in the past. There is nothing here for me except the pains of love, jealousy, the realities of the vanity and desire for wealth, power, and status that still exist in this world.  As with most of my reviews I tend to see bits of myself in things and base a lot of my opinions and here is no less of a scathing opinion of dislike.  Even with the very romantic moments when Armand and Marguerite are witnessing a wedding and he tells he has married her already because every word the priest spoke was for them.  Very romantic, but also so obvious the beginning of the unraveling that is only inevitable when two people like this meet.  To be fair it is also probably the most realistic.  Taylor plays Armand's jealousy ferociously, Greta plays up her playful sensuality in every way that is all woman and unattainable by any and all, and our story is poetic enough to be a great tragedy, but not endearing.  No, I'll take the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet instead of Armand and Marguerite, I'll take Tybalt instead of Baron deVarville, I'll take the duel of swords over a baccarat game.  Even though all of the latters are so much more accurate of the world.
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Sandy

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Re: Greta Garbo Tour
« Reply #38 on: September 07, 2015, 09:49:17 PM »
 :-\

I've been looking at a few clips, trying to see if I can figure out the difference between Garbo in this and Mata Hari. Both characters being women who sacrificed all...

Garbo feels forced in Camille, as if she's not inside/embodying her character, but instead she's playing at courtesan, or someone in love, or in pain...  Not what I experienced with Mata Hari, where she was evil, she was in love and she did feel pain. Yes? Or is that just me having these impressions?

With her career waning soon after, I wonder if she lost something along the way, as her persona may have messed with her ability to just be the character and as the internal pressure of performing at a certain level took its toll.   

colonel_mexico

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Re: Greta Garbo Tour
« Reply #39 on: September 07, 2015, 10:16:56 PM »
I felt more with MATA HARI that was a situation she was forced into because of the war.  She had chosen a side in the war and was fighting it the only way she could.  And as she became disillusioned with the war and found this great love, something that came from pure love and innocence that was powerful and pure enough to break her down to the place of reasonableness.  It is very similar to CAMILLE, but here she isn't fighting for anything, she has chosen this life of leisure, pleasure, and decadence.  Buying things so her so-called friend (and more like her vanity enemy) wouldn't get or have them (I believe they were horses).  The extravagance of it all and her readily accepting her fate, as she continuously says she is dying.  She is beautiful, but it seems only skin deep.  Even in her redemption as she gets closer to Armand and makes a choice to save him, but it comes off again as too weak, where is the battle for the love that is changing her?  This wasn't saving an innocent man's life, or facing the consequences that MATA had to face, this was more consequences of the society that she despises, but is willing to uphold.  Maybe I'm biased because there are things that hit close to home with how she is before Armand and with the reality parts of this story.  I appreciate tragedy, but here it felt unfulfilled and not as complete.  The love was just lacking and maybe it was an empty role for Greta, her losing her 'fire' as an actress because it feels empty.  Though I've read that some have said it was one of her best performances, and it is good, I just couldn't love her as I've loved her in other films. 
"What do you want me to do draw you a picture?! Spell it out?! Don't ever ask me, as long as you live don't ever ask me more!"