Saturday, 26 July 2014
I only went in search of air-conditioning ...
I'd forgotten what a brilliant film this. (It is about to be re-released in cinemas.) Or rather, when I first saw it in 1978, I saw it as a different person.
Today, it doesn't seem to be a film about Vietnam so much as a film about all war and its aftermath and lives that are shattered.
At the end of three hours, I found myself shaking and almost in tears.
I'm proud to say, there are no special effects in this movie. There are no digital effects. When you see 9000 refugees in the night in a burning Saigon, that is 9000 people in the night. For real. When you see the actors jumping put of a helicopter, that's really the actors. When you see them floating downriver clutching a log, that's them. I know because I was there in the river with them, holding one end of the raft down because it was popping up and the log was so heavy that it was crash breaking it. Everything that I asked of the actors, they gave. Michael Cimino, talking in 2005.
On a lighter note, this was only Meryl Streep's second film role ... she looks so young. And so beautiful. Still is, of course.
When I emerged from the cinema, it was sizzling, so I headed here - which seemed a sizzlingly appropriate location ...
To see this ...
The rebozo is the long shawl/scarf/wrap worn by Mexican women. Frida Kahlo used to ask her nurse to tie her to the back of her wheelchair with the rebozo that she made her fashion signature whenever she was in too much pain to sit up upright to paint.
I was intrigued to learn of the aroma de luto - the scent of mourning - when the rebozo became a death shroud infused with tarragon, sage, cloves, rosemary, Spanish moss, applemint, star anise, cinnamon, rose petals and calla lilies to scent the journey to the afterlife. Sadly, this tradition is dying out.
On my way home, I walked a different way back to the station than the street I usually take - and was delighted to discover a pretty rose garden just across the road from the museum. One of those little corners of London that I never knew was there.