02
Apr
14

Lent (Day 25)

This will be a short posting.  I was a bit late getting up and spent my few morning hours finishing up Weekend at the Waldorf.  I’m a sucker for old movies, and I like this remake of Grand Hotel even better than the original (as this has more naturalistic acting than the original (it’s the source of the apocryphal “I vant to be alone” uttered by Greta Garbo). Here the actress corresponding to Garbo’s ballerina is played by Ginger Rogers, who is much more upbeat, and she has some rather nice banter with Walter Pigeon, who corresponds to John Barrymore’s Baron in the earlier film, and much as I like Barrymore, he lacks subtlety.  I’m not sure how this fits into Lent or joy — I guess there is a Lenten quality as the film, which came out in 1945 is set against the backdrop of the war (in the film, it’s still going on, and the war is something destined to keep some people apart.  And amidst all the fun, there is that awareness of the war.  Which is strange, as the setting — New York’s lavish Waldorf Astoria — does not suggest separation, nor want, nor difficulties.  The scenes showing the workings of the hotel show them running quite smoothly, efficiently, and with a certain panache.  Robert Benchley, who narrates the film in his role as a gossip columnist who lives at the hotel, makes amusing observations about the goings on in the hotel, which is in the city, but apart from it.  His narration bridges the stories and, in a way, serves to welcome us, as guests, to the Waldorf.  And so, I couldn’t break away to do my reading today and then do my reflexion.  In a way, I was taking my own mini-vacation at the Waldorf, which did serve to pacify my troubled mind, if only for a few hours.  

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