Thursday, November 20, 2008
My Fair Lady
My brother Eric gave us a gift of XM Radio, which has now merged with Sirius, and it is just fantastic. Highly recommended. Its numerous channels play specific themed music with no commercials. One of our favorite channels is called On Broadway. Last night I heard "I Could Have Danced All Night" from the My Fair Lady movie.
When I was six, turning seven, we were at my grandparents' house in Haddonfield, New Jersey, for the Thanksgiving holiday and my birthday (yes, my birthday is coming up). For my birthday we -- my mother, my grandmother, my brother Thom -- took the high speed train into Philadelphia to see the My Fair Lady movie, which had just opened. I distinctly remember my aunt Monica didn't come with us, and that puzzled me. I recall thinking, "Why would you not want to see this Beautiful Thing?"
I LOVED the movie. I was apoplectic. Age seven.
It was in a grand old Philadelphia movie theater, and the movie was so long that there was an intermission. Besides the gorgeous music, there was the visual appeal of the production -- the sets and the clothes designed by Cecil Beaton, who won an Oscar.
Professsor Higgins' Edwardian London town house looked very cozy, all dark wood and William Morris wallpaper.
Then comes the spectacular black and white scene at Astor Race Track. Has there ever been a better designed costume scene in the history of movies? I don't think so.
The Professor and the Colonel present Eliza Doolittle at the Embassy Ball. Audrey Hepburn at her most beautiful, no?
When we returned home to New Hartford, I got the soundtrack record and listened to it every afternoon when I came home from school. I'm telling you, I was crazy for that movie. The best birthday a seven year old could have.
And, honestly, my taste hasn't changed much since.
I've read that a remake of My Fair Lady is in the works starring Keira Knightley. I love Keira Knightley -- Pride and Prejudice is one of my all time favorite movies -- but I don't think this is a great idea. Why remake an iconic movie like My Fair Lady? It can't possibly be improved upon, in my opinion. And can Keira Knightly sing? Though that didn't stop Audrey Hepburn; her songs were dubbed by the American soprano Marnie Nixon.
I was looking at Carolina Herrera's Spring 2009 collection, and some of the black and white designs evoked a contemporary Ascot scene. This is a simple black jacket and a white tiered skirt which blooms with fragile black bows.
This white dress is etched with black ribbons which scroll over the body like a line of soft graphite. I love how the ribbon dances artfully on the surface.
Perfect for a modern Eliza Doolittle.