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Sunday, 3 January 2010

Grey Gardens - C'est moi!

I've lost my inner Scarlett, various versions of whom have graced my pages for months...

With my new post header photo, and the others I shall post this year, (Goddess Wiki and Me-not-falling-under-a-tram willing), I'm embracing my inner Grey Gardens...

I watched this movie over the hollingberries. It was my one and only Holiday Tantrum. I'd been really fed up with the family totally hogging the telly, with me sitting, (we've been snowed in a lot of the time, je vous jure!), with my headphones on, reading blogs, surfing t'Internets and watching online stuff... True Blood Series 2 anyone?!).

I wanted to watch this film I had read about, which had received rave reviews, and I'd never even heard of Grey Gardens, although the story has been turned into plays and even a stage musical...

For those who don't know, here is the gist... (For those that do know, why are you reading on anyway, and 'Get a life!', 'coz Fhina's got this one covered!):

Edith, "Big Edie" Ewing Bouvier Beale and her daughter, Edith "Little Edie" Bouvier Beale were the aunt and first cousin of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis and Lee Radziwill.

The two Edies lived together at Grey Gardens for decades with limited funds, resulting in squalor, (having lived amidst copious cats and raccoons), and almost total isolation.


Grey Gardens is a 1975 cinema vérité documentary film by Albert and David Maysles, which followed the everyday lives of the two Edith Beales, who lived at Grey Gardens. The film was screened at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival. And after the film aired and some probably intrusive media attention, Jackie O and Lee strolled on up to Grey Gardens to have the house made habitable again - At least for a time...

And, in 2009, the story was re-visited for HBO with Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore as the Edies, and this was the very moving version I got to see, having tossed my dummy out of the pram, and relegated GJ and Grizz to TVs upstairs in the cottage.


So the film is the story of these two women, their hopes of a life in the theatre, and their thwarted loves, dreams and aspirations, and the irrefutable magic that kept them living on in Grey Gardens for over fifty years, in spite of severely dwindling circumstances and probably also deteriorating mental health conditions...

In the Seventies, a while after the death of Big Edie, Little Edie decided to sell up. She put the house on the open market for $220,000, and repelled all would-be buyers and 'tyre-kickers', who just wanted to tear down the house and build a Millionaire's Mansion in its place. She eventually offered the house to Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn, the famous Washington Post editor and journalist, respectively.

Sally set about rebuilding the wonder of Grey Gardens named after the colour of its walls, the sea and the dunes, even having some of the original furniture renovated and restored to its original condition. What remains is beautiful, heart-warming, awe-inspiring and somehow homely, in spite of its grandeur.


...It turned out that Little Edie finally settled in Florida, swimming every day. She even managed to put on a short-lived cabaret show in New York... Grey Gardens has developed a huge following in the gay community from what I've researched online... Rufus Wainwright wrote a song with this title for his 2001 album...

What continues to amaze me in life, is despite the fact that I try to be an avid Culture Vulture, that some trends and interesting tales have managed to escape my notice... I attribute that to the long years I spent Bringing Up Baby, when I scarcely glanced at a magazine or newspaper and spent hours and hours at Soft Play, trying to ensure the darned infant (affectionately nicknamed the 'Child from Hell'), slept at night, and wasn't doing a motor-cycle 'Wall of Death' impression around the walls of his bedroom seated atop his Go-Kart!

Well, I'm embracing my inner Grey Gardens, mes bloggy chums... Can anyone tell me where I can get hold of a raccoon in the UK??!

raccoon Pictures, Images and Photos

Thank you to those of you who have embraced my inner techno-phobe, mes bloggy buds... I repel technology I do! You have been of enormous help to me in terms of uploading pictures... I am currently a member of flickr, picasa and have also been Googling like Crazy! Merci mille mes braves! Bear with me, I'll get there eventually! Mwah!

MAIN PHOTO SOURCE today copyright the Huffington Post

11 comments:

Ji said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gigi said...

Haven't heard of this ... will have to look into it. BUT ... YAY you for kicking the boys out and watching what you wanted! I need to do this more often...

Just yesterday, for the first time in a long time, I made them watch something I wanted to see - Paranormal Activity (sooooo cultural, right?) - and I actually ended up watching it alone. But if I let them they take over the television. Must say - am glad I watched this one during the daylight - cause it kinda freaked me out.

Lee said...

Oh bother, I gave away my last raccoon last week...

Zeba said...

Lovely! The story sounds lovely! Maybe I'll find it on torrent and watch.

Oh and Happy 2010! =)

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

online watching true blood od course my love...I watched it in october...so naughty by nice...

and l hope you dont mind that l didnt read your precis of the film cos l recorded it....
love you!!
saz x

am missing scarlett she's been with you from the start!!!

slommler said...

Haven't heard of Grey Gardens?! I see too miss many of these cool art films. I must research more! Thanks for the intro. Now I must find it.
Hugging you
SueAmm

French Fancy said...

Since I moved to the French sticks nearly everything passes me by. I used to be the original woman about town in London - always knowing the latest restaurant, show, gallery opening - now I get excited if a new section of the canal here is opened.

Moannie said...

I remember seeing the original ducumentary. It was so sad, yet the two women were so glamourous amid the squalor.

blognut said...

I think I want to see this movie!

And I highly recommend that you not take hold of a raccoon if you find one, whether it's a dignified English 'coon or a plain, old American 'coon. They're a bit nasty and likely to bite you.

Love to you,
Bloggus
XXOOXX

Jose Ramon Santana Vazquez said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rochelle said...

Ohhhh - that "grey garden" I thought this post was going to be about something else. But the movies sound fascinating! ;-> Happy New Year!

Something I wrote earlier...

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