The Circus

maxresdefault

I just loved Charlie Chaplin’s The Circus. I’d never heard of this film, but recently saw that The Criterion Collection had just released it on DVD. In this 1928 film, The woebegone Tramp mistakenly gets caught up in a police chase for inadvertently taking a man’s wallet. The crazy chase that ensues leads to the Tramp bringing down the house as an accidental clown act at a circus.

This circus is run by a nasty, hothead Rimgmaster who continually abuses his lovely, innocent step-daughter. The Tramp soon falls for her and tries to be her savior, but she soon falls for a dapper tightrope walker.

circus-053

Throughout the film we’re treated to marvelous scenes including a chase through a house of mirrors, accidental clown acts that have the audience laughing in the aisles, a scary standoff with a lion and a death-defying tightrope scene.

According to the commentary Chaplin didn’t like this film much because it was made at a time when his life was at a low point. His wife was divorcing him for his affair with the female lead, his mother was terribly sick. a storm destroyed most of his set and the tabloids where having a heyday gossiping about Chaplin’s personal life.

Nonetheless, The Circus is hilarious and often poignant. It entertains from start to finish. I’d say it deserves a place beside any of Chaplin’s classics from The Kid to City Lights.

Sculpture Saturday

 

IMG_20160218_163804

Shandong Art Museum, Jinan, China

Saturday Sculpture is hosted by the Mind over Memory’s chasingmemory.

What you need to do is:

  • Share a photo of a sculpture
  • Link to Mind over Memory’s post for Saturday Sculpture.

It’s a fun challenge.

This week I’m sharing a sculpture that’s part of the Shandong Provincial Museum’s regular collection.

Sepia Saturday

style

This week I’m most impressed with the women’s style (for the beach no less). Let me share photos and information about their elements of style.

Gibson Girl Hairstyles

tumblr_l69ulypQs91qzdiqvo1_500

These Gibson Girl hairstyles have caught my attention on BBC productions set just before WWI. Popular in the Edwardian Era, illustrator Charles Dana Gibson, the Gibson Girl look consisted of cascades of hair pinned loosely on the head, a tall, healthy body showing the results of regular exercise like bicycling and an a emancipated spirit evinced by a young woman entering the workforce.


Here’e a how-to video. The first part on makeup is below.

Magnificent Hats

28893303778_1ea080ceb7_c.jpg

lots hatsf_c

The Ensemble

f plate2

These Edwardian fashion plates show you how to put your look together.

f plate3

 

Certainly, the hats and corset require perfect posture and probably weren’t the least bit comfortable, but the look is stylish and creative.vict f plate

To see some other interpretations of this week’s prompt, click here.

Pull Up a Seat Photo Challenge

IMG_20190922_114427.jpg

Northwestern University Evanston campus

You can see more seats, chairs, couches, thrones, ottomans and such by clicking here.

Care to join the fun?

pull_up-_a_seat-badge

For this weekly challenge Xinfu Mama will make a post every Friday morning. To play along:

Create a post with a photo of places one sits or might sit, or art about sitting, and maybe a little background or story about the spot or a picture of the view.

  • Add a tag “Pull up a Seat”.
  • Add a link to your post in the Pull up a Seat comment section, either by writing a comment with your URL or by creating a pingback.

 

Go Fund Me

To offset the expenses due to my library messing up and getting me kicked off my insurance, I’ve started a Go Fund Me campaign.

It’s vexing that a town with a median income of $216,000 are so stingy. Sadly, it’s not a big surprise though.

It feels odd to do this, but . . . I did have insurance till the library messed up. Wouldn’t you know they did so the one time I needed healthcare.

The Rules of Civility

rulesCiv_.gifGeorge Washington, the US’ first President, was known for his stellar character. Richard Brookhiser collected the wisdom Washington hand-copied of rules of behavior. Brookhiser adds background on the rules and how they seem to have been handed down from teachings of 16th century Jesuits and notes on situations when Washington followed this precepts and comments his peers made on Washington’s behavior.

I found the book charming and still useful. I learned about the culture of 18th century America and the first President. On top of that, I saw how holding oneself to high standards builds character. Yeah, that sounds hokey, but I think it’s often true.

Some nuggets:

1. Every action done in company ought to be with some sign of respect to those that are present.

2. When in company, put not your hands to any part of the body not usually discovered.

3. Show nothing to your friend that may affright him.

4. In the presence of others, sing not to yourself with a humming voice, or drum with your fingers or feet.

5. If you cough, sneeze, sigh or yawn, do it not loud but privately, and speak not in your yawning, but put your handkerchief or hand before your face and turn aside.

6. Sleep not when others speak, sit not when others stand, speak not when you should hold your peace, walk not on when others stop.

7. Put not off your clothes in the presence of others, nor go out of your chamber half dressed.

8. At play and attire, it’s good manners to give place to the last comer, and affect not to speak louder than ordinary.

9. Spit not into the fire, nor stoop low before it; neither put your hands into the flames to warm them, nor set your feet upon the fire, especially if there be meat before it.

10. When you sit down, keep your feet firm and even, without putting one on the other or crossing them.

 

Poem of the Week

Who’s Who?

by W.H. Auden

A shilling life will give you all the facts:
How Father beat him, how he ran away,
What were the struggles of his youth, what acts
Made him the greatest figure of his day:
Of how he fought, fished, hunted, worked all night,
Though giddy, climbed new mountains; named a sea:
Some of the last researchers even write
Love made him weep his pints like you and me.

With all his honours on, he sighed for one
Who, say astonished critics, lived at home;
Did little jobs about the house with skill
And nothing else; could whistle; would sit still
Or potter round the garden; answered some
Of his long marvellous letters but kept none.

The Saphead

saphead h2qsP

Buster Keaton’s first starring role in a feature film was playing Bertie Van Alstyne in The Saphead. Saphead sure is a disparaging way to refer to someone. It refers to a weak-minded stupid person. Is Bertie Van Alstyne really a saphead? His tycoon father certainly thinks so, but Agnes, Bertie’s adopted sister disagrees. She’s smitten. When she returns home Bertie defies his wealthy father and tries to elope with Agnes. Their plans are comically foiled and Bertie shows his father that he’s no wimp or fool (well not completely either) so the wedding proceeds until Mark, Bertie’s lazy, crooked, philandering brother-in-law plants a letter from his dead mistress on Bertie.

Bertie is framed. His father stops the wedding so that sweet Agnes isn’t married to a philanderer with an illegitimate daughter. Crushed, but noble, Bertie goes to the cosy house he bought for his new bride. His solo dinner amidst the wedding decorations is a sad scene indeed.

The next day Bertie tries to lift his spirits by going to the Stock Exchange where he’s recently purchased a seat. Of course, the traders laugh at his expense and play him for a fool. Yet the tables get turned when Bertie, inadvertently saves the day when he foils his brother-in-laws plot to take over the family fortune.

The version I got from the library needs restoration. Many of the outdoor scenes looked green, while the indoor ones were black and white.

The Saphead charmed me with it’s innocence and simplicity. Keaton’s facial expressions and physical humor stole the show. The plot took turns I didn’t expect and other than forgetting all about Henrietta’s poor orphan child, the story was a delight.