Wednesday, November 6, 2013

We Could Be Heroes

Here is a vastly incomplete list of a few of my fictional heroes.

I love and try to dress like Auntie Sylvie and her niece Ruthie, from the film Housekeeping (1983), based on the 1980 Marilynne Robinson novel of the same name.  The novel should be on the reading list of every woman prone to a desire for secrets and the urge to run away.  I love the book but there's something singularly comforting about the film, mostly just seeing how great the actresses are who play these two great characters, and seeing how haphazard their clothing is -- a pretty old nineteen forties dress and big boots, and wild unruly curly hair.  these two amuse each other and themselves and would be completely happy among the friendly mice, stray cats, and pretty knicknacks of their house, content to read fantastic human interest stories from the newspapers they stockpile out loud to each other,sometimes sneaking peeks through their neighbor's windows to see what's on tv that night.  they are wild and dignified and shy of the outside world all at the same time.  i admire the poise of these two and their refusal to change themselves to please of the church ladies who harp on them to tame Ruthie's curls and make Sylvie start bossing her niece around.  i love everything about these two.


The two woman on an all night row boat ride in a sinking, stolen boat, singing "Good Night Irene"

Really Rosie

Rosie is one of Maurice Sendak's character.  In 1975 there was a film made with her character as the star, incorporating many of Sendak's Nutshell Kids books, as musical numbers in the musical the tough New Yorker Rosie is coaxing her friends to make with her.  She's bossy and dresses like the boa-decorated, huge-hat wearing queen of everything.  i think she is supposed to be 12, with some younger friends, including a little alligator in a suit and propeller beanie.  the plot always made me feel sad at the end because Rosie is obviously very lonely and doesn't want to go back upstairs to her mom's cabbage dinner and a quiet night in their depressing tenement, so she draws out this time with her friends on the sidewalk as long as possible, doing everything in her power to keep them interested in putting on a play with her.  but they aren't visionaries like her.  when everyone's mothers call out the window for their kids to come home, she keeps her hopes bolstered, with a whole 'tomorrow will be better' shrug, doubtful that it really will be.  her walk back home is a stolid, stoic and melancholy thing but I just know she really is going to be that star she wants to be someday!

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