Sunday, January 09, 2005

“I was born when she kissed me. I died when she left me. I lived a few weeks while she loved me.”

The Movie: In a Lonely Place, 1950 (Edmund H. North and Andrew Solt, screenwriters, from the novel by Dorothy B. Hughes; Nicholas Ray, dir.)
Who says it: Humphrey Bogart as screenwriter and murder suspect Dix Steele.
The context: Steele is quoting a line from his screenplay to his girlfriend, Laurel Gray (Gloria Grahame); later, she quotes it herself, in a different context.
How to use it: If you ever have an opportunity to use this line, you’ll know.

The book that inspired this movie is the topic of this afternoon's Crime Club discussion group at the bookstore. Both the book and the movie explore the psyches of violent men, but they turn on opposite plot twists. It's clear to anyone who reads the book and sees the movie that a woman wrote one and a man wrote the other. Both are masterpieces, in their own ways, and both have been tremendously influential (on more than just the Smithereens song).

Yesterday turned out to be a weirdly Elvis-related day. Ann Marie and I went with Gary to look at a painting he's thinking about buying, a large, vivid montage that includes a view of Elvis's funeral cortege. The artist, Mark Hobley, has a small shrine to Elvis in his studio, and the candles were lit there yesterday afternoon.

My cousins Kathleen and Mark had the Los Angeles branch of the family over for dinner last night, so I got to meet their new daughter, Lucinda. I've only been gone for three months, but they've been an eventful three months.

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