Sunday, June 23, 2013

Painting


I've finished my Sistine chapel, and now those paint-encrusted brushes can rot in hell for all I care.

I confess to committing some serious sins of omission, under the eaves, for instance; and sins of emission, as I got overly enthusiastic with some equipment the real painter, the one who did the upper reaches, left behind.

But as Raymond Chandler said: "From 10 feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from 30 feet away."

Nothing wrong with keeping your distance.

So back to teachers. If you only know Maggie Smith from her most recent work, then take a look at The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Here's a clip:



The polar opposite of the Mrs. Warnells of the teaching world are the charismatics. The ones who don't want students, but followers and devotees. They're not all bad, they're not all Brodies. But they do like the sound of their own words above all others including Shakespeare and the Joyce holy trinity of high school -- James, Oates, and Cary.

I knew my share, but since I changed schools so often, could recognize them right away.

Here's my favorite scene from Miss Brodie, up to about 4 minutes. She is evil, the Mussolini of middle school. And yet, you can't help but fall in love with her. Because, well after all, it's Maggie Smith. The sound is out of sync, but even so.

31 comments:

  1. Wow, it's been at least 20 years since I've seen it. Time to rent it again. Jean Brodie certainly is dangerous, but if memory serves, the movie makes us wonder if the grey rest of them are even worse.

    Love the Chandler quote. And congratulations. Looks good from 2,000 miles.

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  2. I wasn't allowed to see this movie when it first came out, so of course I saw it at my first opportunity.

    I never had a teacher like Miss Brodie, but I've had one I would have followed anywhere if she'd have led me, and she was a British actress, too.

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  3. cSchool in general was to me a labor camp, in which any learning occurred in spite of and not because of it Hard enough for a kid to learn without contending with the unpredictable self-centered posing of an authority figure, and I had my share.

    By the way, I think your house looks great, the kind of house one would expect in Altadena, or Sierra Madre. Comfy, full of history, and a back yard fit for puttering and improvision.

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  4. She's such a magnificent creature, Maggie is, and she's stayed anonymous for the most part as well: one classy broad I think.

    Your house shows so much love and attention to detail, you could have painted it pnurple and it would still be wonderful.

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  5. Yea, Maggie.

    As for the house, aw, thanks. She's a homely old girl, and got a stucco job sometime after 1922. My neighbor mixed some burnt sienna into the paint, and then I added a little pink, so we moved away from the urine sample to a cafe au lait, heavy on the lait. I did the whole front by myself, but needed a pro for the upper east and west sides. I may have it in me to finish up what should be finished up; Paula does this kind of stuff all the time, so she'll be my muse.

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  6. Your house looks wonderful, what a transformation. It must have been hard work, painting always is. Congratulations!

    I never had a charismatic teacher like Miss Brodie, even though I changed schools every few years. But I do remember that the nice teacher who taught us English literature couldn't make me enjoy the lessons. I wanted to read the books myself, not have to take turns to read sections out aloud to the class. I still dislike the books we were required to read at age 13 (Brighton Rock especially) and sadly was also turned off Shakespeare by the class reading of As You Like it.

    Like Petrea with the movie, the books our teacher told us not to check out the school library were the ones we went for immediately. Why on earth was Keep the Aspidistra Flying by George Orwell on that list? Maybe she was really smart and realized this was the best way to get us to read it?

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  7. Wow, you did a gorgeous job! I love the color!. How did u manage to paint w/all those shrubs?? You have one heck of a green thumb for sure!. :-)

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  8. Never seen The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie but the Chandler quote is brilliant.

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  9. Your house looks lovely from where I'm standing.

    I'm psyching myself up to do some painting on our house...nothing major, mind you, just the entrance doors. Still, I'm putting it off until we get a good stretch of hot, sunny weather. That's a good excuse, right?

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  10. It's gorgeous, Karin. What a great job. If there are any flaws, I bet you'll be the only one who notices. Congratulations.

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  12. I does look different, doesn't it? However, if you were actually 10 feet away, you'd see not all the plants escaped unscathed.

    Wonder why she did that, Bellis. Listening to 13 year olds read Shakespeare sounds absolutely deadly.

    The full Chandler quote, by the way, is: From 30 feet away, she looked like a lot of class. From 10 feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from 30 feet away.

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  13. Your pic must have been taken from 30 feet away because it looks pretty classy to me!!!

    I saw Maggie in the Prime of Miss Jean Brodie way back when...loved it and loved her!!! I do remember thinking she was old then...little did I know!!!

    As for Shakespeare in school...been there read that...turned me off to Shakespeare...at least to read...I do like to see it in theater!!!

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  14. I like the color of your house now! How about if we say she's a cute old girl, instead of homely? That 1920s stucco won't move in your lifetime, if my 1920s stucco is any indication. They must have had some kind of super-mortar in those days.

    I could recognize the Jean Brodies, too, changing schools at least once a year as I did. Funny how that makes us more attuned to "authority" which shouldn't be, isn't it? I've even lectured a Jean Brodie or 2 who taught my kids. Someone has to take them down a peg when needed. But everything I've ever seen with Maggie Smith was just marvelous. She becomes her roles, truly.

    Have you ever tried Acorn TV? They have lots of things like Miss Jean Brodie, changing month by month, and it's only $30 per year. Saves my bacon time after time, when there's nothing to watch on TV...which is most of the time...

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  15. Karin, LOVE your house! Very charming and the garden full of luxuriant greenery is very beautiful!

    I like so much Maggie Smith and love the film she did in 2011 "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel". It is a story of British retirees travel to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel. Less luxurious than its advertisements, the Marigold Hotel nevertheless slowly begins to charm in unexpected ways.

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  16. Oooh, Sonia reminded me that I saw Marigold Hotel, too, and loved it! Maggie Smith is so good in it, as one would expect.

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  17. I'm glad you all approve of the color! It took six or seven mixings at Alt Hardware to get it right. They were very patient with me.

    As for the 1920 houses, Marjie, a neighbor said, "They built these like tanks." I hope he's right.

    And now I'll have to get my hot little hands on Marigold Hotel. Did you ever see Maggie as the Aunt in Room with a View?

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  18. Having painted too many two story houses and having had way too many nuns as teachers, today's comment will be kept locked away, never to see the light of day.

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  19. Oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah

    This is what I think of making any home improvements:

    That house can rot in hell for all I care.

    - Mary Kathleen O'Looney

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  20. Hey, from here it looks like a pro did it all! I'm sure it's my POS computer, but I can't watch the video. I've seen it before though! That Chandler quote is classic...

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  21. K, our loss.

    Ms O'Looney: I know! I told the bitch, "You're 90 years old, can't you paint your own eyebrows?" But that just gave her the vapors.

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  22. Mary Kathleen: if someone else would do it I would love it, because my house is going to rot (hell or not) if it doesn't get improved soon.

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  23. I like ti keep my distance from all kinds of jobs in the summer. 10 feet, 30 feet 2 miles it doesn't matter. It's summer.

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  24. I love your obsessions, you aesthete--

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  25. Petrea, your place is lovely. Where are you hiding this so-called rot?

    Birdman, fair enough.

    Des, looking at this picture (the house, not Maggie), I see four things I really hate, and paint won't help them.

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  26. Fabulous house color! Plants look great against the yellow. I enjoyed the movie clips (as I've never seen the movie), but I kept trying to use the subtitles to catch what she was saying when I couldn't understand her accent, but that didn't help. I'll add the movie to my queue as Miss Brodie seems like a real corker.

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  27. I'm envious of your painting project, wishing I had something to do that would give me a such a sense of accomplishment. It feels so good when it's done! Your gardens are lovely, too.

    I am a Maggie Smith fan and highly recommend "Marigold Hotel." Time to add "Miss Brodie" to the queue for a re-viewing.

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  28. You'll like it Katie, or double your money back.

    Sharon, don't envy my painting outside walls. Trust me on this.

    YAH, indeed. The one movie with MS I could never watch again is the Lonely Passion of Someone or other.

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  29. Your house looks beautiful! Both the paint job and the healthy plants. My house is a similar color, or once was many years ago, before it aged into its current faded, cracked and dirty state. And my poor plants. They're so dry they are barely alive.

    I haven't seen Miss JB or the Marigold Hotel. Time to have a Maggie Smith film fest, minus the Lonely Passion...

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