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I watched Romancing the Stone the night before seeing Kathleen Turner speak. I didn’t know if I’d make it through, totally assumed it’d be really awful. For a dumb 80s movie, it totally holds up! Man, there was one line, I wish I’d written it down, that Michael Douglas said EXACTLY like Liberace. I guess he’s been prepping for the candelabra his whole life?
So before she came out, this blonde white lady next to me was talking about how she gets into special screenings because she writes for three blogs. Then Freels showed up, sat between us, and she kept talking to him like he was me, like they’d been talking the whole time. She saw this Chinese movie that I’d really wanted to see, and said “This may be sexist or racist, but we couldn’t tell the Chinese people apart!” So sexist.
Kathleen Turner was interviewed by this British man who wrote the first biography of Hitchcock, and also has his profile. The way he sat in his chair was not too different from lying down. She had no patience for him, or his stories of meeting Fellini. He’d ask her a question that would sort of wither in the air halfway through asking, and she’d give totally awesome answers.
She is really, really into acting on the stage, and has never gone more than 2.5 years without doing a play. Lots of Shakespeare and Tennessee Williams. She is planning to do Lear soon, which she’s super excited about. She said most women who do Lear make the daughters into sons, but she is keeping the daughter, because relationships between women are the least explored still, and most interesting to her.
She is super into reproductive rights, etc. Said she sees Sara Paretsky, who she loves, at Planned Parenthood stuff. She talked about filming a huge scene for V. I. on the Chicago River, and how respectful the huge crowds were in a way that would never happen shooting in NC or LA.
The only movie she regrets doing is one she was supposed to do with Michael Caine, but he kept getting delayed on Jaws IV because the shark kept breaking, and so they got Burt Reynolds. She was clearly not into him.
She said a lot of times you’re with a weaker actor and spend a lot of time supporting him (“Oh, did I say HIM? Yes I did.”) and that the best actor she worked with was Nicholson in Prizzi’s Honor. She didn’t have to do anything but act.
Before he died Ken Russell was trying to do an Alice in Wonderland movie. He wrote her a letter asking her to playing The Red Queen. He said in the letter “You’ll have clothes on. No one in your court will, but you will.” You guys, I want to see that movie!!
Ok, this man in the audience had a whole mission to go on and on about Richard Crenna. She was nice, told a story about him, then the guy kept talking about his boner for Crenna, and she was like “Ok, enough, I said ENOUGH, thank you, next?” LOVE.
She talked about identifying as a feminist, and not knowing about post- or any other labels, just that she demands equal rights.
She and Lauren Bacall used to meet up for dinner, and go back and forth “Good evening, Ms. Turner.” “Good evening, Ms. Bacall.” “How are you this evening?” each speaking with lower and lower voices.
Women casting directors make a difference. It was a woman who got her a chance at Body Heat, even though she had no film experience.
After Body Heat, she wanted to do The Man With Two Heads, and they told her “You’re sexy, but you’re not funny.” She went and gave a funny audition. Then Romancing the Stone, they said she couldn’t play a plain, uptight woman. So she auditioned as such. She said when she could get an audition, she always did okay.
She decided to do Dumb and Dumber 2, largely because of a scene where they are looking for her, but don’t recognize her because she’s aged, and say “Sorry, jowly., you’re not her.” She loves acknowledging that she’s “no longer that object of desire.”
That’s all I’ve got.
The Guardian has an article on a writer, Kabe Wilson, who rearranged the words in A Room of One’s Own to form a new work of fiction.
“There were points when I wondered whether it made sense, trying to connect Virginia Woolf with African-American cultural politics from the other end of the 20th century. But then I discovered connections I hadn’t expected, which really showed how much language and literature intermix,” said the artist, pointing to the fact that Toni Morrison wrote her master’s thesis on Woolf, then taught Stokely Carmichael, who has a key part in the story, at Howard University.
“CLR James was published by Woolf’s Hogarth Press in the 30s, then in the 60s he supported Carmichael’s radical student movement. The coincidences were often amazing,” said Wilson. “I needed a writer to link Woolf and Carmichael – then I found I had the words ‘C’, ‘L’, ‘R’, and ‘James’. I wanted to reference one of his books and found the only one I had the right words for was Letters from London, which gives an account of his travels around Bloomsbury in the 30s and meeting Edith Sitwell. It’s all there, it’s just a case of finding the words to connect all the strands together.
Looking at his website, he also did this peformance called The Dreadlock Hoax, playing on The Dreadnaught Hoax, which was Woolf and the rest of the Bloomsbury Group dressed up as Abyssinians as a hoax. He, a black man, appeared as Woolf, and read another work that he’d rearranged from an essay of hers.
So many layers. Brilliance. Love!
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