Saturday, 12 December 2009

The Katharine Hepburn Blogathon

I'm not the first, the last, the wittiest, the most obsessed or the most articulate person to claim Katharine Hepburn as an influence in my life, but I've got more than 30 years of fangirlhood under my belt, so that must count for something.

I "discovered" Kate as a teenager—the way Christopher Columbus "discovered" America. As in: Where've YOU been? My dad reviewed movies for the Los Angeles Times, and he had loads of great movie books around the house, including "The Films of Katharine Hepburn" and "They Had Faces Then," a fantastic photo-rich encyclopedia of the great actresses of the 1930s. (Woops, what do you know: Those dog-eared volumes are now on my bookshelf. How did that happen?)

One look at those astounding cheekbones, that chin thrust in the air, the attitude that leaped through the page, and I'd found my role model. Not the kind of role model you ever hope to live up to, but the kind who inspires you to look at your own timid life and think, "Come ON!"

Countless viewings of "The Philadelphia Story" and "The African Queen" later—and taking to heart my favorite of all her film lines: "I never dreamed that any mere physical experience could be so stimulating!"—Katharine Hepburn is still the one who inspires, intimidates and enthralls me. So when I decided to start a blog about a transitional time in my life, it didn't take any deep thinking at all to come up with my title: "What Would Katharine Hepburn Do?"

Now, if I can only do what she would do.
 With only a few hours to go, Susan Champling of What Would Katharine Hepburn Do? was able to write this nice little piece.
So, I've finally done it - had my first blog-a-thon. It's been a long time in the making, it's almost a year since I started this blog so it's nice to see all the support from fellow bloggers. So, here are the entries.
I wrote a few words on Long Day's Journey Into Night. May consider it to be Kate's best, though I'm so sold on the's my ranking of her twelve nominated performances...
Marcy at Because I Saw the Film, takes a look at Kate's autobiography Me: Stories of My Life. It's one of the rare autobiographies that's actually fun to read.
Clarabela of Just Chick Flicks has a nice piece on the Hepburn-Tracy dynamic. And just for good measure, here's a recent post she did on The Philadelphia Story.
Jude of All That Film takes a look at Kate and her strength.
Anna of Life of a Cinephile and Bibliophile takes a look at The Philadelphia Story.
Over at Fritz & the Oscars Fritz does a round-up of Kate's nominations.
Alex of Alex in Movieland looks at Kate's performance in the underseen Stage Door which he looked at for the first time recently.
jrarcieri of For Cinephiles by a Cinefille offers up a re-assessment of her first 'meeting' with Kate.

Thanks to all the contributors.A few didn't get a chance to finish their entries, if they do I'll post the link.
Addendum: RC of Strange Culture makes a comparison between the screwabll Bringing Up Baby and a modern comedy series
And just to recap: here are your votes on the Katharine Hepburn Awards


RC said...

I'm late - but I got my post up this AM. Looking forward to reading the other post from the contributors here.

Nice job.

Yojimbo said...

My mother once won a "Katherine Hepburn" lookalike contest in college. So, on Kate's last national tour of a play, I took the women-folk to see Kate on-stage. The play was "meh," but she was stunning—elderly, but utterly commanding, tiny but filling the theater. One of those things for which I can look back and say: "Yeah, that was something you'll remember the rest of your life."