Saturday, 21 May 2011

Encore’s Birthday Marathon: Day 4

Continuing my rambling trajectory towards my birthday…
There’s still a couple of hours left in the day so who knows? Perhaps the rapture is still imminent. So, I’ve been thinking what sort of movie high I’d like to go out with and of course it’s a Katharine Hepburn one. I’m nothing if not loyal. It’s only the other day that Wayne was talking about which Cary Grant performance he loves the most and I do love Grant, and I do worship Hepburn and if the world does decide to go kaput it’s important to go out on a high note, but more than a high note – a funny note. Enter, Bringing Up Baby.
Bringing Up Baby is always remembered as this sort of seismic moment in both Hepburn and Grant’s careers and to be honest it was some time before I really appreciated its brilliance. Humour is a difficult to establish and Bringing Up Baby is a bit paradoxical for me because I’m usually not that interested in humour that’s tinge with so much physicality. But, there’s a reason that these films get hit with the name “classic”. It’s sort of the paradigm on which more recent, and lesser, comedies of the type are based and what’s so interesting about Bringing Up Baby is how strange it is in contrast to the other Grant/Hepburn films. For once Cary is the straight man and Kate is a loony….and boy, she’s a loony.
It’s not my favourite Kate, but it’s such a fine encapsulation of her in her youth. That insistently quick manner of speech, the charming physicality, that allegedly adlibbed line, “I was born on the side of the hill.” It’s really about as faultless as they come. I wouldn’t mind dying while it plays.
More on the birthday marathon.


Yojimbo_5 said...

This is the Hepburn I fell in love with...maybe it was that weird dress she wears at the formal dinner...but every time I see her in movies or in real life, I thought of this stunning looking, odd girl. I saw her in every role she played.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

yojimboo she is a stunning, odd girl indeed.

Paolo said...

I actually don't think that Hepburn's ever been 'youthful,' even if a) A few people I know think that Grant always looks old and has never seen parts of 'Blonde Venus,' or b) she's played a lot if immature people. It's like she was always too intelligent to have been an ingenue.