Reel Women: Man’s Favorite Sport

mans favorite sport

1. Tunic in Tomato | 2. Living the Dream Denim Skirt | 3. Magazine Girl Vintage Hatbox | 4. Slingback Flat

 1960’s movies are the best. Where else can you see people camping in sport coats, ties, heels, and belted, white skirts? “Man’s Favorite Sport” is a completely under-praised film. Maybe because it’s not the usual pairing of Rock Hudson and Doris Day, but not very many people say “oh yeah!” if you bring this flick up. But seriously, watch it, because Paula Prentiss makes a pretty great second to Rock’s lead and besides that she’s also a perfect muse for my own trip this weekend into the wilderness–1960s style wilderness that is, which is just how I like it. I didn’t do a complete steal of Paula’s look from this scene **right before she kisses Rock Hudson btw.** I may be inspired by 1960’s films of aesthetic perfection, but real life has told me journeys into the woods aren’t too friendly on white so denim is a bit of a more modern view on that.

In the movie, Rock Hudson plays a “faux” fisherman, working for a sporting goods store called Abercrombie and Fitch (yes, really, same name…haven’t they come a long way in the wrong direction since the 60’s). He’s written a book on fishing but has never actually fished himself, and when Paula Prentiss invites him to a lodge’s fishing competition to promote the store, Rock has to learn to fish and of course a million different, highly improbable, but completely hilarious, events occur along the way. If you read into the title, viewers are supposed to answer the question that Man’s Favorite Sport (?) isn’t really fishing…unless it’s fishing for women. There’s the usual bitchy fiance in the way of the leading man falling in love with the right girl, and the secondary plot of him realizing he really loves the complete disaster girl who is, in the end, actually, completely adorable. And Paula Prentiss, complete with perfectly pulled together outfits, flawless makeup even when emerging fresh from the water, and late-night rendevous in adorable matching pajamas is the perfect inspiration for this summer’s journeys, however short I may fall of that image of perfection.

I’m headed off for a few days for a much, much needed vacation. I’ve completely over-packed, charged my camera to its longest length of picture plaguing abilities, and worked myself into a frenzied excitement for this weekend so I know I’m ready. Next week hopefully there will be pictures to share and also another hint about the blog-launch because I’m meeting with my designer for our first review of the design. Stick around!

– <3 A. 

Modern Views

Today is a bit of an unusual day because I wanted to offer a muse that is actually…a man! Nineteenth century women writers often wrote about how the history of women in literature was one skewed so horribly it could not be believed for, no woman had herself written her own story. The stories of women had come from a man’s pen; a male viewpoint that either diminished the female to an object or elevated her to a unattainable goddess-like figure that no woman could, in real life, stand up against.  Women writers wanted a feminine perspective. What were women doing throughout history, or, often, what were women prevented from doing?

Victor Hugo, probably most famous for his novel Les Miserables, is, through no fault of his own, a male writer. However, though he wrote in a time where women did not have many rights, and rarely were able to speak for themselves, he points to an exceptional power women possessed simply by being innately feminine.

In 1862, when Les Miserables was written, women definitely were not allowed to have occupations. They could not vote, were rarely educated unless they were from the aristocracy, and, even then, were trained mainly in the arts. Their place was considered to be in the home as a wife and mother–a place modern society has spent centuries trying to expand. Yet, despite this very small world that women occupied, Victor Hugo has many interesting things to say about their power. He writes that “nobody knows like a woman how to say things that are both sweet and profound. Sweetness and depth, this is all of woman; this is Heaven.” If a woman was capable of all that with no rights, how much more should we be able to do with unlimited ones?

In 2012, mention a woman who desires to be the helpmate and support of one man, to lead a family instead of a corporation, or fill a house with her hours of devotion instead of an office and you will probably meet a frown, a nose-crinkle, or a remark about trying to “do more.” Victor Hugo seemed to believe that was quite alot though. In fact, in Les Miserables, the feminine power to love, to care for, and to be devoted to someone is showcased as one of the only pure things in all of 1862’s mire of political instability, war, poverty, and filth. Hugo writes that this power is “one of the most strangely exquisite forms of happiness. To have continually at your side a woman, a girl, a sister, a charming being, who is there because you need her, and because she cannot do without you, to know you are indispensable to someone necessary to you, to be able at all times to measure her affection by the degree of the presence that she gives you, and to say to yourself: She dedicates all her time to me, because I possess her whole love; to see the thought if not the face; to be sure of the fidelity of one being in a total eclipse of the world…few joys can equal that. The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves–say rather, loved in spite of ourselves; the conviction the blind have. In their calamity, to be served is to be caressed. Are they deprived of anything? No. Light is not lost where love enters. And what a love! A love wholly founded in purity. There is no blindness where there is certainty.”

Too often though, it seems that women believe to have their modern rights they must secede their traditional, innate power. I don’t think Victor Hugo would see it that way. Regardless of how large you have chosen your world to be, the female power “to say things that are both sweet and profound” is just as, if not more, powerful now than in 1862.

Vogue did this beautiful photo-spread of Les Miserables in anticipation of the upcoming film version and I had to share since I was writing about Mr. Hugo. 

Despite my personal dislike of Anne Hathaway, I most likely will be seeing this movie. If only because I was, and always will be, an English major and I have adopted it as my duty to ensure that classic novels are well adapted into film versions.

Hopefully Hugo’s view on feminine power isn’t lost in translation, and hopefully we haven’t forgotten it either.

source: Hugo, Les Miserables, Ballantine Books, 1982

– <3 A. 

Loft Love

Happy Friday! This week has been a whirlwind with Halloween and birthday festivities. Baking, present wrapping, carving, and decorating has occupied the majority of my free hours so this weekend I am definitely looking forward to relaxing and watching my go-to-movie for this month: “Sweet November.”

If you had the unfortunate experience of watching the 2001 remake with Keanu Reeves, please don’t give up yet because the original 1968 film is so, so, so much better.

It’s a pretty obscure film and combines romance, drama, comedy, and a little bit of nonsense with the perfect proportions. Sara, (Sandy Dennis) is a single woman who owns and maintains rental properties. In her free time though, she assists bachelors in overcoming some sort of emotional flaw. Each month, Sara takes a different man under her wing—each man, with a different problem. In November, she meets Charlie (Anthony Newley). Charlie, who once had poetic aspirations, has lost his ability to see beauty and enjoy life because of his busy-ness and constant worry about being on time. His life, as Sara describes it, has become all “hurry, hurry, ding, ding.”

I think Charlie’s issue is one that modern audiences can identify with most. Caught up with his career, obsessed with getting ahead, or, at least keeping up, he forgets to look up from his watch and everyday tasks to see the little things that Sara finds such joy in. What I so adore about Sara and this film is that the way she makes Charlie fall back into love with life is merely doing the simplest things: They sit outside and paint and write, feed pigeons in the park, and drink tea by Sara’s fireplace; in small, thoughtful ways, Sara shows Charlie how to care for other people and not always himself and his wristwatch.

Like I said, the movie has a little dose of absurdity that makes it so endearing. Sara’s loft is a prime example of this, mixing together the most nonsensical of items to create the most charming space. I don’t normally like lofts. I don’t really care to see all the exposed framework and things of houses, but Sara’s looks so warm and lived-in.

An open fireplace, an Edwardian-looking chair, twinkle-lights on a tree and exposed, industrial-looking shelves next to an ornate cabinet. Its so ridiculous but makes me want to spend an evening with her. 

Her bedroom, I think, is my favorite. tucked under an entire wall and half-ceiling of window-panes, the cozy upstairs room looks like it would be divine to sleep-in on a rainy morning. It does actually rain during the film as Sara lies in bed and I’m always so very jealous.

The space is so unique and personal. From her loft, it’s obvious that Sara cares nothing for normal “styling.” Instead, as in her life, Sara only surrounds herself with the things she loves most. Her love for life is almost childish. She is often silly, irrational, and has the strangest notions and obsessions. Despite all of this though, she is also completely independent, able to nurture her excitement for living into everyone she meets, and finds humor in the everyday. For Charlie, just spending a month with Sara gave him a very sweet November.

Hopefully this weekend you can do a few silly things. Maybe add a vintage lamp in with your modern drapes, jump off a park bench, or compose poems on your porch….Sara did, and she had so much fun.

– <3 A.