Viridiana

I watched the news about the Supreme Court decision yesterday morning.  Erica Hill was absent from the CBS This Morning show.  The report I most enjoyed on the program was about the boulder used in an art display in Los Angeles.  I also saw a feature on Maria Sharapova.  I had collected a lot of sweat-stained clothes during the A’s homestand, so I went out to do my laundry.  The stain remover spray I bought at Dollar Tree appeared to work on my jerseys.  I went on the Internet to listen to Sunday’s edition of Robert Hilburn’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Times radio program.  He played records by Dusty Springfield, Joan Baez, Barbra Streisand, Shelby Lynne, Linda Ronstadt, Norah Jones, Annie Lennox, Donna Summer, Gloria Gaynor, and Adele.  I watched the second half of “Hawaii Five-O” and then went out to take the bus to Emeryville.  I didn’t find what I wanted at Best Buy.  I just bought some cough drops at Target.  At Dollar Tree, I bought some cough medicine, batteries, and tissues.  I discovered that one of my geometry textbooks had arrived in the mail.  I watched the Luis Buñuel film “Viridiana.”  It was another of those movies that outraged Catholics upon its release.  Viridiana is a nun who visits her uncle before she takes her final vows.  The movie contains a trace of “Exterminating Angel,” which showed a crowd of party guests unable to leave a room.  In this movie, Viridiana is unable to return to her convent.  Strange circumstances appear out of nowhere to draw her back to her uncle’s house.  The uncle, named Don Jaime, has Viridiana wear his late wife’s wedding dress.  There is a little bit of “Vertigo” in this action.  Fernando Rey is Don Jaime.  A lot of people would remember him from “The French Connection.”  He slips Viridiana a drug in a plan to rape her, but he can’t bring himself to do it.  If you want to look at this in terms of religious symbolism, it’s a positive.  However, we do see a crucifix with a blade that comes out of it, rather like the switchblades we saw in “West Side Story.”  Silvia Pinal is Viridiana.  She has a pretty face, and is one of those cool blondes you would see in a Hitchcock film.  The second part of the movie shows het attempts to deal with her guilt.  She opens up the estate to local beggars and drunks, as she tries to improve their lives with some shelter, clothes, and a bit of work.  They invade the place like they’re in “King of Hearts.”  They strike a pose out of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper.  I think the last time I saw something like that was in Robert Altman’s “MASH.”  Viridiana is out of touch with real life and real characters.  Her religion is something she latched onto, and it doesn’t benefit anyone else.  She’s like the artist who paints only for himself, or maybe the kid making music in the basement in “Fame.”  The beggars included a blind man, a clown, a woman with two small children, a pregnant woman, a distinguished-looking old man, a stern-looking woman, a singer, a dwarf, and a leper.  I believe that they were actors and not real beggars.  Viridiana is no Mother Teresa, so her attempt at charity is not unsuccessful, but also it brings her undoing.  There were external stories connected with this movie, like the fact that it was a return to Spain for Buñuel after a 24-year absence, but those things you don’t think about while you watching.  I thought that there was a connection to Sleeping Beauty in the story, although it was twisted.  Don Jaime has likable qualities underneath his surface.  He has some humor, and his fetish with his wife’s clothes show some vulnerability and pain.  He’s too lonely to deal with life.  His last attempt to grab hold of humanity through Viridiana is tragic.  Luis Buñuel always deals with the two subjects you shouldn’t discuss in front of company, religion and politics.  It’s difficult to make an interesting film that deals with religion.  Martin Scorsese had problems with it in “The Last Temptation of Christ.”  I still think that most successful movie I’ve seen about a nun was “The Nun’s Story” with Audrey Hepburn.  I thought “Viridiana” was a good movie.  I don’t think it was as good as “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie.”  The Criterion Collection edition of this movie was very good.  The print looked sharp.  It had a video interview with Silvia Pinal, which was not so interesting on a first viewing.  The movie was only 91 minutes long, which I liked.  He gets to the point, says what he has to say, and doesn’t linger on forever the way that someone like Steven Spielberg would.  I took my nighttime cold medicine, and so felt too drowsy to stay up and watch the Twilight Zone.  I awoke in the middle of the night to listen to some music and take a second dose of medicine.  I awoke to see a news story about Whitey Bulger’s claim that he has legal immunity.  I kept seeing the video of the mother person opening the garage door to save the cub, who climbed down a ladder to get away.  Erica Hill was wearing a red dress with no necklace.  Gayle King was there, too.  The A’s managed to win in Seattle, 1-0.  There wasn’t much sports news, now that the basketball championship is over.  I am not too interested in soccer.  I don’t think I want to see the movie “People Like Us.”  Today is another $5 Tuesday for moviegoing.  One person who died on June 26 was Roy Campanella in 1993.  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind segment for June 26, Gary U.S. Bonds had the Number One song in 1961 with “A Quarter to Three.”  In 1965, the Byrds had the Number One song with “Mr. Tambourine Man.”  In 1970, the Jackson Five had the Number One songs with “The Love You Save.”  In 1975, Van McCoy was awarded a gold record for “The Hustle.”  In 1977, Elvis Presley performed in his last concert in Indianapolis.

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