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Inside the Rainbow

Today I edited and printed several more pages for the October issue, and then BARTed to the Mission, and had a magnificent Number 1 at the Sincere Cafe — pork, prawns, and more pork. With a full belly, I walked to the Roxie for a Bernard Herrmann double feature. 

Herrmann wrote the music for Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest (1959) and François Truffaut’s The Bride Wore Black (1968), and the latter is supposed to be a tribute to Hitch, which is probably why Truffaut hired Herrmann. So let’s talk about the music: In both movies, the score soars and swooshes, and it’s moody and thrilling and sometimes full of wonder. 

Hitchcock never disappoints, and you maybe read my review of North by Northwest two months ago, when I saw it at the Stanford. Tonight's second feature, though, well … 

I know Truffaut’s great, a frickin’ arteest. He made many damned good movies, usually smart stuff with a light touch, almost all of which are worth seeing even if you can't stand subtitles, but The Bride Wore Black is the first absolute piece of crap I’ve seen with Truffaut’s name on it. It kept me on the edge of my seat, but only because I kept thinking I should leave.

It’s the story of a widowed bride who chases down the men who killed her husband, and it has three fatal flaws: 

❶ It’s boring, and that’s a major problem. When the lights go down inside a theater, you can’t read a book and shouldn’t want to. I wanted to.

❷ After The Bride’s husband is killed, the murderers are shown making their getaway. The movie's lead actress, Jeanne Moreau, knows their names, and tracks them down — but they’re apparently never questioned by the police, never in danger of arrest? Also, the movie is boring.

❸ Moreau was an attractive woman, but never jawdropping, and when Bride was made Moreau was 40, and it shows. Yes, society and the movies are always judging women by their appearance, and that’s rotten and stupid and sincerely not what I’m doing (I think). The problem is, her gorgeousness is a key plot point of the movie, stressed repeatedly — she’s so beautiful that men are literally dying to pursue her — so it’s fair to say, Moreau was wrong for the role. Also, the movie is boring.

♦ ♦ ♦

It’s been a month or so since I went “mostly vegetarian,” and today's porky lunch at the Sincere was an exception to the rule. After the movie, I took the next vegetarian step — I went shopping at Rainbow Grocery, the city's most politically correct co-op. If it isn’t green, if it’s from a company with labor problems, if it’s excessively packaged, or if it’s not really good for you, it’s not for sale at Rainbow. And in the whole store, meat is not allowed.

If you’re looking for a punchline to the joke, sorry, I like the place. I’m as green and willing to live by my principles as I am vegetarian — mostly, at best, and with lots of lapses. I absolutely respect the place, though, and we should all have the principles I generally lack.

I bought peanut butter (“Ingredients: Peanuts.”), all-natural mayonnaise with about 1/5th the calories I’m accustomed to (it’ll probably taste like watery chalk), and some exotic-sounding bachelor food — herbal macaroni & cheese, canned organic beans and rice, etc. I resisted the urge to ask at the help desk, "Where's the butcher's department?"

I’ll never be a health nut, of course. I'll never not be overweight, and I expect to continue my family’s tradition of dying of cancer. But if I’m in the neighborhood (I was) and it tastes good (I hope) and the price is right (surprisingly, yes), then I’m happy to be Rainbow Grocery’s fattest customer of the day.

From Pathetic Life #5
Sunday, October 30, 1994

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

 

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