Archives for May 2012

Michael Fassbender

“A charming man who is the prototype for a new kind of movie star. He is not magnetic in the traditional sense yet he fascinates all those who cannot take their eyes off of him. Hypnotic in some respect and he fully inhabits his roles. You can feel him inside of them, as you observe him on the screen. Mr. Fassbender has a dual nationality, and in that sense being bi-cultural, as I was, offers him a unique world view, especially because his countries of origin are not always the ones on everyone’s tongue. Michael is a kind soul, generous to those around him, gregarious too, eager to learn, hungry for experience which he translates into the id and ego of each of his characters. Bravo, I say! An auspicious beginning to what promises to be a lengthy career. And, there is the sexual quotient ~ opaque, mysterious, yet available, lurking, full-bore ~ all simultaneously. A stand-up kind of guy, especially for his female fans, and he is mostly unaware of the effects he engenders, which are always cathartic!” ~ Rudolph Valentino

 

Valentino Filmography: “Monsieur Beaucaire”

Artfully is how I approached this film, which is what Natacha and I had in mind; a big splash, my return to the silver screen after what seemed like a rather lengthy absence. Nice work if you can get it, to play dual roles, fey-ish and foppish though they both were on some level. But, I reveled in the details, got lost in some of them too: les dentelles (laces) ~ les mouches (beauty marks) ~ les perruques (wigs.) Tout ça (all of that) was a stretch for me but at the same time expressed aspects of what my characters wanted to be. The intrigue of the court ~ le badinage (banter) ~ les froux (flourishes) ~ les poux (lice) ~ well, they all were a mash up, blend, a lovely glass of port! Yes, “Monsieur Beaucaire” had that aspect to it, decadence, but masking the power that lurked below, under the surface, as personified by the King and court. Though I jumped at the chance to act ‘en papillote’ (figuratively, in parchment or curling paper) ~ I was constrained, as it were, by the weight of the visuals and all that de luxe. The most fun was to be a swordsman, the dashing and daring of my ‘real self ‘ as opposed to the barber/confidant. The female characters, I remember, were of the cardboard variety and that was all as it should be. No real connections with my co-stars in this outing, only superficial ones. Funny, no, odd to admit that now. Well, this was an exercise in excess, lots of trappings with a very slight story line to support them, sort of like wet wash hanging from delicate tree limbs. In our efforts to get things ‘right,’ we missed the big picture, and in making this observation I mean myself, Natacha, and the Director, so blinded by our desire to create a work of art were we.

Many critics panned this movie and I would say that the whole of it boils down to one of my least favorites. Top-heavy it was, like the hair pieces we all wore and fussy, like the ribbons that festooned our pantaloons. Light and shadow, having a field day! Unfortunately, stories of another century do not always comport well with the current one. Again, what I liked best was the swordplay, my chance to inject a little ‘Fairbanks’ into the picture. Paramount was sorely disappointed with its performance. Not the right vehicle for my comeback, but quite a few poses! Un bal masqué, the perfect metaphor for this film.” ~ Rudolph Valentino

“Egyptian Cosmology” by Moustafa Gadalla

Another book I heartily recommend, “Egyptian Cosmology” summarizes the lore of ancient Egyptians in a clear, concise, cogent, and comprehensive manner. Here is a quote, what the author has to say about healing, from the perspective of that time and civilization: “Egyptian medicine understood man as a whole, in tune with the cosmos. The body is an immensely complex vibratory system. Everything is in a constant dynamic state of movements which are intimately connected to the rhythms, harmonies, and pulsations of the universe. Accumulating evidence proves the existence of cycles in the incidence of disease, and in their intensities, which are indicative of cosmic resonance. When ‘out of tune,’ the body was seen as unhealthy or diseased. To heal a person is to bring that person back into tune, by the deliberate summoning-up of the specific harmonic phenomena pertinent to the case.

It is known that musical vibrations induce organic and inorganic substances into patterns and forms, such as plants responding to sound. We also know of the ability of infra-sound waves to shake buildings or destroy organs, and how ultra-sound waves are used in micro-surgery as a knife-less scalpel. It follows logically, that specific human organs and glands can respond to specific sounds. Incantation and chanting are scientifically controlled sound waves, with similar powers to the cases mentioned above.

By pronouncing certain words or names of powers, in the proper manner and tone of voice, the ancient Egyptian priest or doctor could heal the sick, cast out the contrary/incompatible energies which caused the pain and suffering. The power of sound vibrations was important in performing Egyptian chants, spells and calling a person’s name. Everything has a ‘real’ name, a name which enshrines the essence of the thing, which is the thing. To know and pronounce the real name of a god, man, or animal, is to exercise power over it.” ~ Moustafa Gadalla  (“Egyptian Cosmology: The Absolute Harmony” ~ 1997)

“Rudolph Valentino The Silent Idol” by Donna Hill

Am incredibly bullish on this book, and here is my review, which was previously posted on Amazon and Blurb.com.

Rudolph Valentino The Silent Idol is an outstanding effort. Donna Hill has succeeded well beyond anyone’s expectations, on all levels. Her prose is very much to the point yet abundant in details, many of which could be described as revelatory. And, she tells the tale in an especially engaging manner, drawing the reader in. Not only that, I really like the fact that she divides Valentino’s lifetime into episodes, making the richness of it all easier to digest.

But the crux of the matter is in the photos, Mr. Valentino himself. In choosing which ones to use, I believe Hill made particularly wise choices. Although some are familiar and have been seen before elsewhere, the great majority are fresh, having been sourced from her own extensive collection, the vaults of other silent film buffs, various libraries and Valentino family archives. Simply put, they are all in some way spectacular, conveying, without words, the many facets of his personality, i.e. who Valentino really was. Bravo! This book is a must-have, an elegant and comprehensive look at the life of one of Hollywood’s greatest legends.

 

Valentino on Marriage

So enamored of marriage was I that I tried it twice! What was I seeking by declaring my allegiance, first to Jean and later to Natacha? I was attempting to formalize one of my strongest desires, to have a true companion, one with whom I could share all aspects of my being. Such was my motivation. All of you have your own, equally as valid.

 

Marrying creates intention as well as a commitment for the individuals in question to stay in tune with each other, in other words, to keep pace with each other’s lives. Indeed, marriage is like dancing the paso doble (two-step) with gloves on, a little formal but quite enjoyable nonetheless. Both require good timing and lots of give and take. It’s a rare couple, however, that actually needs to have their relationship formalized, especially if both individuals have already committed themselves to each other of their own accord. They may, of course, choose to marry anyway ~ for a variety of reasons.

 

As a construct, marriage requires a lot of patience and due diligence. Tact, too, plays an important role. Enter into marriage prudently, with eyes wide open. After all, it is a rather strict institution, especially if taken at face value.

 

Here are a few more thoughts on union. For some, marriage may be seen as a way to cement ‘what is’ or a means to prevent a relationship from ending. Neither are particularly good reasons to marry. In the first instance, feelings can neither be captured nor frozen in time. In the second, separation rather than a coming together is what is most likely to occur.

 

On the other hand, marriage is a fine state of affairs for those who need to proclaim their intentions to the world, to underscore their commitment by publicly declaring their vows. Do get married if you are so inclined, especially if you and your partner are sure that you both want to experience that particular brand of societal binding.  However, know that the sanctity of marriage exists primarily in our minds rather than on paper, and is supported by all actions conceived of and carried out in love.

 

Getting married ought to be a conscious move, a joint decision made freely by both parties. It may or may not involve a ceremony, however. Yes, Friends, marriage can also take place in a de facto way for those who will never see fit to do the paperwork or call a preacher. There is no surprise here. I simply want to reiterate that love trumps all. If love IS between two people then marriage also IS ~ whether or not the papers saying so have ever been signed on the dotted line.

 

Married or not, we must all be willing to make accommodations. There is room for all manner of variables in this world. Those who are excessively rigid in their thinking usually just end up being intractable!” ~ Rudolph Valentino

 

Valentino’s Birthday

May 6th, ‘un giorno indimenticabile’ for fans of Rudolph Valentino, has come and gone, marking the 117th anniversary of the birth of this legendary figure. In numerology, this number adds up to 9, which heralds completion ~ in this case the end of one cycle and the beginning of another.

Though for some of you I am preaching to the choir, the energy represented by the entirety of he who we once knew as Rudy is continuing to expand, evolve, and illuminate in matters of Love, his essence being the perfect ‘portavoce’ (spokesperson) for “what binds us to each other as well as to the planet we inhabit.”

Yes, ‘Rudy-ness’ ~ meaning living life from a position of maintaining an open heart has become the norm rather than the exception, at least that is how I am choosing to see it! And discussing Valentino, in whatever context and on anniversaries or any other day of the year, fosters introspection of our own Love quotients. Also our relationships, if they are in the picture! How best do we love ourselves as well as each other? Those are the types of questions that the Valentino energy, acting as a catalyst, encourages us to examine!

The pursuit of beauty and art, which is closely allied with Love and something that was also dear to Valentino, is personified on a number of the Facebook pages that I am fortunate to be associated with and there is one, in particular, that often emphasizes three letters frequently found together in many Italian words: A-M-O = AMO (I love.) And, we most certainly do!! Viva Rodolfo Valentino!