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2012 December

Archives for December 2012

Rex Ingram

Two peacocks loathe to groom each other, this was the essence of my interaction with Rex. He could and probably also should have been an actor, as well as a director ~ so multi-talented was he. Directing me in “The Conquering Power,” he wanted “parco” instead of passionate, for me to be dryer ~ a bit more of a twit too – the spoiled boy who has to try harder to adapt. But I saw the part as I saw it, and though he thought I tried to upstage Alice, (Alice Terry, Ingram’s wife) I did not, which you, the viewer, will agree, upon screening the results. Rex imagined what was not. Alice and I had excellent rapport but we were not physically attracted to each other. And, there was also a smidgen of resentment on both our parts. He felt he should have received more praise for “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” and I thought he was trying to crimp my style, turn down my voltage, on our second outing. Karmic disturbances that have now been adjusted and regulated ~ mere bagatelles, my friends! Nothing all that much of consequence to report about our very minor tugs of war.” ~ Rudolph Valentino

Valentino Filmography: “Beyond the Rocks”

One of my lighter efforts, where I was engaged, given the part, to toy with my celebrity, as was, and also did, my co-star, Gloria Swanson.

Dear Gloria, what a sparkling soul, that eternal twinkle in her eye! How fortunate I saw myself, being cast with someone of her stature, perhaps the lead female at Paramount in those now seemingly remote times. A series of ‘set pieces’ that film, strung together by wispy wires, what we know as plot. High society romp, an excuse for both of us to be clothes horses! Costume changes galore! Style-setting we were, and gallant was I, with Gloria’s character, furiously kissing her hand but also suavely disguising that ardor. She, and I, really enjoyed certain aspects of that screenplay ~ the social whirl and the exoticism implied by our coupling. Scandalous it was at the time, just a bit juicy. Marrying in haste, or for money, ends up laying waste. Trite perhaps, but true. And Gloria knew that too! Savvy she was! We both joked when not on camera, had some flippant moments. What a grande dame! I have nothing but the utmost respect for her ~ as a woman, as an actor!

Loved the in-studio scene where I rescued her on the snowy cliff, and the French flashback with its incarnational reverberations and import. An excellent way to read the entrails of our connection ~ as characters, of course! Parfois, nous avons parlé français sur la scène, pour mieux décaler nos efforts (sometimes we spoke French on camera, in order to better unleash/bring forth our efforts.) Paramount almost had a big hit here and the film did do reasonably well but it needed polishing, better continuity. Natacha dressed me to the nines, plus fours, and tuxes too. Such were the social circles depicted. So glad this film was revived and people were able to see it aglow, lo, so many years after the fact. Rumored that Gloria and I had rapport. Yes, that was true. We giggled at our fame and success while being faithful to what the public expected us to do.

The message was that turbulence in the water and barriers such as rocks can have some pretty startling results. Unexpected consequences, unforeseen conclusions always lie, just beyond the rocks.” ~ Rudolph Valentino

Abbondanza

Effected and affected, the season calls us to consider the fullest of tradition ~ fruits, meals, drinks, all of which are sometimes delivered in excess. Makes us think about our baselines, wonder about indulgences, shudder at the thought of gaining weight. A reminder to all that what is needed is always provided, and that is the true definition of ‘abbondanza’ ~ not gluttony or drunkenness, not having to do with any shopaholic tendencies. Abundance sensitizes us to what we truly need and want. By frequently being offered more, as we often are during the holiday season, we are able to make conscious choices about our real desires. Still, the holiday glow is something to behold ~ sparkling candles, the glow of a fire-lit room ~ cozy, all around.

The perfect metaphor, in terms of fruit, is the apple ~ in a boar’s mouth ~ the extra touch, that beautiful though it may be, often has the effect of disincentivizing its beholder, being too much. Do not lull yourself with abbondanza, or be seduced by its wiles. Balance in all things!” ~ Rudolph Valentino