Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Liz - The Ultimate Star

Elizabeth Taylor is gone. Hard to fathom--she's been famous since long before I was born. And I'm getting pretty old. Such a stunning girl and woman. You can't take your eyes off Liz in her heyday. Then she got older and showed an inner loveliness when she campaigned for AIDS funding at a time when other famous people, including world leaders wouldn't even mention the disease out loud in any public forum.

Liz looked around, saw her best friends were ill and dying and in Liz fashion said something to herself along the lines of "Fucking hell! I'm going to use my nearly unfathomable fame to raise money and find a cure for this goddamn awful public health crisis and I'm doing it right now, today, and beyond, until some team of researchers comes up with a way to cure my beloved friends and everyone else affected by this horrible disease. Sonofabitch, goddammit all to hell!" Every biographical work I've read on Liz says she swore like a sailor, so I like to imagine what that sounded like.

After many memorable roles, she finally won an Academy Award for playing Gloria the New York City call girl in Butterfield 8. It's not my favorite Liz performance (Virginia Woolf! Virginia Woolf!), but it's damn good. And I once actually got to visit the apartment from the movie when meeting a friend of a friend at her grandmother's place in Manhattan. It looked so familiar to me, especially the front room with its multi-windowed panoramic view of the city lighting up at dusk and the built-in settee in the dining room(?!). Our friend explained that it was the actual apartment filmed in Butterfield 8, whereupon I mentally cheered, finding myself inside a wealthy-person dwelling that hadn't been updated in 25 years. Then I imagined myself walking around in a well-fitting silk slip, hung over and gagging on a morning cigarette. And looking gorgeous doing it. That's the power of Liz.

Slight dubbing in German near the end of the scene, but no matter--it's all about watching Liz move about the room, which is probably a studio set based on the real apartment, but again, no matter. It's about Liz. It was always all about Liz.

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