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Feb 15, 2006 10:11 # 41864

rosyxxx *** posts about...

The Cult Film: Grey Gardens...eccentric little ladies

Did y'all know that there is a musical opening, based upon the 1975 documentary about an extremely eccentric pair of old ladies? Those two little old ladies happened to be Edie Bouvier Beale and "little Edie" Bouvier Beale. Yes, that would be of the Bouviers, as in a cousin of Jackie O, and an embarrasment to the family. And what makes them eccentric, bottom-line, rather than just crazy, is that they were wealthy. Sort of. Mrs. Beale's father cut her out of the will for her eccentric, bohemian behaviour. People keep telling me how very eccentric I am, and I remind them-- I really don't have a trust fund. Well, sort of, but not really...I could dream though. But my grandmother did call me "little Hedda".

Anyway, I was flipping through ELLE magazine (and yes, I do read it...), because I had just been to the hairdressers on my low-budget salary as a stripper, and had found some entertaining goth-inspired photographs of women with long hair dressed in exciting costumes. I grabbed my own copy of ELLE, and proceeded to peruse it. I just happened on this blurb, no more than two lines, really..and did a google search.

Wow! This film seems to have inspired cultmania. There are sites devoted to arguing over which eccentric Edie costume is the best. Not having seem the documentary, much less the musical, all I can say is that the description of the opening scene where Edie is wearing a onepiece bathing suit, while staring intently at a copy of: "It's All in the Stars" with a magnifying glass, and shrieking: "I've found the perfect Libra man! Now all I have to do is find this Libra man!" really catches my attention.

Not to mention the fact that she had her own sense of style, and did things like take a sweater and wrap it around her head, and pin it with a brooch. She's the ultimate gothchic with her safety pins. She apparently, according to Todd Oldham himself, inspired Todd Oldham. She had a burgeoning debutante and modeling career as a young woman, but came back to the Hamptons to take care of her mother. It seems she had a little love/hate thing going on, in the midst of about 30 cats and racoons. She lived amidst her books and poetry with her mother, until her mother's passing, and then she finally, finally went back to New York to pursue a career as a cabaret singer, which didn't last. Eventually, she moved to Bal Harbour, were she was intrigued by the fan mail that would come in over the cult film, and remained as staunch as ever in her Democratic beliefs.

She also refused to be photographed, so nobody really knows what she looked like, after the documentary was made, supposedly...I guess unless they met her. (I can soooooo relate to this...because I'm tired of being photographed as well.)

The really creepy thing is this: I suspect that if my mother were alive today, eventually we would have lived in a little dilapidated farmhouse on the outskirts of town with 30 cats, and raging asthma! No less. I remember reading a children's book called "The House of 40 Cats", and when I showed it to my mother, she said that she would like to be that old lady. And yet, the pictures I have seen of their house, are something my mother never would have allowed. Clutter drove her crazy. She was always trying to get my father to stop collecting things. It's funny how reading all of this, I can totally understand why I loved Laura Esquivel's book Like Water for Chocolate.

It's also funny the number of times my mother refused to let me go out of the house dressed like Pippi Longstocking, or wearing my nightgown because I loved it sooo much. I always wanted to wear strange get-up. I was the first on my block to get a pair of leopard-print Guess jeans, and was mercilessly ridiculed through the early part of the 80s by fashion-backward Chattanoogan yuppies. Now they want my vintage jeans that still fit my 38-year-old ass. Hah. *boy, sometimes it feels good to be petty*

And because a post of mine wouldn't be complete without a really far-out digression, I just want to say that I went back to work, got sick again, and ran into one of the three women I have truly every fallen in love with, all in one night, and not in the same order. The reason I mention this, is to explain why I am here posting again, when I thought that after yesterday I would again be too busy to do so, and also the fact that all this talk about eccentric gothchicks makes me think of my beloved Shelley whose pearly gates I never got to open, because I was too busy being faithful to my trollopy man.

Anyway...

If anybody has seen this film, I'd love to hear what your views are...but mind you, I can't log on nearly as much as I used to, and my DSL account ends at the end of March, so don't expect too many responses from me after that. There is also a tribute to her called "Lost in a Sea of Leaves" (note the pun on bookpages), but you can't get to it without typing in the address: http:/www.jono.com/words/little_edie.html. Also, there is a very touching review here --> Notcomingtoatheaternearyou. I guess I really need to go out and rent this film, but what I might see might scare me...not to mention that my "eccentric" ass doesn't have a DVD player, much less a TV, and I like it that way, thank you very much. It gives me fewer excuses not to meditate and chant myself back to some sense of normalcy after venturing out daily into this crazy world. ;p

My mind is made up...not like my bed, which is a mess.

This post was edited by rosyxxx on Feb 15, 2006.


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