Monday, October 10, 2011

Tommy Overture 2: Vacancy at The Morrison Hotel

2. Group Captain Walker called off to war, bombing and plane crash

(the showgirls get their own separate post!) The blossoms of Borrowdale and Lodore Falls melt into a resplendent chandelier and the image of Nora in a light periwinkle ball gown and Captain Walker slow dancing; deeply and sensuously in love. At first they to seem to be in a glittering ballroom but when the phone rings the camera pulls back and we see the Ken's first diorama.



Diorama One: What looked like the London Palladium is actually the bedroom of the Walker home prepared for any potential bombing. Furniture piled up and drop clothed, a Morrison Shelter and only a sparse amount of necessities. Group Captain Walker is now out of his Glen Alpine tweeds and in his full RAF uniform as he's told to report for duty.


Diorama Two a bombed out London including a building where Captain Walker and Nora see the deceased body of young boy (a clear foreshadowing of the end sequence and of the living death their son will endure).

Diorama Three- the train station and Walker's departure. Two silhouettes in unison and that spectacular velvet Russell-vision and keen lighting set a classic Hollywood farewell. Anyone who would accuse Russell of gratuitously going for a cleavage shot with AM's Nora is a hater. There is nothing "for the lads" about the shot.




At this point things become almost Magritte like. What time of day is it? What world, what universe are we in? Captain Walker looks down commandingly yet we feel he is acknowledging Nora who is staring up at the sky unflinchingly rather than at a member of his squadron. Resigned to his duty while she is mentally "gone".


Diorama Four- Now the aforementioned Morrison Shelter with it's steel plate “table” top, welded wire mesh sides, and a metal lath “mattress”- type floor is the tight focus. For most Americans it appears to be part of Ken's arsenal of creative campy tricks when in reality the historical accuracy is beyond sobering. Nora withstands the bombing and Captain Walker is shot down. His National Service booklet lying beside his broken photo.



Paint Nora's hand imprint  as clouds and one has a Magritte painting brought to life. Even "as is" it is still uncannily close to the great Belgian Surrealist.

British Word of the post: Morrison Shelter

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Sorry that this is not totally related to this subject, but...)
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your list of Madonna rip-offs on Listal. I found some that you might be able to use here: (I added spaces in the links on purpose, but just take them out when you copy & paste to the browser)
http://madonna scrapbook. blogspot.com/2011/09/corner-portraits.html with the text “Irving Penn photographs Marlene Dietrich December 23, 1948/Steven Klein photographs Madonna 2008”
and
http://madonna scrapbook. blogspot.com/2011/09/nastassja-kinski-and-madonna.html with the text “Vogue Lace Outfit: The other day while going through my Helmut Newton book and looking at the gorgeous Nastassja Kinski photographs from 1983, I noticed it was the Vogue outfit worn by Madonna in 1990. Cool shyt.”
The guy who does that site is a total stan, so maybe you want to independently confirm these first. Also, have you seen Manny’s version of Sofia Loren looking down Jane Mansfield’s dress? She’s at “dinner” surrounded by guys supposedly mesmerized by her t!ts; probably an early 90’s photo.

12:11 AM  
Blogger Amanda and SuperAmanda™ said...

HI Anon!! Glad I'm could be of service. I will check all of those out. I did see the Jayne Sophia copy but as I was already on "Steven Miesel Madonna citex magic marker faux cleavage" over dose that I had to give Jayne and the great Loren a break. Cheers and please visit anytime xox

5:21 AM  
Blogger par.nordstrom said...

Like ´anon´ above I shall have to beg yer pardon for strayin from da subject. As usual . ( Maybe ye oughta give yer students a lecture on academic discipline soon ?) But I mean .. ´Morrison shelters´ ! Nevva heard of dem .Had da boys in The Doors heard of dem ? In all likelihood , yes .At least da son of da Admiral oughta have heard da term whispered at da breakfast table. ´Morrison Hotel´ was released -69, at da height of da Cold War. Bombs were xpected to start fallin just any day. And now we´re talkin a-bombs & h-bombs . So our ´Morrison shelters´ would´ve been of no use. So , yes, quite likely da album title is kinda grim word play/pun .//Werry clevva deduction/allusion , Amanda ! // P.S. Thanx for sweet pix of Swede sweetie Ann Margret. Elvis is winkin to her and yerself in his eternal velvety Graceland .

7:34 AM  
Blogger Amanda and SuperAmanda™ said...

Great musings Hemulen! VERY true!

5:42 AM  

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