Cinecultist began her mini-DVD series on Elizabeth Taylor yesterday with the Tennessee Williams classic, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Prior to the Society for Cinema Studies Conference, CC had a long talk with eminent film scholar and friend, Lucas Hildebrand about his upcoming paper on the grande dame, Liz, which prompted CC to add a number of her films to the Netflix Queue.
Hildebrand told CC some pertinent things about Liz: first off, she doesn't like being called Liz. Secondly, she may be a camp icon but she really does act her little heart out. She does not mean to be arch and ironic, like say late Judy Garland, but is really just larger than life. As evidence, Hildebrand urged CC to rent Butterfield 8, which is on it's way soon. But speaking just to Elizabeth's performance and her larger-than-life persona in Cat, CC thinks she's just mahr-ve-lous.
That body, that hair, those eyes, those torpedo-shaped boobs -- she is truly sex on legs as Maggie the Cat. Her drawling accent just oozes around the room enveloping the scrumptious Paul Newman as Brick. When he barricades himself in the bathroom to escape her, but then begins caressing her nightgown hung on the door, you really have to sympathize with the poor guy. CC watched Cleopatra relatively recently as well and when Elizabeth is on screen, she's hypnotic. Previously, CC was only familiar with Elizabeth through her tabloid headlines following her marriage and divorce with that construction worker and her manic, deluded announcement at the Oscars that the winner for best picture was Gladiator. It makes one realize that certain gorgeous people should just die young, so we don't have to watch them deteriorate. Luminous, crazy Elizabeth Taylor is one of them. Sad, but true.Posted by karen at May 27, 2003 1:46 PM