Suspicion (1941)

Just a little over a week back, I was paying tribute to a cinema personality who played a major role in defining Hindi film music in the 1950s and 60s: Roshan. 1917 was the year Roshan was born, and in the same year, also in Asia (in Tokyo), a few months later, was born a girl who was to go on to become one of the most prominent stars of British cinema as well as Hollywood. Joan Fontaine, award-winning actress, sister to Olivia de Havilland, licensed pilot, Cordon Bleu chef, rider, champion balloonist, licensed interior designer—and scorer of 160 on an infant IQ test.

Most importantly, though, a fine very actress, and one who starred in some memorable films, in memorable roles: Rebecca, Suspicion, Jane Eyre, Ivanhoe, This Above All… her characters were often, in keeping with Ms Fontaine’s features, women of genteel fragility. Sometimes, that fragility teetered over the edge into terror (Mrs de Winter’s character in Rebecca is a fine example of this) before pulling herself together and showing the steel in her.

Rebecca I have already reviewed on this blog, but to celebrate the 100th birth anniversary of an actress I have liked since I was quite young, I decided to review another Joan Fontaine film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Like Rebecca, this one too is about a naïve young woman who ends up married to a man who is perhaps not all he had seemed to be at first glance. Joan Fontaine’s portrayal of Lina McLaidlaw won her her only Academy Award for Best Actress.

Continue reading

Advertisements

I Remember Mama (1948)

The Times of India ran an interesting little article yesterday (I tried searching for it online, but sorry – can’t find it), as part of its run-up to Mother’s Day. It was a little piece about a mother who found herself reduced to a pair of hands – “can you open this?”, “can you fix this?” and so on – often completely ignored unless her children needed something done. She was feeling a bit blue, when a friend, who knew what she was going through, gifted her a book on the cathedrals of Europe – with a little note. On how cathedrals aren’t built in a day, they take years of very hard work, and nobody knows, years later, who made them. That, said the note (and the article) is how it is with mothers.

So, on Mother’s Day, a tribute to mums across the world. But, most especially, a tribute to my mum, whom I simply adore, and who is the sweetest, kindest, most gentle person I know. I love you, Mama.

Continue reading