Monday, March 13, 2017

The lady vanishes

People do not say, I'm the life
of the party, 'cause I tell a
joke or two. On the contrary -
one's own best friends haul one
aside sometimes by the snark,
and whisper, I never know when
to take you seriously. That said,
film buffs, as they conveniently
are called, will not hesitate to
identify this charade by the Al-
fred Hitchcock masterpiece, The
Lady Vanishes, in which two (count
them) almost hilariously rutting,
premonitory lovers, cavort in a
baggage car with the obligatorily
Italian stage illusionist's coffin.

What can one say. I just saw the
movie again at this very desk, via
dvd, and apart from the fact that
pleasure dome, in Graham Greene's
immortal phrase, does not reduce it-
self amiably to a computer monitor,
the lack of audience responses puts
one's feet to the fire to appraise
the thing from every angle, the hy-
pothetically hilarious to the con-
frontationally evangelical. Within
even this cockpit, The Lady Vanishes
gets up and frontally confides its
risible ludicrousness on the spot,
preserving (thereby) one's delight
in, and ration of reality, even in 
absentia under the new government --

which advances a "health care plan,"
us, and a border-crossing salad of
hallucinatory security measures,
certain to incite their most urgent
and, need I say, sorry penetration.
And still one can't bring oneself,
these days, to put a thing seriously.
How soon we expose ourselves, unexpec-

Alfred Hitchcock
Alma Reville [Hitchcock]
Jack Cox
Margaret Lockwood
  Paul Lukas
  Dame May Whitty
  Naunton Wayne
  Basil Radford
Gaumont, 1938©

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