04 November 2010

Twenties Girl = Twenties Crazy!!

Reading Sophie Kinsella's "Twenties Girl" (2009), I couldn't help getting into a '20s mood - that is, I couldn't stop associating with everything regarding the 1920s that I know of! I just love when a book can do such things to you, don't you?

Anyway, I instantly remembered Theater Tuschinski in Amsterdam, Holland, when I went there with my family this summer! My God, what a magnificent and utterly beautiful building!! I was just - WOW, standing there in the middle of one of the most busy streets in the center of Amsterdam literally gaping! I have heard of and seen Art Nouveau (the artistic period at the turn of the 20th century) and Art Deco as "minor" decoration themes indoors, but NEVER as architecture! At least not the size and the beauty as of this! Well, at a distance I first thought it was some modern building housing some sort of haunted attraction, but when my mother told me what it was and that all kinds of famous people like Judy Garland and Marlene Dietrich had performed there, I just had to stop at my tracks and swallow my stupid prejudice! Pardon me, but holy smokes!! I know, I tend to get a bit overexcited when I come close to where my heroes and heroines once have walked and talked, and I guess it's a bit nerdy and silly, but I could have stayed there the rest of that day! It was just steeped in history, elegance and magic! I could almost see people all dressed up in their '20s outfits walking into the theater, chattering and laughing, while the pulsating sounds of an authentic jazz orchestra streamed out through the open doors. *Loud sigh* ~_~

The rest of my family was actually long gone at this time, except of my mother who was patiently (or not?) waiting for me until I had got my precious pictures. Sweet of her, but I wished they all had just said: "Wow, let's go in here!" ... At that point, I didn't really care if they didn't wait; an urgent need to be a part of my "historic flashback" (what I like to call it when I get caught up with classic film nostalgia) took over my self-control. I just bashed inside this wonderful building, into the main foyer (see 3rd pic below) and eventhough it was kinda dark I was already feeling as if I had stepped into one of my favorite movies - or at least taken a time machine going almost 90 years back in time! A few staff members of the theater were actually present as I stood there, alone, in the middle of the entrance, goggling, but I didn't care - I just had to get some pictures from it while I still had time. Oh, blast! What I wouldn't have given to just continue into that building of Wonderland!

The entrance of Theater Tuschinski

Absolutely amazing!

The main foyer
(Amazing! Wish I've had more time in there...)
The magical theater
(Which I, sadly, never happened to see)

*Another sigh* ... It was a magnificent experience! 

Anyway, back to the book. While reading, I started reseaching everything linked with the twenties... Art Nouveau, Art Deco, charleston etc. Of course, then I just had to go through almost all of the old silent film stars of the time like Mary Pickford, Lilian Gish and Rudolph Valentino (one of the earliest sex symbols of cinema). The latter is also mentioned in the book, and I will elaborate on his role in this later. I even watched some of Rudolph's most famous movies, "The Sheik", from 1921, and the (better) sequel "Son of the Sheik" from 1926 (filmed just a few months before his tragic death). You can't say he wasn't beautiful and sexy, I dare say! My-my! Though the acting, of course, was a bit theatrical and overdone (it often was in the silent films), the movies were actually rather good, considering the resources and experience in film industry at that time. At one point they even made Rudolph play a double role as both father and son in "Son of the Sheik" (which he must have had much fun doing) and it actually comes out extremely well! Maybe even better than later attempts to make double roles look natural and realistic. Here you can hardly tell it's two clips put together showing the same person, hehe ;)

The reason why I'm talking so much of Rudolph Valentino is actually because the love interest in the book, Ed Harrison (or 'Mr. American Frown' according to our female protagonist), is described to be a bit of a mix between Rudolph and the puppets from the old "Thunderbirds" series... Alright, I thought, how would that go together? That is, these two:

One of the most beautiful men on the
 silverscreen ever, Mr. Rudolph Valentino!
(Google him and I promise you,
you won't get disappointed!)

Virgil Tracy from "Thunderbirds"
(or any other character from
the series whom you might like)

Well, I tried finding a suitable actor who might resemble this "mix" and become a possible contender for the role (if they're ever going to make a film out of the book). So, this is what I've come up with for "Possible contenders for the character, Ed Harrison":

Ethan Peck?
(Yes, it IS Gregory Peck's grandson)

Michael Fassbender?

Montgomery Clift?
Oh, yeah, sorry, he is dead (what a shame,
would have been perfect - looks totally
like a "Thunderbird", hehe)!

Oh, shoot! When we're at the handsome dead guys, we might as well continue!

Gilbert Roland could have been a great
contender for the role as well, right?
(Ironically, also often cast as a
"Latin Lover" like Rudolph Valentino)

Alright, alright! I admit I've run out of ideas! Any other suggestions? It's obvious I'm more familiar with the dead actors than with the living ones, so I really haven't checked all of our living male actors... Perhaps you have someone better in mind?

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