OK, so just watched the dance contest sequence from Saturday Nigh Fever. The first one, our heros Tony and Stephanie basically fall in love in white - her with one of those flouncing 70s dresses that were never a good idea but were wildly popular, Travolta in The White Suit.
What I forgot was the Puerto Rican couple that comes afterward - dressed in red and clearly better dancers. The horror on Tony and Stephanie's faces as they realize they are being outclassed.
I actually have to wait for after the commercials now to tell you what happens next, because I don't remember. Maybe the fact I watched 34 (!) years ago has something to do with that.
Oh God I think I'm going to faint because I'm so old...
** Ugo the cat update during commercial break: he has been out and about this evening, was able to pet him and even give him a tummy rub...he is now under the sofa again...but he's getting ever more comfortable and exploring little bits of the house more and more **
Back to the movie - Tony gives first place statue they one to Puerto Rican couple because he knew they were better and sees the contest was rigged. Even he sees the racism.
He tries to force Stephanie to have sex, which she fights off then watches the young woman who has been trying to sleep with him basically get gang-raped by his friends, one of whom ends up falling off the Verrazano Bridge - a friend who was not part of the rape and is fairly clearly in love with Tony, too - not overt gay content, but implicit.
All of this would have gone over my head I'm fairly certain.
Travolta had been on Welcome Back, Kotter, which I would have watched and began to think of again when teaching at Bronx Community College. Welcome Back, Kotter was a show about a high-school teaching in the Bronx who had left the Bronx but comes back to teach - hence the 'welcome back' part. Travolta and others are his difficult to handle high school class. Hence the comparison in my own mind...
Now Tony - having huffed away from his friends after one died falling off the bridge - is on the subway - with graffitti - it's the 70s! I think he may have made it to Manhattan...yes, and let's see what happens now...Stephanie lets him in and now...a commercial...
US commercials: everyone looks Way Too Healthy and Happy. It's kind of disturbing.
And we're back and they decide to be 'friends' but it's obviously more than that...
Moral of the story: if you find your way to Manhattan life gets better.
This was the 1970s, just as a reminder, so Manhattan would have been affordable.
OK, very tired now so gonna leave it there. I watched the movie mostly to see what on earth I was being exposed to circa 1977 as I'm sure weird bits of it have stuck. I was looking anywhere for clues about how to live.
For what it's worth, I'm still in Manhattan, even if on the edge about to fall off and the only buses up here have a B for the Bronx...And of course Brooklyn is not now what it was then...
Welcome to my blog..
"We struggle with dream figures and our blows fall on living faces." Maurice Merleau-Ponty
When I started this blog in 2011, I was in a time of transition in my life between many identities - that of Artistic Director of a company (Apocryphal Theatre) to independent writer/director/artist/teacher and also between family identity, as I discover a new family that my grandfather's name change at the request of his boss in WWII hid from view - a huge Hungarian-Slovak contingent I met in 2011. Please note in light of this the irony of the name of my recently-disbanded theatre company. This particular transition probably began in the one month period (Dec. 9, 2009-Jan. 7, 2010) in which I received a PhD, my 20 year old cat died on my father's birthday and then my father, who I barely knew, died too. I was with him when he died and nothing has been the same since. This blog is tracing the more conscious elements of this journey and attempt to fill in the blanks. I'm also writing a book about my grandmothers that features too. I'd be delighted if you joined me. (Please note if you are joining mid-route, that I assume knowledge of earlier posts in later posts, so it may be better to start at the beginning for the all singing, all dancing fun-fair ride.) In October 2011, I moved back NYC after living in London for 8 years and separated from my now ex-husband, which means unless you want your life upended entirely don't start a blog called Somewhere in Transition. In November 2011, I adopted a rescue cat named Ugo. He is lovely. As of January 2012, I began teaching an acting class at Hunter College, which is where one of my grandmothers received a scholarship to study acting, but her parents would not let her go. All things come round…I began to think it may be time to stop thinking of my life in transition when in June 2012 my stepfather Tom suddenly died. Now back in the U.S. for a bit, I notice, too, my writing is more overtly political, no longer concerned about being an expat opining about a country not my own. I moved to my own apartment in August 2012 and am a very happy resident of Inwood on the top tip of Manhattan where the skunks and the egrets roam in the last old growth forest on the island.
I am now transitioning into being married again with a new surname (Barclay-Morton). John is transitioning from Canada to NYC and as of June 2014 has a green card. So transition continues, but now from sad to happy, from loss to love...from a sense of alienation to a sense of being at home in the world.
As of September 2013 I started teaching writing (composition and rhetoric) as an adjunct professor at Fordham University, which I have discovered I love with an almost irrational passion. So blessed for the opportunity and hope to find a more permanent job doing same.
I worked full time on the book thanks to a successful crowd-funding campaign in May 2014 and completed it at two residencies at Vermont Studio Center and Wisdom House in summer 2015. I have done some revisions and am shopping it around to agents and publishers now, along with having written a rough draft of a new book and some other projects.
Not sure when transition ends, if it ever does. As the saying goes, the only difference between a sad ending and a happy ending is where you stop rolling the film.
For professional information, publications, etc., go to my linked in profile and website for Barclay Morton Editorial & Design. My Twitter account is @wilhelminapitfa. You can find me on Facebook under my full name Julia Lee Barclay-Morton. More about my grandmothers' book: The Amazing True Imaginary Autobiography of Dick & Jani