14 July 2014

Film of the Day #14: A Streetcar Named Desire


I am a weirdly obsessive person by nature (please don't run away from me) so when I start being interested in something I am REALLY SUPER DUPER INTERESTED!! It's creepy buuuut I will never stop. Creep 4eva. On this topic, (promise I didn't confess to being a creeper for no reason) when I was about 15, I discovered classic Hollywood. I discovered the glitz, the glamour, the class. More importantly, I discovered Marlon Brando, James Dean, Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Vivien Leigh, the list could go on. I mentioned before in my post about Johnny Depp here that the mystery and magic of classic Hollywood is something that has always fascinated me. The notion of celebrities being mythical and untouchable is something that seemed so far removed from the celebrity-soaked culture of modern society. And I loved that, I loved wanting to know more but never quite getting to glimpse beneath the veil. That is, until the tell-all biographies were released after their deaths. 

Today's film, A Streetcar Named Desire, is one my my favourites and is one that sparked a total obsession with Marlon Brando. Even I'm a little embarrassed by how much I went all out in trying to watch all his films, find out everything about him. I was just the coolest 15 year old ever. 

Film of the Day! Marlon, so beautiful.

The film, based on the very famous Tennesse Williams play, follows the fading Southern Belle, Blanche DuBois. Blanche comes to stay with her sister Stella and husband Stanley, following the loss of the family plantation. She quickly riles up Stanley with her superior attitude and her news of the loss of the family fortune. Blanche clings to her beauty and possessions, as though it's all she has, and hopes to win a suitor to look after her. She carries an air of mystery and desperation. Everything is a dramatic tale; she is an innocent victim and the truth is something to be moulded to suit her. This attitude and half-truths soon wears thin with Stanley who seeks to discover the reality behind the story, and soon her tales come crumbling around her ears. 

The film very much owes itself to the stageplay roots. The setting of the film looks very much like an elaborate theatre set and it lends to an intimate feel. It gives the veneer of a person who is inwardly crumbling, whilst outwardly desperately clinging on to her public appearance. Blanche looks so out-of-place and lonely, always caught in a half-light because she can't bear the full light on her fading beauty or on the truth. 
The performances in this are something magical. Marlon Brando is utterly magnetic, exuding a raw sensuality and sense of danger that is impossible to repress. The contrast of his brutishness to Vivien Leigh's waif-like beauty is part of what makes the film so engrossing. She is beautiful, delicate, frustrating and utterly tragic. Blanche is a very difficult character, yet in Leigh's hands, I still cared. 

Look at him. Look.
This is a damn good film, and it's cultural importance is something that has been preserved by the Library of Congress in the U.S. National Film Registry. That's how you know shit is good. 

Alright! I'll leave it there for tonight, hope you enjoyed. I'm also hoping I find someone else who is as obsessed with old Hollywood as me. Also, Marlon Brando. So attractive. If you've any thoughts or suggestions, hit me up below or on my social media :). Also, if you're on Bloglovin or Twitter, I'd love if you'd give me a follow so I can follow back! I love new blogs :). Hope you're all well!



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