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Tony Grist

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Casanova [Mar. 15th, 2005|10:04 am]
Tony Grist
Art doesn't often make me happy. It brings on lots of other emotions, but simple happiness, no.

Perhaps I pay attention to the wrong sort of art.

But then along comes the BBC's new Casanova, with cheeky David Tennant as the young Signor C and magisterial Peter O'Toole as the older Signor C.

(I spotted Peter O'Toole on a train once- he was hiding behind a newspaper and drinking Coca Cola- And I thought he was supposed to be a hell-raiser!)

This is my third Casanova.

Fellini's Casanova was glum and suffused with Catholic guilt.

Dennis Potter's Casanova was glum and suffused with Protestant rage.

But the BBC's new Casanova (Russell T Davies's Casanova) is dedicated to the propositions that shagging might actually be fun-

and even better, that men and women might be friends.

This is a Casanova who gets laid because he likes women. That's his secret.

Oh, and he's funny and cheeky and he wrinkles up his nose and flares his nostrils just like Kenneth Williams.

The girls are funny too.

Laura Fraser!
Nina Sosanya!

And then there are the frocks. And there is Venice (actually Dubrovnik I believe.) And there is Matt Lucas as the only gay in Venice.

How nice to be in one's twenties and witty and impertinent and brave! Life is a silly masquerade and most of the people are pretending to be something they're not, so why not treat it as a huge game and have FUN?

You're only young once.

Like I said, It makes me happy.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: ibid
2005-03-15 03:25 am (UTC)
I still regret not getting the complete set of Casanova's memoirs in a closing down sale when it was selling for a mere 14 pounds.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-03-15 11:54 am (UTC)
Oh wow, that would have been a bargain.

Mind you, I've never read the Memoirs myself. I believe they may fall short of their reputation.
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[User Picture]From: idahoswede
2005-03-15 03:42 am (UTC)
That's the key, you know, truly LIKING females WILL get you laid and not only that, will get you a much better quality of sex as well.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-03-15 11:54 am (UTC)
I've always held these truths to be self-evident. :)
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[User Picture]From: idahoswede
2005-03-15 12:44 pm (UTC)
YOU may, but so many men don't.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-03-15 01:36 pm (UTC)
I don't understand men. Most of the things they are (supposedly) interested in are so dull.

I've always found women much better company.
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[User Picture]From: idahoswede
2005-03-15 01:41 pm (UTC)
Funnily enough, I feel the same way about women. Generally throughout my 55 years, most of my closest friends have been men, although in my declining years, I'm finding some excellent female friends as well.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-03-15 01:48 pm (UTC)
I sort of feel that this is how it should be, that men should like women and women should like men. I think the world would be a happier, friendlier place is this were the rule.
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From: saskia139
2005-03-15 04:55 am (UTC)
I look forward to seeing this on public tv in a year or two. :)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-03-15 05:47 am (UTC)
I like it so much I'll probably buy the DVD.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-03-15 05:08 am (UTC)
And then there are the frocks. And there is Venice (actually Dubrovnik I believe.) And there is Matt Lucas as the only gay in Venice.

How nice to be in one's twenties and witty and impertinent and brave!


Having seen not a single Casanova film, I have no context, but you did remind me of the strange and wonderful Truman Capote and his Venice years.

Remember his white leather suits and Panama hats?

You are so right about the "silly masquerade of life." I wasn't half as free and shocking as I should have been before the amber began to crystallize around me.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-03-15 05:51 am (UTC)
Ah yes, Truman Capote!

It may (or may not) be significant that Russell Davies (the writer of the series) is openly gay.

I was a very guilt ridden and repressed 20 year old.

If only, if only.....
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-03-15 06:08 am (UTC)
Oh, I wish,wish,wish I could go back in time!

First, I would tell my husband: Here are your suitcases. Goodbye!

No, wait: First I would tell my boyfriend, You are Crazy as a Daisy! Goodbye!

(My son when very young said, Mommy, if you hadn't married Dad, you'd still have us, but we would have different faces! So that is how I will mend time, because I can't give up my children, now that I've seen them.)

Still, Tony, you became a Wiccan High Priest: how liberated is that? You broke free later rather than sooner is all.

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-03-15 06:23 am (UTC)
It's a truism (which doesn't make it any less true) that youth is wasted on the young.

Casanova is an old head on young shoulders. He's figured out that everyone is putting on an act and if other people can call themselves doctors or lawyers or astrologers, so he can he. In spite of a total absence of training or qualifications, he wins lawsuits, cures the gout and draws up accurate horoscopes.

I think of Orson Welles, who blagged his way into a leading Irish theatre company at the age of 15 by telling lies about his non-existent American stage career.

If I'd been as wise as Signor C or the divine Orson I wouldn't have rushed into an early marriage. And I would have figured out that a woman who was (a) puritanical and (b) attracted to other women, wasn't my ideal mate.

And I would discovered rather earlier than I did that the God I had been taught to fear was nothing more than a pumpkinhead on sticks.




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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-03-15 03:38 pm (UTC)
And I would have figured out that a woman who was (a) puritanical and (b) attracted to other women, wasn't my ideal mate.

Very few can see such things with objectivity when young. Alas.

And I would discovered rather earlier than I did that the God I had been taught to fear was nothing more than a pumpkinhead on sticks.


That scarecrow god-yes! How visible it is, and stops us from eating anything fun.
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From: manfalling
2005-03-15 05:49 pm (UTC)
fun?
ah yes...
i remember that...
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