Saturday, December 17

'tique vision.

Something's in the air... a haze of damp afternoon mist, the clatter of mouths chattering and feet shuffling, a musty smell of un-aired coats and the creak of drawers gone sticky from neglect. Mmm... its the din of one of London's most beautiful institutions, the antiques market: a place where, for a few hours, a stranger's wedding album can become a collectable, or a used tea set a must have Christmas gift. In another context junk, chatchkie, or bric-a-brac would be appropriate words. But for today they are annoited "vintage", and we'll jostled shoulder to shoulder for a chance to nab that tarnished silver napkin ring (it's probably french...). Not that I'm complaining. These bazaars are my Mecca, they call to me like Bilal from the minaret. 

And in that vein I'd like to segway into a couple of clips from the gamut of antique film. And because I'm in an old-fashioned mood it seems the moment for a bit of a rue followed by a touch of reminiscing. Maybe its all the silk and smoke and pianos, but I'm feelin' it. (Props to Ms Bacall by the way for her excellent use of upper-midriff).

(Bacall and Bogart in To Have and Have Not)

(Monroe in The River of No Return)

All this has got me thinking about the mystique of the antique, something which can translate to inanimate object but also to living characters as well.  What was it then, that made these lords and ladies of the screen so effortlessly watchable, so pleasantly elegant, capable of delivering lines which teeter precariously on the edge of cringe-inducing cliche? ("Here's looking at you kid".... bit creepy, eh?) 

Again, I think its all back down to this mystique of the 'tique. A diverse spectrum of figures from King Arthur to Oscar Wilde, Guinevere to Audrey Hepburn, can claim much of their appeal as derived from the attractive aura which surrounds any object belonging to a faded era. Lines become fuzzy, holes appear in memory, leaving room for romance to fill in the gaps. Anything that is not "now" has an instant capacity for chicness. 

Anyway, enjoy.

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