Friday, April 19, 2019

Three Beautiful Things 04/18/19: Home with Charly, Fish Soup, *The Magnificent Ambersons*

1.  I decided to stay home today with Charly. Several people have commented to me that Charly could have a tough time for a while now that Maggie is gone. Charly has always wanted to be physically close to Debbie and me. During these several months that Debbie's been working in Eugene, Charly has always followed me wherever I've gone. She lies down near my ankles when I watch television. She is always close to the bathroom door when I'm in there. When I do my writing in the living room chair, she's always nearby. When I work in the kitchen, I'm usually stepping over Charly who is almost always right at my ankles when I cook. Whether she has wanted to be near me even more since Maggie died, I can't say, but instead of going to the bike shop today or going out for a walk and taking pictures, I stayed home, hoping my company was a comfort to Charly and helped her feel a little more secure.

2. Charly was positioned perfectly at my ankles to eat bits of raw broccoli and cauliflower that I dropped on the floor as I created a soup without a recipe today. I thawed a quart of crab stock I'd made and added sliced or chopped sweet peppers, mushrooms, celery, broccoli, and cauliflower to it. To make it a fish soup, I added about eight shrimps. I barely seasoned this soup because of all the seasoning I used when I made the crab stock, but I did add a bit of salt and a little Old Bay seasoning. I ate one bowl in the afternoon and when I ate the second bowl in the evening, I added rice I'd cooked for curry the other night into the soup when I warmed it up.  Everything worked.

3. Until late this afternoon and early this evening, I had never watched Orson Welles' 1942 movie, The Magnificent Ambersons. When it was over, my first two thoughts were that I wished it had been a longer movie. I thought its story line was compelling, but I wanted it to be developed more fully; I also thought the editing was choppy and that last scene or two of the movie seemed incongruous with the rest of the movie.

After I finished watching it, I did some reading about The Magnificent Ambersons and I learned that, indeed, when the RKO Studio prepared the movie for release, about fifty minutes of the movie were edited out and are gone forever -- in other words, there cannot be a remade, less choppy and more fully developed version that we, today, would call a Director's Cut. Moreover, Orson Welles did not direct those closing scenes. They were produced and tacked on the movie's conclusion by the studio.

One day, I am going to try to get a hold of the Criterion Collection copy of The Magnificent Ambersons which includes interviews with film historians and with Welles himself, among other features, and see if I can learn more about the difference between Welles' conception of this movie and how it was ransacked and altered by the RKO studio. I have already found articles online that address these questions. 

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