Thursday, July 23, 2009A few months ago I stumbled across a Carmen Miranda video on YouTube. What can I say? It was love at first sight. I was struck by a passion beyond words for this "Brazilian Bombshell" who died more than 50 years ago. I made the mistake of sharing my admiration with M. and she flipped out.
"Jake," she scowled, "Carmen Miranda looks like a man. Are you gay?"
"What?! No!" I exclaimed in sincere shock.
Perhaps still photographs of Carmen don't portray the raw magnetism, dazzling beauty and natural talent like the movies do, but she is not a man. She is ALL woman. C'mon!
That's when I took my Psychology Today magazine to work and showed it to M. She is obviously green with envy over Carmen Miranda.
"Weekend in Havana," "Greenwich Village," and "Copacabana." These are a few C.M. titles I recommended to M. but she refuses to watch them. When I bring Carmen up, the conversation turns sour:
M: "Do you see what I'm doing, Jake?"
Me: "You're sitting there with a blank expression on your face."
M: "That's right, I'm sitting here with a blank expression on my face because I started to think about something else but then I realized I was being rude, so I tried to listen, but THEN I started to think about how I was thinking about something else earlier and how rude it was so I stopped paying attention. What I'm trying to say is that I am a great multitasker."
Then she adds a P.S.
M: "She's a dead woman, Jake!"
She is so jealous.
Can you blame her?
M. is not in the office today so it's very quiet. The two of us have worked together for many years, but never in such close proximity. I remember when M. first mentioned her dark obsession with gritty foreign film; the grittier the better! Being a movie buff, I asked her to recommend a DVD. She said, without hesitation: "Irreversible," so I rented it.
In summary, "Irreversible" is an edgy French thriller that starts with the End Credits rolling backward and shows every scene in reverse order. There is one scene in particular involving 1 man, 1 woman, and an underground tunnel that is very unsettling. It is a graphic rape scene that goes on for twenty minutes and I'm not convinced they were acting.
"Wow, M.," I told her the next day. "That tunnel scene was gruesome." She giggled in response.
So now, whenever M. recommends a movie, I ask with anticipation if there is a "tunnel scene." Sadly, there usually isn't, but here are some close contenders: "Martyrs" is a French film about the afterlife, and "An American Crime" is a film about the slow-torture-murder of a teenage girl (based on a true story). Yuck!
Perhaps Carmen Miranda's musical comedies from the 1940's are too upbeat for someone of M.'s taste.