Imagine my delight when I found this rare clip on youtube, showing the verbal battle between two hammersharks both featured in our initial hammershark list – Joan Collins and Kathleen Beller. Both actresses are great examples of the “Soap Opera Hammershark” – individuals with hammershark tendencies are often to be found on soap operas, because their striking eyes give them expressionable faces, well suited for the high drama of the genre. One will take care to note, however, that while Joan Collins’ (Alexis Morell Carrington Colby Dexter Rowan’s) hammersharkness is clearly used to emphasize that certain Jackie O-like elegance and sophistication, width between eyes of Kathleen Beller (Kirby Alicia Anders Colby) rather indicates something cute, infantile, vulnerable, and innocent, as seen on child-star hammersharks, such as Karle Warren. Arguably, this disparity of hammersharkness serves to intensify the scene between the two women.
For those unfamiliar with the soapy goldmine that is Dynasty, the dispute was caused by the fact that Alexis’s long-lost son Adam – with whom sophisticated hammershark Alexis quickly developed a borderline incestuous relationship after his return to her at age 27 – became fascinated by petite Kirby, cutesy hammershark and apparently daughter of the major domo at Adam’s long-lost father Blake’s mansion (even though it was totally unrealistic that the major domo, who was quite obviously a major domo homo and had a huge crush on Blake, would ever have been married to a woman and fathered a child). Failing to catch Kirby’s eyes (and who can blaim him?), a frustrated Adam raped Kirby, prompting the hammershark do run into the arms of Jeff Colby, Adam’s archnemesis, as well as Adam’s long-lost sister Fallon’s ex-husband, who immediately married her. However, as it turned out, Kirby was pregnant as a result of the rape, and when Jeff found out about this he was more than a little disgusted, and decided to divorce Kirby. A remorseful Adam then got the divorcee to accept his marriage proposal, but then Kirby fell ill and lost the child, well according to soap opera logic (which dictates that a child conceived by violence rather than love will not live), and that’s when Alexis came into the picture again, seeing no real reason why her long-lost-son, with whom she was just catching up in a borderline incestous manner, should marry her daughter’s ex-husband’s ex-wife now that she wasn’t carrying his rape-baby any longer. None of her business, one might venture. But as the clip will show, Alexis always has a few tricks up her sleeve to get things her way… So watch out, Kirby!
I hope you’ll enjoy it! I daresay hammershark Joan Collin’s venomous portrayal of Alexis is always enjoyable. Note for instance her snappy remark to her bodyguard: “Don’t you have an appointment at the Muscle Factory or somewhere equally intellectual?”
Also gotta love the dramatic music, and the awesome, over-the-top line: “You’re a liar! A liar!!” *sigh*, it is much too rare that one gets to use that line in everyday conversation.
When hammersharks collide, things tend to get ugly…
Gay guy: You know when he left me I was feeling so low I just changed everything. All my furniture. Everything. Except my name.
Going through some old stuff in the room in my parents’ house where I spent my girlhood, I found something that proves that my opera nerdiness is sadly not a new thing. What I found was this short assignment I’d done for my German class when I was 16. In the assignment we were to write a make-believe article about one of the works of the curriculum we’d had that particular semester. The Magic Flute was one of these works, and apparently, I chose to do a tabloid-style article about this operetta, as if I’d been a journalist reporting from the crowning of Tamino and Pamina.
Filled with in-jokes from the opera (the constant use of weird bynames for instance, and the inclusion of stage managemet comments about the style of the costumes), it’s not all bad, but, of course painfully geeky. I hope to God I never showed the article to anyone but my teacher back then… But I figured it might make a nice entry for the blog, so I’ve translated the article into English, and here it is:
CELEBRATIONS AT THE TEMPLE
Yesterday was a great day for our country! For the first time since we lost our King, a royal couple is ruling the kingdom!
It was a splendid sight yesterday as Prince Tamino, our new sovereign, was ordained by the hand of Sarastro (the Godly Wise Who Always Rewards and Punishes Among The Same Ranks). Sarastro stated at the press conference that Tamino has proved through difficult tests that he is worthy of the throne.
By his side was Pamina, the Meek, Virtuous Maiden. Sarastro claims that the Gods have chosen Pamina as a spouse for Tamino, the Fair Youth, and Pamina has in turn proven that she posesses both loyalty and courage.
As we all know, Pamina is the daughter of our last royal couple. Unfortunately, her mother, the Queen of the Night, recently proved to be traitorous towards Sarastro, and thus she was executed yesterday. Monostatos – The Evil Moor Who Demanded Love – and three of the queen’s handmaids followed her into the grave.
Three little boys who attended the celebration, declared cheerfully: “Soon will the superstition vanish! Soon the wise man will triumph!” Well, this reporter certainly hopes so, too!
Our fashion corresondent at the site reports that Tamino and Pamina wore matching gowns in priestly style.
Ever since the Danish conductor Lars Ulrik Mortensen announced that the best opera of all times (and he meant it) was Rameau’s Les Boréades I have been looking a bit into this French baroque composer and that has caused a mild case of Rameau-addiction. It culminated today when I found two dvd’s in the library, borrowed them and watched them! One is Les Boréades that I already had seen and the other was Platée that I had only listened to previously. Both of them are recorded at the Opéra National de Paris.
Platée is humorous while Les Boréades is mainly serious. And I love them both. Not only is the music and the musicianship superb (conductors and baroque specialists Minkowski and Christie make sure everything is perfect) also the productions are wonderful. I actually thought that the stagings were by the same person but it turned out to be two different guys: Laurent Pelly (Platée) and Robert Carsen (Boréades. He’s an old favourite of mine). They are both modern and very well conceived.
Platée is about a stupidly vain nymph who is almost a frog.
Froggy in a nice skirt made out of a flower. Aw
For the fun of deceiving her and his wife Jupiter courts Platée and she becomes the laughingstock of heaven and earth (poor little froggy-girl). At her mock wedding with Jupiter, Folly turns up. Folly is a young, beautiful woman who is, of course, quite silly. The wondrous internet provides us with one of my favourite scenes showing Folly in all her glory. Look here. I especially like it when she tears off one of the music sheets her dress is made of to sing from the notes. She sings a very high note but then realises the page is upside down, turns it and accordingly sings a very low note.
And if you want to see Platée in all her glory look here. You may be surprised by her voice, but as you might have guessed she is impersonated by a man, the nice tenor Paul Agnew.
Paul Agnew also turns up in Les Boréades, now in a less green disguise, as the mild Abaris, lover of Alphisa the poor queen who by law has to marry a son of the North Wind – Boreas.
One of the most stunning scenes of this production is in the very beginning when Alphisa is courted by the two sons of Boreas. When they arrive she is reluctantly standing in the middle of a flower field but as the sons with their train move over the stage towards her the field is slowly harvested at their feet. Such a sad and beautiful sight. Or how about when dancers spread snow by spinning upside down umbrellas so that the snowflakes they contain are centrifuged onto the stage.
The whole visual side of the production focuses on the contrasts between colourful love and black and cold duty. It is very taut and my aesthetic art historian-heart loves it.
In this photo you can faintly see another old friend from Platée to the extreme right: Laurent Naouri. I have been wondering a lot if he is a hammerhead, but no, I’m afraid he isn’t even though I would want him to be, so I wont post his portrait. Anyhow he has a great bass baritone voice.
Both operas have a lot of ballet intermezzi which normally would totally make me fast forward but not in these choreographies. They are funny, marvellous and beautiful.
So my warmest recommendations for Rameau on dvd!
Our Andreas Scholl obsession is not going to end. Ever! So here is today’s fantabulous news: Andreas Scholl will be back on the stage of The Royal Theatre to perform in Händel’s Partenope in the 2008-2009 season. And to add whipped cream to pie: the director of the marvellous Giulio Cesare, Francisco Negrin, will be back too.
How good can it get? Andreas Scholl and Francisco Negrininoooo!
And while waiting for that we will enjoy Mr Scholl in concert with Paul McCreesh next spring. Sigh.
Even though I haven’t been doing any gender studies or the like I would characterise myself as a feminist. And as such I am in grave need of role models who are not from my mother’s generation. Ever since I received the book De røde sko. Feminisme nu (The Red Shoes. Feminism Now)
as a gift from a friend a couple of years ago I have been a fan of this woman:
Leonora Christina Skov who was the editor of said marvellous book.
I was reminded of my fandom this weekend when she appeared in a newspaper column entitled “Big White Men”. She is a regular writer in the newspaper Weekendavisen and since I renewed my subscription of this organ I have been reading all her columns with ill-concealed satisfaction.
Not only is Ms Skov a modern feminist with great ideas about gender she also is a fabulous writer with enough well tempered venom to kill a room full of bawling broad shouldered misogynists and not only – but also those who keep saying that feminism is a dead cause since we have accomplished all equality goals. The column was an answer to a reader criticising her appearance in the Danish news programme Deadline where she apparently had ranted about Big White Men (who she defines as self-asserting, self-important individuals who make their voices heard without any self-irony). The reader characterised Ms Skov as a man-hater and basically told her to shut the f… up.
Here is a wonderful excerpt of Ms Skov’s answer:
“(… )you can hardly doubt that I personify the no. 1 nightmare of the Danish Realm: the young, foaming femi-fury with a female symbol up my sleeve and vendetta-like madness in my eyes.
Week after week you see me assume a ninja pose and slash all publications written by white males in this country, and the more the gentle readers and the honourable editor of Weekendavisen try to stop me the more strained will my man-rancour be.”
I know my translation does little honour to the original but anyhow I think it’s a brilliant text. And when she then moves on to talk more generally about how despised feminism and feminists are and how it affects our understanding of the public debate I feel both entertained and enlightened.
I will not bore you any further. I just wanted to proclaim:
I am a fan of Leonora Christina Skov!
You can read more on The Red Shoes here (in danish).
Last weekend when I was waiting for the open-air concert of the Royal Danish Opera to begin I was reading a classic in Danish literature: Tom Kristensen’s Hærværk (Havoc). I had only just begun when a thunderstorm ruined everything and made me put away the book in order to keep it dry. As far as I know the book is about a man who runs amok, leaves his pretty bourgeois life with wife and child in order to drink himself to death. The internet tells me it’s inspired by James Joyce’s Ulysses but I’ll leave that to people who have actually read both books (must be quite a limited number).
The title refers to the self destruction and to the destruction of the values of the bourgeoisie and the intellectuals. I guess.
Now you may have sensed that I am a little bit insecure…and that has a nice and simple explanation. I haven’t been able to continue my reading since the book has eaten it self up!
After having left the book in the plastic bag I enjoyed the concert, chatted with friends and family and as the concert ended and we packed up all our gear I put a couple of vacuum jugs with some old coffee into the bag.
When I reached home I found that the vacuum jugs didn’t know they were vacuum jugs. They though they were just jugs. And as such they had carefully spilled all their contents into the bag and drowned poor Havoc in coffee with milk.
As the old optimist I am I decided that Havoc needed another chance. So I tried to dry it.
It hadn’t been drying for more than 24 hours before mould started to grow all over pages and binding. Yet, still optimistic I removed the mould and left the book to its continued drying. The same thing repeated it self several times until I one day came home and found my apartment stinking like some rotten old garbage can.
That was when Havoc had self destroyed so effectively that I decided its ultimate home was not on my bookshelf but in – yes – the garbage can.
I find it rather amusing that a book titled Havoc has managed to eliminate it self just as the main character in the story. Life has a sense of humour!
Amusing as it is it still leaves me without the book I really wanted to read. And even though it was just a silly old paperback it had been in my parents’ collection for their entire relationship. They may not care about it but I thought it was quite cute to find both their names in it. So I have decided to buy the book, and in the same edition. Unfortunately I can’t find a picture of the front but I can show you another one with the same kind of design.
Me likes. And it’s on its way from some antiquarian bookstore in Jutland just as we speak. Pie!
Six-year-old girl: I saw a fox once.
Grandmother: You did?
Six-year-old girl: Yeah. But that was many years ago. When I was a child.
– Strandboulevarden, Copenhagen
I just got back from work an hour ago and am exhausted, so I’ve crawled into my bed and am reading some fanfiction (I know, I know. But that’s what not having a TV will do to you.) I was just reading this really, really angst-y fic and was really getting into it, when this sentence met my eye, and I just couldn’t help but snickering: “…her beautiful voice crying out, resounding in his already hammering head..“.
‘Hammering head!’ Hee! Needless to say, the angsty atmosphere left me completely and was replaced by a mental image of a face with an increasing amount of width between its eyes. Damn those hammerheads and their omnipresence. They’re ruining my corny reading experience!
Dudes… I just had a life-altering revelation: Aliens are totally hammerheads!
Just look at that creature! Look at it! Its face is, like, nothing but width between eyes! This is amazing. I’ve never believed that creatures like this one were knocking around out there in space, and I’ve always wondered what people’s fascination with these stereotyped little grey men was all about, but realizing now that they’re hammerheads, I totally get it. I mean, a whole planet populated with hammersharks? What’s not to love about that idea?