Robert J. Avrech: Emmy Award winning screenwriter. Movie fanatic. Helplessly and hopelessly in love with my wife since age nine.
Director Michael Powell and screenwriter Emeric Pressburger were responsible for some of the finest, most distinctive movies made in Britain from the late 30s to the late 40s: The Spy in Black (1939), The Thief of Bagdad (1940), 49th Parallel (1941), One of Our Aircraft is Missing (1942), The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), I Know Where I’m Going (1945), Stairway to Heaven ((1946), Black Narcissus (1947), The Red Shoes (1948).
Of course, like all of us who work in the movie business, Powell labored over numerous beloved projects that were, for one reason or another, never produced.
Seraphic Secret usually recommends classic Hollywood movies to help celebrate our national holidays. But this year we’re going to switch gears and recommend one of our favorite Thanksgiving movies, Plains, Trains and Automobiles, 1987.
Not only is this one of the finest, most touching Thanksgiving movie ever made, but it’s also the best film written, directed and produced by the late, great John Hughes, best remembered for his legendary teen comedies.
I get a fair amount of email from readers asking me about writing.
More specifically, how do I go about writing a movie?
Writing is ninety percent perspiration, ten percent inspiration. In other words do not wait to get struck with inspiration. That’s a load of romantic nonsense. In fact, that’s a sure way not to write. The biggest secret in Hollywood—at least for writers who actually work and make money—is how hard they work. Discipline is the name of the game. Organization is vital. An obsession with the minutae of a story is a requirement. G-d is in the details.
In Rear Window, 1954, Grace Kelly’s elegant Mark Cross bag emerges as something of a major character, a twin symbol of desire—Kelly cooly snaps opens the bag, unfurling a fetching neglige—and the domesticity Jimmy Stewart finds so intimidating.
Women’s handbags are more than repositories of oh-so-necessary possessions but a reflection of a woman’s priorities in life, a clue to her values.
The various bags my wife Karen has carried throughout our married life have endured as objects of practical magical. When one of our children scraped a knee in the playground we all rested easy because Karen just reached into her bag and out came a tube of antiseptic and band-aid. Sun too strong? No problem. Karen has sun-block. Headache? Tylenol in a little plastic pill box . Hungry? Fear not, Karen’s got an ample stash of chocolate power bars and pistachio nuts. And always, a thick band of soft tissues when pollen aggravates various allergies.
When we were dating the very first present yours truly bought as a birthday gift for Karen was a butter soft leather shoulder bag from—I splurged wanting to impress—Saks Fifth Avenue. Flattened, beat up, long ago retired, the bag sits in Karen’s closet, a cherished relic of our shared history.
A woman’s handbag is not just an accessory but a trusted companion with whom she trusts intimate secrets.
Here are a few bags that are not only practical—price aside—but beautiful, classic designs.
Karen and I wish all our friends and relatives a lovely and inspirational Shabbat.