Artistic Endeavors

ORIGINAL ART BY HEIDI GIRAUD

My daughter, Heidi, tapped into her hidden art talents just a few years ago. I’ve been continually amazed at the variety of styles and subject matter she’s produced; each of her artworks are imaginative and colorful. She keeps producing and I’m sharing a few. I love them all and want more of them on my walls…I must admit, I’m prejudiced! I’ve got five paintings so far and joked that I now have the Heidi Giraud Art Gallery Annex. The watercolor below was her most recent creation. It’s a new challenge for her — working with acrylic is much easier. I love this one – it has such a delicate touch and the colors are magnificent.

Pensive Woman, a watercolor

PENSIVE WOMAN, a watercolor

Wanting to spread the word about her talents, I asked her to write something about herself and she did: “The past few years I’ve felt that I needed/wanted to do something creative. I don’t recall having a desire to paint when I was a child, but believe it must have been there in my soul. When I was kicked out of high school, I was sent to continuation high school. I decided to take an art class and the first painting I did was a watercolor, all freehand, no tracing. I fell in love with it, but wasn’t settled enough in my life to do more than one more watercolor.”

  1. blu-2                                                                               BLU
    “My artistic yearnings inspired me to use a lot of color when I decorated various apartments of mine over the years. Then I took another art class for a few months, and that planted the seed that grew into a satisfying habit of painting. I have always been attracted to the shapes you can create, not to mention the colors you can use in abstract. My favorite colors are bright blues, reds, oranges and greens. There are no rules in abstract painting, you can create whatever you want, probably why I enjoy it so much. Abstract painting opens your mind to all sorts of interpretations. I feel it’s a perfect expression of life. Just when you think you know what is is, you look deeper into the painting with your mind and soul and see something totally different. (Note from Victoria: Heidi and I went to the Getty Museum a few years ago to see Jackson Pollock’s “Mural”–painted in 1943 and said to be an iconic abstract painting of the 20th century. It was huge and full of images that both of us imagined: from horses and ducks to faces. I’m delighted we saw it with our own eyes; a photo of this painting does it no justice.)

roaring                                                                           ROARING
Heidi says,” My inspirations can come from anything. I can walk down a street in downtown Los Angeles, or see the sun’s rays flicker upon the Pacific Ocean and get my ideas from that. My emotions also play a part in my creations.”

ART ORIGINALS BY HEIDI

My daughter, Heidi, tapped into her hidden art talents just a few years ago. I’ve been continually amazed at the variety of styles and subject matter she’s produced; each of her artworks are imaginative and colorful. She keeps producing and I’m sharing a few. I love them all and want more of them on my walls…I must admit, I’m prejudiced! I’ve got five paintings so far and joked that I now have the Heidi Giraud Art Gallery Annex. The painting below was created just for me and is Heidi’s interpretation of her mother. She told me the expression reminded her of my confidence in life…I might have been saying about a situation, “I’ve got this!” I’m very flattered by her interpretation!

Mama V - my Mother's Day gift

Mama V – my Mother’s Day gift

Wanting to spread the word about her talents, I asked her to write something about herself and she did: “The past few years I’ve felt that I needed/wanted to do something creative. I don’t recall having a desire to paint when I was a child, but believe it must have been there in my soul. When I was kicked out of high school, I was sent to continuation high school. I decided to take an art class and the first painting I did was a watercolor, all freehand, no tracing. I fell in love with it, but wasn’t settled enough in my life to do more than one more watercolor.”

Red Hat

Red Hat

My artistic yearnings inspired me to use a lot of color when I decorated various apartments of mine over the years. Then I took another art class for a few months, and that planted the seed that grew into a satisfying habit of painting. I have always been attracted to the shapes you can create, not to mention the colors you can use in abstract. My favorite colors are bright blues, reds, oranges and greens. There are no rules in abstract painting, you can create whatever you want, probably why I enjoy it so much. Abstract painting opens your mind to all sorts of interpretations. I feel it’s a perfect expression of life. Just when you think you know what is is, you look deeper into the painting with your mind and soul and see something totally different. (Note from Victoria: Heidi and I went to the Getty on Mother’s Day to see Jackson Pollock’s “Mural”–painted in 1943 and said to be an iconic abstract painting of the 20th century. It was huge and full of images that both of us imagined: from horses and ducks to faces. A photo of this painting does it no justice.)

Purple Girl

Purple Girl

Heidi says,” My inspirations can come from anything. I can walk down a street in downtown Los Angeles, or see the sun’s rays flicker upon the Pacific Ocean and get my ideas from that. My emotions also play a part in my creations.”

HEIDI GIRAUD, MY ARTIST DAUGHTER

My daughter, Heidi, tapped into her hidden art talents just a few years ago. I’ve been continually amazed at the variety of styles and subject matter she’s produced; each of her artworks are imaginative and colorful. She keeps producing and I’m sharing a few. I love them all and want more of them on my walls…I must admit, I’m prejudiced! I’ve got five paintings so far and joked that I now have the Heidi Giraud Art Gallery Annex.

Roarin'

Roarin’

Wanting to spread the word about her talents, I asked her to write something about herself and she did: The past few years I’ve felt that I needed/wanted to do something creative. I don’t recall having a desire to paint when I was a child, but believe it must have been there in my soul. When I was kicked out of high school, I was sent to continuation high school. I decided to take an art class and the first painting I did was a watercolor, all freehand, no tracing. I fell in love with it, but wasn’t settled enough in my life to do more than one more watercolor.

Fierce

Fierce

 

My artistic yearnings inspired me to use a lot of color when I decorated various apartments of mine over the years. Then I took another art class for a few months, and that planted the seed that grew into a satisfying habit of painting. I have always been attracted to the shapes you can create, not to mention the colors you can use in abstract. My favorite colors are bright blues, reds, oranges and greens.

Twizler

Twizzler

There are no rules in abstract painting, you can create whatever you want, probably why I enjoy it so much. Abstract painting opens your mind to all sorts of interpretations. I feel it’s a perfect expression of life. Just when you think you know what is is, you look deeper into the painting with your mind and soul and see something totally different.

(Note from Victoria: Heidi and I continually visit the many art galleries around Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Hammer, the Getty, and the Norton Simon Museum of Art, to name a few. The Broad Museum just opened in downtown L.A., just steps from the Museum of Contemporary Art, L.A).

 

My inspirations can come from anything. I can walk down a street in downtown Los Angeles, or see the sun’s rays flicker upon the Pacific Ocean and get my ideas from that. My emotions also play a part in my creations.

To check out Heidi’s artwork and add a painting to your collection, go to her Facebook Artist page: Heidi Giraud Artist

 

Blu

Blu

Afrika copy

Afrika  

ART – MADE IN L.A. 2014

Daughter Heidi (who was conceived/made in Los Angeles) and I went to the Hammer Museum UCLA for the “Made in L.A. 2014” exhibit yesterday to discover the latest artistic expressions from the Los Angeles art world. Over thirty artists exhibited and what a variety it was. There was a sign on one of the gallery doors that some of the artwork wasn’t suitable for children, and we soon found which ones.

I’ve never seen such a diversity of art forms at one exhibit—from short videos of all sorts to paintings and sculptural pieces in all kinds of mediums. Most of the art was made specifically for this exhibit. Fortunately, viewers could read general background information on each artist as well as specifics on the various pieces. Before we wandered the galleries, we ate lunch in their outdoor café and enjoyed a modern dance performance by a young man in a free-flowing garment (similar to a dress).

 

Untitled by Lecia Dole-Recio at Hammer Museum UCLA exhibit

Untitled by Lecia Dole-Recio at Hammer Museum UCLA exhibit

There’s not space to describe but a few of the highlights of this unusual mix of artistic expression. I’ll share a few impressions that stuck with me, like a video on a medium-size TV screen of the face and head of a young pretty Asian woman in red lipstick continually smiling without changing expression. It kept drawing my attention even while looking at another video, full of movement and dialogue in the same room.

Modern artists aren’t generally obsessed with beauty or conservative subject matter; they’d rather get to their truth. Artist Max Maslansky’s erotic paintings of sexual fantasies painted in pinks and reds took up most of a room. The artist achieved a soft blurry look by using old bedsheets instead of canvas, but the viewer wouldn’t have guessed unless you searched for the information. A documentary video in a small room nearby focused on the dangers of being a stunt man in the entertainment industry. The pay is lucrative but injuries are common, and the work is truly death-defying.

One of the more delicate and intriguing sculptors was Ricky Swallow, who crafts small objects in wood or cardboard and may cast them in bronze. Their forms were delightful—one looked like a tiny modern chair, one resembled a small ladder-back chair, which could have been just a decorative display.

The work of Marcia Hafif, who explores and experiments with types of paint, filled an entire room with square paintings, each a different color, and all evenly spaced and at the same height. I didn’t take the time to check on the subtle differences between the paintings.

I enjoyed the very vibrant work by Lecia Dole-Recio, and used the museum’s postcard of one of my favorites for this blog. She doesn’t title her work, which is what she calls “painted constructions” of paper, cardboard and tape, not quite paintings and not quite collages.

I was moved by a very personal, charming and amusing video by Judy Fiskin—“I’ll Remember Mama.” Her title was inspired by the film “I Remember Mama” made by George Stevens in 1948. Coincidentally, I became friends long ago with Peggy McIntyre, who starred as the daughter Christine in the old film. Peggy worked at AT&T in Hollywood as a fellow service rep in the 1960s.

Fiskin’s film focused on her own mother, who she filmed a few years ago at age 89.  Fiskin decided to make a video when her mother was still alive instead of making it a memorial piece. Although affectionately done, Fiskin focused on the difference in age and personal preferences between mother and daughter, and the personal objects (furniture, etc.) her mother will leave behind. Her mother, like many other wealthy LA widows, lives by herself in one of the high-rise apartment buildings on Wilshire Boulevard. Narrating the film, Fiskin points out that at night, the lights of cars traveling down Wilshire reflect on the apartment windows and look like tears traveling down the face of the buildings.

EDITING – CRUCIAL TO THE BIRTH OF A BOOK

EditedBooks

For a time I called myself a Forest Guide, it was a way of explaining editing to new, usually first-time, authors. I would guide them through their forest of words, especially when they had gotten to that place where they couldn’t see the forest for the trees, as the old saying goes. Lately, I’m conceiving of myself as a midwife, who helps in the sometimes torturous process of giving birth. The birthing pains involved in creating a book and then sending it out into the world is a lot like having and raising a child. You’ll always feel attached, much like the author does. But you inevitably must let go of your book (child) to make its way in the world.

Before I started editing books, I spent years editing newspapers and magazines. Working with words—twisting them around, rearranging, deleting, finding a more concise, more understandable way of saying something was a wonderful challenge. I’ve always loved editing and the more I’ve done it, the faster and more accurate I’ve gotten. I was an early and avid reader, from Nancy Drew stories to fairy tales and then on to the gods and goddesses of ancient Athens and Rome. I remember accompanying my mother to libraries wherever our military family was stationed. I became an early enthusiast of historical fiction.

In high school and college, English (an outdated word for the subject) was my favorite subject. I majored in English in college but managed to take a variety of history courses, a never-ending passion that would lead me to writing Melaynie’s Masquerade when I got older. As a high school freshman, I became serious about writing and I wrote for the school newspaper. In college I continued my reporting for William and Mary’s “Flat Hat” newspaper and was delighted at one of the school reunions years later when I saw a couple of my articles in a scrapbook on display.

Journalism has been a great teacher. It requires precise, easily understood truthful writing to explain: who, what, when, where, how and why to a reader. And the information is provided in a descending order—the most important facts are given in the beginning. Books are usually not written that way, but a foundation in journalism has stood me in good stead for many years.

I’ve edited over 100 books in the past 15 years and each one has been a special journey. No matter how much I’d read of each book in advance, there were always surprises. A book develops a life of its own, which proves the baby analogy I mentioned in the beginning. Because many of my clients were “newbies” to the world of writing, I became a co-writer in many instances.

I have edited almost every genre of book from how to save for retirement to what a young man experiencing the singles scene learns about sexual success and failure. Needless to say, I’ve learned a great deal in the process since my clients have experienced amazing things in all areas of the world.

A few recent books include: Once Upon a Man by Debra Pauli (dating tips for the single woman), Beyond Time by Carey Jones (simplifying some of the ideas in A Course in Miracles), The Gods Who Fell from African Skies by Dick Mawson (memoir of growing up and living in Rhodesia and South Africa), Parents Take Charge by Dr. Sandy Gluckman (alternative solutions for children with ADHD and the like), and A Nation of Refugees by Tim Gurung (fictional story of a couple passionate about finding solutions for the worldwide problem of refugees). Most recently, I was editing a book about Hitler and Eva Braun, and I’m currently editing a biography about character actor Strother Martin.

 

Heidi Giraud Artist

My daughter, Heidi, tapped into her hidden art talents just a few years ago. I’ve been continually amazed at the variety of styles and subject matter she’s produced; each of her artworks are imaginative and colorful. She keeps producing and I’m sharing a few. I love them all and want more of them on my walls…I must admit, I’m prejudiced! I’ve got five paintings so far and joked that I now have the Heidi Giraud Art Gallery Annex.  The painting below was created just for me and is Heidi’s interpretation of her mother. She told me the expression reminded her of my confidence in life…I might have been saying about a situation, “I’ve got this!” I’m very flattered by her interpretation!

Mama V - my Mother's Day gift

Mama V – my Mother’s Day gift

Wanting to spread the word about her talents, I asked her to write something about herself and she did: “The past few years I’ve felt that I needed/wanted to do something creative. I don’t recall having a desire to paint when I was a child, but believe it must have been there in my soul. When I was kicked out of high school, I was sent to continuation high school. I decided to take an art class and the first painting I did was a watercolor, all freehand, no tracing. I fell in love with it, but wasn’t settled enough in my life to do more than one more watercolor.”

 

Red Hat

Red Hat

My artistic yearnings inspired me to use a lot of color when I decorated various apartments of mine over the years. Then I took another art class for a few months, and that planted the seed that grew into a satisfying habit of painting. I have always been attracted to the shapes you can create, not to mention the colors you can use in abstract. My favorite colors are bright blues, reds, oranges and greens. There are no rules in abstract painting, you can create whatever you want, probably why I enjoy it so much. Abstract painting opens your mind to all sorts of interpretations. I feel it’s a perfect expression of life. Just when you think you know what is is, you look deeper into the painting with your mind and soul and see something totally different. (Note from Victoria: Heidi and I went to the Getty on Mother’s Day to see Jackson Pollock’s “Mural”–painted in 1943 and said to be an iconic abstract painting of the 20th century. It was huge and full of images that both of us imagined: from horses and ducks to faces. A photo of this painting does it no justice.)

Purple Girl

Purple Girl

 

My inspirations can come from anything. I can walk down a street in downtown Los Angeles, or see the sun’s rays flicker upon the Pacific Ocean and get my ideas from that. My emotions also play a part in my creations.

 

SAGA OF SELLING A SCRIPT

Before I wrote my novel, Melaynie’s Masquerade, I wrote a movie script. My screenplay, simply called Drake, went through many incarnations. Eight rewrites that I can recall. It got so good I had several people in the business (not any recognizable names) compliment me on the writing. But I couldn’t take that to the bank.

Portrait of Sir Francis Drake

Portrait of Sir Francis Drake

My friend and partner in the adventure to get a project on film was Dudley Hood, an Australian musician and writer. We had a wonderful time exploring all the possibilities—it even felt legitimate. For a time we went to monthly parties held at a fancy home in the exclusive hills of Brentwood to meet lots of aspiring actors, directors, etc. We were looked on as potential employers and were offered a buffet and drinks (all contributed by the hopefuls). A few days later I’d get a huge envelope of head shots in the mail. I held onto these photographs for a long time before I tossed them. The attendees didn’t know, but might have guessed, we had no money but plenty of hopes, no different from any of them.

We shopped our project, which we called Caribbean Kaleidoscope (historical tales of the Caribbean made for TV), created brochures—thanks to a very talented artist named Jon Wincek, had countless budgets put together by Fred Culbertson on a program called Movie Magic, if my memory serves me.  Fred, luckily, had his own transportation business, Hollywood Studio Vehicles. We attended various industry events like the American Film Market in Santa Monica. Searching for funding can be lively and frustrating—Dudley traveled to the Virgin Islands and New York City—but there’s no guaranteed pot of gold or happy ending. As is frequently said: life is the journey not the goal.

The Film Market was fun, however. Located at a couple of well-known hotels on the beach, it was full of aspiring players in the independent film world from everywhere (8,000 or more attended). Hundreds of films, from the expensive to the low-low budget, are shown and shopped from all over the world during this week-long event. What a place for people watching! I saw Roger Corman, king of low budget movies, and various star impersonators, like Michael Jackson (while he was still alive) and John Travolta.

We met Stan Lazan, a friendly guy who had been a cinematographer for TV’s “Bonanza” years before. He was looking for work and was happy to offer his advice. He had lots of fascinating tales to tell of his years in the industry, not to mention some pointers on industry terminology. I hadn’t learned yet what P&A was, but it was the talk around the hotel bar. Prints and Advertising is a vital part of a movie budget: without prints of the film and advertising to sell the movie, nothing would move forward. I kept up with Stan and enjoyed his company for years afterward. He has since passed on. But “Bonanza” still plays on TV.

Dudley was very tireless and enterprising. He managed to get us a meeting  with a CAA (Creative Artists Agency) agent at their posh headquarters. The agent and his younger associate listened to our project pitch (I think we were “selling” Drake at that point) and seemed interested but there were too many pieces of the puzzle missing to make any kind of commitments. The two of us, however, were ecstatic and felt like real wheeler-dealers! Ha! CAA has moved from its unique modern building in Beverly Hills, probably to something more spectacular. That was then and this is now!

Not long after CAA, we managed a meeting with the VP of IMax Pictures. Dudley played his guitar to show him we were planning music for our huge production. It’s hilarious and a little bittersweet to think of all the gallivanting and all the hopes. You’ve got to be starry-eyed and innocent to a great extent to make your dreams come true in Tinsel Town. To make it happen,  you must never give up. To paraphrase a current ad, we may not have made any money but the experience was priceless.

ARTISTIC IMAGININGS — HEIDI GIRAUD

My daughter, Heidi, tapped into her hidden art talents just a few years ago. I’ve been continually amazed at the variety of styles and subject matter she’s produced; each of her artworks are imaginative and colorful. She keeps producing and I’m sharing a few. I love them all and want more of them on my walls…I must admit, I’m prejudiced!

Red Hat
Red Hat

 

The darling "Rufus"

The darling “Rufus” – a little randy, a bit of a rapscallion — sitting on the kitchen counter contemplating life…

 

 

 

Wanting to spread the word about her talents, I asked her to write something about herself and she did:  The past few years I’ve felt that I needed/wanted to do something creative. I don’t recall having a desire to paint when I was a child, but believe it must have been there in my soul. When I was kicked out of high school,  I was sent to continuation high school. I decided to take an art class and the first painting I did was a watercolor, all freehand, no tracing. I fell in love with it, but wasn’t settled enough in my life to do more than one more watercolor.

Sunflowers for Sally
Sunflowers for Sally

 My artistic yearnings inspired me to use a lot of color when I decorated various apartments of mine over the years. Then I took another art class for a few months, and that planted the seed that grew into a satisfying habit of painting. I have always been attracted to the shapes you can create, not to mention the colors you can use in abstract. My favorite colors are bright blues, reds, oranges and greens. There are no rules in abstract painting, you can create whatever you want, probably why I enjoy it so much. Abstract painting opens your mind to all sorts of interpretations. I feel it’s a perfect expression of life. Just when you think you know what is is, you look deeper into the painting with your mind and soul and see something totally different.

 

Abstract for Hansi
Abstract for Hansi

My inspirations can come from anything. I can walk down a street in downtown Los Angeles, or see the sun’s rays flicker upon the Pacific Ocean and get my ideas from that. My emotions also play a part in my creations.

 

WHAT DO YOU SEE?

We take light for granted, especially in SoCal where the sun shines almost every single day. And electricity is easily available everywhere. But what does light reveal and how much can you trust the image it reveals? Is light static? Does everyone see the same thing?

LA County Museum of Art has an enticing and curious exhibit for the next year of the works of James Turrell, who might well be named an artist of light as a creative medium. He teases our perception—how real is what you see?

Raemar Pink White, 1969

Raemar Pink White, 1969

The first test of this artistic reality is in a large room with a white cube in the corner. It looks real enough until you start walking toward this “projection piece,” which seems to float in the air. Soon, you see it is not a three-dimensional piece, it is actually flat, and consists of nothing but light. The illusion has tricked the observer as will many other illusionary light pieces throughout this large exhibit. After a few experiences of seeing how light can fool your vision, you may wonder how solid something “real” is. And as science has revealed, things may look solid but they aren’t.

Turrell, who was honored with the MacArthur “genius” fellowship, was born in Southern California and has spent 50 years exploring the properties of light, especially as it relates to the perception of humans. He likes to tease your mind, it seems. His exhibits occupied the entire second floor of the Broad Contemporary Art museum building. His works included holograms, which were hung in one area. There were several darkened rooms where a few observers at a time could see a variety of images in different colors (each room was unique) usually projected onto one wall.   By moving toward and then away from the projected vision, the observer could see the lines of the images disappear or change shapes.  We may have noticed these types of effects in everyday life, but in this large venue, the effects are more visible and amazing.

My favorite was the last exhibit room, which required some preparation. Visitors had to remove their shoes first and then were required to wear disposable booties on their feet! A few of them at a time were allowed to walk up a wide staircase to enter a specially designed and very large rectangular room, open only on the side where we entered. We were warned to walk slowly since the floor slanted downward. The room was filled with bright pinkish-white light that emanated from all sides and surfaces—floor, ceiling, and sidewalls, but there were no angles. The sidewalls curved into the floor and ceiling, which created a comfortable but mystical aura.

When I walked in, I remarked to the museum guide, “And God said, let there be light.” It resembled a heaven of sorts or special effects in a movie.  The entire room glowed softly with the longest wall reminding me of a movie screen. As the small group stood quietly, the encompassing glowing light filled the room and slowly and subtly changed its shade from pink to purple to blue and then to pink again.  I think I’ll visit it again before the exhibit is over next year.  I still have my booties!

A 2013 KUBRICK ODYSSEY

When I saw my first Stanley Kubrick film, 2001, A SPACE ODYSSEY, in 1968, I couldn’t have imagined that I’d be seeing an exhibit of Kubrick’s own film odyssey at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) years later.

2001, A Space Odyssey

2001, A Space Odyssey

Born in the Bronx in 1928, Kubrick showed his visual talent early and was taking photos for Look magazine by the age of 17. At 23 he was already making documentaries and it went on from there. If you’re a movie fan like I am, you’ve probably seen the most prominent films: A Clockwork Orange, Spartacus, The Shining, Barry Lyndon, Dr. Strangelove, Full Metal Jacket, or his last film, Eyes Wide Shut. There were 16 films before he died in March 1999 at his home outside London, 4 days after a private screening of Eyes Wide Shut, and before that film was released to the public.

What an amazingly talented man he was and totally involved in his wide variety of films as director of all of them, and the producer and writer for almost all of them. Each film stood on its own, presenting subject matter than filmgoers could interpret in many ways.

 

Keir Dullea, actor

Keir Dullea, actor

The exhibit, which I will describe briefly, was extensive:  movie posters, costumes, props,  scripts and notes, and a framed sheet of paper that listed the many, many scenes to be shot for Napoleon, a film he had to abandon in 1969 because the funding was cut. Of course there were clips of his films in various areas. I found one room showing film clips that identified the music he used in various movies. I hadn’t realized he used so much classical music—perhaps the most famous was the Richard Strauss tone poem, Thus Spoke Zarathustra for 2001, A Space Odyssey. It was such a fitting piece of music, I bet many fans thought it was specially composed for the film.

I have my own memories of each film. I saw 2001 shortly after it was released in 1969 with my husband and godparents. We drove to a special theater in Hollywood on Hollywood Boulevard to see it.  It was such an unusual and very visual science fiction film that its theme was open to interpretation.  The exhibit shows the scene in the film of actor Keir Dullea communicating with HAL, the computer that speaks with a male voice (reminds me of iPhones with voices).

Peter Sellars as Dr. Strangelove

Peter Sellars as Dr. Strangelove

 

Dr. Strangelove, the hilarious satire of the Cold War (1964), has always been one of my favorite films. The exhibit didn’t show my favorite scene from the end of the movie: Slim Pickens in a cowboy hat, as Major King Kong, riding a bomb through the air like it’s a bucking bronco.

Ryan O’Neal, playing Barry Lyndon (1975) in the 18th century story of an Irish playboy, is shown in a scene comforting his dying son. It reminded me of what he might have thought about when Farrah Fawcett was dying.

The Shining (1980) was a very scary Stephen King ghost story starring a young Jack Nicholson. On display  along with some film clips are the hatchets Nicholson used to break into his wife’s room, and the knife Shelley Duvall uses to protect herself. The film’s location was a mountain hotel, but the hotel lobby was modeled after the famous Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park. When I visited the Ahwahnee in 1984, a few years after the movie, I kept wondering why the lobby looked so much like Kubrick’s horror movie but didn’t discover the reason until this past Sunday!

Shortly after it came out in 1999, I saw Eyes Wide Shut, Kubrick’s last movie that starred Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise, while they were still married. There are clips in the exhibit of this very sexual film about marriage and sexual fantasies. When doing a little research, I discovered where the unique title came from American patriot Benjamin Franklin,who wisely said, “Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half-shut afterwards.”

MV5BMjE1NjcwMTYxM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjcxNDg3OA@@._V1_SY317_CR5,0,214,317_

 

 

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