Wednesday, 9 January 2013

'Special' Relationships


The Enzian is a fabulous cinema.  I liked it the moment I saw it's welcoming weatherboard exterior, and dressing room style lights above the box office window.  And I hadn't even seen the seating arrangements.  4 floors of seating.  Recliners and 'Loveseats' at the very front, and then raked decks with comfy chairs around little tables, with menus on them!  An alternative theater indeed...  Go to the movies and get food to be enjoyed alongside the feature presentation sitting a a table with your friends.  Sometimes it's the simple ideas that really are the best.

We arrived in good time to enjoy the trailers for forthcoming movies.  All 3 appealed, and have made it onto my would-like-to-see list.  We'll see...  The list is generally more extensive than the opportunities for cinema going, but my cinema membership helps.

It felt apt, to be sitting with a dear friend 'the other side of the ocean' watching a film about the so-called, very special relationship and its origins, that has played such a significant part in shaping Anglo-American relations ever since George VI and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother visited The President and First Lady, the inimitable Roosevelts at Hyde Park.

Nothing to do with the Hyde Park I know and love, that is situated behind Apsley House, or No. 1 London. Hyde Park was where FDR's beloved estate Springwood was, in the Hudson Valley of New York.  And here the motion picture is set.  Here was the President's preferred office.  Here was where he was at home.  And here is where he carried out a series of (overlapping) affairs.

I wonder whether FDR might have been an undiagnosed sex addict.  Whilst possibly almost blasphemous of me to suggest it, particularly given my shallow knowledge of his life, it is not, I think, impossible.  The film highlighted his libido, and the way in which things were arranged, precisely to enable him to act out with whom and when he pleased.  During the captivating picture, we get to know a little about him, and his muses who keep him amused, and distracted from the inevitable stresses that come with the territory for the incumbent of this particular job - the Presidency.  And when they're not around, it seems that smoking and drinking helped ease his nerves (not forgetting the copious aspirin).  The dysfunctional maternal relationship bearing all the hallmarks of enmeshment did not escape my attention, either.  

He is less than discrete.  Though the woman through whose eyes we get to meet Franklin does not, for some time, realise that her position is not unique.  His actions have devastating and far reaching consequences.  Yet he persists.  It seems that the President can indeed have his cake, and eat it (not to mention several hot dogs).  

But then, we all choose to see only that we wish to.  


"We think they see all our flaws, 
but that's not what they are looking to find when they look to us." 
Franklin D. Roosevelt to His Majesty King George VI, when the King of England has revealed his vulnerability and insecurity around his accession to the throne, and his stutter.  
  

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