Tuesday, October 30, 2012

it was a dark and stormy night

Terrified of their feelings for each other.
Last night one of the MacDowell staffers offered to drive everyone back to their studios around eight, but being here has infected me with a mild case of FOMO*, and I didn’t want to miss the screening of The Haunting that was about to begin, so I decided to sleep in Colony Hall rather than sit in my dark studio for hours.

Is watching a horror movie about a haunted mansion in the heart of leafy New England the best idea when I plan to spend the night by myself in a huge, creaky old building in leafy New Hampshire during a hurricane? What about when the hurricane keeps blowing the doors open while the doors in the movie rattle and undulate as if they’re alive?

Actually, it wasn’t the worst idea.

The movie—the original, from 1963-ish—is simultaneously campy and creepy and gay and Freudian. Claire Bloom plays a hot telepathic lesbian who wears mod clothes and hits on Julie Harris’s stressed-out Nell. Joined by the paternal doctor and the douchey heir also camped out at Hill House, they fluidly fill the roles left by the original family (patriarch, mother, stepmother, daughter, caretaker). There’s lots of relational stuff to ponder there. Also, there’s Julie Harris’s big eyes and crazy internal monologue.

I’d pictured a pseudo-slumber party in Colony Hall, but people cleared out and I spent a long time hemming and hawing about whether to borrow the air mattress of a musician here and set it up in her dorm or stick it out in Colony Hall, where there was more space and a generator. Everyone was very indulgent of my indecision, and AK talked me down from the beginnings of a creeped-out, anxious night.

Today it’s still rainy, my writing is still sorta aimless (although I had a good couple hours revising a short story) and I’m ready for another movie and some hot chocolate.


*Fear Of Missing Out

1 comment:

Claire said...

I'm glad you fared well during Sandy. I confess the howling winds kept me up.

Brava to you for braving a horror movie during that.