We’re coming to the edge, Running on the water

Last week I watched Working Girl again, and was pleased to discover that it had an original theme song, created by Carly Simon. The track plays over the ending credits, but if you pay well attention, you can notice it as a motif throughout the movie.  I’m not a big Carly Simon fan by any means, but the song, and the fact that it is hers, fits so perfectly with the late 80s style of the entire work. It really is a masterful slice of life for career women of that time.

And the guitar player looks like Judge Harry Stone from Night Court!

Somehow this won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 1989. Even more incredible: “”Let the River Run” is the first of only two songs to have won all three major awards (Oscar, Golden Globe, Grammy) while being composed and written, as well as performed, entirely by a single artist – the other being “Streets of Philadelphia” by Bruce Springsteen from Philadelphia” (Wikipedia).

It is a perfectly corny song, that left me wishing that more films had such companion music. When did Hollywood stop taking soundtracks seriously?! Then it got me to thinking about other supporting character roles the Staten Island Ferry has played in music videos. What came to mind first? Madonna of course!

Madge dedicated this song to Pope John Paul II, who called for Italians to boycott her Who’s That Girl World Tour in 1987.

Classic. I remember watching this video as a kid and more than anything just fearing for Madonna on those stone steps that are missing a railing.

Surprisingly to me, the only other work I could find that was filmed on the Staten Island Ferry was this much newer work called “All Day” by Girl Talk.

It doesn’t do much for me, perhaps because I know they basically just morphed the song “Tenderness” by General Public. Also, if a girl like the one in the video was near me, dancing on a boat, she better be able to swim. To cleanse your palate:

Too bad there isn’t a companion music video for Trainwreck, set on the ferry.

Frankie and Johnny

At first, I was just going to post a short ode to Jane Morris and her perfect portrayal of Nedda.

Jane Morris is the best thing about this movie. Above is a snap from right after she places an order for liver and onions to Pacino.

I wish I could find a picture of her dancing at Peter’s party.

Nedda goes bowling.

But then, this movie hit me pretty hard, unexpectedly. At first, it was just how easy it was to empathize with Frankie. Someone trudging through work who’s been burned and is more or less in hiding. But then I found myself sort of empathizing with Johnny. He’s a romantic fool, which can be annoying, but as I came to realize, he tries so hard because he’s fighting for depth in life. And that is admirable.

Frankie: Why do you want to kill yourself sometimes?

Johnny: I want to kill myself sometimes when I think that I’m the only person in the world and that part of me that feels that way is trapped inside this body, that only bumps into other bodies, without ever connecting to the only other person in the world trapped inside of them. We have to connect. We just have to.

The most endearing screen moment he has in this movie is when he’s talking about how he couldn’t bear to get out of the car and reunite with his kids, and how it felt like he’d lost them. And the expression on his mug when he says to Frankie “Everything I want, is in this room”. I was done. Marry the schmuck already.

How ideal to have someone like Nathan Lane for a friend who lives across the hall.

I also like a movie that has the nerve to play Debussy over a shot of middle-aged people spooning on a pull-out sofa in a studio apartment. Highbrow colliding with lowbrow. Still, it’d be nice to ever see a story in which a woman is persistent verging on obnoxious and creepy, leading to a happy ending. There are endless stories of men being overbearing and “winning over” women, but how many times does the woman get to be excessive and successful? Excessive for women is tantamount to crazy.

I would love to see this with Kathy Bates as Frankie. Supposedly the role was written for her by playwright Terrence McNally. Not only that, but for this particular film, Jeff Bridges was up for the role of Johnny. I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE SEEN THAT. EARLY 90s Jeff Bridges! HELLO.

Adopt me, Alice Carey!


Alice Carey is amazing. A few months ago I was sitting on a bench on the Highline,  scribbling in my journal, and along she came. I recognized her from Ari Seth Cohen’s endlessly inspirational blog – Advanced Style. We didn’t exchange any words, but Alice certainly looked me over carefully; me in my big railroad striped overalls that I’d scored in a Monoprix in Northern France over the summer. I believe she liked my outfit. I want her to adopt me and take me shopping for vintage tweed.