Aug 202010

DG and the blue dog heading into the woods together

Strange the things that educate our emotional responses to life. I just finished a draft of the story called “Uncle Boris up in a Tree.” One of the characters, Bjorn, the straight arrow, buys a bright yellow Land Rover. The yellow Land Rover is, for me, a dream image, a symbol. But the “Land Rover” part doesn’t seem right. I think and think. I realize I meant it to be a yellow Rolls Royce. Rolls Royce seems right. And later I remember that when I was a kid I loved that movie The Yellow Rolls Royce, that for years I played the soundtrack over and over. The Yellow Rolls Royce is an unusual movie. It’s a triptych,  three different love stories connected only by the object, the image, the yellow Rolls Royce. I think the dramatist Terence Rattigan wrote the script. Very romantic, sentimental, sad. So then I realize that this movie, and the emotional education I derived from it, stands unconsciously behind the story. The yellow Land Rover is the clue. And I think there is a certain attitude to life and love that I try to get at in the story that comes from the feelings I got from that movie and the music, when I was a kid (and maybe I haven’t grown up so much).

Here are two of the songs from the soundtrack. “Forget Domani” and “Now and Then” (this one still shakes me). I think Riz Ortolani wrote the music. Katyna Ranieri sings.


  10 Responses to “A Sentimental Education”

  1. Yes, we are of a certain age. Now and Then gets me too.

    • Did you ever see the movie? It recently came out on DVD. Her voice is the thing though, raspy, rolling Rs, husky, a voice that’s been around and seen a lot.

      • I saw it when it first came out, and have forgotten everything about it, until I heard these songs, and then I remembered … these songs. Ranieri is a smoother Nina Simone.

        • What a strange coincidence. I’m currently in a Nina Simone phase/obsession so I had to look up Katyna Ranieri (although I have to say, I can hear no resemblance from the YouTube videos here). The only album I can find is a collecion of Fellini scores, with music by Nino Rota – I’m currently also in a Rota movie score phase! Needless to say, I am ordering this album. I guess it is the age – I’ve never heard of this movie.

  2. I did not realize, until i was writing my talk for the historical society of the Town of Colonie that I had set a pivotal love scene in My Name is Mary Sutter at the very site of my first kiss. I did not realize this when I was writing it; I did not realize this after publication; I only realized it when I was forced to talk about the significance of place in my book.

    Our minds are sneaky, withholding creatures sometimes, but what delightful surprises they hold. I told the audience at the Pruyn house what I had unknowingly done, and we all laughed for a good long while.

  3. I’m happy to have time this morning to sit with coffee and catch up on your posts, and this is one of my favorites. I love how you figure all this out slowly, how you got as close as yellow and some sort of car on the first go. It is so cool how our youth sneaks back in.

  4. love both these songs. need to find this film! thanks.

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