21 June 2010
Smudging My Rouge
So she's a consumptive prostitute and he's an idealistic naive who constantly witters on about some vague concept of 'love'. But they get me every time.
I went and saw Moulin Rouge five times when it came out. The only time I have paid money to see the same film more than once at the cinema. I cried each time. I had to choreograph a piece for ballet a year or so later, and I chose the Roxanne Tango music to arabesque and pirouette to. My meticulous tiny tutor with the scraped back black bun and enormous kohl eyes did her best not to bat an eyelash at the fact that my inspiration happened to be damned ladies of the night... I bought the soundtrack and listened to it a million zillion times throughout teendom.
And this weekend I sang 'Come What May' at the top of my voice whilst painting a room in Hampstead, wielding a paint roller and wearing duck egg blue-blotched leggings. We tried to split the parts (are you a Nicole or a Ewan?) but ended up belting out both, swept away by the heady paint fumes and the melodrama.
We watched the film the next night, following my purchase of red satin Satine shoes. It has been years, but I know every word. Except I noticed the line about the 'tantric cancan' afresh, which I had perhaps previously skimmed over...
It is ridiculous, over the top, implausible (how does Christian not end up with TB too?), infuriating, completely fantastical. Etcetera, etcetera. But I love. And weep and bawl and get covered in snot. It's 'Come What May'. That's what does it. A secret song, just for the lovers. Spoken, whispered, sang like a lullaby, given full lung power as it crescendos over the theatre.
Typewriters, sin, red lipstick, Toulouse Lautrec and a secret song. Yes.