July 2, 2007

Cate the Great

Netflix just added the "drop and drag" feature. Rock on. I've watched over 420 movies from Netflix in the last three years, which reminds me that I need to read more books. The last DVD I watched was "Babel."

Cate Blanchett is one of my favorite actresses. I loved her in "Elizabeth." I loved her in "Bandits." She is just fantastic and nervy and smart and flawed in everything. I love her even more after that big profile in last February's "New Yorker" (only part of which is available online) in which she revealed herself to be just as silly and chaotic as the rest of us grubby human beings. In that article, she spoke about the early loss of her father, and how the grief that children experience can be a sort of painful portal to creativity: "bereavement is a 'strange gift.' The shadow that informed her brightness. 'It's chiaroscuro,' she said."

The article went on: "In work and in life, Blanchett, whose favorite word is 'fluidity,' has a kind of inconclusiveness that lets her remain receptive." This observation struck me at a time when I was struggling with a vague disappointment at not being able to feel surer about things. It seemed to me that at a certain point in intellectual and personal development, I should be able to enjoy a certain security in a conclusiveness based on knowledge and experience. Thinking and reading more helped me realize that, especially as a creative person, I would need to be somewhat inconclusive to remain flexible enough to interpret new ideas, no matter how unsettling a feeling that might be.


Chancelucky said...

I'm pretty sure that you're right about that :}

Have you seen Anatomy of a Scandal...it's a very interesting performance by Cate Blanchett in a very tricky role. Judi Dench is also quite good in it?

Bella Rossa said...

Chance - I have not seen "Anatomy of a Scandal" yet, but I've heard it's very good, and I do love Judi Dench as well.

L'Zard said...

I'm inconclusive as to whether conclusiveness and flexibility are mutually exclusive. Rather, it seems reasonable to be quite secure and conclusive based on the information that one has available at the time, while still recognizing that new information could come along at any moment, demanding reconsideration and possibly new conclusions. In fact, one of the key personality traits of successful leaders in the business world (and in other realms) is decisiveness -- which is the action-oriented result of conclusiveness -- in the face of inconclusive data, while another key trait is responsiveness (flexibility) to changing circumstances.

That all being said, "the more we know, the more we know what we don't know." A creative, inquisitive, contemplative person such as yourself will recognize the myriad mathematical possibilities beyond the probabilities that have been identified as "conclusions," even when those probabilities merit a high degree of confidence.

Bella Rossa said...

L'Zard (oh, that internet nom de plume takes me back...back to a crawl of about 14.4...) - I can't decide exactly what you mean by this. Let me gather more data, re-analyze, and check back with you.


Coaster Punchman said...

Cate was robbed of the Oscar in "Elizabeth."

Bella Rossa said...

CP - I agree! I thought she was remarkable in "Elizabeth." She made Joseph Fiennes seem plausibly sexy.

Dale said...

I agree with you and CP on the robbery! And Chancelucky's right, 'Notes...' is very worthwhile.

I remember watching an interview Clive Owen did with her (it may be on his website) and she was so smart, engaging and down to earth.