September 27, 2008

Newman and Woodward: A Life and a Love Less Ordinary

Things seen on the screen in the dark cave of the theater are not always things as they are, but things as we wish they could be or fear that they will be. But sometimes, things on the screen mirror life as it is lived -- only sometimes. And that is where we see the magic and the gift. That is why we pay to sit in the cave and watch the colored shadows on the wall.

This clip was first brought to my attention by neo-neocon who remarks on the remarkable 50 year marriage between these two stars, "you can see how much she adored him, too..."

I watch this montage and I think of the old 60s poem that ends, "With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams; it is still a beautiful world." And I also think that sometimes, if you are careful and keep your vows, love can endure. All in all, it would seem that Newman's life and love and marriage were, in the end, his greatest achievement. His films were merely the means.

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Posted by Vanderleun at September 27, 2008 11:28 AM | TrackBack
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Thank you Mr. Newman.

A life well lived was their reward.

Posted by: Robohobo at September 27, 2008 10:39 PM

Two years ago, I assembled together a multimedia presentation for a close friend of mine, for her parents' fiftieth wedding anniversary. As I placed the pictures and their chronologies together and matched them to song, I kept thinking about the things that made this marriage last that long, and suddenly, it hit me: they kept it real. When they made their marriage promise before God, they knew what they were getting into, and kept their vows, knowing the treasure each one beheld the other. (In fact, my friend herself recently had a Church wedding, a few months after the annulment of her first marriage became final. She and her now husband had married six years before, and kept every bit of their promise to each other even before their priest asked them to.)

It is the same with Newman and Woodward: they knew the treasure they beheld in each other, and never let go. You don't see that in Showbiz anymore. When magazines talk breathlessly about Elizabeth Taylor's eight marriages and divorces, and Jennifer Lopez's three weddings, two divorces and an almost marriage (among others), we know then that their own selves are more important than the other half in the marriage. The dumping of the wife for the younger model or of the husband for the hunkier stud in Hollywood has become glorified, and ordinary people have swallowed their shallowness whole. But Newman and Woodward knew that environment was harmful for their marriage to begin with. They stayed as far away from that idol-worshipping wasteland as possible, and kept it real. That was the secret behind their own "till death do us part".

Again, you don't see that kind of marital loyalty in that business anymore. My heart goes to Joanne Woodward and their children in this heart-wrenching time.

Posted by: newton at September 28, 2008 8:38 PM

Thank you for telling that story.

Posted by: vanderleun at September 29, 2008 10:37 AM
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