says who, madam?


On Saturday of this past weekend, we went to see a taping of Maggie’s favorite radio show, “Says You.” The NPR quiz show features extremely witty people playing word games, guessing word definitions, and other bits of verbal jousting. After a listening to a show, Maggie frequently says that this is what the Algonquin Round Table must have been like. We saw two one-hour shows taped at a fairly packed Town Hall. It’s fun watching entertaining people with quick minds. And in person we get to see the wacky shenanigans that are edited out of the broadcast version.
Then on Sunday, Scot spent a few of his many SIFF vouchers and we went to the movie, “Madam de…” (1953), aka “The Earrings of Madam de…”, by the famous French director, Max Ophuls. It was a fin de siècle* story about a woman who sells a pair of diamond earrings that her husband gave her. This sale, as well as her affair with a diplomat, result in a series of events that seem like romantic comedy at first but turn tragic before the end. The earrings end up changing hands numerous times and finally come to rest in a Catholic shrine.

*In the course of researching this movie, I learned the phrase “fin de siècle” (end of the century, or turn of the century). My knowledge of French has now moved beyond “oui.” Listening to the soundtrack I also recognized the phrase, “Qu’est-ce que c’est?” (What is it?). Thanks to the Talking Heads song, “Psycho Killer,” of course. This is the sad state of my cultural background. I didn’t read Voltaire, but I saw “Stop Making Sense.”