Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Puppini Sisters' twist on Wuthering Heights
Kate Bush cum Andrews Sisters

You know, Wuthering Heights (the book AND Kate's song) is really a marvel to me.

Cathy and Heathcliff are supposed to be this fabulous, meant-to-be-together couple whose unity was thwarted by life's cruel circumstances. In truth, Cathy is a right nutter, and Heathcliff dodged a bullet.

During the making of the 1939 film version, Merle Oberon absolutely despised Laurence Olivier, who played her Heathcliff. Ironically, this is cited as a superb example of hot on-screen chemistry, but I sorta don't see it. I wonder about people who are magnetically drawn, moth-to-flame-like, to unstable folk. My theory is that people who loved the book wanted to see romantic magic (that's sorta redundant, isn't it?) and so they did see it.

In the end, Cathy's still looney-toons, and the irresolution of the story simply doesn't jibe with the modern American happy-ending-imperative. Still, this remains a favorite film for many. Even being a film buff, this is one movie that makes me want to slap the characters around. Really. Honestly. Slap them until they pee theysefs.

Anyway, late 1970s-ish, along comes the comely, teenaged Kate Bush and her wide-eyed veracity in delivering Cathy's plea from beyond the grave in her compelling Wuthering Heights. For a minute you think, oh, this is rather sweet, clutching desperation and interpretive dance notwithstanding- they're in lurve. It's almost believable.

Then she breaks the spell with the gripping conclusion in which she demands he let her grab his soul away.

Told ya that bitch was crazy.


Unknown said...

Yes, it is kind of one of those awkward love stories where you wonder what they saw in each other in the first place. I also heard that Richard Gere and Debra Winger despised each other in Officer and a Gentleman, but their onscreen chemistry wasn't too bad.

JohnMXL said...

If you are interested in another take on the song, Pat Benatar covered "Wuthering Heights" on her 1980 album 'Crimes of Passion'.