“Desire is not always lessened by disgust. Nor can it be bestowed, like a favor, to those most deserving of it. And as my words bind my magic, so you can know the truth. If she doesn’t desire his kiss, she won’t be free.”
Clary Fray, Jace Herondale & Simon Lewis, City of Ashes
Wherein Summer Intern Alexandra Greenway discusses this week’s Silent Sunday Nights pick: SCARAMOUCHE (’23)
Hello again! It’s me – your resident silent film loving intern with a new blog about this week’s film, Rex Ingram’s SCARAMOUCHE (’23). A tale of love, lust, revenge, and swarthy politicking, SCARAMOUCHE is fun for the whole family! Wikipedia describes it as a “silent costume adventure” – who wouldn’t want a piece of that? Okay, but seriously, the plot is dynamic but seems a little seasoned to our fresh, millennial eyes. The movie was also remade in 1952 by MGM in Technicolor, with a glistening Janet Leigh as our heroine, Aline. It seems the original was a bit stale for mid-century audiences as well.
But, as per usual, I’m here to put all your hesitations about silent films to rest. The thing is, yes, silent films tend to be slower, a bit over-acted, and maybe – dare I say it – boring. Buuuuuuuuut when you sit down and pay them the respect they deserve, you stumble upon some real gems. SCARAMOUCHE is one such gem. My favorite thing about this movie is the gorgeous cinematography used to paint the class struggles in pre-revolution France. The close-ups and attention to detail serve so much characterization, and highlight the masses of French countrymen …
… versus the elite, and oppressive, and generally d-baggy nobility.
The film follows Andre-Louis Moreau, played by the iconic Ramon Novarro, one of Hollywood’s first ‘latin lovers’.
Andre is an orphan who associates with the nobility, but due to his fatherless status is relegated to plain society. Returning to his neighborhood after spending the past few years studying law in Paris, he lands in an argument between his best friend and newly minted preist, Philippe de Vilmorin and resident a-hole and nobleman The Marquis de la Tour d’Azyr. (Don’t worry – I can’t pronounce any of this stuff either). After slapping him in the face…
Philippe is challenged to a duel by The Marquis. Philippe is promptly killed, The Marquis claiming that his word was too emboldened and empowering to have lived – in other words, he’s dangerous. Welp, that sure irks Andre…
… setting off our entire film. I won’t spoil the whole thing for you – I’ll just let you know that if you like a bit of intrigue:
Or beautiful, beautiful cinematography:
Then THIS is the film for you! SCARAMOUCHE airs this Sunday at midnight on TCM, your channel for all things movie! And just a note – the version on YouTube cuts off right before the big finale (don’t worry – I did the due diligence), so if you wanna see it, TCM is your one-stop shop!
Don’t imagine this big strong badass downworlder clan leader vampire wearing a Star Wars shirt thats too big for him while snuggling into Simon who found him with loose hair and drooling haha I said don’t imagine Imma die now bye
lmao @ fans who are calling clace fans/fans that don’t ship Jace & Maia racist need to gtfo. you’re desensitising a word that should be used in only an appropriate setting, not because you’re offended or whatever by someone’s opinion about a fucking fictional show. the only time you should call a non-jace/maia shipper racist is if the reason they don’t ship it is because Maia’s a POC. other than that you’re just bitter and hypocritical because YOU’RE the one bringing race into it.
the same goes for fans that call clace/sizzy shippers homophobic. if you’re really so worried about these issues, you should look up the true definitions and educate yourself because it’s ignorant to water down words that should be used against actual disgusting people.
i don’t even know why people are getting so upset? in the show Maia specifically told Jace, “don’t think this means anything” and Alisha did an interview where she said it’s not going anywhere either. one minute you say to get over Clary and Simon having sex, and the next you’re jumping over people for not shipping a one night stand that wasn’t even confirmed of leading to sex. i swear this fandom looks at any excuse to complain or fight and desensitise the true importance of words
and sweetie if you want to use important words improperly, pick a new ship name because Jaia is Jordan and Maia :)
Loki’s question hung there in the air around them. And it took Darcy a few seconds to realize that the ‘Ms. Lewis’ he was referring to was her. Loki, Thor’s baby brother (not so much ‘baby’ as ‘not-quite-so-ancient-by-earth-standards’ as Thor) wanted to know if she had plans after work.
What were words again?
“No,” she said bluntly, finally answering him and cutting through the tension with her machete of awkward. It was lucky that he’d approached her when she was alone at her desk. This significantly cut down on the level of awkward.
If her labmates weren’t two of the nosiest scientists in the entire world.
Jane let out a whisper of a sigh and Bruce resumed typing.
Or maybe she was just imagining that everything had stopped the second Loki spoke to her.
Maybe if he did it more often – talked to her, that is – it wouldn’t be such an earth-stopping event. But he didn’t.
She could count on her hand the number of words he’d spoken to her that day, actually…other than the query about her plans. Pretty much a ‘hello’ when she’d arrived and a muttered ‘excuse me’ when she had to move around him to get at the thing Jane was rapidly and vaguely fluttering her hands at.
Loki was supposedly the silver-tongued prince of Asgard…why wasn’t he using that tongue on her?
Oh god… she berated herself, in complete disbelief that she’d even so much as thought about that.
Well, not SO much disbelief. In addition to being silver-tongued, he was purportedly handsome. And Darcy could concur. So much concurring was happening. Oh holy hell, did the concurring happen.
But in all honesty? Darcy was a touch relieved that the younger Odinson – was it Odinson? Thor still called him ‘brother’, but there was a little bit of cringing happening on Loki’s part whenever he did – anyway…She was relieved that Loki didn’t speak to her as often as his nickname would imply. Mostly because he scared her.
Not in the ‘former-evil-genius-who-tried-to-enslave-mankind’ way…Thor had pretty much explained what all that mess was about. Not to minimize the horrible things he’d done in the slightest, but Darcy was around a bunch of people who seemed to have these horrific pasts and one of the best things about her was her ability to look past actions and into the person.
But she’d done that a little with Loki and he scared her for a different reason. The unbridled-wildness kind of way…
Not that Darcy hadn’t tamed a wild stallion or two in her day…but Loki seemed to be a different breed. He was one of those things Thor talked about all the time. A bilgesnipe.
Or maybe something a little less ugly. Did they have wild stags on Asgard?
“Would you like to?” Loki asked. Another question.
Damn, he was all for quadrupling his total spoken word count in her direction today, wasn’t he?
“To have plans?” she asked, totally delaying the inevitable, where he asked what she was pretty sure he was going to ask and she melted into a puddle of awkward on the floor.
“Plans…dinner…vigorous love-making…the choice is yours, Ms. Lewis.”
She could swear Bruce started choking. And maybe it was a coincidence – dude didn’t seem to know the meaning of small sips when it came to piping hot tea – but it didn’t seem like it.
She drew up her courage from somewhere deep within her. Somewhere deep. Like it was deep as fuck, you guys. Deep, deep down courage.
She tilted her head, saucily placing her hand on her hip. “I think if vigorous lovemaking is on the table, you should definitely call me Darcy.” She winked and added at the end for an extra punch of umph. “Lokes.”
He smiled. Which…up until this point, she hadn’t really seen in its final form.
Did she say she was scared? Scared wasn’t the word anymore.
Hopelessly giddy. That’s what she was.
Because Loki’s smile? In what she hoped was its final form? Was nothing but downright sexy. Dude had bedroom eyes for days. And cheekbones that went all the way, man. Whatever that meant? It was true.
She felt her cheeks flush hot and pink as she stood there.
“Darcy it is…” he paused for a moment before continuing. “I’d like to see you tonight…”
She was biting down on her lower lip to stop herself from grinning. “See me where?”
His eyes widened infinitesimally. “I would be forever grateful if you’d allow me to cook you dinner? If you’d allow me to show you the stars…the galaxies…worlds so much different than the one where you live…worlds that would hold you in the highest regards. Darcy.”
She arched an eyebrow. “Maybe let’s start with dinner. At my place. I’ll help you cook. And… in response to the latter part of your statement…declaration…statlaration? I dunno if you’ve noticed? I’m held in some pretty high regards around here.” She cocked her head to the side with a smirk.
“Not high enough,” he countered.
Ah. There it was. The silver tongue. He wanted something.
And judging by the look in those eyes of his, that something was Darcy Catherine Lewis.
“Flattery will get you nowhere. A nicely cooked steak, though? That’ll win wars.”
Loki let out the breath he was holding and conceded. “Steak it is…” He squinted skeptically. “What sort of person doesn’t like flattery?” he asked.
“The sort who has heard enough of it to realize that it’s only rarely sincere. The sort of person who already knows all the bullshit you’re trying to tell me. I know what I am. I’m a hot, young, voluptuous woman. I certainly didn’t need you to fall from the sky and fill me in.”
He smiled again. Same smile as before. “I suppose that will save me a lot of time, then.”
Darcy couldn’t help but return the expression. He hadn’t gotten all butthurt and horrible. “I suppose it will.”
“Dinner at eight?”
“Not if you expect me to not eat anything beforehand.”