recovered stories

Karen wrote in a comment (to the Lost Books entry) about a novel she finally tracked down after many years. She mentions that the novel (The Constant Nymph) didn’t stand up to her memory, and that struck a chord with me. I haven’t had an experience like Karen’s with a book (yet), but I did have it happen once with a movie.

A long time ago I saw this film at the Clark Street Theater in Chicago (I was living in the Sandburg apartments at the time, young and single, Mr. Goodbar days Division Street). It stayed with me for years, about a girl who had three male friends, each of them in love with her. She was the kind of quirky free spirit that boys in movies always fall in love with. The story (and I’ll bet you’ve guessed it) is about how the friendships evolve as she makes her choices and changes her mind and in general plays with people’s minds. It’s set (in part) in Gary, Indiana and her name was Georgia. The boys sang ‘Georgia on my mind’ to her when they wanted her to come out on her porch.

Doesn’t sound promising, does it? But it stayed with me, and I always kept an eye out for it. Then one day I saw it for five bucks on a flea market table, VHS. Four Friends, Jodi Thelen as Georgia. So I rush home to watch it. Disappointment isn’t the right word. Embarassment, maybe. I can’t figure out why I liked this movie. It’s awkward, and strained and silly in parts, and Georgia (the character) is the kind of person I wouldn’t tolerate these days, not for a moment. It was one of the first movies to deal in a more direct (but still veiled) way with incest, which is probably why it caught my attention.

Have I learned a lesson? Probably not. I’m still looking for various books and movies I only partially remember, and when I find them I will be very pleased. Whether that lasts or not is the question. In the meantime I should go re-read Baine Kerr’s Wrongful Death (here’s my review of it) which is what brought Karen to the blog in the first place. I have been meaning to move all the reviews over to the recs pages; something else to do this year. At some point.