Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chariots of Fire...and Desire.(Lame Alliteration, I Know)

It's difficult not to love this movie. Even after you realize there is barely a plot and some of the most boring sequences in film history, you're just waiting for those cute white boys to put on those little shorts to run in slow motion. It's definitely the biggest precursor to Baywatch. It is a film that also answers that age old question; who is faster? Christians or Jews? And now I have the added pleasure of living where they filmed most of that film; lovely St. Andrews.
I don't know about you, but neither of the protagonists that compete against each other were particularly attractive to me. One was a little too ginger for me, and the other's had a Stretch Armstrong look to him. And then the heavens opened and Lord Andrew Lindsay (Nigel Havers) comes on the screen. He's funny, witty, rich, and fast as hell. And as he runs, those long blonde locks feather behind him almost poetically. Those eyes, those gams, those buns of steel. He's a one-man cinema-orgasm. 
Nigel Havers as Lord Lindsay is on the right. 

Ok back on track. I know this was supposedly a very serious film, it won Academy Awards, it was based on a true story, blah blah blah...we all know exactly what we paid our attention too. All of that man sweat in little white undie shorts. Add some Vangelis to that formula and you've got yourself a hit. It was the very beginning of those 80's sports films that were meant to be so inspiring and make you want to be a better athlete, thereby becoming a more complete person, but really all it inspired me to do is rub one out.
We ladies like our sweaty men within a historical context, but we do want to objectify them every few minutes or so, and that was the beauty of Chariots of Fire. There is a scene of some people in the middle of a serious discussion, a scene where they all wear tails and hats and sip champagne making British jokes that no one really gets, and then they go running. Cut to, more serious stuff, a church scene, a talk about how important the race is, and then they go running again. They have to practice, practice, practice, and the less clothes they do it in the better. Lets face it, they weren't going win a race in sweatpants.
This is one of those films, that you put yourself in. You gave yourself a back story, a swanky 1920's outfit, and made yourself some kind of social rebel who doesn't play by anyone else's rules. This is refreshing to Lord Lindsay and he is quickly intrigued because he's not used to women like that. And one day it's raining, and you don't have your umbrella, and you slip and fall and you see a hand extended towards your face, offering to help you up, and all of a sudden the fact that you're soaking wet and freezing doesn't seem relevant anymore. Lindsay takes you to his you know...castle (I guess, he's a lord, I can't imagine he lives in the dorms) and gives you a change of clothes that his sister left there last time she was visiting and makes you a cup of tea. And then the two of you do it in front of the fireplace. But the next morning you wake up and he's gone, because he's back on the beach...running. No? Was it just me? That was elaborate.
There's something about films like that, with a large cast of young British men that are just a little too proper, sophisticated, in their sweater vests and cravats that you just really yearn to yank into a closet and completely corrupt.
I honestly can't even remember who wins in the end. Does it really matter? Nope.

Here's some hilarious insight on the film at the 3:26 minute mark. Please take a minute to watch it.

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