Saturday, August 6, 2011

Furious Love: Stranger Than Fiction

So i've spent probably the best ten bucks of my life and bought Furious Love on iBooks. I'm reading it on a 5 inch screen by the pool everyday. I don't have time any other way. The pool is the only pleasure i allow myself once a day. Back on track. Let's see if you can guess who a book titled Furious Love could possibly be about? do I have to even give you three hints? Is there a couple in the 20th century, of the cinema, and of grand pop-culture status that could fit the description more perfectly than Dame Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton? Nope. Not ever. They were the absolute picture of furious love. Their passion for each other was as much sexual as it was violent. It was a volatile, explosive, and fascinating love story, and above all, it was indeed furious.
Of all the Hollywood odd-couples (Marilyn Monroe & Arthur Miller, Debbie Reynolds & Eddie Fischer, Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes etc) Taylor and Burton were indeed the most bizarre, and yet the most perfect for each other. But with two dominant personalities, and each with a considerable arsenal of raw talent and sexual magnetism, it was bound to implode on itself.
Shocking, that neither liked the other when they first met on the set of Cleopatra (1963); Burton being almost too hungover to even hold a sword, and Elizabeth complaining and crying illness every other day, each thought the other was an obnoxious prima donna. And, they weren't wrong. But then again, they were entitled.
I'm reading this exposé, and am absolutely amazed, astonished, and fascinated. You've never heard of such for lack of a better word...hutzpah. It's like one long continuous bloody bullfight without resolution but with such raw violence and prowess that you can't stop turning the page nor should you. It puts every couple that graces US Weekly these days to shame. Even Brad & Angelina seem like a snooze-fest standing next to these two.
Welsh heir apparent to Laurence Olivier with a booming voice, and overwhelming masculinity juxtaposed with perhaps the most perfect looking soft-skinned big-bozomed child-star turned sex-pot actress and their demise is a wonderful read. If you have time to read for pleasure, put this at the top of your list. And then watch Cleopatra, if you can get through all tedious 5 hours of it. Book end that with perhaps the best example of art-imitating-life Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966). Along with this book, you will be able to observe on screen the flourishing passion in the beginning of their relationship all the way to the catastrophic deterioration of it. Two people that lived on such a large scale were never going to go quietly, and they would play out everything supposedly private out in the public, and we as the public are all the richer and more fulfilled for it.

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