Saturday, November 27, 2010

Retrospective: How Technology Tore The Roof Off My Cozy 1960's Fort

I just realized this will be my 60th post since starting this blog! Which only means I should be posting more often. But because the 1960's hold such a major significance to me, I'll celebrate this little milestone by bringing that very fascination and immersion of mine into the spotlight. And what better way than by merging together a small history of this passion with how the internet affected or diverted it?

The rise of the internet is responsible for many great
changes. It's difficult to imagine living without limitless possibilities today –– online, that is, and especially in terms of information. If you had been passionate about something pre-internet, when information was far less accessible, however, you might have had to come to terms with the fact that the cozy existence you'd spent a fair amount of time building on your own –– with considerable effort,  or sacrifice –– is now shared by any and all in a mere instant. This can of course be said for many things, even skills and trades that have become computerized to the extent that anyone might do with the click of a button what others had to be trained to do, prior. Namely in music, filmmaking, photography, etc.

I have always led a sort of double life: one right here in our current time and another fantasizing and being lost in all that is the 1960's. My childhood & youth took place in the 80's/90's but my heart and devotion belonged to the 60's as soon as I had my first inkling that a bygone time was so magnificent. My dedication to knowing everything about the era led to a borderline unhealthy pursuit. In another sense, it was as if I was working towards earning a PhD in a course of study I had created for myself. For what purpose? I wondered then, and I still don't know.

I could have been an 'expert' on the subject if it weren't for the abundance of information at everyone's fingertips now via the internet. I hoped the time I spent in that endeavor would someday reveal itself to be worthwhile, back when the 'work' really started... I fancied I could be a 60's-era style expert for any number of magazines. Or that I could be a filmmaker with 60's flair (I've already written a screenplay based on a late 60's spy thriller which came adequately close to being picked up by the largest creative agency in the business many years ago... I knew the aesthetics and was able to apply them to every page effortlessly.)

But alas, any such aspirations were foiled by the internet. Today it's so easy to pull inspiration online and make connections with the past. And anyone who might have dedicated themselves to developing specific knowledge in any given area can be rendered obsolete –– in a sort of 'man replaced by machine' sense –– at least in a culture that works on smaller and smaller time constraints. Knowledge is all about speed. It's another form of consumption and dispensing (not necessarily pertaining to any depth of knowledge.) My own immersion in all that was the 1960's, an appreciation that directed a good portion of my formidable years, can be applied to many other people and any experiences that have been devalued since the development of the internet. Not that this is all a bad thing. It is simply a fact to be observed.

Looking back, I had a feeling as a child that I was reincarnated but had lived in the 60's. This might account for something, but how would anyone really know? I had many odd moments growing up that would point to that as a real possibility –– especially since I didn't even knew what reincarnation meant. Maybe it's not so much that I was drawn to the 60's as much as the era was drawn to me. My first significant relationship was sparked by a mutual and religious love of The Beatles. We met while on a double date (both were with someone else at the time) but when the subject turned to The Beatles, we were goners. I'll never forget the looks on our dates' faces as they inched closer to each other and stared at us in disbelief. One of them actually said, "They found each other." I had found a partner who wouldn't mind joining in a 60's quest.

Biographies helped. By the time I was 19, I had read the biographies of every famous woman who fascinated me who was vital to the era in some way (particularly because of their beauty, style or talent.) Mia Farrow, Catherine Deneuve, Brigitte Bardot, Joan Baez, Jane Fonda, Jean Shrimpton and Ali MacGraw are a few that come to mind. Of course, to Audrey Hepburn I dedicated a whole other part of my existence altogether. I've read bios of the lives of many swinging chicks and fascinating men –– Twiggy Lawson (a.k.a. Leslie Hornby), Grace Kelly, Natalie Wood, Linda Eastman McCartney, Patti Boyd Harrison, Peggy Lipton, Peter Sellers, Roger Vadim, Warren Beatty, James Taylor, Carly Simon, Joni Mitchell (oh, I do love the 70's, too!!) And plenty more. I loved spending time in those other lives for the length of a book. It was a great way to travel in time and visit whatever era they roamed.

And I'd spend hours and hours in libraries scouring old fashion magazines. What a thrill to find the right section and start pulling down those plastic covered issues from long ago. I'd marvel at the funny, male-chauvinistic ads and just melt with love while staring at the images of those women, their hair, their clothes, those designs... It was a private, treasured escape into that other world. Wherever I happened to be, I needed to know where the nearest library was. In fact, it may be interesting to map all the libraries that I'd hit in the various cities I lived and visited. This was the most fun I could possibly have, for years, apart from watching classic movies or listening to music that could allow me to reminisce about what had never even been. At least not for me, in my current lifetime.

I was what one would call a lone wolf. The time I dedicated to individuals found through films and books could have been spent instead on cultivating actual friendships. I realize that. Fortunately, I had a like-minded boyfriend for a good part of my early 20's and didn't have to be completely alone in my odd and potentially lonely fantasy.

Back when I was in college, things were just starting to develop in the online world but the internet was still only used as a means of communication. Email was becoming less of a novelty, but all of those wonderful searches that are possible now hadn't infiltrated our lives yet. Facebook, Google and YouTube were still many years away. Despite being a member of a very social organization, a sorority, I would steal away plenty of time for myself and walk through campus alone –– whether I'd go and watch classic or foreign films in the film department, or look up as many old fashion magazines I could make time for at the library. If anyone wondered what I was up to back then, walking alone, here and there –– now you know.

I managed to maintain friendships (being too balanced a person to be anti-social entirely) but I had my own world to resort to if things weren't keeping my interest in this one. After all, I was becoming incredibly versed on all things 60's, whereas the 90's and 2000's I experienced peripherally. Yes, I was 'one of those' –– I didn't own a TV for nearly all of the 2000's and didn't want to. I was satisfied enough with the cultural world I'd created and had plenty of entertainment derived from our collective archives. This involvement with a bygone era was my only source of entertainment. After college, I predominantly lived in NY, despite a short stint in London and some time spent in LA. I found and bought books and old magazines from the 60's. I'd visit bookstores for photography books –– my favorite being David Bailey, but my best find altogether was a rare first edition copy of one of Linda McCartney's books. I'd even cut out photos I liked and make collages out of them. One collage I attached to cardboard and I would take it with me to any location I moved. These (sad to say, really) were my 'friends' and gave me a sense of comfort. This collage of "friends" traveled with me to several cities.
This was true for films, as well. I would rent rare films (on videocassette and later DVD), purchase ones I wanted for my own collection –– and sometimes I'd keep one (after politely paying for it) if I couldn't bring myself to return it to the video store (yes, video!) I also discovered TV shows like 'The Avengers' (with which I developed mad respect for Emma Peel and her kung fu fighting), The Mod Squad, Bewitched, Gidget, etc. I often wondered if all of this would lead to anything or if I was wasting my precious youth. I cannot describe adequately how little I socialized and how very comfortable I was with that fact. At some point I came across the film 'Privilege' and the look I wanted to have for my wedding was thus realized –– several years before I would be married. And when Francoise Hardy made her way into my life, I worked for years to achieve her hairstyle, which I wear today. It took a lot of effort to grow it the right way despite the many bad haircuts I endured at first. It takes a great deal of focus to have one image in mind despite all others that may come to view. And despite incompetent stylists. But again, that was part of my dedication to the 60's I had idealized.
Near the start of the Francoise quest.

My hair now.

All of this holds a very different meaning in today's post-internet culture. A person can be anti-social and still maintain a decent level of social existence by way of social networks. Someone who is as passionate about something –– the way I was about the 1960's for such a significant portion of my life –– will find that any person can access something (that had taken them genuine time and energy to gather and develop over the course of many years) with only a few easy clicks of a search engine. It's instant gratification. The general public can be exposed to what would've taken a great amount of digging, pre-Internet. In a sense, someone like me can feel connected to other like-minded individuals and feel like there is a community for those with similar passions. I refer to it as passion because obsession is much too manic a word for something incorporated so intricately into daily life. A passion that's harmless yet significant enough to be a part of each day is more like a hobby.

In any case, one must indeed have appreciation for how the internet has augmented accessibility to any subject in this universe (and beyond) to anyone and everyone. But to those of us who worked to build a world –– or a cozy, private and fulfilling escape –– that required a lot of commitment, time and effort, all while spending a less than healthy amount time in the company of actual human beings... Well, it can certainly feel a bit like having the roof of your fort lifted right off and your space exposed. Maybe I shouldn't have been hiding in that fort all day long, anyhow. Perhaps I should have just played with everyone in real time. But it was great fun for a cat like me. Of course, the internet allows for finding more 'material' today, with greater ease (wonderful, rare images for example) than when I had searched around in my hard copy days of yore. I appreciate that as much as anyone else. Yet the real gratification is gone to some extent. It is TOO instant. But who has time to go into a library and search old magazines for fun? I've grown up, and technology has changed how things work. I can move on while maintaining the 'happy place' I'd built over the years. (I really have moved on, despite my Francoise Hardy hair.)

Personally, I don't think this is a matter that should concern me –– or anyone, really. Everything has changed so dramatically in the past decade in terms of what people do, and how they do it. So much of what we did a decade ago is now obsolete. People have had to rethink almost everything about how they live their lives. In comparison, my adjustments have been minor. I've always led a fairly simple life and it translates easily to where we are now. I think of this experience as another aspect of that change as we continue to transition into a fully computerized existence.

In fact, at least we're getting somewhat closer to the space-age fantasies of the future that were imagined back in the 60's! 

I'm all for that. And I do still escape to that other great decade of change whenever I need a quick fix.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Katharine Ross and Sam Elliot in The Legacy (1978)

Retro Active Critique #21

I love watching good 60's/70's-era Katharine Ross -- she is an inspiration. And my husband loves Sam Elliot's mustache (of course, I have to agree with that one, too.) So I've anointed these real-life marrieds our 'favorite celebrity couple' today, and ventured to see their film pairing, via Netflix. Katharine Ross and Sam Elliot first appeared together in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" in which Sam Elliot had a bit part. Years later, they starred together in this 1970's 'horror' film, which led to their decades-long marriage. So I had to see the film for myself.

For a mystery/thriller in the vein of an Agatha Christie story that also veers into the occult, featuring a British eccentric who happens to be passing on his Satanic legacy throughout the film, as well as a massive English estate with a nurse who morphs into a white cat unbeknownst to anyone, and the odd inclusion of Roger Daltry (who meets his bitter end by way of choking on a chicken bone) -- not to mention the many (awesome) scowling looks of Sam Elliot, throughout... Even for all of that, "The Legacy" is actually not half bad. If you're in the mood, it's pretty okay.
Speaking of Mr. Elliot, he really does have that single look down: scowling suspiciously at everyone. Between the mustache and those bushy eyebrows lives a perma-scowl of mockery and skepticism. You practically expect him to break out of character and say, "Are you kidding me? Do I really have to respond to this hokey line, or even be in this asinine story? Dang it all to heck." And then walk right out. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's all he does in this and many other films. But like everyone on the planet, I love him and that profound mustache of his. He can appear in every movie as far as I'm concerned. There can never be too much Sam Elliot.
Ms. Ross, on the other hand, is a tad disappointing with her recycled acting in this. Everything she does in "The Legacy" seems borrowed from her "The Stepford Wives" role as Joanna Eberhart. But one can certainly excuse her for sitting back on cruise control here since there isn't much for her to do in terms of character development. She looks good (although not as good as in "The Stepford Wives") and that's all I had wanted from this Katharine Ross experience, anyway: for her to look pretty, sweet and bewildered. She's very good at those things and I am eternally a fan.
Another amusing aspect of the film (as pretty much everything in it is amusing) is the style of clothes they wear. If you've been out shopping at all recently -- whether at Bergdorf, H&M or anywhere in between -- you will see these clothes. The folks in "The Legacy" are very autumn-friendly and comfortable, wearing motorcycle and riding boots. So I've noticed we are currently in 1978, trend-wise. I suppose if you were to catch this post a few months from now –– this, too, will have passed. 

I'm just glad the wonderful real-life pairing of Ross and Elliot has endured, long after "The Legacy". 
And the photo and video, below, offer a brief look at those styles I mentioned.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Suspicion (1941)

Retro Active Critique #20

The story of 'Monkey Face' and ol' Johnny. Believe it or not, 'Suspicion' happens to be the most romantic Hitchcock film for me.

I have a suspicion this will be one of the last times I'll feature a Hitchcock film on this blog. I've only recently written an appeal for The Man Who Knew Too Much and before that I'd posted about my loving costume/character attempt at Rear Window last Halloween. I love Hitch, but it isn't my intention to retro-actively appreciate films, music, personalities, etc. that still manage to garner attention on their own in our extreme mass output culture. Rather, I've intended for my focus to be on appreciating and giving a little push to those we have waiting for some notice in our collective archives.

On that note, 'Suspicion'
 rounds out (or squares out, as the case happens to be) my favorite four films of Alfred Hitchcock: the ever-perfect (flawless) cinematic experience of 'North By Northwest'; 'Rear Window', perhaps the finest of his thrillers, if only for its all-encompassing simplicity; the often overlooked but deeply pleasing 'The Man Who Knew Too Much'; and the breezy, far-ahead-of-its-time charm of 'Suspicion'. 

The direction of this film is superb and cutting edge for 1941. The script and dialogue is as sharp as you'd expect if you've watch films of this era –– and a revelation if you haven't –– with its intoxicating wit, energy and charm. The supporting cast is also great. Nigel Bruce as the bumbling Beaky is particularly fun, with his 'old boy', 'old girl' & 'old chap' capped utterances. 

Joan Fontaine is lovely to put it simply. There is no other way to describe her as she plays the mousy but alluring Lina. I am not sure why, exactly, but hers stands as one of my favorite performances –– ever –– in this. She won a deserved Oscar for playing Lina. 

Cary Grant is as perfect as ever as the 'no good, but how can you not love him' Johnny. He is so funny, warm and charming it's understandable why an intelligent woman like Lina would fall for him, despite his (seemingly) obvious shortcomings.

Their playful moments together are touching and amusing.
You'll find yourself rooting for them at all costs. For 'Monkey Face' to have a life with Johnny there are indeed costs. But they seem to be worth it. 

And it's definitely worth checking out this seventy year old film! If you'd like to refresh your film queue with something 'new' don't be misled by this film's age. 'Suspicion' is still incredibly fresh and it's not to be missed.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Turning Point (1977)

Retro Active Critique #19

Ballet, as a theme in films, tends to veer towards a dark tone. This is likely because ballet is a deeply disciplined and often painful form of art and expression (both physically and emotionally.) It is also because ballet is something that requires great commitment and sacrifice to even resemble anything close to what it is meant to be. Ballet is a terrific example of a lifestyle decision that is both incredibly freeing and confining to the individual who chooses it. This dichotomy along with conflicts inside the ballet world are what provide infinitely dramatic and interesting premises. Ballerinas, metaphorically, resemble caged birds who are only able to fly intermittently, both in life and in art.

Great films about ballet come around every once in a while and in light of a potentially entertaining one being released soon (Aronofsky's "Black Swan") it is time to unleash the greatness that is "The Turning Point". For any ballet aficionado, this is the film to watch. But "The Turning Point" is also a film in which someone with very little interest in ballet can also become immersed. It is a real story about realistic people. And for anyone with a decidedly male point of view who must unwillingly partake in a viewing, Tom Skerrit can be your comfortable reference point. He plays a masculine rarity of an ex-ballet dancer, one who marries his ballet partner, played by Shirley MacLaine. As two of their children reach the age when they have developed a desire to pursue a career in ballet - one of which, their eldest daughter, shows incredible potential to succeed - emotions are stirred within the couple that had been lost since the time when they left the world of dance to create a family. Anne Bancroft plays the aging ballerina (and there always is one, in any ballet story) who also takes a second look at her life choices when she is confronted with the life she never pursued, one that includes a family.

The final fallout between the characters played by Bancroft and MacLaine is a memorable cat-fight... people often reference it when this movie is remembered. But what is most captivating and continues to resonate are the genuine and complex emotions these people have about life and the choices they've made.

The dance scenes are also impeccable and beautifully filmed - and feature Mikhail Baryshnikov in his first film role. "The Turning Point" is a good one to watch if you feel like being swept into a drama that isn't terribly demanding, but still leaves an impression.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

Retro Active Critique #18

Everyone has their favorite one, or even a long list of them. Alfred Hitchcock's films are infinitely satisfying and there is no lack of enthusiasm for his body of work from cinephiles and more mainstream folk, alike. My intention in plucking "The Man Who Knew Too Much" from Hitch's magnificent oeuvre is to shine a light on one that has been among my personal favorites (alongside "Suspicion", "North By Northwest" and "Rear Window"), yet somehow receives far less attention than, say, "Vertigo". Again, this is my personal take, but "Vertigo" is not quite as satisfying, clean or streamlined in terms of storytelling as its less-revered kin, "The Man Who Knew Too Much". But this post isn't about drawing a comparison. Rather, it's a reminder to those who may be interested that this is also one to watch.

Several components in "The Man Who Knew Too Much" have made it stand out for me. I've always been drawn into it very deeply –– it's mesmerizing. This film, as many are aware, is actually a remake of Hitchock's earlier version from 1934. That in itself is a rarity. Hitch realized he had a story that could be revisited and improved upon in many ways later on in his career. That commitment to storytelling is admirable. And this later version is indeed successful in so many ways. I imagine that in the year 1956, to have actually filmed it in an exotic location like Marrakesh, Morocco (and in vivid Technicolor, no less), this one must have looked absolutely ravishing to the viewers' eyes. The fact that the images are still stunning today, having held up for decades, is even more impressive. Every aspect of this film holds up –– (all but the wardrobe, which feels charmingly dated.) The plot, its movement, the characters, the dialogue, relationships and acting are all solid and fresh, still. This is how I wish movies would always feel, with its fine balance of movement and story.

Doris Day, herself, is a revelation here. She is a performer who had something people resonated with in her time, but her appeal doesn't necessarily translate now. Despite finding Ms. Day entertaining in her own (somewhat stiff and unique) way, I had never quite taken her seriously –– until I watched this film. The scene when her husband, a doctor played by Stewart, carefully tells her the terrible news about the disappearance of their son –– but only after cajoling her into taking a sedative, first, before he's willing to speak to her (a fabulous scene altogether) –– she is utterly believable and heartbreaking in her feverish, hysterical response. Hers remains a surprisingly raw performance.

Speaking of which, what could be more terrifying or suspenseful that realizing your child has been taken from you –– especially while you are so far from home? The simplicity of this emotionally driven quest for the protagonists is much more compelling than any complicated thriller. After all, Alfred Hitchcock was himself a parent and a man whose very intimate, lifelong relationship with deep anxiety made for a career in provoking feelings of suspense within his ever-captivated audience. So he knew enough to know that "The Man Who Knew Too Much" would be the ultimate story to tell. So much, in fact, that he had to tell it twice! And with that, perhaps I've made my case. Watch it for yourselves and thank me later.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Deep (1977)

Retro Active Critique #17

"The Deep" is yet another 1970's film that gets too little attention (if any) in retrospect, similar to "The Last of Sheila"

At the helm of this film, Peter Yates crafted some relatively advanced underwater filming for its time period. Much of the action takes place underwater and there are compelling moments throughout those extended scenes.

The greatest notoriety "The Deep" has maintained is its having images of Jacqueline Bisset in a wet t-shirt. Which is somewhat unfortunate, as the film does have its other merits. However, it should be noted that seeing Bisset and her co-star Nick Nolte appear together is worthwhile. They have natural chemistry and make a believable couple, as they discover a historic shipwreck while diving in Bermuda, only to be mixed up in a dangerous drug war.

The story is by Peter Benchley - the same Peter Benchley who wrote "Jaws". Apart from the action that takes place underwater, there is plenty above ground, as well. Extended fight scenes, for example... a choice one, in particular, between the two henchmen. The supporting cast consists of Robert Shaw (also of "Jaws" fame) and Louis Gossett, Jr. as the crooked and fierce Bermudan, Cloche.

I'm certain there have been a number of remakes (of sorts) for this over the years... but just watch "The Deep" for a classic action flick feel. And despite the slow pace in some scenes, it's worth viewing the entire thing to experience how the film rewards you by closing with an unexpected and completely unnecessary, cheesy, freeze-framed/disco-music-playing ending! 70's style.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Designing Woman (1957)

Retro Active Critique #16

The fun of watching 'Designing Woman' is threefold: there's the feel-good script, which won the Best Screenplay Oscar for its year; its stars, Lauren Bacall and Gregory Peck; and the charmingly dated feel of the whole production. 
'Designing Woman' has a great deal to love. While the film drags on just a little bit towards the end, the overall plot maintains great momentum and the film's execution by director Vincent Minnelli is top notch. Prior to 'Designing Woman', I wrote a post about another little known Gregory Peck film, 'Mirage'. I strongly suggest that anyone who hasn't enjoyed these two films, starring the great leading man, do so. And with 'Designing Woman', there's also the wonderful Lauren Bacall.
Peck plays a sportswriter getting into some hot water as he writes about some controversial mobsters; Bacall is the incredibly successful fashion designer with whom he falls in love. They are a couple of grownups with their own individual lives who decide to get married before they actually get to know one another.
It's an interesting story, but particularly so for the era during which it was told. In 1957, it was still quite rare for women to be career-oriented. Meanwhile, people generally got married when they were far younger than these protagonists. So their dilemmas, despite seeming dated, are particularly interesting considering the context of the film. If you'd like a bit of late 50's escapism and wit, I highly recommend 'Designing Woman.'

Turn to Stone - Electric Light Orchestra

Watch as the ELO gets ambushed by overzealous strings (a la 'more cowbell') and an overzealous, aerobicising Travolta. Notice the patient but troubled looks by Jeff Lynne & company... This is my take on 'Turn To Stone'.

Early MTV - Sound & Vision

Here's a blast from the past... an homage to early MTV videos I created several weeks ago. Hope you enjoy the 80's nostalgia as much as I do!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Classic.Sporty.Chic (Archives)

Here is a video I created featuring some of my favorite looks & moments in film & TV, ones that have resonated with or shaped me.

Film footage (mostly from the late 60's and early 70's) painstakingly gathered from my DVD archives... enjoy! :)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Evolution of Peter Garrett

Adulation for Aussie Peter Garrett could have been stirred years ago, as a feeling derived from both his music and demeanor as the front man for The Oils - or Midnight Oil, to those who are the band's less rabid fans. When I first heard and saw his presence in Midnight Oil, I immediately had my visual for what a person representing 'punk' as a positive could be - what, with that unique and disarming appearance and intensity in his performances, not to mention the sociopolitical verses to The Oils' music. So much that if I ever needed to imagine how one could be a political and passionate 'punk' force, but constructively so, Peter Garrett owned that vision in my mind.

It is rare is for a man to have such evident passion in his music to reach that level of success in a rock band (one of the best Aussie bands, in my opinion) but then to be evolved enough as to progress to take on leaderships roles in his native Australia, in direct defense of the issues and values that had always been his trademark. I won't give you his entire resume here, but you can see his impressive credentials on his Wikipedia page. Although I have no real idea about his policies or how they are received by Australians, he has been appointed several times over the course of many years and he has been actively involved in protecting the environment for decades. If he is not well received by his people, then his career evolution would also be ironic... if one were to juxtapose some of his famous Midnight Oil lyrics ("... still it aches like tetanus, it reeks of politics... signatures stained with tears...") alongside the positions to which he's been appointed.

The Oils' biggest international hit was 'Beds Are Burning'. I liked the song as a kid but found it fairly amusing: "How can we dance when the world keeps turning? How do we sleep while our beds are burning..." Years later, when I could actually absorb and decipher the lyrics, I was impressed by its deeply environmental meaning - although as it turns out, it was about the land belonging to Australia's aboriginal people. I particularly like when he sings, "The time has come, to say fair's far, to pay the rent, now, to pay our share." I can't think of many, if any, songs that capture a literal debt to aboriginal people - or to Mother Nature - in such a poignant way. And this was a song released in 1987; it wasn't exactly about being fashionable at that time. Here is an interview with Peter Garrett from 1980, at the brink of great success as front man for The Oils. 

My favorite Midnight Oil song is 'Forgotten Years'. I often have my iPod on shuffle when I'm running and when this song happens to come on I like listen to it on repeat. To think about Peter Garrett is like thinking about two men: Peter Garrett, iconic frontman of Midnight Oil; and Peter Garrett, an Australian hard at work for decades for his people and planet... Will he leave a legacy that the younger, idealistic version of himself as The Oils frontman would have been proud of? I expect that will be largely up to him to determine.