Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Needlepoint on Film And Other Places

"No need to hurry
No need to sparkle
No need to be anybody but oneself."

                       Virginia Woolf

I always enjoyed the final scene in the movie The Heiress starring Olivia De Havilland and Montgomery Cliff ( no less).  The heroine has finally wised up to what a scoundrel the fellow who was courting her is; he is banging on the door, calling her name and begging her to take him back.  She is sitting at her needle work stand, and continues to calmly remain stitching while he is frantically calling to her begging her to open the door.  She is jilting him as he had done to her two years earlier.  Revenge is a dish best served cold someone said and our heroine is relishing this meal.  Perhaps the satisfaction of this scene will carry her through what we are led to believe will be a spinster's supposedly lonely life.

 "Spinsterhood is far preferable to a life with an inferior man," Olivia has said herself.

 Hubby said all she needs are a couple of dogs along with that stitching and she'll be fine, right, as he looked pointedly at me.  Absolutely says me, plus lots of snacks.

A little trivia about the back story is that Montgomery Cliff displayed a sneering attitude towards Olivia; apparently he didn't think she could act. I'm thinking maybe she wasn't necessarily acting in that final scene.
 Olivia, of course, won the Oscar for her role while apparently Montgomery Cliff walked out of the premiere because he was so disappointed in his performance.  So there.

There is a needlepoint tapestry shown behind the opening credits of the movie featuring the title and cast.  I like how this highlights the importance needlework played in our heroine's life.



My that is quite a large needlework stand.  I wonder did Olivia actually stitch.  I couldn't find any information about it.
 Someone I know that did and perhaps still does is Mary Tyler Moore.  She worked on her needlepoint often on set and described herself as addicted.  I'm thinking it would be a great thing to do while waiting to take your turn in front of the cameras.

I had read that Diana Vreeland, the famous designer, appointed her living room with many bargello stitched pillows and sure enough, you can spy them in this photo.

Diana Vreeland at home with her sofa full of bargello cushions

I'm thinking she was fond of red!

 It's reported that Taylor Swift does needlepoint but the example of her work I saw was cross stitched, I think.

Our heiress would have been lucky to be well off and able to afford her hobby because needlepoint is not cheap.  Some of the canvases can cost hundreds of dollars like the one she is working in the photo.

I worked a lot of needlepoint when I was younger.  I usually had two projects a year, one for winter and one for summer.  All lost now but the memory of the enjoyment stitching them is always with me.