At the San Francisco Chronicle‘s blog/column The Collective Mind, Bob Bragman talks about the unearthing of Vivian Vance’s unpublished memoirs, which the I Love Lucy actress wanted to be out before her death in 1979. According to the piece, excerpts have showed up in the supermarket tabloid rag National Enquirer, but the rest remains unseen. It’s unclear whether or not the autobiography has been authenticated.
Either way, Bragman provides a lengthy excerpt from the manuscript. Below are the first two paragraphs, in which Vance talks about lesbian rumors (!) involving herself an Lucille Ball.
“Lucille Ball and I were just like sisters. We adored each other’s company. She and I had so many laughs on I Love Lucy that we could hardly get through filming without cracking up. Then I began hearing that Lucille and I were too close. My first husband disapproved of my closeness with Lucille. ‘People are talking about you two,’ he’d say. ‘You ought to be careful about the hugging and kissing you do on the show.’
“The word in Pacific Palisades, where I lived, was that something was wrong with me, something my analyst wouldn’t tell me about. That sent me leaping into my car and driving 30 miles to talk to my analyst, Dr. Steele. ‘Is there anything the matter with me that you’ve never told me?’ I wanted to know. Dr. Steele reassured me there wasn’t.”
Ironically, Vance’s last husband, John Dobbs, was a gay guy.
Best known for her TV work, Vance also had supporting roles in a handful of films: The Secret Fury (1950), The Blue Veil (1951), and The Great Race (1965), in which she plays a character called Hester Goodbody.
‘Eyes Wide Open’: Gay Love Story in Israeli Orthodox Community
Feb. 8 update: Distributed by New American Vision, Eyes Wide Open will stay one more week at New York City’s Cinema Village. Directed by Haim Tabakman and written by Merav Doster, the forbidden gay love story set among Israel’s ultra-orthodox Jewish community – where homosexuality isn’t exactly welcome – stars Zohar Shtrauss and Ran Danker. The information below is from the film’s press release.
Aaron, a respectable butcher in Jerusalem’s ultra-orthodox Jewish community, is married to Rivka and is a dedicated father of four children. One day, he hires Ezri, a handsome twenty-two year old student, as an apprentice and soon develops feelings for him. As the relationship grows, Aaron starts to neglect his family and community life, swept away by his love–and lust–for Ezri. But a foreboding guilt, inner torment and intense condemnation from the community catch up with him, leading him to make a radical decision.
Variety says, “Recalling Amos Gitai’s Kadosh and David Volach’s My Father My Lord (which Tabakman edited), the soberly fascinating pic shows the attractions and disadvantages of life in a closed religious community. The taboo-breaking Eyes Wide Open is an intense, restrained drama.”
Director Haim Tabakman: ‘Religious people do not consider homosexuality a sin; it just does not exist. I really want to help break the silence, to be part of the evolution of the orthodox world. There is a way to convince people, through movies, without using force, to say: “Look, this exists.” I think our heroes are diving into this romance whereas they know there is no real chance to live it. It’s just like accepting faith. I see Eyes Wide Open as a car rushing towards you, but you keep on walking in the same direction.’
Born in 1975, Haim Tabakman studied Cinema and Television at the University of Tel Aviv. Two of his early short films, Free Loaders and The Poet’s Home, were selected by the Cannes Film Festival (Cinefondation), as well as by the Karlovy Vary and Montpellier ?lm festivals. Tabakman has also edited several ?lms, including My Father, My Lord (by David Volach). Eyes Wide Open is his ?rst feature ?lm.
Founded in late 2004, New American Vision (NAV) has emerged as one of Hollywood’s leading niche entertainment firms dedicated to bring new independent and specialty films to new American audiences. Pursuing a vision of a 21st century America marked by many languages, ethnicities, political interests and sub-cultures, NAV encompasses the distribution, marketing and creation of niche-oriented content that reaches out to traditionally underserved markets in both the entertainment and educational arenas.
Photo: New American Vision
Directed by Haim Tabakman and written by Merav Doster, Eyes Wide Open is a gay love story set in Jerusalem’s “ultra-orthodox” Jewish community – in other words, in a society in which homosexuality is anything but acceptable.
Here’s the synopsis from the Eyes Wide Open press release: “Aaron, a respectable butcher in Jerusalem’s ultra-orthodox Jewish community is married to Rivka and is a dedicated father of four children. One day, he meets Ezri, a handsome twenty-two-year-old student, and soon falls in love with him. He then starts to neglect his family and community life, swept away by his love and lust for Ezri. But guilt, torment and pressure from the community will catch up with him, leading him to make a radical decision.”
Winner of the John Schlesinger Award for Outstanding First Feature at the 2010 Palm Springs Film Festival, Eyes Wide Open is now playing in New York City at the Cinema Village. No Los Angeles playdates have been set, yet, though hopefully the film will reach these shores soon.
Eyes Wide Open stars Jerusalem Film Festival best actor winner Zohar Shtrauss, best supporting actor Israeli Academy Award nominee Ran Danker, Tzahi Grad, Isaac Sharry, and – I kid you not – Tinkerbell (who played Satan in Assi Dayan’s The Gospel According to God).