put on your red shoes and dance the blues

earlier this year,
i saw a refurbished "the red shoes" at the film forum,
and i was charmed beyond words.
the film took me right in,
and i wondered why i'd waited to see it.
i remember i had planned to wear my red shoes,
but it was wet out,
and alas dear reader,
the red shoes are suede.
this accident-waiting-to-happen was not an option,
so the red shoes remained home.

a close up of vicky's dangerous ballet slippers in "the red shoes."
photo courtesy of (pilfered from) verdoux,
whose post is informative and features some great photos.

"time rushes by, love rushes by, life rushes by, but the red shoes dance on."
- lermontov of "the red shoes"
diana vreeland was obsessed with red;
according to her,
the best shade can be found on a child's cap in renaissance painting.
the color has long been a symbol in literature and film and art,
used as a marker,
whether a letter of adultery or a riding hood or dancing slippers.
often times,
it's a harbinger of impending trouble,
but it also means that an adventure is implicit,
and that's the exciting part.
i think that's why people are attracted to it.

case and point,
danger and adventure.
i only discovered kate bush's song a year or two ago,
but now whenever i see a pair of red shoes,
i think:
"oh the the minute i put them on,
i knew i had done something wrong."
but i also think:
"put them on and your dream'll come true."

most likely,
the world's best known red...
or um,
should i say,
ruby hued shoes.

in the oz series by l. frank baum,
dorothy's slippers were actually silver.
according to film lore,
the silver notion was dismissed,
in favor of a more technicolor friendly color,
something vivid and striking,
which would translate well.
that something was red.

just imagine,
if the film had been done in black and white,
with shirley temple as dorothy,
incessantly tap-tap-tap-tapping in silver shoes,
"the wizard of oz" would've been completely different.
millions of children wouldn't've grown up with "over the rainbow."

life imitating art.
(shoes are the artist's own.)

i looked for a pair of perfect red shoes for years -
literally years -
it wasn't just that they're different or striking,
it's the idea of fantasy behind them.

in one story,
they danced the girl to death,
in another,
they took her home.
maybe mine will take me on an adventure,
and then to the opposite side of the hudson.

with my luck,
they'll throw me in front of a train...


  1. Nice! Come visit me too when you have time.


  2. I loved this post and just added the movie to my Netflix queue. Your ending made me laugh. Here's wishing you better luck soon.