Thursday, June 13, 2013

Haunted by Harold

OK, then. I've told you all about Lloyd synchronicity, and in case you don't remember what it is, it's examples of the name Lloyd coming up over and over and over again through the course of a single day.

It happens and happens, and has been happening for months and maybe even years. I've had as many as five a day, and once I had four in a single movie (a little British comedy called The Wrong Box), but the ones that really make my scalp prickle aren't just things like seeing the name Lloyd on the side of a train or on a street sign or a realtor's sign or TV credits or a dog's ID tag. . . they're examples of actually SEEING Harold Lloyd, usually when I least expect it.

It happens fairly frequently on Turner Classic Movies, and this isn't so very unusual because they have championed the re-release of many of his magnificent silent comedies. But tonight. Oh God. I was minding my own business watching William Shatner's Weird or What? (one of my favorite educational programs) when an ad break came on, and. . .

And there was this woman dangling from the hands of a huge clock.

Safety Last! clock. An ICONIC clock. WTF? Have I fallen into the freaking Fourth Dimension or something?

Not only was the ad in black and white, it had little lines running down it to make it look like an old movie. She wasn't dressed like Harold Lloyd, but still, the derivation was obvious.

A Harold Lloydian, Safety-Lastian, clock-dangling, cliff-hanging, danger-defying, "high and dizzy" thrill-picture scene in a goddamn Cover Girl cosmetics ad!

Listen, ever since I started researching my novel The Glass Character, and all through the writing of it, and even now, long post-Lloyd, this has been happening. It seems to come in waves, and now I'm in some sort of a bizarre tidal wave.

When I fell in with Harold Lloyd and his legend, I fell into enchantment. A state not so easy to enter, or, for that matter, to escape. I wish somebody would tell me what it all means.


  1. I'm not sure what all this stuff is about, but I hope it bodes well for the novel. The movie Hugo had a clock theme and a scene where he hung from clock hands. Even the futuristic silent film Metropolis had a guy wrestling with the hands of a clock (I have to find a clip!). Is Harold an idea whose time has come (again)?

  2. Film historians have noted that Lloyd's Glass Character is both more modern and more "normal" than the outlandish characters created by Chaplin, Ben Turpin, Fatty Arbuckle, etc. His only "gimmick" was the glasses, meant to give him a mild-mannered, slightly geeky look. He said himself he did this deliberately so that the character could have "believable romances". Charlie Chaplin used to lift up women's skirts with the head of his cane.