Nominated for two Golden Globe Awards, HBO’s ‘Hemingway & Gellhorn’ focuses on the intertwining lives of two of America’s most legendary icons – writer/adventurer Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn who was a pioneer in every sense of the word. It’s a long but epic film that focuses mostly on their involvement in the deadly Spanish American War, whirlwind marriage and inevitable break up.
You can say a great many things about Ernest Hemingway: he was a gifted writer, extremely hot-tempered, passionate and maybe even a little bit crazy – but one thing is for certain, he sure had great taste in real estate.
One of the standout stars of the film for me is the home Hemingway & Gellhorn purchased just outside of beautiful Havana, Cuba in 1939. The estate, called Finca Vigia (Lookout Farm), was purchased for $12,500 and sits on 12 acres of lush Cuban green land. Hemingway kept the home after their divorce and owned it for over 20 years; even staying put during the Castro overthrow of the Batista government. Hemingway also wrote some of his best stories at Finca Vigia, including classics like ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ and ‘The Old Man and the Sea’.
As one would expect from a man who was rabidly against being overly frivolous or fancy, the home itself is restrained, relaxed and clearly designed and furnished with a masculine minimalist’s touch. The home has multiple studies for writing, a guesthouse and is ideally located near a fishing village and his favorite bar (he had many).
Take a look below at some photos of Finca Vigia, which is now property of the Cuban government but thankfully open to the public as a historic museum that to this day still has many of Hemingway’s personal items in them- 50 plus years later.
A humble but beautiful and spacious home
The former home of Ernest Hemingway is now a museum but the furniture and contents within the house are all original and authentic.
The home is surprisingly light and bright. In the film Hemingway & Gellhorn you’d remember the drunken boxing fights Ernest would have with friends in this room.
A view from the bathroom into Hemingway’s bedroom.
One of the bedrooms at Finca Vigia.
One of the studies at the former Hemingway & Gellhorn residence. Many classic pieces of literature were written in this room.
Fun fact. Ernest Hemingway obsessively recorded his weight. What you see hear is the result of Hemingway writing his weight throughout the years on his bathroom wall.
What do you think of Finca Vigia? Would you escape to a home like this to relax and get work done?
|Is Les Misérables the Most Home-Centric Musical of All Time?
Posted: 09 Jan 2013 05:45 AM PST
Many forget that Les Misérables was originally a book written by Victor Hugo in 1862 and is widely considered one of the greatest novels of all time. However, the popularity of the long running Broadway show and the recent popularity of the Golden Globe nominated and probably Oscar nominated film has brought this French Revolution based story to its height of popularity.
While the tale is centered mainly around Jean Valjean’s (played by Hugh Jackman in the 2012 film) quest for redemption, I would argue that there is an underlying message on the importance of home especially in the recent cinematic adaptation directed by Tom Hooper.
For starters take a look at the blatant or implied references to home in just the song titles from Les Misérables. You have the classic Castle on a Cloud and everyone knows a home is your castle. Then there’s At the End of the Day which is sung by those slaving away in the prison and can only dream that there’s a place to rest their head after work is done. Then you’ve got Master of the House which is a self-absorbent tune about how one runs the place where they reside. Bring Him Home is about the safe return of a boy sent out to battle and is something every home with military members in it can relate to.
You may think the relation to home in some of the songs might be a stretch, but consider the multiple story lines. The entire book/play/movies is about the French Revolution where the people are fighting for the place they call home and what their idea of that place should be. Valjean is constantly seeking a place to call home and desires to provide that place for Cosette. In fact, Valjean’s last request to Javier is to allow him to return home before he turns himself in. You also have the home of Marius, Bishop Myriel and of course the residence of the corrupt Thénardiers which are all central places in the story.
Throughout Les Misérables you encounter different people with different views of home. Some are good and others not so good. But I believe the idea of home is very central to the tale Victor Hugo weaved nearly two centuries ago.
**A Local tidbit – parts of this movie were filmed right here in our own backyard, Livermore was chosen to be a backdrop. How cool!
A Great Look at Ernest Hemingway’s Cuban Home