Patti LuPone singing Not a Day Goes By.
Patti LuPone singing Not a Day Goes By.
“Don’t Look At Me” || Follies (Kennedy Center, 5-11-11)
More of Bernadette being flawless…
So my near and dear friend Jessica is exploring the improvisational concept of “Yes, and…” And is blogging about. I read all of her blogs and had lots of thoughts on the subject and since I have this little tumblr thing I thought I would post my thoughts, because after all it is mine and I can write whatever the FUCK I want.
I wrote it in letter form to Jessica. And sent it to her…
So you are writing about this “yes! And” thing and while you have not solicited my opinion if I asked if you wanted to hear it you would have to say yes so here it is.
I am writing this because I just read all of your “blog” about it. And my thoughts are gaining speed. I will try to be succinct and as witty as possible. Wish me luck!
I am a person that says no. To anyone, to everyone, to myself. Michael asks “do you wanna go to Blackburn park.” I say no. My sister asks, “do you think my toenails are cute?” I say no. I go to the movie store and discover that I can buy 6 movies for like 20 bucks, but I tell myself no. I don’t need them. I need to save my money (even though I know I will end up squandering it somewhere.)
I don’t know why I say, “no.” It may have something to do with the fact that I was born right in the middle of the Taurus cycle and am way too grounded in a way that makes me unGODLY practical. I always think of something better to be done with my money or my time. I often times tend to be a glass half empty kinda guy – I call it being pragmatist. My excuse is that I am either always pleasantly surprised or proven right. Makes sense, no? NO, it doesn’t really. I don’t know what all of this says about me. I don’t even know if it says anything about me.
It certainly says that I am closed off to lots of things which Doug loves to tell me…(thanks Doug.) I use myself as an excuse not to change. “Sorry I was just so rude and hurtful…it’s just in my nature. Sorry I blew you off to lay in bed and watch Grey’s…it’s just in my nature. Sorry I don’t tell you I love you as much as you say it to me…it’s just in my nature. And if someone asks me “Can’t you change your nature?” my answer would be….NO. And I know it is the whole can’t versus won’t debacle.
I am now delving into too many theories now probably and getting away from your “Yes! And” thing. I don’t know how I feel about it. I can certainly say I am skeptical…which stems from my no-ness. Maybe if I said yes more often I wouldn’t be so skeptical of everything.
Also – reading some of your entries made me think of the soliloquy that Roxie has in Chicago before the song (of the same title) and how all she ever heard was “no.” But now she has a world full of “YES.”
Also, Sondheim wrote this song called “Everybody Says Don’t.” And it is about how everybody says don’t do this and don’t do that and this guy is saying do – whatever the fuck you want.
I think saying Yes stems from impulses. As children we don’t stifle our impulses. We do what we please, because we don’t “know any better.” Then as we grow we are taught to stifle our impulses. A friend asks you if you want to skip class and you WANT to say yes, but society says you are not supposed to skip school so you say…no. I was and still often am the one that always plays it safe. I never played hooky, I didn’t even get any tardies, and I certainly never got detention. And that was a prize to me and from simply saying no to things I wanted I got praise for living a morally conservative life. And while I support my friends for being morally liberal and making their own decisions I still make my own conservative ones. I wonder if I’ll ever change…right now we all know my answer…NO.
I know I have been slacking on my Julia Journey - but this is another reason why I and so many others love her. She is funny, pretty, and incredibly down-to-earth and sincere!
I would like to inform you up front that I am writing this blog in somewhat different time spaces. It is currently almost 11:56 PM on Saturday night. I have worked a 12 hour day and i am thus far 20 minutes into Eat Pray Love - the most recent Julia movie and the 2nd in my marathon.
I will give you some brief background just so you have an idea of my experience of the movie. This is the first time I have seen this movie since I saw it in theatres. Without going into a full story the experience was memorable. I had read the book and it spoke to me at a time when I needed something to speak to me (cheesey I know, c’est la vie). I was skeptical of how they were going to turn essentially a self help memoir into a movie, starring Julia. I am also watching it on Netflix.
As I have previously stated, this is Julia’s most recent movie. After having her children (twins Hazel and Phineas) she kind of took a hiatus from films. She has done some off and on, but none that are really hugely Julia. The last one that
was hugely Julia in my opinion was Mona Lisa Smile which came out in 2003 - so 7 years have past! And this comes from Julia who at one point was doing multiple movies a year. And she is currently the highest paid actress in Hollywood (for those of you keeping score at home). This is a come back film. It has to be. It is one woman’s journey. She is the star. And it is about a woman who was lost and through traveling to Italy, India, and Indonesia found herself again. It is based on a true story. I had such high hopes as I always do for a Julia movie.
From here on out I intend to only speak about Julia’s performance in the present viewing (again, only 20 minutes in). In this film she is aged 43. In her first movie she was just about 20. So 23 years difference. And I believe she has learned a lot as you would expect someone to in that amount of time, but she is still Julia. The Julia that I and America love - she has just evolved. She is a blonde and she is looking older. Not in a bad Kate Hudson in Soemthing Borrowed sort of way, just more her age. I believe as over 40. This blonde is the color of straw and she has two dark uneven eyebrows (not to hold it against her.) She is narrating and her voice is always compelling to listen to, because it is hers. It is as if your best friend, your favorite teacher from elementary school, your first love, and your mother all roled into one great voiced person. It is warm, it is to the point, it does not over inflect, because it doesn’t need to.
Less than twenty minutes into the movie I touch on one of my favorite things about her (possibly my favorite, or at least the one I reference most). When she fights she is grounded. So many people when they fight in movies lose it in a big way, their feet are off the ground and their voice is in a register that is not too pleasant, but not Julia. She keeps her voice low(ish) not Sandra Oh low (Grey’s reference), but healthily in the middle I would say. And I love me some groundedness (Taurus!) and she fights with such conviction and such groundedness - she is so fucking direct. I love it.
Another thing - starting out they do a lot of close ups and reaction shots of her. And she now tells it all. I see the sadness in her eyes. I see that this character (not Julia) is run out. She is at the end of her rope (and has yet to tie a knot and hang out in the words of FDR). I love that I see her so up close and I fall in love with her. I feel her pain. It is so hippy dippy and sappy, but that is part of the reason I love her. She brings out the hopeless romantic in me.
I would like to take a moment (while I am thinking of it) to say that I do not think less of Julia for not doing major movies lately - I actually love her for it. She is being a mom, which is clearly important to her. AND it is not the Meg Ryan syndrome where she reached a certain age, got work done and just became dreadful. She is taking what is important to her. It is more like the Christine Ebersole syndrome where she lives her life independent of film, and when something
fabulous comes along (i.e. Grey Gardens) she just can’t turn it down.
I am now at the part in the movie where she eats the pasta against the backdrop of the Queen of the Night Aria. I know that it is a German opera and all, and she is in Italy, but it is still a delightful cinematic moment. I love the moment when she looks at the pasta then looks around to see if anyone is watching before she dives in. Her eyes are so sweet and demure, yet filled with seduction and anticipation.
Then there is a moment about 43 minutes in where she is with a group of friends and they call her a woman in search of her “word” the word that describes who you are and she processes that. The camera focuses in on her and you can hear them in the background and she processes and pulls a piece of hair out of her face. And it is riveting. Is that all her? Did she do that in multiple takes because the director had a specific image in mind? Whatever the reason - it touched me.
Another thing that dawns on me during the Italy section is that Julia can speak with food in her mouth and it is interesting. I am not repulsed - I can see her chewing, but her lips are so soft and supple and she speaks so specifically that I can’t help but be drawn to look at them.
It is now Day 2 of Eat Pray Love. It is 12:30 in the afternoon on Sunday and we are now in India. Another major thing to add to the list of things that make Julia so great at what she does is her ability to smile through her tears. She gets
just a few tears and it isn’t always a pretty thing, but she never really keans or anything. But she starts to get there and then she just gives a little smile to shove it back down and it is almost as if she can not only make HER sadness go away, but her audiences as well.
When I read the book and when I saw the movie for the first time I was not a huge fan of the Bali section, but I thinking watching it in chunks made me appreciate it more. The notable thing to me about the Bali section is the fabulous blow out fight she has with Javier Bardem (who is absolutely wonderful in this!). I talk earlier about how she never really loses it, but by golly in this scene she comes pretty damn close. She goes to those places that rival the blow out between her and Hugh Grant in Notting Hill or her and Richard Gere in Runaway Bride. She feels it so much, and she is the everywoman - maybe that is what it really is. She IS the everywoman. We understand why she is yelling at this beautiful, BEAUTIFUL man, because we would to if we were her. She has just found herself again and is terrified of losing it!
IN CONCLUSION (a phrase I never use - but am for clean lines)
I am glad I watched this movie again - it is an all Julia show which is different from the first movie which was hardly about Julia. And in these past 23 years she has come a long ass way. Good for her. And the bangin’ body I mention in the first movie is still there.
From this movie we have learned that we love her because:
1. The way she argues in films.
2. The way she can talk with food in her mouth.
3. Her ability to smile her tears away.
4. The fact that she is essentially the everywoman (man)
Stay tuned for Mystic Pizza!
I stole this from Katie Britton. While I personally do not think I possess most of these traits I do know for certain that I have number nine in MOTHER FUCKING SPADES.
9 Neuroses. I think it helps to be neurotic. Neurotic people always end up being in the arts. If your kid fits in while in high school they’re going to be a dull adult. I still see a few people I went to high school with, but the other ones, when they come up to me I say: “I’m sorry, I took LSD, I don’t remember you.” It works, because then they aren’t offended personally. It’s really just manners.
I have been a Grey’s Anatomy addict as of late - and I have watched the journey so quickly. And Christina is one of my favorites. Sandra Oh does such a great job. It makes me wonder if she does a great job because they write her stuff so well or they write her stuff so incredibly well, because they know she is so great and the audiences love her? I have developed so many fascinating questions about the world of television because of Grey’s Anatomy.
Many people site Mystic Pizza as the debut of Julia Roberts into the world of film, and while it is her first sort of leading role it is not her first.
Satisfaction is a movie about a rock band mainly of girls (save 1 guy) who spend their summer playing in a club by the beach. I will give you the full line up before I get to Julia just to create a frame of reference.
The lead singer (and of the film) is the 80s favorite, Justine Bateman (television younger sister to Alex P. Keaton in Family Ties and real life older sister to Jason Bateman).
The drummer is played by Trini Alvarado (most widely known as Meg in the 1994 movie version of Little Women). Here she plays the complete opposite of Meg. She plays the roughest member of the group (she is after all the drummer.)
The lead guitarist is played by Britta Phillips (who is known for nothing…) The blonde, fun, junky of the group.
The keyboardist is played by Scott Coffey (known for nothing, but also everything, one of those guys you have seen in everything, but you never have a clue of what his name is) who plays the classical pianist turned rocker keyboardist.
Rounding out the band is Julia, as the bassist (generally the least needed member of the band). She is cast as the stereotypical “girl that gets around.”
Julia is pretty well featured in this film. She is the conventionally hot one of the group. As a casting director I would see them casting her for her body. She has great legs and a killer wasteline, but her boobs do leave much to be desired. Here she has her classic wild 80s hair that looks horrible on EVERYONE but her. It is potentially her natural color, which doesn’t look very natural at all; a dirty mixture of blonde and brown hair.
There is not a whole lot to say here. I love that you always hear a hint of her southern accent in any of her films. As an easy girl with a heart of gold I certainly say she succeeds.
As far as this being a Julia movie I have never seen I certainly enjoyed it and would probably suggest it to someone who enjoys random 80s films that tend to be about absolutely nothing.
My next post will be on Julia’s most recent film - Eat Pray Love. I guarantee I will have a lot more to say on that one.
I know I’m over you now, because I can listen to The Fray again.
I was seriously talking about this with my friend Jeff last week. We all have our breakup bands that we’ve associated with a relationship so much that we can’t bring ourselves to listen to them without thinking of that person. Mine is the RHCP. Yeah. Every time I hear “Tell me baby…”
This has been double reblogged - because I have just been dealing with this recently. Kurt and mine’s song was Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol. And everytime I have heard it I have had to change the station or something…but then they used it on the Grey’s Anatomy musical episode and all of the sudden it was okay for me. Oddly enough I even associate it with Michael, because any song that remotely deals with love I associate with him (I stole that last section from and episode of Brothers and Sisters…) But anyway. I feel you, Emily…and dear old love.
“Losing My Mind” || Follies (Kennedy Center, 5-11-11)
This song gives me full-body chills.
Once again - I can down die a happy homosexual. I LOVE how she grows soft on her big “just being kind” and how she just floats that final note up. It is all kinds of yummy.