Tag Archives: Movies

Emma’s Shadow

Screen Shot 2018-11-06 at 12.48.05 AM

Matt asks, “If you could experience any movie again for the first time, what would it be?” I think it would be “Emma’s Shadow,” a Danish film made in 1988 about a young girl neglected by her wealthy parents who engineers her own kidnapping and is adopted by an impoverished sewer worker.  It is absolutely charming and it has been so long since I’ve seen it that it probably would feel like the first time I ever saw it.  I actually found it online and bought it years ago. I need to look it up when I get home.  I still have a t.v. with a built in V.H.S. player.

http://www.danlaustsen.com/movie/emmas-shadow

https://normalhappenings.com/2018/11/06/rewind-replay-daily-inkling/

My Brilliant Career in Film and TV

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My Brilliant Career: How I Found My Proper Place in Film and TV

I got bitten by the film bug when I lived in L.A.
and did some sort of movie work most every single day.
On Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, I always had a class.
The U.C.L.A. campus is where they came to pass.
I studied film production and took screenwriting, too,
but my class in documentaries was where I scored a coup.
We made a documentary.  In fact, I helped with two,
but I knew by the end of them I hadn’t found my place.
I simply didn’t have the balls to run the movie race.

Then I studied acting at an actor’s studio.
I really did the best at this, but still, it was “no go.”
When it came to trying out for parts, I didn’t have the nerve.
Once again my movie plans took another swerve.
I worked as an apprentice at a Hollywood agency.
From all the other candidates, they selected me.
They had me reading novels and sitting in on sessions;
and this was more exciting than my former classroom lessons.
I met some famous actors and tried to be real cool,
and writing out readers reports was easier than school,
but still I knew that in my heart it just wasn’t for me.
After all this time, I didn’t know who I should be.

I’d been in California for three years by then;
and although I hadn’t found my place, still I had the yen.
But I’d run out of money. It was time to find employment
that would involve a paycheck and not just my enjoyment!
I’d heard of a position where I thought that I could cope
as publicity assistant for none other than Bob Hope!
So I wound up in production: typing, phoning, organizing.
The  people in my Rolodex were frankly quite surprising.
I set up radio interviews with the famous Bob.
To read the National Enquirer was required in this job!
I went to filmings of the shows, sent out his Christmas gifts,
ran back and forth to N.B.C. and soothed some office rifts.

But all-in-all though it was fun to be there on the fringe,
to be completely honest, I was not a vital hinge.
And so when I was married, we decided to move north.
I left my life in filmdom and boldly sallied forth,
moving up to Santa Cruz to live by doing art—
never really finishing what I had tried to start.
I had adventures plenty and saw much of the scene
and I enjoy remembering everywhere I’ve been;
but all-in-all, the truth is that there’s one place I’m most groovy.
When it comes to all the skills that go into a movie,
the only place that doesn’t make me sort of tense
Is center row and half way back, in the audience!

 

When I originally wrote this piece three years ago,  the prompt was: “The Show Must Go On–If you were involved in making a film, would you want to be the director, producer or lead actor?  You cannot be the writer,” but the prompt today that also fit it was simply the word  brilliant.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Ready for Your Close-up.” Cast the movie of your life.

Judy2PremiereMovie Me––Runway pose, no Closeup!

Many Me’s

When you cast the movie of my life
as student, girlfriend, traveler, wife,
as a toddler, cast me as
a curious, chubby little spazz
with scabby knees—a sort of clown
very adept at falling down!
Will any kid with sunny view do?
Yes. Except—for Honey Boo Boo!

In my child years, perhaps spanning
age four to eight, just pick some Fanning.
But at age nine or ten, I fear
I grew a rather chubby rear.
like Honey Boo Boo? Yes, I guess.
Yet still I’d be in some duress
if you cast that child as me.
Please oh please, don’t let it be!

As a preteen, I was thin
and sang duets with my friend Lynn,
and though I hadn’t half her gift,
just cast me as Taylor Swift!
But when it’s time to go to college,
to gain a sort of further knowledge,
I think you’d better move along
and send her back to her own song.

Leelee Sobieski could
then play me if she only would––
at least until I’m through with school,
although I was not half so cool.
Then, as I begin to travel,
my other sides to then unravel,
Helen Hunt might be the one
to represent travails and fun

of traveling in climes most strange.
She has the acting skills and range
to play me as I looked and pondered,
taught and loved and learned and wandered
Australia, Bali, Singapore,
from door to door to door to door.
Those two lines etched over her nose
grace my face, too, because of woes

that nonetheless I wouldn’t trade
for years spent safe within the shade
of front porch roof and front porch swing
wherein I learned not one new thing.
As I grow older, I change and change.
And so I need a “me” with range
from teacher, artist, writer, spouse––
who alternates from road to house.

Sometimes at home writing my blog,
(my only company a dog
or two or three, and just one cat
to define clearly where I’m at)
I yearn to be out in the crowd,
with dancing feet and head unbowed
to laptop or to artist bench,
and I feel that well-known wrench

of travels to another clime
but worry if I have the time
to do the things within my heart–
to finish all that I might start.
I need a me to sort these things
and bring me all a good life brings––
perhaps to make decisions for me,
choose a life that doesn’t bore me.

Then perhaps we could reverse
our lives and I could then rehearse
the life presented in her depiction.
A real life can learn much from fiction!
So for these final years I need
a woman strong in thought and deed.
Who can show me how to see
all that I was meant to be.

For when I lay me down to sleep,
I’d like to go as Meryl Streep!

 

One too Few Walls

I lied.  The prompt did come in with 15 minutes to spare before I leave, but it is a prompt I already answered a year ago, so if you didn’t read it then, go HERE.  I will think up a prompt of my own when I get home, or better yet, suggest one as a comment to this post.  Why is it that writing about anything is easier than thinking of what to write about?  You do the hard part for me, please!!!  Okay, off to the second day of the second round of Camp Estrella.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Fourth Wall.” You get to spend a day inside your favorite movie. Tell us which one it is — and what happens to you while you’re there.

My Brilliant Career: How I Found My Proper Place in Film and TV

My Brilliant Career: How I Found My Proper Place in Film and TV

I got bitten by the film bug when I lived in L.A.
and did some sort of movie work most every single day.
On Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, I always had a class.
The U.C.L.A. campus is where they came to pass.
I studied film production and took screenwriting, too;
but my class in documentaries was where I scored a coup.
We made a documentary.  In fact, I helped with two,
but I knew by the end of them I hadn’t found my place.
I simply didn’t have the balls to run the movie race.

Then I studied acting at an actor’s studio.
I really did the best at this, but still, it was “no go.”
When it came to trying out for parts, I didn’t have the nerve.
Once again my movie plans took another swerve.
I worked as an apprentice at a Hollywood agency.
There were so many candidates, yet they selected me.
They had me reading novels and sitting in on sessions;
and this was more exciting than my former classroom lessons.
I met some famous actors and tried to be real cool,
and writing out readers reports was easier than school,
but still I knew that in my heart it just wasn’t for me.
After all this time, I didn’t know who I should be.

I’d been in California for three years by then;
and although I hadn’t found my place, still I had the yen.
But I’d run out of money. It was time to find employment
that would involve a paycheck and not just my enjoyment!
I’d heard of a position where I thought that I could cope
as publicity assistant for none other than Bob Hope!
So I wound up in production: typing, phoning, organizing.
The  people in my Rolodex were frankly quite surprising.
I set up radio interviews with the famous Bob.
To read the National Enquirer was required in this job!
I went to filmings of the shows, sent out his Christmas gifts,
ran back and forth to N.B.C. and soothed some office rifts.

But all-in-all though it was fun to be there on the fringe,
to be completely honest, I was not a vital hinge.
And so when I was married, we decided to move north.
I left my life in filmdom and boldly sallied forth,
moving up to Santa Cruz to live by doing art–
never really finishing what I had tried to start.
I had adventures plenty and saw much of the scene
and I enjoy remembering everywhere I’ve been;
but all-in-all, the truth is that there’s one place I’m most groovy.
When it comes to all the skills that have to go into a movie,
the only place that doesn’t make me sort of tense
Is center row and half way back, in the audience!

The Prompt: The Show Must Go On–If you were involved in making a film, would you want to be the director, producer or lead actor?  You cannot be the writer.

Important note to all readers:  I’ve had four followers report that all my comments to them are going into their spam folder.  Would you please check your spam folders today and see if this is so and also check them tomorrow and tell me if this is still the case?

Also, my yesterday’s post would not link to the WordPress Daily Post Site, so if you haven’t read it and would like to, you can reach it through my blog.  Thanks, Judy

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/the-show-must-go-on/

Now, Voyager

                                                          209a3984-32bf-375b-99f0-3a7c774a75b0      Now, Voyager

I love transformation movies: ugly ducklings turned beautiful, wallflowers who become the belle of the ball, villains turned saviors, shady ladies turned good girls, wild horses tamed.  If you can name one famous example of each from the movies, you win the prize, but for me the top entry in the first category would have to be Bette Davis in “Now Voyager.”

I’ve always been surprised that they haven’t done a remake of the film, but on the other hand, I don’t think they could probably equal the romantic pathos of the dowdy, overweight, aging and submissive spinster Bette Davis, living with her dominating mother, her one rebellion–cigarettes sneaked on the sly.  As her mother slips the noose of control ever tighter, Bette is “saved” by a nervous breakdown and a visiting psychiatrist who persuades her mother that she must be sent to a “rest farm” where the transformation takes place.

The resultant makeover, sea voyage, love affair and. . . but wait . . .  I’ll tell no more, for if you haven’t already seen the film, it is a must-see and I don’t want to issue further spoilers.  As a matter of fact, if you have seen it, we should both probably see it again.  The last time I saw it was in VHS form ordered from Amazon twelve years ago and yes, I still do have a VHS player hidden away somewhere in the highest reaches of my house.

At any rate, I have been diverted by the film review when my real intention was to talk about the title and plot itself and the significance it has in my own life; for I, too, seek a transformation.  Just once I would like to be that stunningly glamorous, thin mysterious stranger who turns all heads.  Yes, superficial, but I’ve always thought it would be fun to experience being that woman who could have any man in the place.

For too many years, books and movies seemed more real than the world around me.  My boring existence in a small town could not be all there was to life.  Surely, if it were, then all those exciting books and movies would never have been written, for where would they have come from except from the patterns of other places and other lives that contained more possibilities than a small dusty town in the middle of South Dakota prairie?

Yes, I did eventually voyage off into life and I found places more exciting–more in line with my own interests.  And although I had love affairs, married the man of my dreams, had careers I felt adequate at, traveled to exotic climes and never had trouble making friends, at age 67, I have still never been the femme fatale of my childish and teenage and middle-age dreams. I have made starts and even accomplished some of the goals.  I’ve lost weight, found the perfect haircut, bought more stylish clothes.  I’ve gone to clubs and danced unabashedly, joined internet introduction clubs, gone to singles parties. But still, at my best, there is some quality lacking in my makeup–some ineffable clue that I am available, sensual, smart and fun to be with.  What is it?  My entire life I have wondered why, with a few notable exceptions, I will invariably be the last woman at the table asked to dance. For years I believed it was because of my weight and at present that may be so, but even at my skinniest, there was some signal I sent out that made me unapproachable or unappealing or uncharismatic to most men, and as old and wise and introspective and analytical as I have become in my middle-to-old age, I do not know what it is.

Have you ever known someone who is doing something wrong and who just can’t get it right?  Everyone knows what it is but no one tells them, for fear of hurting their feelings.  And so they go on in life, never quite getting what they want and not having a clue why that is.  Why don’t we just tell each other?  It would be so much simpler.  But, the truth is that we probably would not listen even if our friends told us.  We would find excuses. We would not believe them, no matter how many people told us the same thing, because there seems to be some radar causing us to become who we are–strengths, talents and faults all combined.

A complete stranger sitting next to me at a banquet once said to me, “You don’t need that!” when I reached for the dessert held out to me by the waiter.  I was astonished, insulted, irate.  I wanted to take two desserts and put the bastard in his place! But the truth was, maybe he was that one person in my life who decided to tell me the truth.

Today when I got up to let the dogs out and give them their morning meal, I saw the dusty blistered card of diet pills on the kitchen island.  I broke one off and swallowed it with a long drink of water.  Perhaps I’ll start again that journey towards sylphdom.  I’ll lose dress sizes, get a facelift to deal with the resultant sags and wrinkles, fit into sexier clothes, go back on OkCupid, meet another stranger grown familiar through words over the internet.  Maybe it’s still not too late to be an object of desire. Or, perhaps I’ll just write about it.

http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video/642826/Now-Voyager-Movie-Clip-I-Met-A-Doctor-In-Rio.html

The Prompt:Silver Screen–Take a quote from your favorite movie — there’s the title of your post. Now, write!  https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/silver-screen/

Strangely enough, this post also ended up answering today’s prompt so I’m posting it there as well: But No Cigar–Tell us about a time things came this close to working out… but didn’t. What happened next? Would you like the chance to try again, or are you happy with how things eventually worked out? https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/but-no-cigar/

NOSTALGIA: POPCORN AT THE NICKELODEON

POPCORN AT THE NICKELODEON

The Nickelodeon Theater in Santa Cruz, CA, is the only theater I’ve ever known where one can literally just show up and watch whatever movie is coming up next and not be disappointed. (And unlike most modern theaters, starting times for movies are staggered so no matter what time one arrives, it is never necessary to wait longer than 20 or 30 minutes for a movie to start.) An old building with some of the viewing rooms so small that they only accommodate 60 people, others the size of a regular small theater, they show foreign and independent films as well as films suggested by viewers in a big book left in the lobby for customers to record their comments.

Santa Cruz is a small town on the ocean where new hippies are still being born—a town whose university is built on a mountainside covered with redwood trees. The school boasts an organic farm, a succulent garden, and running tracks where joggers are known to have encountered jaguars. It is the town where deadheads used to hang out between tours and where a local restauranteer went to jail countless times for opening up a free soup kitchen for the homeless on the street and another man went to jail for routinely putting quarters in the lapsed parking meters of strangers.

Obviously, the town government was not always in sync with the thoughts of its citizens, but the Nick always was. This is where I watched “My Life as a Dog” and “Bagdad Cafe” three times each, as well as “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” and “The Lost Boys”—two bizarre little films shot in Santa Cruz and featuring familiar locations such as the boardwalk and beach. A small town girl who traveled for 4 years after graduating from college and who then moved to another small town, I had never lived in a town with alternative theaters until I moved to California, and although I had occasionally seen art and independent films, in an era before computers and savvy television made the whole world of film available to viewers, the Nickelodeon was a mind-expanding experience.

Now I live in Mexico, where what foreign and art films are available tend to be dubbed in Spanish. Yes, one can get almost any film on one’s computer now, but it is not the same as sitting in a small room chuckling and crying, surrounded by an audience of 60-300 of one’s peers, munching giant tubs of popcorn covered with brewer’s yeast (offered in shakers right next to the salt)—a tub that comes along with promises of a free refill for those with an unlimited appetite for popped corn.

A year after I Ieft Santa Cruz, The Nick bought the Del Mar—a regular theater with three much larger viewing rooms. That theater continued the tradition of showing movies unavailable in other venues and had the same policies, but the smaller theater continued to function and whenever I went back to Santa Cruz—once for a wedding and other times just to visit friends—it is the original theater I headed for. Some things just can’t be improved upon. The Nick has now expanded its family to include the Aptos Theater. All three theaters continue the tradition of showing wonderful indie, art and foreign films.

I love Mexico, but other than friends from El Norte, the Nick is probably the thing I miss most about my former home. In a minute, it is the feature or landmark I’d choose first to have transported to Ajijic. I’d position it near our own malecón that runs along the lakeside near the pier and I would happily leave my own big screen Smart TV and drive for 15 minutes to join once again with others ready to be delighted by whatever offerings it presented.

Daily Prompt: City Planners. If you could clone one element from another city you’ve visited — a building, a cultural institution, a common street food, etc. — and bring it back to your own hometown, what would it be?