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January 07, 2007


Kathy K

Oh Julie, I just laughed and laughed about your description of the group of transit patrons investigating the Duboce Park BART station...I could just see it all. ROFLOL...Love it!

As for movies, there a few movies that I've thought "I really, really like this one" but for the most part I find them mainly just entertainment. But one of the recent movies that I saw [on DVD] and was utterly charmed by was "Dear Frankie" (2004). It's from the UK ~ the characters are Scots [I *love* the accents] ~ and is about a young boy whose mother writes letters to him purporting to be from his father. Frankie has never met his father and believes that he is at sea; and when the opportunity arises for him to meet his dad, his mother hires a stranger to act the part.
I watched it with my very stoic I'm-not-crying-and-I-never-cry 21 year old daughter, and at times we were both using the kleenex quite freely. It's a wonderful, somewhat gritty film ~ like only the British can do ~ that I seriously want to find and own. Timeless!

Another recent watch was the 2005 release of Pride and Prejudice. I was prepared not to like it 'cause *everyone* knows that the A&E version is the best...but I did like it! It was still Jane Austen's marvelous tale, but not on the grand scale of the A&E release. Now I like them both...just differently.

Another movie that I found years and years ago is "One Magic Christmas" with Mary Steenburgen and Harry Dean Stanton. Full of magic and the spirit of the season, it's one of my all-time favourite Christmas movies.

And any James Bond movie is a must-see; always has been a favourite of mine...good-looking men, exciting adventures...works for me.



As far as inspiring movies go, I know every writer and wanna-be writer lists this, but I loved Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It's so compelling and so wonderfully written and nearly perfect. As far as comfort movies, I'm a sucker for old Disney ones like Sleeping Beauty, and I recently bought The Little Mermaid on DVD. Haven't watched it yet, but I shall soon, I'm sure.

I like your theory about hard times. And the whole Chris Gardner thing sort of puts things in perspective. I really am doing all right, even if I'm a new college graduate without a full-time place to work (had an interview, complete with paid-for hotel room/dinner in November, I thought it went very well well, yet they never called me like they said they would with a decision or returned my calls. Today I see a thing on their paper's Web site announcing a new reporter with 20 years experience is coming on the staff, complete with a quote from the editor raving about him. Ouch). Anyway. I'm sending out lots of applications, and I suppose times like these do build character. And really, in the span of things, a few weeks like this is only a blip on my life. Nothing huge. I hope.


I recently watched The Family Man with Nicolas Cage. It was the Friday after Thanksgiving and nothing was on so I put this movie on. It is like the opposite of It's a Wonderful Life, looking at the choices we make and what would happen if we made different choices.

Julie Anne Long

Yeah, it's funny, Kathy -- we're kind of used to a daily dose of weirdness in San Francisco, but something as profoundly unexpected as a whole *BART station* in the park really threw us. Or at least *some* of us. Anything that looks like it might disrupt or change our (already squirrelly) transit system is greeted with GREAT trepidation. LOL. And I've heard of Dear Frankie!! I just put it on my Netflix list. :) It sounds lovely. Sometimes I just want to become emotionally involved in a movie without having my emotions *assaulted,* if you will. With death, blood, gore, etc. And yeah, British films seem to be unafraid of realism -- they can often achieve it without rubbing your face in it. I'll have to check out the One Magic Christmas one, too. I like both Mary Steenburgen and Harry Dean Stanton. Someone once told me that I looked like Mary Steenburgen, which might be the most idiosyncratic comparison I've ever heard. LOL. I don't really see it, personally.

Ohhh, good choice, Lareign, re ESOTSM. LOL. That IS another form of inspiration -- fantastic, original storytelling in any medium can really inspire me. And I'm a sucker for Disney movies, too. I love the Jungle Book. LOL. I love all the songs. Sleeping Beauty is gorgeous. I once had the weirdest rental film festival at my house with a few friends -- we rented "Carnal Knowledge," because we'd never seen it, heard a lot about it and were pruriently curious, and Art Garfunkel was in it, which struck us all as funny -- and Disney's "Aladdin." Talk about a bizarre double-bill!! LOL.

And sorry you're disappointed about your job interview, though it sounded promising. This is how I look at it: if they're the kind of organization that didn't have the courtesy to return your calls, or even email you regarding their decision, then you probably don't want to work for them. That kind of...omission? ungraciousness? unprofessionalism?...always makes me a bit nervous about how they'll treat their staff. Try to stay open and excited -- you never know what life will bring your way. I remember being disappointed about not getting one job -- and boy, I really needed that job -- and about a week later, something much more fabulous came along. You can't always count on that sort of thing -- sometimes it's a slog -- but you'll get through it. :) I was talking to a friend the other night -- he'd recently been through a bit of an emotional catastrophe -- and to sort of help him out, I was recounting a hard time I'd been through, and it occurred to me as I was talking to him: Huh. The hard time had seemed interminable and uncomfortable at the time, but now it's over. THings are fine, even better than before. I learned a lot. I can scarcely remember how hard it felt. Funny how life works. :) Good luck, have fun, and keep me posted on your interviews!!

Maureen, I really like that concept in the Nicholas Cage movie -- walking someone through different choices. I'm a bit of a philosopher, and sometimes I think no matter what choices we make, we'll somehow end up at the right or same destination, the one meant for us. It's kind of like...looking at a map, and choosing from different routes. The experiences you gather and scenery you encounter along the way might vary—you might get a flat tire or eat bad diner food, LOL—but you'll still get there regardless.

I watched It's a Wonderful Life again this year, and it occurred to me that it's one of those movies that I'll probably experience differently at different phases of my life. This year I realized how truly well done a movie it is -- beautifully acted, filmed, constructed -- and I think I realized just how dark it is, too, in many ways. It's not entirely a tale of redemption, either, but it's a very human story. Loved it.

Jennifer Y.

Loved the story. They filmed parts of Sweet Home Alabama and Remember the Titans at my college...it is neat to watch them and say "I know where that is!" And a movie called Fled was filmed near me...I actually go to go and see it being filmed...saw Stephen Baldwin and Laurence Fishburne. Things like this don't happen in Georgia that often...at least not that I am aware of.

I recently saw and loved the film WE ARE MARSHALL...another film that was filmed around here...didn't get any glimpses of Matthew Fox or Matthew McConaughey though. This was a touching film that definitely made me shed a few tears.

Julie Anne Long

I know, Jennifer -- isn't it fun to see places you know so well up on the big screen?? I don't know what it is, but I really got a kick out of it. I was watching The Pursuit of Happyness and I kept going, "Check it out! He's on the 22 Fillmore!" (a bus). Or...when he gets into a cab with another guy and the guy tells the driver to take them to Noe Valley (which he actually pronounces correctly -- No-ee Valley), and they apparently do actually drive to Noe Valley (a nice neighborhood here in the city). It was very San Francisco-y, the whole movie -- made good use of everyday settings, and sort of treated the city the way people who live here treat it. Whereas...well, remember Party of Five?? It was supposedly set in San Francisco, but there were so many little ridiculous screwups. Neve Campbell's character pronounced Noe Street as "No Street" ("No" as in the opposite of "yes"). They once went to go hang out at the "Galleria." And...well, NO one really goes to hang out at the Galleria. LOL. It's a sort of mall in the middle of downtown, with a few card stores, a few restaurants and a few REALLY upscale stores (like Versace), but it's not a "hangout" by ANY means. Especially not for someone the age of that group on Party of Five. It gets most of its traffic from the lunchtime business crowd. We got a good laugh out of that one.

There were a few Hollywoody things in the POH -- he takes his kid to play down at the beach near the GG Bridge, so you get that great backdrop of the bridge, etc. Now, it's quite a lovely bridge, but that's a freaking cold beach. LOL. It's COLD here, in general. More likely he'd take his kid to the park for a fun day. And there was a rainstorm where like BUCKETS of water were falling sort of straight down, and...well, it just doesn't rain like that here. LOL.

The filming did drive quite a few people nuts, because parking here is so difficult anyway, and the film crews blocked off traffic and parking in certain neighborhoods (like the Duboce Park area) for days. Wish I could have seen more of the filming. :) Has Fled been released yet? The movie with Laurence Fishburne and Stephen Baldwin?

Jennifer Y.

FLED was released several years ago...I must say that it was not a very good movie...it was awful IMO. Stone Mountain Park, near my home, was where I saw the filming...my sister was working there at the time and called me and I came to watch. Stephen Baldwin made funny faces at me, but my camera was awful so my pics didn't turn out that great.

In Sweet Home Alabama, the Carmichael Plantation was actually Oak Hill, the home of my college's founder, Martha Berry. And in Remember the Titans, when they go to football camp, the stone buildings they stay in were my dorms.

The short-lived show Vanished was set in and around Atlanta and had many mistakes. They made up buildings, locales, etc. They made Stone Mountain sound like a mountain you hike up and that climbers would go to with cabins and everything. One of the characters was supposedly hidden in a cabin on the mountain that was accessed by a dirt road. In real life Stone Mountain is a giant mountain of solid granite that is in a private and gated park that you pay to get in to with different tourist attractions...no cabins or hidden roads that lead to it. The show was cancelled, but the remaining episodes were available online...I watched them just to see what other Georgia locales were mentioned or shown. I was quite surprised when Moultrie, GA was mentioned and played a big role...it is a little town in South Georgia where my dad's family is from. Not many people know it exists and of course it looks nothing like they portrayed it. It was funny to see Stone Mountain and Moultrie, two cities I am familiar with, play roles in a show.

If I had not lived in Stone Mountain or been to Moultrie I wouldn't have thought anything of it. I think that you only notice mistakes or big changes if you are familiar with a location...it is same with books.


Julie, I love that you write about San Francisco. :) That story about the fake BART station was funny. Even though I've lived here most of my life, I bet I wouldn't have known that was a fake BART station. I don't know all the neighborhoods in SF well and am pretty directionally-challenged. :P In your blog you mentioned the concept of a rip in the space/time continuum, and that reminded me of the movie Donnie Darko. You should check it out if you haven't already.

I'm interested in The Pursuit of Happyness because it takes place in SF. Also, I saw Chris Gardner on Oprah's show, and I found his story fascinating. He said that he has a room in his house that's just full of bags because to this day, he can't just throw away bags. He joked that now there are nicer bags in the room.

Hmm, an inspiring movie? I don't know if it's necessarily inspiring, but I love the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The idea that a person can choose to erase someone from her/his memory and the repercussions that follow were fascinating to explore, and I thought Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey (in a non-goofy role) both did a great job. Have you ever seen this movie? If not, I totally recommend it.

In closing, I want to say that Daniel Craig is indeed inspiring. He's not classically- beautiful (but then again, how many people are?), but there is something definitely appealing about him as James Bond. I found the scene where he was nude particularly inspiring (despite what was being done to him). :P Casino Royale was my first James Bond movie, and I found it very entertaining.


Oh, I also want to add that I had a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge from the roof of the school where I used to work. The view of the bridge as I walked Webster Street never ceased to amaze me.

Julie Anne Long

It's a pity Fled sucked, Jennifer. LOL. And that's so funny about Vanished. I wonder why TV shows so often get it wrong when they're going for verisimilitude. They probably have tight schedules, and all, and maybe they don't have time to fact check (or check on pronunciations!) but it would almost be preferable if they called, say, Stone Mountain or Moultrie something else altogether -- made up new places. Or like the Galleria thing. I pretty much wouldn't have minded if they made up a whole new mall set in San Francisco -- they made up a whole new hospital in San Francisco on the short-lived Presidio Med, after all. LOL. Instead, having the characters hang out at the Galleria bit made it comical.

And oh, Diana, I have faith in you -- you would have figured out that it was a fake BART station. LOL. If only because you couldn't go any further than four steps into it. And I've heard that I should see Donnie Darko. Another one for the Netflix list. :) I'm soooo behind on movie-watching. You will love, and must see, The Pursuit of Happiness, if only just for all those little San Francisco-y things. (Sometimes seems like the Pyramid Building is in every shot). And Chris Gardner really is an amazing guy. He's in the movie. I won't tell you when or where, but it's a good moment. :)

And yeah, Eternal Sunshine was a brilliantly constructed movie -- it appeals to the storyteller in me, big time. It plays a bit with that idea I mentioned earlier...that there are a million paths to a predetermined destination, and we can scarcely avoid our destinations, no matter how we try. Now, I'm not quite sure I believe that *entirely*...but I'm intrigued by the idea. Perhaps it's just that we can't avoid very specific events or relationships in our lives, and other events are up for grabs. :) Like a main course with a choice of side dishes. :)

I have to say I feel vindicated about Daniel Craig. LOL. When he was announced as the new Bond some time ago, there were quite a few naysayers, but I loved the choice -- he looks his age, which I love; I love that he's blond; I love that his face looks rugged and lived-in. He's a very charismatic and unique, a more *human* and macho Bond. And he's a good actor. Opens up a world of Bond possibilities.

And you have to wonder if one could ever grow blase about that view of the bridge. :) Blue sky, orange bridge, blue water -- it's stunning. An art deco masterpiece. :)


You know, off hand, I can only think of one movie that I've seen based in SF -- Star Trek IV THe Voyage Home. Hmm. . . oh wait, maybe The Rock too. Yeah, they go to SF before heading on to Alcatraz. Ooh, I got two! :)

Hmm, inspiring movie. . . I think it's been a while, actually. Well, while I'm thinking of Sean Connery (from the Rock), there was Finding Forester. That was a great one. :)


Julie Anne Long

Lois, I started cracking up—the Star Trek movie was the first one my sister came up with, too! The Rock is a good one -- I totally forgot about that one. You know, what's weird about Alcatraz is that it's this beautiful island with one the most incredible views of the bay and surrounds -- and there's this *prison* on it. I actually didn't see Alcatraz until *years* after I moved here. LOL.

And thanks for mentioning Finding Forrester!! I never saw it, but I just googled it and found out it's Gus Van Sant (whom I generally really like), it has Sean Connery in it, and it's about writing -- heck, now I HAVE to see it. :)

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