On Julie and Julia - The Movie,

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Alert: This is the First of several posts on this topic.


I have not blogged for a long time - almost exactly two years - due to health challenges (not terminal, thank God).

But the Movie Julie and Julia has sent my juices flowing, and here I am with a little message for you all out there:

Go to see the movie JULIE AND JULIA. As soon as you can.

You will laugh. You may cry. You will be entertained.

You will have fun. You could be provoked.

And you may possibly be inspired. To something unexpected.

And/Or :

You may be energized enough to look up Julia Child’s 1967-edition classic book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

And/Or you may alternatively pick up Julie Powell’s book, My Year of Cooking.

Hopefully, you will find some time to peek at Julie’s original blog:

The Julie/Julia Project (http://blogs.salon.com/0001399/)

Or you may do all of the above.

Which of course is Not what the mass of movie reviewers have been saying, in their many condescending, dismissing, patronizing and fault-finding summations.

I read many of these before I saw the movie. I checked some of them afterwards.

In my view, they are blind and deaf here.

Possibly with a big BLIND spot when it comes to the matters the movie deals with.

So why do I find Julie and Julia so praise-worthy ?

Because I have been thinking about the movie for the last three weeks, I suspect I may as long-winded in writing about it as my BIG Teacher, William Faulkner.

You know, William Faulkner – the Great American Novelist who has taught many 20th Century writers how to craft modern fiction.

Who never saw a polysyllabic word he did not like.

Faulkner, the writer who wrote such long sensuous sentences, one of his sentences could run to two and three pages…

And Faulkner who makes you – entices you – to read it to the end , such sound-rich, image-rich, thought-filled sentences they were and are.

So I think I shall begin with the main points – Not in order of importance. Then circle back and elaborate on each.

Having written several pages on these main points, I now whittle them down to the bare bones of Main Points Summary, for this first installment of my discussion.

Make it easy for you, right ?

So here goes. Keep coming back for the following installments, too. With comments.


TALKING POINTS SUMMARY

*The movie is a Hoot

*The movie is about JOY - no , no, the movie is the Experience Of Joy.

Many kinds of joy, too.

*The movie celebrate The importance of Perseverance and Patience in the struggle for success.

*The movie quietly dramatizes The Art of Teaching.

Or, Teaching as Inspiration. Or the Joy of Teaching.

*The movie also explores the question : Are Artist Born (via talent) or Made (by commitment?)

*The Movie modestly underscores an unexpected point: Little Things, So-Called, can and DO change lives

*The movie is excellently done.

Conclusion

To conclude this installment, here is a quote from Julie’s Homage to Julia upon Julia’s death in 2004:

"Who changes their life under the influence of a saint?

Okay – don’t answer that. But the point is –
Julia was so impressive, so instructive, so exhilarating, because she
was a woman, not a goddess. Julia didn’t create armies of drones,
mindlessly equating her name with taste and muttering “It’s a Good
Thing” under their minty breath. Instead she created feisty, buttery,
adventurous cooks
, always diving in to the next possible disaster,
because goddammit, if Julia did it, so could we. "
(Emphasis mine)

Final note to you, my own readers.

If you want to take a look at a seriously perceptive essay on Julia Child’s contribution, on the movie ‘Julie and Julia’, and on the disappearing art of cooking in the US, read Michael Pollan, “Julia's Children: Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch" in the New York Times Magazine, August 2, 2009.


Copyright C 2009 Dinnah G. Pladott, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved

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