Saturday, August 15, 2009

Four films

This 1975 documentary follows Jacqueline Kennedy's relatives Edith Bouvier Beale (1895-1977) and her daughter "Little Edie" (1917-2002), who were eccentric and co-dependent hoarders. It is one of the few films that my friend Chris walked out on, imagining the stench of so many cats in their decaying mansion in East Hampton, New York. My Mom and I watched this on dvd a few years ago, and watched the 2009 TV movie of the same title recently. We enjoyed both films immensely and thought Drew Barrymore did a remarkable job portraying "Little Edie."
I had seen this documentary and heard the director speak at the 2006 Silverdocs Festival. The movie captured all the emotion surrounding the suicide jumpers who leap from the Golden Gate Bridge - the number one spot from which to do so. They filmed almost every daylight hour for a year, and from several angles, and were criticized for it, but they did intervene if they spotted a likely jumper. The film brought attention to the fact that the bridge has no barricades to prevent jumping, and I just saw in the weird news that a permanent net is finally being installed.
We saw this 2009 film at the theater yesterday. We both enjoyed it and neither of us found any fault with it. The biographical bits rounded out my picture of Julia Child (1912-2004) and a truer image - not Dan Ackroyd's spoof, which is featured in the film - appears in my mind's eye when I think of her. She was cremated, by the way, and her ashes were scattered, but not in her beloved Paris.
We watched this 2007 dark comedy the other night and I enjoyed it, even though I see that it rates only 33% on the tomatometer. The basic plot line is the inheritance of a funeral home and the antics involved to make it profitable again. One review states that any episode of Six Feet Under had "more sharp, mordant wit and freewheeling derangement" than this film, but I quite liked it - it made me both laugh and wince.

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