Mistress America

I went out to work and had discussions of “The Holy Mountain,” Green Day Fireworks Night, and The Terminator. Afterwards, I walked over to Safeway to buy some fruit. I was too hungry to wait to get home to eat, so I had my Italian wrap right there at the bus stop. After dropping off my food, I went over to the California Theatre to see the Noah Baumbach movie “Mistress America.” I was the first person to buy a ticket for the 5:00 showing, but I didn’t see anyone else come into the theatre as the showtime approached. When the theatre manager came in to talk about coming attractions, I was still the only one in the place, so she joked that I was getting a private screening. She didn’t give me a reminder to turn off my cell phone, but then I didn’t have one, anyway. This was another production involving Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig, but the main character was a college freshman who had writing aspirations. The upcoming marriage of her mother causes a crossing of paths with Greta, who again has financial difficulties, this time revolving around an attempt to start a restaurant. Do we always hear songs by Paul McCartney and Hot Chocolate in Baumbach’s movies? The songs were “No More Lonely Nights” and “You Could’ve Been a Lady.” I detected traces of Woody Allen movies like “Hannah and Her Sisters,” “Broadway Danny Rose,” and “Annie Hall.” You’ve got one woman using another woman’s life as material for writing, which happened with Dianne Wiest and Mia Farrow. We saw Thanksgiving as a marker for changes in people’s lives, with images of parade balloons to indicate the day. A shot of the two main character talking is at the end of the movie, reminiscent of Woody Allen and Diane Keaton. I wondered if Greta Gerwig was being split in two for this story, with herself as Brooke and herself ten years ago as Tracy making up the parts. Tracy doesn’t seem to spend much time doing work in college. The funny thing is that she and Brooke seem like they could really be sisters. We see little jokes about New York apartments. One scene that didn’t seem real to me was the group of people reading the story. I had a flashback to Alan Rudolph. I liked the bit of sadness at the end. People are drawn together and pull apart by things that they can’t control, like relationships that don’t work out. I had forgotten for a while that “Frances Ha” was in black and white. This one felt like Truffaut going from “Jules and Jim” to “Small Change,” or something like that. Of course, I couldn’t help thinking that the restaurant part of the story was really about the difficulties in making a movie, and Brooke’s life was really about being an actress. I also looked at this movie in the light of “Trainwreck.” I think I relate to Greta Gerwig better. So far, I’ve liked the Baumbach movies with Greta Gerwig more than the ones without her, although I’ve seen only one without her, and that was “While We’re Young.” This is the kind of movie I’d like to see a second time. It turned out that I wasn’t quite alone in the theatre. Two other people made their way in to see it after the lights went out. I was a little surprised that this movie didn’t attract some more people. Nobody wants to go out and pay to see a movie unless it’s a current blockbuster. That’s a shame. This movie didn’t have the superheroes and CGI and noise that I’m so tired of in the movies that have been released this year. I don’t put Noah Baumbach in the same class as Woody Allen or Francois Truffaut, but at least I look forward to his movies. Greta Gerwig is in her early thirties and should have many productive years. Noah Baumbach is in his mid-forties, and he has more to say than many directors, especially the very young ones. I’d rather see “Mistress America” again than “Straight Outta Compton” or “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” I went home and had something to eat before watched the Partridge Family episode “All’s War in Love and Fairs.” Harry Morgan played another of those scheming characters. I fell asleep towards the end of the NUMB3RS episode “Blowback.” Colby made a foolish mistake. I awoke and was able to watch Paul Simon’s appearance on the Stephen Colbert show. I don’t think it’s easy to do the whistling on “Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard.” One of the things that struck me was that Paul Simon wasn’t wearing a hat. He looked older than the last time I saw him on television. I didn’t miss Garfunkel. Colbert had a big first week, but I can live without his show. I am upset that there is no Beatles morning radio program on the radio here anymore. Instead, I listened to the “Let It Be” album. Some of the people who died on September 12 include Steve Biko (1977), Anthony Perkins (1992), Raymond Burr (1993), Tom Ewell (1994), Victor Wong (2001), Johnny Cash (2003), and Claude Chabrol (2010). Today is a birthday for Linda Gray (75) and Ian Holm (84). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for September 12, the “Bonanza” television series debuted on NBC in 1959. In 1978, “Taxi” made its debut on ABC. In 1999, Graham Nash broke both his legs in a boating accident in Hawaii. In 2003, Johnny Cash died of complications from diabetes at age 71.

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