Julie Speaks

Remember the scene from Sabrina where Audrey Hepburn comes back from her life-changing trip to Paris all full of herself wearing that kicky little beret, suddenly woman enough to take on both Humphrey Bogart and Bill Holden? No longer a mere girl, she now fancies herself a world-weary femme fatale with an air of self-import and a whole lot of secrets to reveal.

Well, that's not how I feel at all. Mostly, I just need a nap.

Yes, I am back. Back from my brief flirtation with Hollywood success, back from my passing belief that I had arrived, once and for all, signed, sealed and delivered at last to somewhere very cool that was mine for keeps. It turns out there is no such address, unless you're Elizabeth Taylor, the artist formerly known as Prince or a member of the extended Spielberg brood. For the rest of us, "making it" in Hollywood means hopping to job from job, like frogs between lily pads where the others are never entirely convinced there's room for one more. Having completed my big fabulous debut screenplay for the Famous Mr. E., I find myself treading water, hoping to spot another passing pad that might have me before I run out of steam again. My last stint flailing around alone in the kiddy pool, as you may recall, lasted ten grueling years. I really should have thinner thighs by now.
Needless to say, all did not go well between me and my newfound movie star pals. This is still Juliewood, California, after all, where life is anything but a big screen dream, even now that I've started working. Though I'll be doling out all the dish on the ups and downs of my marginal success in coming posts, like any good story teller, it's my duty to begin at the beginning. The point before which there is nothing, as our old friend Aristotle defines it.

To my mind, that means responding to a small sampler of the many hundreds of increasingly desperate comments and shameless questions posted publicly and privately during my brief absence...

Lawrence said...
Are you saying that you can't blog while working on your project?
It's not that I couldn't, dear Lawrence, more like I didn't want to. Blogging or sleeping, which would you choose?There were days where peeing was a luxury, and don't get me started on breakfasting, lunching and dinnering, which was occasionally done between taking truly picayune producer notes. Again, I really should be thinner.

shecanfilmit said...
I miss your posts, but so happy you made it inside. Can't wait to read the memoir - you are writing one, right?
Yes! I've decided to call it "Julie Who?" (You get a lot of that in this town, even after they start paying you a truckload of money).

DJones said...
What's with these bloggers who get you hooked and then stop updating for almost two months at a time? And when they do update, it's a cut-and-paste job. Sheesh!
Bloggers, and bitches and bears, oh my!

Les Becker said...
Go, Julie!
I am, I am!

fridwulfa said...
It's good to see you're still around, silent, yes, but around after all. I quite agree with djones, though.
Of course I'm around, where else would I be?

pws said...
I, for one, am willing to wait between updates. That's what RSS readers are for.
My hero.

Earl Newton said...
I think I speak as the voice of reason when I say:
A) JGTH, miss your posts, but for God's sake, keep writing.
B) If everybody wants to pool together a fund of mid-to-high six figures to charm Julie away from the writing gig for a bit, I'm sure she'd be amiable. As long as we're not paying her electric bill, We've go no room to complain. ;)
My bigger, better hero. (With apologies to PWS).

Dan Fiorella said...
write on, girl, write on.
I see the makings of a sixties doo-wop hit somewhere in there. Is Bobby Sherman still alive?

Doug said...
One less thing to worry about in this crazy, mixed-up, topsy-turvy world.
I'm proud of you, Ms. Hollywood.
Damn, somebody figured out my last name.

pws said...
I thought viewers here might appreciate a link to this:
Screenwriters in the Shit
While Akiva Goldsman fiddles, more accomplished movie scribes burn
...In a word, it stinks out there for screenwriters, worse even than the fetid stench of the usual shit flung at them in previous years. These aren’t wannabes, either. These are some of the top names in the biz. “I am fucking terrified,” a major scribe tells me about his year of not getting any work. “I can’t believe my career is ending like this.”...
Oh, dear. As my mother always says, "Just put on a little lipstick, dear. It'll make you feel better."

Sarthak said...
I love Julie........!!
All the best for all your film projects.
keep blogging.......!
Like I say, I'm baack.

Scribe LA said...
Julie - we miss you!
Come back soon:-)
Wanna know a secret? I was here all along. Remember that whole deal with the ruby slippers? I could have written all that with my eyes closed.

fridwulfa said...
Well. Happy new year, and all that jazz. May 2007 be the year of your success. (or whatever)
Or whatever? Whatever else is there, dear?

Scribe LA said...
Happy New Year!! Cheers to 2007 bringing the beautiful.
Have a lovely time at Stars on Ice:-)
Should I be creeped out that you know about my floor seats?

Moviequill said...
Timestamp: Feb 24... still keeping the faith you will return with updates
A time stamp? What is this, a day job at Ralph's? Honey, you know that's my greatest fear. That and having to go home to Umatilla and live in my father's RV.

chad said...
Please come back...
Please come back...
Please come back...
Rule of threes. There's a man who knows his story structure. See slippers, ruby, above.
Les Becker said...
Yes, please, Julie... you are so cruel.
Ka-shuh. (That was a sound of my black leather whip).

Heidi said...

Julie! I had another John Taylor moment and had to let you know: http://heidiwood.blogspot.com/2007/03/shouting-reflex.html
Oh sigh. Hope you are creating masterpieces!
Heidi, my soul mate, I read where they arrested a John Taylor stalker. I sincerely hope she isn't you.

The Moviequill said...

Time Stamp Easter Weekend April 8... I no longer see the humour in making us salivate like the industry dogs we are
Damn, Ralph's again.

Doug said...
*Slips off her watch*
Baby, I' 'm a slippery girl. Stay tuned!

This Blog Is Rated Julie

There’s a Website—a dating Website of all things, and not even a Christian one—that scans blogs for objectionable material, suggesting various levels of parental supervision all the way up to FBI intervention and possible notification of the Department of Homeland Security. Mine rated the dreaded NC-17, the lowest of the low, right down there with those offering up guided tours inside Paris Hilton’s vagina, random clips of bestiality and kiddy porn, and graphic information on how to make and detonate a suicide bomb. To be directed to one or more of us, all the kids have to do is accidentally leave an “o” out of the word Google.

Since the program is only able to ferret out scandalous words rather than images, my alarming rating was apparently determined based on my aggregate usage of profanity. Over the years, I’ve employed the word fuck no less than fourteen times, although ironically this was all in one recent post meant to satirize the hypocritical nature of the relationship between language and censorship. There were ten references to porn, six to sex and three to death. I twice uttered the word dick—although I'm certain that one or more of these was in reference to a certain "private dick" played by Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon—and once referred to someone, or heaven forbid something, as “anal.”

I am a dirty, dirty girl, and for that I have been bitch-slapped. That’s right, bitch-slapped, I’ve said it twice now, like a prison inmate already living under the death penalty who up and offs another guard just for sport. Damn, another death reference. And damn, another two damns!

Well, two can poke around the Internet digging up dirt and naming McCarthy-era names, which is how I came to learn that the Supreme Court twice decided that the First Amendment didn’t apply to filmmakers. Larry Flynt, yes, Alfred Hitchcock, no. Both Psycho and Some Like It Hot were released without the required Motion Picture Association of America stamp of approval due to their “objectionable themes.”

I made it all the way through film school without learning that the Hays Code—banning the glorification of “crime, wrongdoing, evil or sin” from the nation’s theaters—remained relatively intact from 1930 (coincidentally the same year they gave liquor back to the people) all the way up until 1968. The MPAA then devised a four-tiered ratings system—G, M, R and X—that lifted virtually all restrictions on what elements could lawfully be in a film. M was later changed to PG, and the elevated PG-13 was added in response to the level of violence in—gasp!—Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. The dreaded NC-17 replaced the X rating not in relation to content, but because the MPAA had failed to trademark the designation by then widely in use by the porn industry.

This happened right around the time they stopped making good movies altogether, instead offering up family fare that ever so covertly slipped in adult themes like dead babysitters, rat love and monster sex in the hopes inspiring kids of all ages to forgo a week’s worth of groceries in exchange for sitting through them as a four-quadrant unit on opening weekend.

In all fairness to the contemporary American viewing public, I propose a new ratings system based not on outmoded moral self-righteousness, but rather on, oh, I don't know, audience appeal. G would be for Geeks Only, PG for Pubescent Geeks and Above, PG13 for Pubescent Geeks and Thirteen Screaming Friends, R for Really Rude Pubescent Geeks with Fake I.D.’s and NC-17 for the The 17 Remaining Films Not Created By Pixar. Damn, I miss movies with people in them. I mean, darn I miss the people movies. Darn I miss the porn, sex, death, dick movies about humans.