Te Nora Laudemus

English: Nicholas Pileggi and Nora Ephron at t...

English: Nicholas Pileggi and Nora Ephron at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was neither a close friend, nor an acquaintance of Nora Ephron’s, yet I felt as if I had known her.  Throughout the years I have laughed over her movies, devoured her essays, and lauded her scathing novel Heartburn.  When the news hit last night about her death from pneumonia via acute myeloid leukemia, my grief was heartfelt.  Through Nora’s crisp dialogue, witty essays, and sharp blog posts, I have learned much about writing.  The same is true, I admit, from reading Woody Allen’s prose and viewing his films.  If we had National Treasures, both Nora and Woody would prove worthy candidates for their linguistic prowess, their hegemony of the written word.

Nora Ephron’s 2010 book I Remember Nothing kept me in stitches, for I too forget people’s names.  I purchased the book for friends, just as I did her 2006 book, I Feel Bad About My Neck.  Her prose rang true, her insight acute regarding women and random life events.   My friends marveled at the humor and pathos in the essays, particularly when Nora wrote of her mother Phoebe, who became an alcoholic and died at fifty-seven.

   Sleepless in Seattle had ranked as my favorite Nora Ephron film, until Julie and Julia came along.  My copy of Julia’s My Life in France is dog-eared; I have read it multiple times.  Suffice to say that when the foodie film based in part on My Life in France arrived in theatres, I was on deck.  Nora thrilled me with her film so much that I reread her books and Julia’s again.

In fact, I again was reading I Remember Nothing this week.  Now Nora Ephron is no longer with us on Planet Earth, but I am heartened to know that she lives on through her movies, essays, books, and in revealing the secret to life is to marry an Italian.  Adieu, Nora.  Thank you for enriching my life and for reminding me to be the heroine of my own life.

Ciao for now.


Addicted to Woody

The bridge shot

The bridge shot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I unabashedly admit to being a Woody Allen disciple. Early on, I sought out his movies.  Then in 1977, my ardor swelled with Annie Hall.  After dragging friends to behold the magic of Diane Keaton and Woody Allen, my mission was to convert my entourage to the distilled essence of this perfect film.  In 1979 along came Manhattan, and I swooned for Woody all over again.  We college students agreed that Manhattan could only have been filmed in black and white with George Gershwin’s surging music a powerful underpinning to the storyline.

Match Point jarred me; it was such a darker sort of Woody film.  Yet it was not when I remembered Hannah and Her Sisters and Stardust Memories.  I prefer not to reveal the number of times I have viewed Vicky Christina Barcelona; suffice to say I worship at Woody’s altar.

In 2011, I was front and center to take in Woody’s latest flick, Midnight in Paris.  The Cole Porter songs wafting throughout the movie mesmerized me.  I remain enraptured of Midnight in Paris and the luminaries of the Lost Generation it evokes.

To Rome With Love opens in New York and Los Angeles today, with me sitting in The Heartland, eating pasta with pesto and fagioli for lunch, but alas, one needs sustenance even when dreaming of Rome. My spirit is channeling you happily in Rome, Woody, even though I believe you are already writing your next film, perhaps set in Venice.

Ciao for now.