Monday, June 11, 2007

all things woodsey, and some other things too

1. biffy is like brad pitt to me

Screenings of film students’ work in L.A. are not a little talent show for friends and family. People like Gil Cates (known to me and Steph as The Guy Who Would Never Grant The Daily Bruin An Interview, but known to most as The Guy Who Produces The Academy Awards) serve as hosts, and people like Anne Ramsay (known for Mad About You and The L Word) star. And the quality is really good, or at least it was at Friday’s student showcase at UCLA.

But the jewel of the evening as far as I was concerned was Michelle Banta Tessier’s Camp Bean: All Things Woodsey, an animated film about a shy little boy slowly learning to love his summer camp, which is remarkably like UniCamp, the place I spent three summers singing nonsensical songs, protecting eight-year-olds from menacing field mice and trying to explain to myself and my kids why going days without a shower was actually a good thing.

In fact, Michelle looked a lot like Feather, the head counselor I worked under my senior year at UCLA. (As Camp Bean explains, you have to leave your city name behind and choose a camp name. Mine was Meadowlark.) At intermission, I confirmed they were one and the same.

“When the biffy [that’s Bathroom-In-The-Forest-For-You, a.k.a. an outhouse, to the non-initiated] came on screen, it was like seeing my favorite movie star!” I gushed. It takes animation to capture the magic that is camp: “And I loved how, when the boy started seeing things through ‘camp eyes,’ he saw that little spider sitting on her web knitting a scarf.”

2. bringing up baby turtles

Maybe I’m still under the spider’s spell, but it’s starting to feel like summer. Saturday my sister and I threw a retirement party for my dad, whose idea of retiring so far consists of working late four days a week, and whose idea of letting his daughters throw a party for him consists of cleaning the house before and after, and insisting on paying for the food (we didn’t let him, but it was quite a battle).

Although in many ways my dad lives in the moment far more than he did when he first began looking for the perfect town to retire to when I was five years old, he clearly needs a few lessons in relaxation. It’s a family trait, so I’m not the one to teach him, but it felt good to make up big vats of vegetarian chili and guacamole (yes, I express love via work, and yes, I’m aware of the irony) and give a little attention to a man who usually shuns it.

This weekend I also caught up with my writing buddies Kathy and Bronwyn, and realized how much I miss not just them and my class, but their characters—Emily and Dove and Jimi—too. Not much writing took place at this particular writing date, but we got to play with Kathy’s dozens of baby turtles, so it was all good.

Sunday night AK and I drove to Amy and Kimberly’s place in West Hollywood to see if we could catch the tail end of Pride. We saw a mostly empty boulevard lined with rainbow balloons, ate leftover donuts from someone’s barbeque, and watched Bringing Up Baby, which our sleepy, post-drunk hostesses had TiVoed. There’s a scene in the movie where Cary Grant’s character—due to a series of wacky events—dons Katharine Hepburn’s frilly robe, then opens the door to her conservative aunt, who demands to know why he’s dressed that way.

He jumps in the air, throws his arms back and shouts, “I’ve suddenly gone gay!”

In celebration of Pride, we watched it three times.


Claire said...

Well, technically he says, "Because I just went gay all of a sudden!"

I watched it the other night too, but I've seen it several times before, Hepburn fan that I am.

Cheryl said...

Thanks for the clarification (claire-ification?). Clearly I spend more time hanging out on E! than AMC.

Kathy said...

The baby turtles are honored to be mentioned in the same post as the fabulous Cary Grant. And the offer is open always if you want to adopt some!

Cheryl said...

Bread and Bread readers: You heard it here first--you could be a proud turtle mama or papa. Just send a self-addressed, stamped terrarium to Kathy.