On the DVD for Groundhog Day, there's a behind-the-scenes bit called "The Weight of Time." Today, I finally watched it.
Honestly, there isn't a great deal in there that is new... to me. I mean, I've listened to the Tobolowsky Files episode about Groundhog Day, I've read Rubin's book and Gilbey's book, listened to Ramis' commentary, and I've watched the movie every day for more than two months.
Some of the behind-the-scenes footage is nice. I will have to try getting some screencaps (but I can't today--I am not at home so I am not on my usual computer) and make some new gifs or put some new clips on YouTube.
In this blog, I haven't gotten into Bill Murray as an actor just yet--for some reason, I'm still stuck on Phil Connors as being more important--but I thought that Rubin's take on Murray's humor here was nice; he said Murray was "not afraid to be cruel."
One thing I may have to get a clip of later: there's an amusing ad lib in the god scene that didn't make it into the film. Phil tells Rita he doesn't bathe that much. She tells him she believes it. It's a good example of Andie MacDowell's ability to play off Bill Murray, though she says in interview footage that she "can't do what he does."
Something I didn't know: locals brought in heaters because at the start of filming it was "miserably cold." There are some fun shots of Murray and MacDowell each kinda dancing to keep warm before a take.
They talk about the filming for weather--they would film all the versions of, say, Ned's scene in one day, one particular kind of weather, then do all of them again in different weather so they could match up the days later. Stephen Tobolowsky talked about this on his podcast. And, this makes me wonder about the Phil sign girl and her friend. Before,I've tried to figure out an in-story reason for her friend's disappearance, but considering the practical aspects of filming, I'm even more perplexed about her absence.
Tobolowsky has a nice take on Phil Connors. He thinks we hate Phil and his smugness at the beginning of the film and the magic of it all is that by the end we've come around to Phil's side. While we wouldn't have wanted him to win Rita early on, by the end, we accept it as a reasonable ending... that last bit is me, not Tobolowsky.
I tend to respond to Rita lately as not only not being the great goal but maybe not even being worth the time Phil puts in. Structurally, as a replacement for Tess, Rita works as the unattainable thing Phil just has to get, but in terms of something more real, she's not a very nice person before Phil get to know her. But, then again, maybe that's the point; maybe no one is worth your time until you've already spent some on them in the first place.
I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, though. I admit that. I assume everybody is capable of doing good. Don't get me wrong; I assume everyone is capable of doing bad as well, but I think we naturally lean toward the former and not the latter.
Sometimes this tendency gets the best of me, at least according to certain people close to me. Mostly, I don't mind. Because, what else am I supposed to do? Be paranoid and suspicious of everyone, of every word anyone says to me, of every act's motivation? That's not a good way to live. I mean, sure, be skeptical, be wary. But, if I didn't trust anyone's motives... ever, that would be so very stressful.
I've got enough stress as it is.
We all do.
Today's reason to repeat a day forever: to be brief more often. To be more precise. To be more succinct. To use fewer words to get across what I mean to say.