Showing posts from January, 2014

where are you going?

I begin today's entry in San Francisco. I was going to start it on the first leg of my journey but instead I slept most of the flight from LA. Should be boarding the plane to Chicago soon, then a drive to Woodstock and the weekend gets underway. On the official list of events, I will have missed four by the time I get there: the Lion's Club Pancake Breakfast last Sunday morning, the "Awakening of the Groundhog" Thursday morning, and Groundhog Trivia and a Chocolate & Wine Pairing also on Thursday. There's a Groundhog Day Dinner Dance tonight. I won't make it in time for the dinner, but I do hope to make it to the dance, not that I intend to dance or anything. The dance is at the Woodstock Moose Lodge which, apparently, is where they filmed the banquet for the movie so it would be cool to see it, get some photos. ... Continuing this entry in the air headed out of San Francisco. A bit of a delay at the airport, but on the go again. Got Captain Phili

she wants to see paris before she dies

I forgot to mention my theory about Doris yesterday... I mean aside from the Felix thing. I think that it would have made more sense if someone in Punxsutawney had cursed Phil rather than Stephanie on the outside-- and for those who have not been keeping up, Stephanie Decastro is the girl Phil went out with a few times but he didn't "have time for a real relationship right now." She was presumably added in Rubin's first revision of the screenplay (but I haven't read that one) and is in Ramis' second revision. She's in all of two scenes. In the second one, she's got a "thick book" called "101 Curses, Spells and Enchantments You Can Do at Home" and she proceeds to put a curse on Phil --because that character would be in the film more. Since Stephanie is barely present, and is not in the story at all once the curse is in place, the motivation is questionable. She will never benefit from the curse; even if Phil decides that, in be

i got ten bucks that says you're mine

There's something a little off about Doris. She stares at Phil on Day 3 when he's at the Tip Top... and she doesn't just stare; she leans toward him, over the table, staring. Sure, he's a sort of celebrity, but it still comes across a little weird. Then--and this is a new extrapolation--she's got a thing going on with Felix, who's married. She adjusts her bra as she approaches him, then she asks him for a roll of quarters? Yeah, there's no innuendo there at all. And, at the big party, she's dancing away with some other guy, but drops him like a bad habit when it comes time to maybe buy herself some Phil Connors for ten bucks. And, it's hard to write more tonight. Allergies and a long day, and I'm getting old--it's my birthday today, January 29. Interesting thing about today--14 years ago, Danny Rubin was working his way up to writing Groundhog Day ... actually, it was probably still just called Time Machine in his head. See it was that d

it would be a great idea to stay for some of the other events

Day 62 and Day 121 , I recapped entries so far. And, now it’s time to do so again. I also just—finally—went back into all the entries and put in subject “labels” so the entries should be more searchable. (I’ve also got business cards and postcards to give to people this weekend in Woodstock, so I am hoping the traffic here gets a good boost starting next week.) Day 122 – you’ve totaled it involved the Bechdel Test of women in film. Day 123 – i’ve got some errands to run deals with Groundhog Day as Jewish film. Day 124 – i thought we were going back discounts the cultural crisis surrounding Groundhog Day . Day 125 – for you, miss? deals with the presence of non-white characters (read: extras) in the film and discuss the concept of the magic negro. In Day 126 – oh, i’m sorry , I apologize for the magic negro thing… sort of. Day 127 – this sounds like a science experiment break down the DVD and blu-ray chapter headings. Day 128 – thanks for watching deals with the way scenes are

it's gonna entertain ya

I've joked--I think more than once--about creating a one man show version of Groundhog Day , I've shared how my daughter recently dreamed about being in a stage production of Groundhog Day . So, it should come as no surprise that Groundhog Day may soon be a musical. Broadway World proclaims: MATILDA THE MUSICAL's Tim Minchin and Matthew Warchus could have theatergoers returning again and again... and again for their upcoming musical adaptation of the 1993 movie GROUNDHOG DAY. Danny Rubin, who doesn't tweet very often, confirmed the news with a photo of himself with Tim Minchin. Now, I haven't seen the musical version of Matilda ; I'm not sure it's even come to Los Angeles yet. But, I like Minchin's other musical works, comedic songs like "You Grew On Me" or "Prejudice." I've got a good feeling about this project. It won't just be a copy of the film, of course. Minchin writes on his blog : Our version of Groundhog Day i

i think they want you to stop

Fewer words today than yesterday . Today’s reason to repeat a day forever: to not obsess about the details.

pull over immediately!

No words today… except these. And these: Today’s reason to repeat a day forever: to get some sleep.

don't drive on the railroad tracks

There will be very few words in today’s entry. And yet, this entry took over 4 hours of work. I have, previously used Google Maps to identify a few locations in Groundhog Day . Today, I took that further, identifying a whole lot of exterior locations from the film, to a) be more thorough than before and b) prepare for my trip to Woodstock a week from today. They’ve got a walking tour of filming sites on both Saturday (the 1st) and Sunday (the 2nd) but I want to know more locations than they will probably show. (I will admit that I got a little help from Chas Demster’s Filming Locations of Chicago and Los Angeles blog . But, I did not get help from Julie Boggie , who might have photographed the right tree from which Zacchaeus fell but she got the photo from a bad angle to be sure. And, she did not show where the previous shot with Phil checking his watch then running was filmed. I think it was up the street (she puts the tree—and she went on the walking tour—on Madison between Mar

i met a girl

It's been over a week since I wrote about the male characters as Phil's Jungian shadow . Though I had suggested I might deal with the female character in relation to anima the next day, I got sidetracked by that big roadtrip thing. As Benesh (2011) puts it, "the male characters represent archetypes of shadow, or disowned aspects of self; the female characters the anima, or contra sexual aspects of self" (p. 116). The female characters, Benesh tells us, "embody aspects of the anima archetype. Rita, in particular emerges as an anima figure, the anima being the bridge between consciousness and unconsciousness, and the path to one's self completion and wholeness" (ibid). I must admit, again, I don't know much about Jungian psychology. To be fair, I'm more interested in Benesh's use of Jung than Jung himself here, but since I liked picking on Benesh I thought I'd mention something I noticed when I was looking online for the chapter on anima

clear across the rockies and great plains

I'm not going to write about dreams again today, but I had to share one thing: my daughter had a dream involving Groundhog Day . She doesn't watch the movie every day like I do, of course, but she sees parts of it at least pretty regularly. Anyway, she's in a high school production of To Kill a Mockingbird as Scout--that's all the setup you need. In her dream, she discovers they're also doing a stage version of Groundhog Day and wants to try out for that. The role of Phil Connors, of course. But, then it turns out her rehearsal schedule for To Kill a Mockingbird is going to interfere with Groundhog Day so she can't play Phil. Instead, she's offered the consolation role (my phrasing) of Rita. In other news, my recent trip to Utah allowed me to watch the movie (or part of it anyway) in three states beside California. Watched about half the movie in Nevada, the first third or so in Arizona, all of it in Utah. My upcoming trip to Woodstock will add Illinois

who dreams of you at night

Benesh (2011) relies on John Izod’s (2000) Journal of Analytical Psychology essay, “Active imagination and the analysis of film” in linking the viewing of film to the process of dreaming. Izod’s original piece is interesting in that he argues, “Screened fiction has… the potential to help the individual grow in self-awareness” because “Experiencing affects aroused by fictions can resemble being drawn into a rehearsal for a possible, imagined future that just might (but more likely never will) occur in the individual’s life in the real world” (p. 267). The interesting thing here is that Izod’s description here implies that dreams lead to self-awareness. I like the idea of that… and maybe it seems obvious, but, of course, there’s still the possibility that dreams are simply the random firing of synapses as the body shuts down and lets the mind have some fun… But, even if—and I’d wager that as a big if —dreams are random, the specific contents still have to come from the material we’ve g

sweet dreams

You give your hand to me And then you say, “Hello.” And I can hardly speak, My heart is beating so. And anyone can tell You think you know me well. Well, you don’t know me. (no you don’t know me) No you don’t know the one Who dreams of you at night; And longs to kiss your lips And longs to hold you tight Oh I’m just a friend. That’s all I’ve ever been. Cause you don’t know me. (no you don’t know me) These lyrics play on "date night" as Phil and Rita dance in the gazebo. My recent mnemonic device when I was driving and couldn't write down notes, remember, included dreams . That came from this song. " don't know the one / Who dreams of you at night..." A couple things occurred to me. The first: is it Phil who dreams of Rita or Rita who dreams of Phil? Consider: Phil does know Rita. She just doesn't realize it and so his familiarity comes off as creepy. Rita does not know Phil, on the other hand, yet she's dancing with him. I think the ch

...if we're gonna stay ahead of the weather

This is like part four: written in a lounge area on the University of Utah campus. Just judged some informative speeches, not judging this round. So, it's time to explain what the sticky wet dreams referred to. First up is sticky . Really, it's stick and it's not that exciting. In fact, having just checked the transcript of the movie, it's not exciting at all. I thought I had a line wrong in the transcript. When Phil describes "the same old schtick" of the Gobbler's Knob bit, he says "the guy comes out with a big stick and raps on the door." I thought I had it wrong--something like the guys comes out and raps on the door with a big stick. Nothing major. But, I want my transcript to be as accurate as possible. The version I shared here has already undergone some changes--well, the changes were made to my annotated copy, anyway. Interestingly, I didn't misplace the stick but I did leave out the and . So, there is something to fix. But, as

we better get going...

Part two: written not in a hotel room but a university auditorium in Salt Lake City, waiting for awards after today's tournament. Had Groundhog Day on out in the snow... well, snow on the ground, not in the air. Anyway, movie was on during the lunchbreak. I even made a round of After Dinner Speaking wait an extra minute as the movie finished. (For the record, I had walked, with movie still playing in my hand, to the room and let them know of the delay and the reason why. One guy's response: "you got to have hobbies." A better response I got from another guy when I told him I've been watching the movie every day for 170 days was that I was awesome... I believe he called me "a gentleman and a star." So, I got that going for me.) But anyway, yesterday, I wrote of "watching" the movie in the van while still on the road. Had to do that again later yesterday--which means I have watched at least part of Groundhog Day in California, Nevada, Arizon

what's the worst part?

Part one: written in a hotel room in Vegas, considering posting this as a very short entry... maybe ad part two later today after I "watch" the movie again. Yesterday, Groundhog Day was "viewed" on the road. I put watch and viewed in quotation marks because I was driving at the time (and may do the same today), so I really didn't look at the movie much. I recited the lines along with all the characters, though. And, surprisingly, there are still a few lines I don't always get right. Had I not been driving at the time, I could have catalogued what I got wrong. But, I was driving. The worse bit, though, was I also couldn't "catalog" a couple things I noticed because I was focusing on the audio. One, I remember, was about a specific line of dialogue that seemed to have new meaning. But, I cannot for the life of me remember what line it was. I hope it's noticeable again today. The second thing I should be able to come up with in my head

wait in the van

Heading off to Utah today—taking a few members of our speech team to a tournament out there—not sure if I will have wi-fi tonight, so I’ve unfortunately got to do a “filler” blog. Since, I only posted a portion of my “Christ-Figure” paper in the fall, I figured I’d share the whole thing. There’s a lot that isn’t about Groundhog Day in here, but also some that is. It’s entitled: From Man of Steel to Groundhog Day : A Proposed Redefinition of the Christ-Figure in Popular Film . The text—longer than many of my blog entries, so feel free to skip ahead to tomorrow (an easier task for someone not reading day to day, I realize)—follows: The Christ-Figure is a common element in modern American film. The Christ-Figure, on the one hand, works as shallow shorthand to suggest depth and meaning to a character that may not be there; on the other hand, it links the modern hero to a long-standing religious tradition, building on that depth. In the Western world, we understand the Christ-Figure

look out for your shadow there, pal

Benesh (2011) makes the point (citing Dawson (2008) and Beebe (2008)) a few times that while the protagonist provides a focal point for audience identification... neither a critic nor social science researcher is advised to confuse such a figure with a real person, nor apply to such a figure methods of analysis better suited to such a person. Instead the case or psyche should be seen as the whole of the work, and often the protagonist is viewed as the work's ego-consciousness, which is not to be confused with the whole. (p. 115) Benesh gives this as the reason that she doesn't analyze the transformation of Phil Connors specifically (as I have done many a time now) but "the depiction of transformation." As to cautioning one not to confuse the protagonist with being a real person, I say, where's the fun in that? ...on the one hand. But, on the other hand, yes, sure, you should look at the whole text and not just one character... and , I think, you should also loo

well, you went to college, right?

When I broke down the filmic (nee screenplay) structure of Groundhog Day over the course of three days ( 1 2 3 ), I outlined a couple versions of where the act breaks might be for the film. But, generally, speaking, Act One is about 35 minutes long, Act Two is 30 minutes, Act Three the other 33 minutes or so (then the credits). But, Benesh... And, that's going to be a thing for a while, isn't it? I'll start by nitpicking Benesh then maybe get off on a tangent of my own. There are things in Benesh that I like, of course. It's not all wrong. But, I figure the easiest way to be critical, when it will not be all at once, is to nitpick first, explore our agreements later. Or maybe I could try to alternate. Like the rest of the time with this blog, I am mostly making it up as I go. I've got plans for certain topics, or certain days, but often from day to day, I'm deciding on my topic as I sit down to watch the movie. When I read the rest of Benesh's dissertati