August 6, 2007

So Very Many Writer Girls

Cinecultist has had actress Julia Stiles on the brain lately. It's sort of unfortunate really. See, Julia reprises her role as the slightly inept CIA handler Nicky Parsons in The Bourne Ultimatum, so last week Cinecultist was watching her running through the Morocco streets with Matt Damon. But then we couldn't help but also think about Sylvia Plath.

Here's where the brain leap happened: after this report in Variety from last spring that Stiles had optioned the rights to Plath's novel The Bell Jar, we'd picked up a cheap paperback of it from the Strand because even in our days of reading all those feminist classics we'd never gotten to it and CC also finished reading it last week. Of course, when you read a book while thinking about its upcoming movie adaptation you can't help but picture said stars speaking the book's dialogue, so all through The Bell Jar it was Miss Julia we saw wearing the fussy '60s outfits as an unpaid intern in the magazine offices and stalking around the fancy insane asylum. Julia has a good look for that era, despite being a pretty mediocre actress, so we'll be curious to see the movie when it comes out. Especially because after reading the book, since CC didn't develop any kind of pre-teen style fascination with the story, we'll be okay if it sucks. In fact, we found neurotic, anti-social, privileged Esther Greenwood tough to get invested in. Certainly being manic depressive and suicidal is something that's going to be outside of your control, but all through the book we couldn't help but wonder if English major Esther was so damn smart, why couldn't she at least try to will herself into a better mental state? It sounds a bit insensitive but with all of those opportunities to excel, we sort of wanted to slap her around a bit and yell, "Man up, woman!"

As for Esther's drive to live a life of letters, Cinecultist certainly identifies with that. We've been doing some freelancing at some Condé Nast publications over the last few months, but today was our first day working at the 4 Times Square location (which we've been lovingly/mockingly calling "the mothership"), and as we waiting in the lobby for our security pass, it was sort of thrilling. After six years in New York, and over three working in publishing, you'd think CC would be inured to the imposing security turnstiles and the lure of the Frank Gehry designed cafeteria. But nope. It's cool to be here, another little cog in the vast machine that is the magazine industry. Although much to our Mom's chagrin, we would not promise to take a camera phone picture of Anna Wintour if we were to end up in an elevator with the Vogue editor. A with-it downtown New Yorker like the Cinecultist has to draw the line somewhere.

Posted by karen at August 6, 2007 5:02 PM
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