In defense of cliche. A man from Mississippi. Christmas.

There is a man from Mississippi who wants to see Pippa. Great. I wonder if there is an art house nearby where he lives? Sir? Maybe I can get a print there. It’s heartening to hear from a family man who cares about my films–not that my audiences are always female. That’s not my experience at all.

Someone asked about rehearsal. I will write about that tomorrow if I can.

A word in defense of the cliche: In Pippa, I tried driving straight into cliche’s rather than doing everything possible to avoid them. Cliche’s are often cliche’s because they are true. And they are so true they get worn out. I wanted to face certain cliches –like the one about the man who keeps leaving for younger women, or the woman with a past–and find a fresh way to organize an old story.

On another note, I saw the best Christmas movie recently. It’s called “What Would Jesus Buy.” It’s a documentary about this man called Reverend Billy who was running for Mayor of New York, and the head of the “Just Stop Shopping” party. In the film, he and his choir cross the country in a bus going to malls and trying to get the people of America to buy less crap made by underpaid children in foreign lands. You should see what happens in Disney World. It sounds didactic, but it’s a brilliant and moving film.

5 Responses to “In defense of cliche. A man from Mississippi. Christmas.”

  • Ellie:

    Hi Rebecca,

    I have been a huge fan of your work since I saw Personal Velocity in Boston a few years ago. One of my all time favourite films is The Ballad of Jack and Rose. I love film and it is with a slight amount of shame that I admit that I do not read much, maybe five books in ten years..put me down, I know! However, there aren’t a lot of directors out there whose books you can buy, so when the Private Lives of Pippa Lee came I was so intrigued to read it. Well it was a revelation. I couldn’t put it down and recommended it left right and centre because I knew whoever read it would be entranced by it. The use of language was so poetic – not something one would normally be exposed to with film, rather it is the performances and the visuals that are poetry. Anyway, I live in Dublin and was wondering, being an Irish resident yourself, if you think you will ever make a film in Ireland? Rather than asking you to get the crystal ball out, I suppose what I’m really asking is, have you ever felt compelled to tell an Irish story or simply film a story here?

    Thanks for the stories so far and the wonderful ones to come!

  • Vikram Udeshi:

    Hello Rebecca:

    I am the man from Mississippi who placed comments on your blog in dec and you responded in your blog with a question if there is an art house in vicinity of my home — Jackson MS. Well there is and it is my curtail to handful of just a few folks like myself. I see Netflix says your DVD is scheduled for March 2010. I will wait for that. Thanks – Vikram

  • Vikram Udeshi:

    Hello again:

    Just wanted to let you know that I eye-balled some of your interviews and now I am intrigued to your approach and perspective of writing and transformation to cinema. Your style of minimal reharsals I feel would limit you within the reins of a smaller gamut in studio world, but yes will give you your freedom.

    Preceeding PIPPA DVD release, I plan to chronologically view your other 3 features (luckly Netflix has available) and get a feel of your evolution. Goodluck and hopefully your are feeling well now in warmer weather. Cheers.

  • nicole:

    Hello Rebecca,
    I’me sitting in a chair watching this beautiful movie,thinking about what a wonderful filmscript you made. Maybe i am a little predigist because i am a huge fan of Robin Wright but she, and the rest of the crew have done a terrific job.The private lifes of pippa lee is one of the most beautiful films i watched recently. I am definitely going to read your book too.
    By seeing this movie i wander about the scenario and how beautiful i would be to make a theatre play out of it. Me being a dutch actress and having my own theatregroup always in search of beautiful feminin roles to play. There are not so many leading roles with that much dept that you put in pippa lee. Not only the maine character pippa but also the mother and daughter. With some imagination I could see a beautiful theatreplay come out of this film. If you ever feel the urge to do so, let me know. We are just a very small theatregroup trying to make it in Holland and not there jet in a long run, but that doesn’t matter, to do what our hart tells us to is always the right path to walk on. We usely make our own scripts but this one would be on my bucketlist!
    Thank you for making this day a very special day! Greetz Nicole Meyjes

  • Alicia Doyle:

    I watched the trailer for the private lives of Pippa Lee and it looks very interesting i cant wait to see it now.

Leave a Reply