I dedicate today's post to my friend Isabelle, who strongly urged me to seek out a coffee eclair while I was in Paris. I shall be forever in her debt for this delicious advice. I did indeed find said eclair and enjoyed every last bite!
Most of my day today was spent at the Musee Marmottan Monet. I realize now why I'm so drawn to the paintings of Monet. He manages to evoke whole images with just the merest brushstrokes - so simple and yet so moving. When you look at just one brushstroke it doesn't make sense. But take a step back, your imagination connects the pieces, and the whole picture emerges. And writing is exactly like that. When you try to capture an emotion or moment by having the character speak directly about it, it never works. Comes off as trite. Somehow it's always more powerful when you allude to what you're trying to say, through symbolism or allegory, and let the audience read between the lines - thoughts and feelings that are merely suggested, like a few simple brushstrokes. As soon as you try to capture that feeling it dances away from you. But approach with humility - admit that you cannot capture that perfect vision inside your head - and suddenly it comes to life.
While I was in the museum there was a group of schoolkids there with their teacher. It was so cute to see her teach them about the paintings, watch them as they stepped up close and pointed to various parts, got excited about what they saw. Musee Marmottan is off the beaten path in Paris - out in an area called La Muette - so it's not crowded like the Louvre and they have a huge collection of Monet and Morisot works.
After my visit to Monet, I met Callie for lunch. She found this wonderful place called Polidor. It's been around since 1845. Hemingway, Kerouac, and James Joyce frequented the place, and Woody Allen shot his Hemingway scene for MIDNIGHT IN PARIS there. I got the beef bourguignon - deeeeelicious. So tender. And then homemade ice cream - caramel and strawberry.
After supper I ambled around the Place Monge area and discovered this wonderful, winding cobble-stoned street lined with fromageries, patisseries, and fish stalls. This is where I took today's pics of all those beautiful pastries, from various patisseries. Woody shot some of MIDNIGHT IN PARIS in this area too, on the steps of the church St Etienne du Mont. I never did find it, though. But there was plenty more to feast my eyes on, as today's photos hopefully show.
Tomorrow we're off to Versailles!
GUEST WRITER'S BIO
Vicki Speegle is an award-winning screenwriter whose feature script LOVED ONES was in development at Amazon Studios and was a finalist for best screenplay. Her screenplay DEAREST was a finalist for the 2011 Sundance Screenwriters Lab, and her television pilot THE WAKES OF WILBUR POE recently placed in the finals of Slamdance.
Vicki grew up the daughter of a gay single mom turned pastor in Akron, Ohio, where she helped take care of her two younger brothers, an experience that provided fodder for a number of short stories and scripts. Her infatuation with storytelling began at the age of five when she sent a love letter to Donny Osmond, and since then she has worked an eclectic mix of jobs to support her writing habit, including 4 years in the U.S. Navy tracking nuclear submarines on a tiny island called Adak, Alaska, assistant to a very eccentric New York City artist, and a brief bout as the world’s worst waitress. Vicki studied music performance and education at Akron University before making the move to New York University, where she earned her BFA in Film & Television Production. During her studies at NYU she interned as assistant to the editor for Ken Burns’ production of THE WEST. She wrote, directed, and produced several shorts, including her thesis film OLDER, which went on to screen at the Tribeca Underground Film Festival and won 2nd place in the Pioneer Theatre Short Film Slam in New York City.
After graduating from NYU, Vicki joined Rigas Entertainment as assistant to the Director of Development, helping in the development of feature films with directors Peter Cattaneo (The Full Monty) and Maggie Greenwald (SongCatcher). In 2005 Vicki began shooting a documentary about her mother’s struggle to reconcile her faith as a pastor with her advancing Alzheimer’s. The project is currently in post-production and has garnered the support of GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). In 2007 Vicki’s screenplay LOVED ONES placed in the top 5 of the Bluecat Screenplay Competition and won Screenplay Live at the Rochester Film Festival. Her works have placed in several other competitions, including Women in Film, Chesterfield, and American Zoetrope. Vicki’s credits include a teen comedy for Applause Films and radio scripts for Wynton Marsalis, Director of Jazz At Lincoln Center.
Vicki lives and works as a writer, filmmaker, and web producer in New Jersey. She is still waiting for Donny’s response.