Everything Is Copy (2015) Directed by Jacob Bernstein & Nick Hooker
I have become the biggest Lena Dunham fanatic. I love Girls (the HBO TV series). I think it's a feminist masterpiece. I also loved Dunham's memoir Not That Kind of Girl, which I read last week. Then there is Lenny Letter, which is a genius publication in its own right and another kind of feminist move to admire. Lena Dunham manages to discuss womanhood and girlhood in a way that's both unashamed and unafraid of the difficult issues and remains always funny in a kind of Woody Allen way. I was not surprised when I learned that Dunham went looking for women who write about women's lives in 1970s self-help books, in Erica Jong's 'zipless fucks' and in Nora Ephron's writing and films. I feel like my love for Nora Ephron movies has finally been scientifically proven sane. It is surprising though, that I didn't know anything about Nora Ephron, the writer.
Everything is Copy is a respectable effort to try to understand who was the woman behind so many successful comedies – the most famous being When Harry Met Sally (1989) and You've Got Mail (1998), I guess. She went from being a journalist and a novelist to being the director of her own films. This is why she is an important role model to Lena Dunham still in the 2010s. The documentary is empathic, but shows that Ephron had many personal traits that appeared unconventional, difficult, even unlikeable.
What is central to the documentary is the way in which Nora Ephron seemed to have taken in her mother's phrase 'everything is copy' to justify writing about personal experiences and people close to her. She had the need to open locked closets, so to speak, and to air taboos and secrets. She also had a strong need to succeed as a writer. The documentary shows that her parents had been Hollywood script writers but had turned into abusive alcoholics when Ephron was a teenager – a tradegy for Ephron and her siblings.
|Meryl Streep and Nora Ephron. Streep was a usual collaborator with Ephron|
The last few weeks have felt like a strange limbo has gripped my body. The inevitable apocalypse that will inflict pain on all of us is surely round the corner. I thought I'd cheer myself up by going to see the Batman v Superman film. I had been warned it was the worst film ever made not only by the universal critical consensus but by friends on Facebook. In the end it was a pretty OK superhero flick with two or three jaw-dropping scenes (which let's face it – most movies don't even manage one). The media attention/obsession on the films subsequent box-office takings tells you all you need to know about these 'times'. We live in a numbers era. Click bait and so forth, leave your integrity at the door. Fuck it, leave your talent while you're there as well. We don't need it maaan. We only need to know those fucking numbers. It hasn't always been this way. We watched Everything Is Copy, the Nora Ephron documentary made for HBO and I wonder how she would have fared with her subtle, sharp and real talent if she burst onto the scene nowadays. Unfortunately, whilst watching this, I realized I didn't really like Ephron and her world – it's so white, elitist and middle class. A bit like the Finnish hip–hop scene.
|A younger Nora Ephron|
|Woody Allen with Ephron.|