Judy Berman

Jun 26 2012
I can’t believe Nora Ephron is dead. It would be a lie to say I loved (or even liked) all her movies, but I appreciate who she was in the world and what she did. The first film she directed, “This Is My Life,” was on TV every other day when I was a kid, and I must have watched it at least 10 times — the story of a single mom torn between her two daughters and a comedy career that’s taking off. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, I’m sure it was the beautifully rendered, troubled yet intimate, relationships within this all-female family that got to me.
Evidently, they also made an impression on Lena Dunham, who included “This Is My Life” in her recent film series about women’s friendships at BAM. I went to that screening, and was happy that I loved the movie just as much 20 years later. Now, of course, what I really feel lucky about is getting to see Ephron in conversation with Dunham afterward. I never would have guessed she was so sick. She told us about having to fire her first cinematographer and how tight-knit the movie’s small cast and crew were (she even brought Gaby Hoffman, one of my childhood idols, onstage). She talked about which studio heads were assholes, totally unafraid to name names. I think a lot of us left that night feeling, for lack of a better word, empowered by Ephron’s intelligence and chutzpah — and if you’ve sat through your share of depressing panel discussions on “women in film (/television/music/art/literature/etc.),” you’ll realize how rare it is to leave them feeling better than you did on the way in.
Goodbye, Nora Ephron. Thanks for that great movie and that great evening and also for your activism and everything else. Fuck the haters.

I can’t believe Nora Ephron is dead. It would be a lie to say I loved (or even liked) all her movies, but I appreciate who she was in the world and what she did. The first film she directed, “This Is My Life,” was on TV every other day when I was a kid, and I must have watched it at least 10 times — the story of a single mom torn between her two daughters and a comedy career that’s taking off. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, I’m sure it was the beautifully rendered, troubled yet intimate, relationships within this all-female family that got to me.

Evidently, they also made an impression on Lena Dunham, who included “This Is My Life” in her recent film series about women’s friendships at BAM. I went to that screening, and was happy that I loved the movie just as much 20 years later. Now, of course, what I really feel lucky about is getting to see Ephron in conversation with Dunham afterward. I never would have guessed she was so sick. She told us about having to fire her first cinematographer and how tight-knit the movie’s small cast and crew were (she even brought Gaby Hoffman, one of my childhood idols, onstage). She talked about which studio heads were assholes, totally unafraid to name names. I think a lot of us left that night feeling, for lack of a better word, empowered by Ephron’s intelligence and chutzpah — and if you’ve sat through your share of depressing panel discussions on “women in film (/television/music/art/literature/etc.),” you’ll realize how rare it is to leave them feeling better than you did on the way in.

Goodbye, Nora Ephron. Thanks for that great movie and that great evening and also for your activism and everything else. Fuck the haters.

10 notes

  1. heartbarf reblogged this from judyxberman and added:
    I was just thinking about that evening at BAM when I heard these news. I was in attendance also, and felt so good after...
  2. judyxberman posted this
Page 1 of 1