Posts Tagged Julia Child

Women’s History Month: focus on 1960s

Joan Baez

1960—folk singer Joan Baez releases her first album.

1960—Harper Lee writes the Pulitzer-prize winning To Kill a Mockingbird.

1960—the first BIRTH CONTROL PILL gets U.S. approval for sale.

1961—Eunice Kennedy Shriver helps establish a presidential committee on mental retardation. She later founds the Special Olympics.

1962—Ship of Fools by novelist/short-story writer Katherine-Anne Porter gets published.

Rita Moreno in West Side Story

1962—Rita Moreno wins an Academy Award for her role as Anita in West Side Story.
She is one of few people to win an Oscar, Tony, Grammy, Emmy and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

1962—First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy redecorates the White House with period furniture, wallpaper, art and china. She initiates a congressional bill to ensure that White House furnishings become the Smithsonian Institution’s property.

1963—feminist writer Betty Friedan writes The Feminine Mystique.

1963—The French Chef with Julia Child first airs on public television. The next year, Mastering the Art of French Cooking is published.

1963—President Kennedy signs the Equal Pay Act of 1963 [women earned 59 cents to every dollar men earned, today women earn ONLY 77 cents to every dollar men earn].

1964—more than forty neighbors witness the murder of Kitty Genovese in Queens and everyone ignores her cries for help.

1965—choreographer Twyla Tharp begins her career at Hunter College.

1966—television show That Girl premieres starring actress/feminist Marlo Thomas.

men try to take away Katherine Switzer's number during 1967 Boston Marathon

1967—Katherine Switzer secretly enters and successfully completes the Boston Marathon. She entered with the initial “K” to get in.

1968—Slouching Toward Bethelem, a collection of essays by Joan Didion, is published.

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film review: Julie and Julia

Nora Ephron wrote and directed an empowering film for women and it is all about food. The story focuses on world-renowned and beloved chef Julia Childs and Julie Powell, an unhappy cubicle-dwelling secretary facing thirty. Both women are at moments of self-discovery in their lives. Julie and Julia is about getting past obstacles, your fears, and reaching your goals. In the hands of veteran filmmaker Ephron, the film follows the two women, separated by a half-century, through challenges and triumphs.

In 1949, we find Julia Childs in Paris where her husband works for the U.S. government. She decides to enroll at the Cordon Bleu where she faces immense sexism and criticism amongst the men. One day, Julia’s husband arrives home and Julia is chopping a massive pile of onions for practice.

“Julia, you’re being a bit over competitive aren’t you?” he says.

In 2002, Julie Powell works as a secretary in Manhattan and lives in Queens. She’s facing thirty and feels that she has not accomplished the goals she had hoped she would be this age. Julie wants to be a writer. She tells her husband: “You’re not a writer unless someone publishes you.” She decides to write a blog about cooking her way through Julia Child’s cookbook in one year.

As Julie remarks: both she and Julia worked as secretaries; both married sweet men; and both women were “saved” by food. One major difference is that it took eight years for Julia Childs to write her first cookbook and Julie wrote her blog and received a book deal after one year. Julie also learns that 90 year-old Julia Childs does not like her blog. Julia’s book editor Judith Jones said: “Flinging around four-letter words when cooking isn’t attractive, to me or Julia. She didn’t want to endorse it. What came through on the blog was somebody who was doing it almost for the sake of a stunt…She didn’t suffer fools, if you know what I mean.”

As Julia, Streep lights up the screen with her mischievous smile, snappy comments and elegant style. Tucci brings a calming presence to the irrepressible Julia. Adams trades perkiness for determination and edge. As anyone who has cooked or baked knows, it is all about trial and error. You get better at anything with practice which is what we see with Julie and Julia. The film is fast-paced and upbeat. Ephron makes Julie and Julia entertaining without being silly, touching without being sappy, and just an overall charming, delightful film.


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