Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Day 99 - Julia de Milo

Day 99.

So today, I clicked on my Netflix Julie & Julia bookmark out of sheer habit, forgetting that the instant streaming option had expired today.

No blue "play" button? That can't be right.

And for the briefest of moments, I was free--just like how the inmates in The Shawshank Redemption feel when Andy plays the opera record over the PA system.

Yes, I do see myself as somewhat of a prisoner--is it that far off, really? I mean, I bet real prisoners get to watch other movies too. Just saying. I really wish I was watching this movie every day instead of fucking Julie & Julia. Also, I hope that somewhere they are recording Morgan Freeman saying every word in the English language with every tone inflection so they'll be able to manipulate it to do voiceovers for the rest of time. But I digress.

Today marked the first time I watched Julie & Julia on DVD and... well, I hate to disappoint you all, but it wasn't any different. I was however, pleased with cool graphic sequence on the DVD menu screen. I watched that for a good 10 minutes.

Charmingly simplistic!

Knowing that I have another 266 days to explore all the special features of the DVD, I won't go into it now--got to pace myself. I will say that I'm excited to be rid of the lagging that sometimes plagued the Netflix stream. There's no reason to have to wait even longer for this movie to finish.

Maybe it was due to the DVD or the slight change in ritual, but today I noticed something out of the ordinary during my daily viewing. In the scene where Simone Beck and Avis DeVoto ask Julia to be a co-author of their cookbook, there's this weird statue in the background--what looks to me like a female version of Michelangelo's famous sculpture David. It's basically David with boobs. Fucking French people, right?

Then I thought to myself, "Wait, I have definitely seen this sculpture before. It's probably super famous and my inability to identify it is going to let everyone know that I am secretly an idiot," as I rapidly typed "armless naked woman" into my google image search. Two hours later, I proceeded to add the word "statue" to my search query.

So yeah, I was right. This statue is super famous. And my inability to identify it has now outed me as a woefully ignorant and uncultured buffoon. I can, however, pretty much recite every episode of the 90s Nickelodeon show Hey Arnold! for you. So if you need me to do that, then yeah.


Ladies and gentlemen, the Venus de Milo (I really should've known this from that episode of The Simpsons. Guess I didn't recognize it in non-gummy form.). I never understood why these statues are always missing limbs. What is so artsy about amputees? Nothing. I don't see the appeal (This statement is much funnier with the knowledge that I am fully erect right now).

This new revelation begs the inevitable question, "Why the fuck is the Venus de Milo just chilling in some goddamn French restaurant?" Like really, shouldn't this priceless and iconic work of art be in the Louvre or some shit? Not just hanging out by a table, just waiting for some little snot-nosed French kid to knock it over. Hey, maybe that's how it lost its arms in the first place. Fucking carelessness, people.

More likely, though, is that the set designers of Julie & Julia thought to themselves, "Oh hey, we need a way for those idiots out there watching our movie to know that we're back in France." And then some genius chimed in, "I know! Let's stick the Venus de Milo behind Julia in this lunch scene! People associate famous works of art with France." It's really the only explanation.

I mean, I guess the one in the restaurant is supposed to be some sort of replica or something--but that's stupid. I like to think Julie & Julia spent all of their budget on renting the authentic Venus de Milo out for this one shot, which is pretty wasteful, knowing that money could've been used to hire script doctors and the actual Mark Ruffalo.

Goddamn idiots.

Oh, and be sure to check back here tomorrow--I've got a sweetass post prepared for the Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project's big 100th day!


Julie & Julia 
Quote of the Day: "Would you do it, Julia?" 


  1. I think I know someone who can shed some light on the appeal of limbless statues. He'll even explain it in song.
    Skip ahead to 1:08. The sound quality isn't great, but his adoration of the broken art is clear. I watched this VHS tape I don't know how many times when I was little, and goddamn the messages are still relevant to almost everything. "You're beautiful just as you are." Fucking brilliant, Oscar.
    Your fellow Evanstonian.

  2. There are replica's of all the famous statues scattered all over Europe!! It's quite awesome.

  3. One might ponder the symbolism of that statue looming over "Julia". The statue is the epitome of the feminine form, the most beautiful woman in the world. But she doesn't have arms so how can she make a proper Hollandaise? Julia isn't all that attractive, but she can cook. The subliminal message to men -- you get one or the other but not both. Or maybe the set director just thought it looked nice.

  4. The statue more than likely had arms when it was sculpted, over time they broke off.

  5. get busy livin' or get busy dyin'

  6. It had arms originally. It got stolen and moved around a lot, and they were broken off somewhere in that process. Likely, the sculpture was probably stolen or pillaged - I'm leaning toward pillaged - and thus in the haste to take it away to make lots of little replicas without having to pay royalties, they had little regard for the preservation of the whole.

    I made that last part up. I mean, it probably was pillaged though.

    I did see a picture of what it supposedly looked like originally. She was holding an apple in one hand and possibly holding that drape of fabric with the other. It's fuzzy. I didn't always pay attention in art history.

    Also, I think you mean Louise and not Avis. She has not been introduced quite yet. BAM.

  7. Re Venus de Milo: Listen to the Chuck Berry song,
    "Brown-Eyed Handsome Man";
    one verse talks about the Venus de Milo & what happened to the arms; I've always thought it was interesting that Chuck Berry had that reference in his song-writing; must have been a good public school there in St. Louis.