Seeing Nora Everywhere

The creator of “Girls” remembers Nora Ephron.

  1. “This Is My Life” is the movie that made me want to make movies. I first saw it in second grade, so I wouldn’t have articulated it as such, but that’s what was going on. I must have watched it on VHS eleven or twelve times in one summer, trying hard to grasp something. About its characters? About its construction? On each viewing, a new joke or angle revealed itself to me and its world became richer. I loved Samantha Mathis’s surly teen, Gaby Hoffmann’s quippy innocent, and especially Julie Kavner’s Dot, their single mother, a standup comedian hellbent on self-actualizing despite, or maybe because of, these daughters. But what I really loved was the person orchestrating the whole thing. The costumes, perfectly low-rent polka-dotted blazers and grungy winter hats. The music, a mixture of vaudevillian bounce and Carly Simon’s voice that somehow made the city seem more real than if car horns scored the film. The camerawork, a single gliding shot that followed each family member into her b...

The complete text of “Seeing Nora Everywhere” is not in the Byliner library, but we love it so much we included an excerpt and a link to the full story on www.newyorker.com.

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