November 9, 1996

This morning, for the first time, we showed the film to a group of friends who had never read the script. Opinions were mixed, as they have been at all the screenings. The dominant reaction was that the character of Mimi was unsympathetic. This is the same reaction that most people had when I first passed the script around early in 1996; I had almost forgotten about it, because the tone of the script comments changed when actors started reading the script for auditions, and the people who worked on the film naturally acquired a different point of view. I'd been hoping that Edith's performance would be appealing enough to gain audience's sympathies, but I now think she was too true to the character concept to make Mimi more palatable to people who aren't disposed to like her.

Probably this means that I have the weird art film that I started out making, and not the accessible movie that I inevitably started hoping for along the way. I think I can live with that. The film is looking pretty good to me on the whole - the list of little changes I want to make is dwindling. The truncated yard sale scene probably plays better in its present raggedy form, although we might want to ask Edith to come in to dub some of its dialogue, if we have time and money.

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