Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Princess Diarist

The Princess Diarist

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The last book of Carrie Fisher takes us into a trip what went through her mind in and around the shooting of the first Star Wars now affectionately called A New Hope a.k.a Episode IV. There is the pre-casted portion where she is merely Debbie Reynold’s daughter. There is a portion while filming which is a huge chunk of the book because Harrison is right smack in it. And there is life after Star Wars or also known as being under the shadow of Princess Leia.

This is the first book – perhaps my only book considering the price – written by Carrie that I have thus my first exposure to her writing. Even in print it’s really her. When you read it it’s Carrie’s voice in your head. Somehow it feels better that she speak it than I read it.

Come to think of it this book may also be my first autobiography. I feel that I am in someone else’s mind. Facts, events, are being narrated in the first person. If you’ve watched Carrie’s Wishful Drinking it can be a really lively mind. Being bipolar this is no mere statement of fact, the needle flips.

Some of the more interesting parts include Days of Heaven. She was never in it of course but it something you or she always looks back on: what if? Days of Heaven scores an 8 on imdb. What if John Travolta whom she said she has had good chemistry going on in the screen test starred in the movie? Would she have been in it? If she and that movie have been under her resume, would Carrie Fisher have been considered a more serious actress than just being Princess Leia?

Also, what if Brian de Palma casted her instead? Brian and George were doing casting calls jointly albeit for different films – De Palma was working on his movie Carrie. She remembers with amusement it could have been Carrie playing Carrie in the movie Carrie.

Carrison – Carrie and Harrison – is the main chapter which is basically the production period of Star Wars when they shot the movie at Elstree Studios in London. We get into Carrie’s head as she works in her first major role. She hates the hair buns or having no bra but hey it’s her first big job. The affair could as easily be with one of the production crew had not Harrison just swooped right in as she was drinking – or being coaxed to drink – by a production crew/staff hoping to get lucky with the leading actress.

The diary entries are mostly dedicated to that affair. It is not a detailed log sheet of what and when something happened but poems, essays, short stories of how she feels thus they have no dates. The poems are actually good that I wonder if they’re all original. Did a 19 year old girl really make this? Or did a 19 year old girl high pot made this – Carrison did pot she says. The tone ranges from love to some kind of self-disgust for falling for a married man.

I was surprised that she admitted to having done the comic con circuit selling her autograph for $70, I think she said. Attending events like these was what she refers to as a lap dance. The name sounds negative but never dwelt, wrote about the topic negatively.

That always seems to be the problem with Carrie I realize now even in the written word, she never dwells negatively on something that I never could figure out what she really hates. There always an upside and downside to what she’s saying. “George Lucas ruined my life and I mean that in the nicest possible way” – was that remark positive or negative?

My only negative thought about the book is the tease: it should have been Mark. The entries quoted do not have direct reference to a name; as written it most likely alludes to Harrison. So what does she really think of Mark Hamill?

Alas we can’t ask her anymore.