Your "Sites of the Silver Screen" (Resident Tourist Guide, April 18) is a keeper. I foresee film fans referring to your list and visiting locations where some major (and minor) movies were shot. But your Magnificent Seven of writers allowed one—a real biggie—to get away. It didn't even appear online with other films that didn't make the print edition. You may have heard of it: Basic Instinct—you know, the controversial blockbuster of 1992. Let me pull focus for a minute and fill you in. Popcorn ready? OK, here goes.
We'll start on Western Avenue, the rural area across from Petaluma Junior High. Sexy Sharon Stone is driving like a sex-crazed lunatic in her sexy little black sports car, and detective Michael Douglas is following, trying to keep up, his heart in his throat and his sphincter muscle very likely there as well. The stagey scene shows a cluster of vehicles on a winding road, presumably with a huge cliff off-camera, and Stone zipping in and out of the line of traffic. The filmmakers then shot the scene with the cars on the opposite side of the road, British-style, to give the perspective of a steep cliff. It's only a berm above the school's athletic field and below the road.
In downtown Petaluma—26 Liberty St., to be exact—Stone pulls up to the curb and goes into the nondescript A-frame house where her aunt (Dorothy Malone) lives. Douglas parks across the street where the magnificent St. Vincent de Paul church is located. He gets out of his car and goes to a rural mailbox that was set up specifically for the movie. He opens it up, takes out a couple of envelopes and reads the addressee's name: "Hazel Dobkins," Malone's character. Douglas sits and waits in his car for hours. Day turns to night, and Stone finally leaves the house.
She zips off to Western Avenue, makes a fast right and flies down toward Petaluma Boulevard North (she had a real need for speed, among other things), with Douglas behind her. Stone is in the left-hand lane but makes a sudden, illegal right onto the boulevard. Douglas, caught unaware, tries to follow, but is unable to change lanes as another car is in the turn lane, blocking him. Stone gets away and Douglas throws his hands up in frustration.
There! I feel so much better for having done your work. When can I expect a check in the mail?
With due respect to Jonah Raskin ("Read Poetry!" April 11), when was the last time Dana Gioia read at, or even attended, a poetry reading in our county? Why don't we urge people to read the fine local poets who make their presence felt locally? Sonoma County laureate Bill Vartnaw. Geri Digiorno, who hosts the annual Petaluma Poetry Walk. Katherine Hastings with her WordTemple reading series and radio programs. Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion, founders of 100 Thousand Poets For Change. Ed Coletti. Andrew Mayer. Vilma Ginzberg. David Beckman. Tom Mariani. Margo van Veen. Don Hagelberg. Gor Yaswen. Many others I can name. Poets who not only have a residence in Sonoma County, but poets who make a difference in Sonoma County.
I saw Stacey Lawson's TV ad last night. It's like, "Hello, I'm blonde and cute. I don't have any issues or bother to vote, but I have tons of money." Michael Allen, every bit the ghost of Jimmy Hoffa, "Look you guys, I'm taking over this territory, see?" resurfacing at the Petaluma Dems last night with his legislative aid passing out campaign flyers (Hatch Act?). Together they look like Meg and Michael Whitman out to buy some seats at IKEA.
Last week's item about the ACLU awards on April 27 ("Insider Art," April 18) listed the admission cost as $55. Organizers would like you to know that at the door, and after April 17, tickets will be $70 ($25 for low-income).
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