Bingo Square: Birthday
At around the time she began filming Star Wars: The Force Awakens (I believe), Carrie Fisher rediscovered journals from when she was 19 and filming the original film. She published excerpts from these diaries here, along with other insights about the bizarreness of fame and what it means to be associated with such a beloved character for so long. She also reveals an affair she had with Harrison Ford during said original film.
It pains me to say I didn’t really enjoy this one. I’ve read others of hers and thought they were great – she’s an excellent writer. But this seemed to meander unnecessarily, jumping back and forth between anecdotes and never quite getting to the point. Or smashing the point over the head so much that I became numb to it. I guess I was expecting more of a film diary – what happened on set, how she felt about being there etc. And maybe she’s talked about it a lot elsewhere and didn’t want to rehash it. But it was sold as diaries from the set of Star Wars and instead it feels like an excuse to write about her affair with Ford. Which feels…kinda icky.
Overall it feels unnecessary. I mean, who the hell am I exactly to tell another person what about their life they should and shouldn’t share? But it doesn’t feel like it tells us anything new, aside from the affair itself occurring. It doesn’t give any great insight into Ford. There’s no amazing revelation about Star Wars. It’s just a 19 year old naval gazing. And those entries are painful to read. We’ve all been there. I have diaries from that age too and the thought of anyone reading them let alone publishing them for the world to see makes me feel ill. I too wrote bad poetry (it’s a teenage rite of passage, yeah?). I don’t know whether this poetry is bad or not, I stopped reading it pretty quickly, just as I skimmed the rest of the diary entries. They’re all about her relationship with Ford but they say nothing, other than repeating that she shouldn’t be doing this and containing heavy metaphors. She talks about being high a lot and that’s what these feel like, the ramblings of someone who thinks they’re being insightful but aren’t particularly.
I know it’s not for me to say, but I think it should have been left private. Unsaid. I didn’t need to know it. It changes nothing and it’s not that interesting to read about. I don’t like saying this. I like Carrie Fisher a lot (hey I was partly named for her), and I still think it’s utterly shit that she’s not with us anymore. Her voice is needed now more than ever. But she’s not at her best here.
The parts outside the diaries meander. I kept getting confused, it felt like she was talking about the present when she was talking about the past and vice versa. She jumps about, they’re mostly strung together anecdotes about things she’s gone into deeper elsewhere but here they have no real connective thread. The last third is about fan conventions/fame/the lap dances (what she calls the conventions and doing signings), and though she says she loves and appreciates the fans it doesn’t always come across that way. It seems bitter. I feel like I want to read something else of hers to wash away this bad taste in my mouth.