We all know Diane Keaton was funny, but to be actually laughing out loud, head thrown back & out of breath -- and with such a gifted person. It was incredible.
I had the privilege of going to see Diane Keaton last night at Orchestra Hall. It was the final lecture of Smart Talk series for 2009.
I associate Diane Keaton with my mother. Perhaps because she is contemporary of my mother's and was (and still is) very much revered by her. Growing up, we saw any film cast with Diane Keaton. I always have looked forward to her films and laughing at her jokes, even if I didn't fully understand why I was laughing.
When I was watching those movies with my mom I always understood that Diane Keaton was a woman who did what she wanted without worrying too much about what others thought. She had her own style, which I admired, and never apologized for it. I loved this, looked up to her for it and hoped to hold those kinds of qualities when I grew older.
The talk was filled with anecdotes and stories of the people she loves most; her children, parents, siblings, and a few colleagues. She talked fondly of growing up with an encouraging mother who journaled extensively & in her childhood allowed Keaton & her siblings to collage her journal with magazine cut outs pertinent to their lives. Through out, Keaton paid homage to her mother's journal collages by way of video; she peppered the talk with video montages that were comprised of home video and film clips and personal photos of herself, her mother and her two children. It was a nice personal touch that truly let us into her world.
Diane Keaton was very much how I imagined she would be. She candidly spoke of child rearing as a middle aged, single working mom as well watching her own mother succumb to Alzheimer's disease. I laughed and shed tears, sometimes separately, but mostly at the same time. She told funny and touching stories that had bookends of tangents that typically ended with, "Yeah, well, that's that." She was compassionate, sincere & very sentimental.
There were facets of the evening that felt reminiscent of girlhood sleepovers. During the question and answer segment there was so much laughter and sense of secret sharing - it felt as though there were only five of us in the room, not hundreds.
Moderator Margery Punnet of FM107 dished with Diane Keaton about leading men, family, marriage and other random facets of life. Somebody in the audience asked, "Why didn't you ever get married?" which was replied with, "Well, nobody ever asked me, for one..." followed by a laughing fit that spread through out the entire audience. It was confessed that kissing men on screen is better than real life because it's "free". After many attempts to explain what exactly this meant (only to interrupt herself with deep laughter over and over), she finally explained that onscreen kisses require no obligation while off screen kisses do.
At the end of the evening, I had the opportunity to have my photo taken with Diane Keaton. I took it (of course!) and when we met she said, "I like your outfit,"
"Thanks! I like yours too."
"You have good style,"
"Thanks! You do too."
I was freaked out with excitement over that 2 second exchange. I milled about the room socializing & drinking wine. But really all I could think about was calling my mom to tell her all about it. And the moment I was out of the building, I dialed my mom.
This was the final event for the Smart Talk 2009 series. The 2010 series will announced sometime later this year.