In her first installment of The Baroness Blogs, posted yesterday, playwright, screenwriter, and WVFC board member Elizabeth Hemmerdinger talked about the film project that was bringing her to Europe: An excursion to Milan with the Baroness Mariuccia Zerilli- Marimo, re-tracing the Baroness’s experiences as an adolescent in World War II.  Here, en route, Hemmerdinger muses on the array of technological devices required, in the 21st century,  for a venture like this.

My colleagues Kirsten Kelly, Anne de Mare and I are on board an Air France flight to Nice, after an overnight flight from New York to Paris. I am traveling with more electronic gear than I could have imagined two years ago. Blackberry, iPod, Mac Airbook—just how sweet can a new necessity be?—digital camera, flip camera (with which I’ll film the others filming Baroness Mariuccia), and a new hotspot-thingy, which will give all of us wi-fi connection wherever we are. Each device has something to plug into something else, and wires, and buttons, and instructions.

I am nostalgic for the simple yesteryear when the operation of the dishwasher was a mystic experience. We got our first dishwasher in a move across town when I was 16—that’s 49 years ago. My mother, a high-heeled glamourpuss, had no interest in turning the thing on. A dishwasher was, for her, simply a dish rack that she had to bend over to empty. Which reminds me of the day we got our first television, when I was six. I was all excited, and she told me to calm down before I broke one of her knickknacks.

Now, all these new devices I  carry around would fit in one corner of that first TV cabinet.

But here we are, soaring comfortably over the famous Côte d’Azur, the sweeping coast of the south of France, while a fancy little cup holder hovers over this laptop. Dr. Pat would have me drinking V8, but I’ve had to settle for jus de tomate. In a few moments, we’ll land in Nice and drive along the coast to Monaco, where the Baroness awaits.

More soon.

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  • Laura Sillerman February 19, 2011 at 10:58 am

    I am SO enjoying tagging along with Elizabeth on this journey. I wonder how she’d feel about being called “plucky,” but am compelled to use that term today thinking about her with all that gear and all that resolve to get this documentary right. Can’t wait to read more.