Before there was Kate McKinnon, Tina Fey or Amy Schumer, there was Gilda Radner. Gilda was one seventh of the original 1975 Saturday Night Live cast also known as The Not Ready For Prime-Time Players (the other six were Jane Curtin, Larraine Newman, John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Garrett Morris and Dan Akroyd) and paved the way for so many comedians, especially women. The documentary “Love, Gilda” (which I was able to watch a screening of at the Nantucket Film Festival) tells the story of Gilda’s life from the funny to the un-funny, using archival voice recording narrations from Gilda herself.
Arriving in Nantucket was as charming as homemade apple pie. The airport looked more like a country club with a certain quaintness one never associates with the hustle and bustle of travel. Driving through the island, every house, coffee shop and dog salon was built in the same style, with smokey grey slates and white shutters. It was the WASPy dollhouse I always wished I had. Arriving at the Dreamland Theater I picked up my press badge, which read “Mebecca Beckport”— close enough. I had made it. That’s what mattered.
I arrived 20 minutes early to the Soho movieplex because I was terrified, terrified that like every other place in Manhattan, it would be unbelievably crowded. Somehow, the Tuesday 10:45 p.m. screening of “On Chesil Beach” was surprisingly unattended. So I was left to sit alone in the third row of the empty theater as I snacked quietly on the Apple Jacks I managed to smuggle in from the corner deli. The film began with stunning, expansive landscape shots of the seaside and the sweeping tide and I felt instantly transported to the English coast, a place I happened to be just one year ago.