I had a chance recently to ask two of Durham's most senior civic leaders about the revelation that the movie "Main Street" wasn't just shooting in Durham, but that the Bull City was in fact the setting for the story about a purportedly-moribund Southern city that's fallen on hard times.
The fact that neither leader was really certain how Durham would be portrayed was one of those kinda-chilling moments. (Not that, of course, there's much anyone could do about how one's city appears in celluloid. Please see Exhibit A, "Welcome to Durham." I mean, what're you going to do, block the streets to filming?)
Barry and I got to pose the question this week to David Linck, the unit publicist for "Main Street," in Thursday night's episode of "Shooting the Bull" on WXDU:
David's takeaway? Durham's the place where the film takes place -- the pic's original name was "Durham Grill" down to the fictional tobacco heiress played by Ellen Burstyn. But not to worry, it's an uplifting story, and no one really fixates on the place, anyhow. Besides, it's prescient given the bad economy, because we're all suffering with the economy, right? (And "Bull Durham" did show us as a bunch of Southern rubes, anyway, and didn't do much damage.)
Maybe. As I said on air, personally I can't imagine the town of Fargo, N.D. without thinking of bad accents and woodchippers -- so I'll be curious to see just how things look when the movie finds a distributor... something not expected to happen until after Cannes.
Check out the podcast, and see what you think.