It has been common to consider "Battle Of the Dragons" to be about Lindsey, dragons seemed to be an obvious connection to the "dragon boy" in her journals. However, after a viewing of "Julia" (1977), which is based on the true story of Lillian Hellman and her close friend, "Julia", I quickly changed my tune.
The movie "Julia" details the wartime friendship of two women, Julia and Lily. Lily is a playwright, trying to get her works published. She lives with her lover, a man who is her role model of sorts and her critic. He suggests that she go to visit her childhood friend, Julia.
At this point, Lily and Julia's story is told in a series of recollections. It is obvious that the two were inseparable until Julia (who is several years older) goes away to college.
Back in reality, Lily receives word that Julia has been injured in a pre-WWII outbreak in Austria.
Distraught, Lily runs to Julia's side. Sadly, she is unable to find her friend. Disappointed, Lily stays in Paris and beings her work again. Not much later, Lily is contacted by a man who informs her of a mission for Julia.
Though she dose not know about the full danger and reason behind the mission, she follow directions without asking many questions.
At the climax of the movie, Julia and Lily are reunited in a small café. It is here that they say their final goodbyes (Julia is a suspect of Nazi Germany for trying to help the Jewish) and Julia tells Lily that she has a daughter who is living with a baker's family. She wants Lily to take care of her baby when she's gone. Lily agrees and leaves when Julia instructs her to. Returning to Austria, Lily searches for the baby and is unable to find her. When she returns, broken hearted, she outlives everyone she holds dear, and is never able to find the baby, even though she spends countless hours searching.
Listening Clip #1 Lily: What about Paris, what about Rome? Julia: You AREN'T listening! L: I AM listening!
Listening Clip #2 J: Now what I want you to do is take off your hat as if it were too hot in here. Lily, listen to me, you're not listening. L: I'm listening, I am. J: Take off your hat, comb your hair and put the hat on the seat between us.
Find the baby Clip Man: They never wanted to find the baby. L: I did. M: You tried. L: I didn't try hard enough.
Handsome Solider Julia: I see a gun and a handsome solider is going to shoot it, but it won't shoot. L: I see a gun and the handsome solider is going to shoot it, but it won't shoot. The brave handsome solider says, "I need another gun". J: I see a gun and a handsome solider's going to shoot it, but it won't shoot and the solider says "I need another gun" and someone shouts back, "Sorry, solider, that's the last gun!"
It was while watching the video it became clear that "Battle of the Dragons" is based on it. During one of the flashbacks, the girls are walking through a field, playing a game. They say, "I see someone, I see a handsome solider" and immediately the connection is made.
Giving it more thought, a conclusion was made, "Battle of the Dragons" is about Robin!
This was not preplanned
But after sometime
I decided to go to the other side of the world
Julia's injury was not planned. Lily's lover had been pushing her to visit Julia for some time, but she never followed through. Once she heard about Julia, Lily rushed to Austria, the "other side of the world". That said, when Stevie learned Robin was sick, it is not unlikely to say that Stevie rushed to her side. Also, Stevie took Robin to Hawaii, which is poetically, the other side of the world.
I see someone
I see a handsome solider
I see myself remaining
When all of you are gone
This direct reference to the movie is a tying point. Also, Lily is the last of the characters to remain. Her lover even tells her, that he will live past her and then he corrects himself, she's just too strong willed. As is Stevie, she is a survivor. There are so many reasons why she should really not have lived through all she did, but she is still around to tell the tale. This can be taken as almost a questioning mortality and death, why should she still be here, when Robin died so young.
And the reason that I paint you in my painting
And the reason I record the sound of your voice is
Stevie's first painting was the "Robin Rhiannon" painting, to keep Robin company when she could not be there in the hospital. She has also stated that she has tapes upon tapes of her and Robin. Robin was her voice, the one who helped her when she struggled.
And the sensitive
And the oh, so very young
This is obviously just a portrait of Robin, beautiful, caring and very young. This is also connected to the movie, Lily mentions that she had never used the words "delicate" or "beautiful" to describe anything, but she knew that Julia was both.
We are adapting to your silence
I can live here without you
At least I'm trying
But I cannot live with out your song
Stevie knows that Robin can't be there at all time like she once was, and that she will no longer tour, and she can't come to the studio and that she never will be able to again. It's an adjustment that's very hard.
Who have you been with?
Have you been with friends
Or is there more?
Have you been writing
Well you say it's harder now
Well I got the message
Stay among the living
This sounds like a conversation that Stevie and Robin could have had. Robin saying, "Oh, hi. How have you been, whatcha been doing? I haven't been able to get a hold of you recently. "Have you been with friends, or is there more?" is almost a disciplinary statement from Robin. A "I know you've been stressed, I know that you need to get away, but I couldn't reach you. Were you being safe with friends, or were you passed out on the floor?" Then Robin asks, "So, are you writing, what have you written?" And Stevie says, "Well, it's been sorta hard now.
And Robin's response is "Stevie, you can't drop out of life because I'm sick." To stay among the living.
From what I can tell
I need to be here
You say someone's looking for you
Nothing is wrong
Well, I can and I will
This is an assertion by Stevie, she will get thorough this hard time.
No one walks away from this battle
So strong, it's like a fury
Keep the fury deep inside
And wish it to end
And when your friends start asking you why
You just pretend
Stevie must continue on with life, even though her best friend is dying. She can't control it and not all her fame and money can stop it. The disease is like a dragon, undefeatable. And still, she must keep things going for "Bella Donna". When people ask her what's wrong, she just has to smile and say "Nothing at all." She just pretends.
The repeated "You're not listening to me." fade out is also an important part of the movie. Julia often tells Lily many things that would probably better her life, and she tells Lily "You're not listening to me" many times in the movie. Lily just nods and says "I am listening, Julia" even though she rarely is. Like Stevie, Lily is independent and does not like to be told what to do, even though she has a good friend who cares about her a lot.