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This blog tends to wander from its main purpose -- updates on my fiction. I do have updates and excerpts of my work. But I also write about my obsessions -- food, friends and pop culture and my weird life in Los Angeles. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Thwarted Plans and an Inspirational Film

Warning: If you find yourself here via a google search for such things as TV shows or films, recipes or cities, this blog has some facts. However, this blog is one author’s very twisted musing on many weird things. It is sometimes graphic in content. If you read on, don’t write to yell at me.

Be patient, somewhere in here are actual musings on writing.

Best Way-Laid Plans

Many of my plans were thwarted this weekend. We were going to see giant robots smash things at the movies, but never got there. We were really swamped with production related work, and I'm a bit behind in everything I'm writing. We just couldn't justify being gone for half an afternoon. There is also a small pile of films at home that we haven't watched. So, we stayed home. It was just as well, because the weather is finally hot as blazes. Thus, we are in our air conditioned cave hunkering over monitors and keyboards. It's a lot like being at work but without a sofa to lounge upon. Or the wine.

At any rate, my time is still pressed as I write this, so I can't do as much ambling around as my norm. I had a whole report on Craig's dealings with the shamwow guy when he was a scheduler at a local cable TV station. He's claiming that there are no tapes of the man's 'comedy' routines. Not that I care. What interested me more were some skits Craig did with a co-worker called Children of Our Doctor's Hospital, a mock soap opera. We think there may be clips that survive. I really want to see them. But these ramblings are quite involved and often disturbing, so they must wait for a day when I'm not so pressed.

Sublime Viewing

Last week, I was tooling around the movie channels on my cable guide to see if there as any film noir to be had that week. There was not; however, two films caught my eye. The first was one I had not seen before though it had come with many recommendations from friends. My friends know me well for it was a film aimed straight at my heart and soul as a writer and as someone madly in love with a city. Paris Je T'aime is a collection of 18 short films set in Paris. Each short is by a famous director and each captures an aspect one of the neighborhoods or arrondissements. [See the Trialer here]. There are wealthy and poor characters. There are many ethnic groups represented. And all strata of the society are given voice, even the magical or fantastic. It is mostly in subtitles, but there is English spoken as well. A whole lot of American talent appears on screen. Since my writing focuses a lot of eclectic people thrown together in the same orbit, this film appeal ed to me as a writer as well. Though each segment was only six minutes long, I was told about an entire lifetime of each character. The segments were funny or sweet or sad or all of those at once. I was surprised by a number of things that Paris Je T'aime revealed. Wes Craven apparently really gets Oscar Wilde and his wasn't the horror segment. The Coen Brothers were odd, of course, but the segment was an extremely witty observation about the mind of an American tourist (Steve Buscemi) . Naturally, there was a segment with beautiful young men in love. That was a very funny and sexy segment called Le Marais after the neighborhood that is home to both Jews and the gay community. There was what Jon called a big slab of boy named Gaspard in the lead role whom I'm thoroughly in love with – as an actor, of course. And being a French film, there is a hilarious and surreal segment in Chinatown and there are mimes. This was different though. It seems that Parisians seem to find mimes and disconcerting and annoying as the rest of the world. That was gratifying to learn. Paris Je T'aime is a great introduction to a glorious city, warts and all. I was crying while laughing. It made me a bit melancholy, of course, to see streets we'd walked down. We have a photo of Jon standing on the beautiful little street where the Mime lived. Please take a look at the trailer, then rent it and enjoy.

Seeing that film inspired my writing for the entire week. I tend to write characters in shorthand in the hopes that their dialogue and actions will tell the reader who they are. Paris Je T'aime was deft at rendering three dimensional characters with the sparest information. Seeing such beautiful work lit a fire under me with regard to my own stuff. Thus, I must be off to do some honing and refining along with my chores and production duties. I should have more updates next week.

Oh, the other film I recorded but have not yet watched (I've seen it before) was Mr. Hulot's Holiday by renown French director Jacques Tati (he is also Mr. Hulot). It's a charming film that I'd describe as a more sophisticated Mr. Bean. I'm saving that film for a break in my day later on. For now, I'm back to work.

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