Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Unsigned Painting - Part Two

Continued from The Unsigned Painting - Part One

Things to consider;

1. Why did Hettie think I'd elbowed my way into Amanda's party, and who erroneously told her that I had?

Amanda's parties were notoriously informal, just an excuse to smoke, drink and eat whatever party food could be acquired on short notice (most often tapas, Danish open faced sandwiches, dumplings and kimchi in a weird cross-cultural smorgasbord). They worked on an open-invitation model - somebody told somebody else it was happening, all were welcome (with one noted exception in this case). Hettie might simply have thought I'd heard about it and was going to show up as usual.

2. Who was the original person who was supposed to tell me not to show up?

No idea. Hettie seemed to be acting on third-party information or didn't want to take the rap for ratting somebody out.

3. Why was I re-invited (or invited for the first time, having never heard about the initial invite to which I was scrubbed) by Amanda's sister Carla?

Again, no idea. Carla always liked me, or liked the idea of Amanda and I together, and might simply have done it for old-time's sake. I don't know if she talked to Hettie, or Amanda, or whoever was supposed to have reported Your Presence Is No Longer Required to me in the first place, leading to...

4. Why, four years after the initial Michael and Amanda cuddly couple-time, was I a factor at all?

I didn't want to be a factor. I honestly had nothing against Amanda and wished her nothing but well, but our last few meetings had been tense and I felt firmly in her remember-when file rather than an active friend. I had meant something to her at one point, to whatever extent her consciousness allowed. That point seemed impossibly far away - the changes between 17 years old to 21 years old carried a great deal of weight, at that age at least. Time gets lighter (or faster) as those numbers increase, writes the guy with a greying beard in 2012.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Ray Bradbury Dies - June 6, 2012

Ray Bradbury is gone. Norman Wilner's take on it is pretty much in line with mine, save for a different source. I read S is for Space in a grade-school classroom in 1976 or so and I've never been without a copy since. If I can ever write something as indelible as his material was to me, I'll die a happy man. There is no parallel for Bradbury at his best and he will be missed dearly. 'Conspicuous in his absence' doesn't do him justice, today.

June, 2012

Project - 'I Am Change'

A moment of former film-student geekery, if you please; when Coppola made One From The Heart remotely, everyone thought he was nuts. He allegedly directed the film from inside a trailer away from the action, watching everything on a video feed and cutting scenes on the fly. He believed that instant feedback video and online editing was the future of cinema (this was in the early 1980s, incidentally) and some Academy award winning film in the future would be directed by a 12yr old girl with a camcorder.

He didn't predict YouTube exactly  (although a few people suggest that he did), but the idea that the technology would eventually put consumer/amateurs on par with studios to create a workable product was dead on. I was still cutting 8mm film by hand in my first year of film school (1988), and had use of a broadcast-quality Betacam if I signed it out and left a damage deposit. Even in adjusted dollars, that damage deposit could buy me a cheap (yet broadcast quality) HD camera at the Best Buy of my choice today. Or I could just shot it with my phone (also HD) and cut the footage with freeware. It's great, but to anyone who screamed in frustration at sprockets, it's scary, kids.

The 'I Am Change' project was put together by the Kiwanis club in Hamilton. The participants range from 11 to 18 years old (with a 2 year you sibling in somebody's arms) and it was storyboarded, shot and recorded entirely by the cast. It's worth checking out. Good effort, strong message and kudos to Kiwanis to help it to happen. New times, new syntax. Nicely done.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Withnail & I & Zombies

Quoth Dr. George, June 2nd, 2012:

"Withnail & I. In 1993. Withnail is a lonely yet content middle school theater teacher. I is a barely employed actor working bit parts in soaps and the occasional commercial. A random encounter, followed by a series of unpredictable and wacky events, finds them on the road to Monty's farm house. But what they find when they get to the once idyllic English countryside will change their perceptions of themselves, as friends and as men, forever. Run with it, lads. My vote's for Zombies."

Quoth Burton:

"If Bruce Robinson hadn't sworn never to touch those characters again, I'd pitch that to his agent. And Withnail is a zombie, obviously, having drunk himself to death approximately four hours after the end of the first film."

Quoth me:

"Monty is long dead, but his obese, mostly-decayed bulk roams the countryside. His ragtag band of suspiciously well dressed, former Eton-attending zombie-chums are surprisingly tolerated by the still-living, not-infected Penrith inhabitants because the Monty Unholy Army only seeks out sensitive young gentlemen. I is still on his radar, but a well placed blunderbuss shot to his crotch dampens Monty's ardour.

Withnail is bitten early in the film but it causes relatively little change in his demeanour. Years of bitterness at not being a well respected actor have shot his digestive system (ulcers) compelling him to become vegetarian. He has no appetite for brains. They band together to defeat the zombies, steal their booze and good clothes, and barter the newly found swag into earning enough dosh to put on Hamlet. Withnail will be Gertrude. I will play The Dane. The half-animated corpse of a local barmaid will play Ophilia, in chains.

Oh, and Danny the drug dealer? Immune to the zombie virus due to overmedication back in the day. Now runs a small Bed and Breakfast in Chichester. Abstinent for decades, he keeps in touch with the boys by cell phone and promises them cake and tea if they make it out alive.

Fit Basil Fawlty into this script somewhere and damn. I'll invest in it."

June, 2012

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