March 26, 2006
Chambers, FourFour, Dialogue, Carolyn, Brick, etc.
Below: two photographs I really love, from the brilliant eye & camera of Tom Chambers... go to his personal site to see more more more.
For the past couple of weeks, a lot of people have been alerting me to this great, detailed post about the MSKIN film on a really terrific site called FourFour, expertly and exhaustively handled (soundbites! tons of photos! unbridled hilarity and intelligence!) by Rich Juzwiak. Why haven't I been reading this blog before? I'm permanently tabbing it. Thanks to Sal and Alice and Chris and others for alerting me to this, and thanks Rich for writing it.
Sometimes, when I read reviews and comments about the film, the writers quote specific lines of dialogue, and I'm really stymied over whether something was initially mine, ie from the original book, or whether it was Gregg's. For instance, the "I'd fuck him for free" line, spoken by Neil--that wasn't mine, right? I went leafing through the paperback again and discovered it, but the line was originally "I'd HAVE him for free." So I guess that one's both mine and Gregg's. Neil screaming "I'm so fuckin' sick of this stinkin' little buttcrack of a town" in the film--now that is signature Gregg, so that didn't confuse me. Other things are funny, in their transition from novel to screenplay: for example, I noticed that the reference to "baby Jesus's birthday," in the novel, appears in a postcard Eric sends to Neil; in the film, Eric actually speaks it to Brian in a wholly different scene. And the "peanut butter peach pie," which from all the various screenings I attended was right up there with Lisa Long's teddy-bear sweatshirt as top laugh-getter, is spoken by Neil's mom in the book, but Brian's in the film.
When I was getting my B.A. at Kansas University, I had a great friend and professor and mentor, the wonderful writer and teacher and all-around stupendous human being Carolyn Doty, who sadly passed away in 2003. Carolyn--author of four terrific novels including Whisper and A Day Late, and director of the Squaw Valley writer's conference--once told me that after a book is published, the writer should never go back and read it again, because he or she will always note the things that should have been done differently. I guess I subscribe to that philosophy. So, since the book is more than a decade old, I've forgotten what I wrote. (To be totally honest, I usually find it numbingly pretentious for a writer to talk about his or her own work like this, but these are the things fluttering around my mind as I read the FourFour review.)
While on the subject of movies... I urge you to see the fantastic, fantastically exciting Brick when it opens (March 31st--soon!). Rian Johnson is the director, and an amazingly snazzy and smart one. I saw it at last year's Sundance with superstar Joe himself. His role as Brendan Frye is just as sparkling and complex as Neil McCormick, and I hope the world takes notice. Below: the amazing poster, and a photo of Joe from the film.
Joe's also recently updated his own site with a new short film. And our Sugartown Traders movie is still on there as well.
I'm obviously long-winded tonight. Next time: a Brazil wrap-up!! I promise! I'm still numb, and also a little post-cross-hemisphere bluesy, from our return, but I'll update very soon (with photos).
March 25, 2006
According To My iPod, It's Spring
(1) Talk Talk, "New Grass"
(2) Spiritualized, "Step Into the Breeze"
(3) Amp, "Sunflower"
(4) The Rapture, "The Coming of Spring"
(5) Movietone, "The Blossom Filled Streets"
(6) Chapterhouse, "April"
(7) Chris & Cosey, "Smell the Roses"
(8) Mandalay, "Flowers Bloom"
(9) Saxon Shore, "April 14th"
(10) Crescent, "Spring"
(11) Guitar, "Sunkissed"
(12) Closedown, "Bumblebee"
(13) Nirvana, "In Bloom"
(14) Purple Confusion, "Running Behind Butterflies"
(15) Ride, "Magical Spring"
(16) The Ecstasy of St. Theresa, "Honeyrain"
(17) David Sylvian, "Cover Me With Flowers"
(18) The Carpenters, "Rainy Days and Mondays"
(19) Air, "Cherry Blossom Girl"
(20) Miss Kittin & the Hacker, "Walking In the Sunshine"
(21) Bed, "The Silent Bees"
(22) Belle and Sebastian, "Another Sunny Day"
(23) Mojave 3, "Bluebird of Happiness"
(24) Tim Buckley, "Buzzin' Fly"
(25) A. R. Kane, "Honeysuckleswallow"
(26) Mark Hollis, "The Colour of Spring"
(27) Seals and Crofts, "Hummingbird"
(28) Lamb, "Till the Clouds Clear"
(29) Jesus & Mary Chain, "Just Like Honey"
(30) Pale Saints, "Language of Flowers"
March 22, 2006
I'll get to Brazil news soon. Just wanted to make a quick note regarding the new edition DVD of the Mysterious Skin film. Slightly different box cover (see below); a few more DVD extras (although still not all the ones on the UK version). Don't ask why the DVD's no longer on Tartan--the answer's way too complicated and messy. Just buy it from Strand Releasing if you're so inclined.
(PS: if you're interested in the Tartan UK version, by the way, they're currently running a special offer where you can get the MSKIN soundtrack if you purchase the UK dvd. Remember, this is a Region 2 disc, though, so if you're in the States, make sure you can play that on your player.)
and PSS: Five consecutive wondrous songs my iTunes played today:
(1) "24," Red House Painters
(2) "High In Your Face," The House of Love
(3) "First Breath After Coma," Explosions In the Sky
(4) "Shared By a Voice," Choir Invisible (obscure Bunnymen-sounding 80s band I love)
(5) "On the Bus Mall," The Decemberists
March 21, 2006
Returned (and Sunburned)
Got back from sublime Brazil yesterday. Extremely jetlagged, with the usual awful traveler's illnesses, but all in all, Michael and I had an amazing, amazing time. I'd rate the Sao Paulo part of the trip a 96 out of a possible 100 points; Salvador, a 99 out of 100, and Rio, a perfect 100. (Below R and L: Michael and me taking a break outside a tiny pink cathedral in the middle of our walk through the Tijuca Rain Forest near Rio--that's its Cascatinha waterfall in the center photo).
I'll write more about the trip later tonight or tomorrow (hopefully with a few photos). In the meantime, I'll be listening to the new Stereolab and Mogwai cds, which thankfully appeared in the CD store racks during my absence... as did Goodbye by my friend John Grant's previously-mentioned-in-this-weblog The Czars.
March 04, 2006
Odds & Ends, Pre-Brazil
Yesterday (March 3rd) was the 11th anniversary for Michael and me. We spent the day working (me finalizing the sort-of problematic last paragraph of my book, and he, reading manuscripts for possible acceptance to the Lesley program, where he teaches. Then at 7:30 we drove to our favorite sushi restaurant, which just so happens to be in nearby Yarmouth Port, just down the road from Edward Gorey's house-slash-museum. (And unlike the girl in his drawing below, I didn't have ENOUGH gin last night.)
Did I mention I finally finished my novel?? (Read the entry below this for more information.)
Oh, and here are some answers to questions from your comments:
Aisha-- Thanks for the Olympics blog link. And I'm not sure re: We Disappear proofs... maybe somewhere at the end of '06?? Sara--thanks for the Rilo Kiley recommendation. I'm not that aware of the music, but I'm checking it out on iTunes right now. Amanda--same with Vashti Bunyan. You're like the 3rd person this week who has recommended her. Pretty amazing, especially if I'm in the right folky/floaty mood, which lately has more than often been the case. And Robert--speaking of Morrissey, did you hear the rumors about his run-ins with the FBI?
On Tuesday we're off to the airport. Since we're taking this trip with our frequent flyer miles, we're basically making about 348 connections before actually arriving in Brazil. But I'll take a handful of books, including the new ones by my friends Kellie Wells and Bernard Cooper (click on their names and go to their amazon listings!). Our plan right now is to land in Sao Paulo, spend some time there before taking a bus to Rio, and then fly to Salvador before returning to the US.
Here are a few things of varying degrees of interest that I've forgotten to post: recently I did a little interview with Jeffrey Anderson of the San Francisco Examiner about "why I write"; when I was in Paris, I spoke at length with a cool guy named Gui, who later created a pretty amazing photograph inspired by, and titled the same name as, my upcoming novel; I've been listening a lot to the new Trespassers William cd (that's them pictured below left); I'm dying of anticipation for the new Mogwai (but angry they aren't playing here on their tour--and that's them pictured below right); and, ridiculous though it may be, this little film scared the living shit right out of me (of course I immediately sent it around to a bunch of friends, who all got extremely pissed).
I'll write more after our return--or perhaps from an internet cafe somewhere down there. If I could tan, I'd come back with one. In the meantime, here's wishing all of you a terrific winter-into-spring.
March 02, 2006
Today, after all this time, I think I've finally finished my novel. (It's actually been sort-of-done for a little while now, but I was tidying things up, making sure the ending is how I want it. But today I think I'm calling it quits for this version. Of course, a novel's never really "finished" until it goes through edits and copyedits and finally sees the actual printed page. But, for now, I'm done.)
Above: a self-portrait after printing out the cover sheet (note the lack of adequate sleep, as well as the lack of soap or shampoo), and the view from my Cape window around the time I decided I was "done" (on a clearer day you can see the marsh, and then the ocean, beyond these trees).
I'm going to wait until Monday to send it off to my agent and then my editor at HarperCollins. And then on Tuesday, Michael and I are off to Brazil for nearly two much-needed weeks.
Apologies for being silent.... I've been writing a lot, yeah, but I was also pretty preoccupied with the last days of the Olympics and with my usual Survivor, Amazing Race, and Project Runway fixations. Go, Austin! Go, B.J. and Tyler or maybe (fellow Kansans) David and Lori! Go, godlike Santino! And I won't even begin to talk about American Idol yet... except to say that I LOOOOOVE Elliott Yamin. I like his singing the best, and I think he's cute, no matter what anyone else tries to tell me. I've always had a thing for big noses and those Amish-y beards.
(Above: the hot Austrian ski-jumping team; Santino; and Elliott.)
Okay. Boa noite. f I don't post before I leave, I'll try and do so from Rio!!