Friday, March 23, 2007

Long time no blog

According to my profile, I'm 250 years old. Fair enough, some mornings I feel 250 years old, but not having made medical history, I am a child of the 1960s, not the 1760s.

Still computerless, I have been lured out of semi-retirement as a result of being tagged by Good Dog to post 5 things no-one knows about me. Hmm. Since someone sniggered not long ago when I said "my secrets are kept where no-one will find them", I'm not sure I want to splatter any here. Oh, go on then.

1. Every now and then, I have a major crush on a cute actor, and have to see EVERYTHING he's been in, no matter how old or how crap. Because of this, I have watched huge numbers of dire movies and even worse TV.

2. I am an awful singer. No-one knows this because I make sure no-one ever hears me sing.

3. My little toes are a waste of space. A chiropodist once offered to chop them off for me. I declined.

4. I can still do cartwheels. Actually, Gena knows this because she saw me do them, on the beach, last month. Hah! Life in the old dog yet!

5. I once waved at Princess Margaret, and she waved back. I know she definitely waved at us, because my Mum and her best mate, having a bunch of kids with chicken pox at the time of the Royal visit, decided we wouldn't infect everyone else by going into the village, but instead would go and stand on a remote corner between Castleton and Edale, where the car would have to slow down at the bend in the road thus guaranteeing us a good look. So, Princess Margaret got a view of five small spotty children and their Mums, wrapped up warmly in duffle coats and scarves, in the middle of absolutely nowhere, in Derbyshire, with no houses in sight. She must've wondered where on earth a little gathering of Northern trolls had come from. We got our wave, though.

Once I get a new laptop (fingers crossed next week) I'll come back and blog some reviews, properly - The Reporter, As You Like It, Coriolanus and The Vortex to catch up on.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Adapting Stories for the Screen

Am still computerless, and will be forced to rely on borrowing A's laptop and being sneaky at work until I earn enough to get a new laptop for myself. To that end, I'm running a workshop next Tuesday at Yorkshire Art Circus on "Adapting Stories for the Screen" and if you'd like to come, please email, or ring Angela or Lesley on 01977 550401. We'll be looking at some films that have been adapted from short stories and novels, and thinking about the differences between prose and script, and how to turn one into the other. Am I qualified to talk about this? Well, I wrote a short story, turned it into a script that didn't do too badly in an international competition, then produced a short film from that script. And I've written some other stuff as well. So, come along, find out where I think I went right and what I did wrong - then go off and make a film of your own.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


Am back home, computerless so camping on A's laptop - she was at band practice tonight so I had some time to upload photos to my lovely new Flickr account. Go here for LA and Chicago pics. Many of the Chicago ones were taken by Stacie who has a much smarter camera than me so her pics are miles better than mine. I only took pics in LA on one day - Saturday, when Gena and I hit Hollywood and Highland to catch some pre Oscar buzz, whichwas great fun.

So, to round off the trip - had a "success" rate of 50% in terms of predicting the major awards on Sunday night, which isn't so bad if you consider this was the year everyone said was hard to predict - still, Anne Thompson at Hollywood Reporter got 18 right so retains her position as my favourite journalist/biz-blogger/interviewer of Richard Linklater. Having spent Saturday in Hollywood, we passed the best part of Sunday at the Beverley Hills Hotel having brunch in the Polo Lounge, which was very lovely indeed, gorgeous food and top quality service at a surprisingly reasonable price (although I'm the winner in the exchange rate stakes) in a great setting. Lounging about in the foyer afterwards was fun, as we watched all the gussied up and suited ones getting ready to go to the Oscars; I did wonder whether the woman who stripped down to her undies in the ladies restroom* and proceeded to do her make-up before slipping into her slinky dress was just trying to get a sneaky ride to the Kodak without having to actually pay for a room ...

Watched the Oscars on TV - thought Ellen did a great job, she was sweet and funny, much better than Jon Stewart last year; boy does it go on though - American TV has so many advert breaks!! No wonder Al Gore has to ask people to cut back, if they go to put the kettle on or flush the loo every time the ads come on. I was hoping that the two early wins forPan's Labyrinth would mean that it was a night for the Three Amigos, but it turned out that The Departed was the one to sweep everyone away. It was fun to watch while properly awake, instead of having the usual semi-comatose 2am is that Peter Jackson AGAIN? feeling.

And on Monday I flew home; hey ho the wind and the rain indeed, since the rain it raineth every day pretty much since I got back. American Airlines v nice coming back (on a 777); not so great going out (on a 757 I think, clapped out old heap whatever the number). Would definitely go with them again over BA, if only because the seats in peasant class seem to have that bit more room.

Final sightings update: Nicole Kidman having lunch with husband Keith Urban; Georgio Armani and entourage ("Mr Armani would like his car now"), plus another designer Gena recognised and I didn't; P Diddy; Tim Robbins (maybe); Katie Holmes and baby (definitely - and she's a cute real baby, not a space alien after all); Andy Rooney; someone else from a TV series that did well in the US but meant nothing over here; a few other faces where you go "ooh I'm sure I know them from somewhere ...." but that's LA for you.

*I confused a girl in Borders in Chicago by asking "where's the ladies?" ...blank look ... "is there a ladies' loo here?" ... before finally catching on and saying "where's the rest room?" Bingo! Then the bloke in Barnes and Noble in Thousand Oaks heard my accent on Monday and said "oh, you're very much not local, aren't you?" Oh yes. Churchill was right.