a most enjoyable evening: film, feminism and delicious french beans.

darlings

we had a MOST enjoyable evening yesterday.

you see who-we-are-in-RL happened to find out about a deeply interesting project and, well, decided to do something small in a supportive type gesture by taking the young brave souls behind the project out to Supper during their Road Trip across the United States interviewing people for their Documentary.

the project was about Feminism and Film – both concepts dear to us.

in fact who-we-are-in-RL did her undergraduate thesis on the film theorist Laura Mulvey concerning the works of Maya Deren (yes, yes, it was a long time before the role of a “digital media executive” was dreamed up in whomever dreams up these job titles and so we were doing Something Else but it’s all connected, in the end, in some splendid way, non?).

who-we-are-in-RL also did “work experience” for a feminist film collective in Bethnal Green while a Student (because they owned copies of Maya Deren’s work – *shivers*) at the very Same university that Clarissa Jacob is studying at (she’s doing her Doctorate, we only just managed to get a 2:1 in the undergraduate before leaving……)

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yes. the University of London Royal Holloway College is magnificent (and yes, the building is pretty much what persuaded us from the Numerous Prospectuses we examined in 1987).

it was a splendid evening.

we talked about Film, Feminism and the delicious French beans (Musso & Frank has done a lovely vegetable selection ever since it opened in 1919)

why did we choose Musso & Frank?

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because we felt that Dorothy Arzner might well have eaten there.

and that makes it a feminist film homage indeed.

In other news:

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we had a lovely trip downtown and saw angels wings while stuck in traffic which gave us Pause for thought. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

the traffic was Intense.

but the angels wing sighting certainly helped. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

the car is washed (by hand, we’ll have you know – such FUN!) before we drive 100 miles south for a consulting gig later on today.

and here’s what we just finished reading: OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

as Research for our Very Brief trip to England next week (where we have a few work meetings, see just a couple of Friends and then Change Planes for Dubai and then South Africa, darlings – quelle g l a m.) OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

highly recommend this book – a very slim tome (we adore a slim volume) and most interesting. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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gosh.

that *is* a lovely new green satin throw pillow.

Portland Green?

what’s that?

no.

it didn’t work at ALL as an outfit.

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*small_smile*

you know those people who find a Divine piece of fabric in a shop on their travels and then bring it home and ask a local seamstress to whip it up into a boudoir throw cushion?

we have become one of those People.

*looktocamera*

and it’s marvel(l)ous.

of course one can be into Feminism, Film and boudoir pillows-in-satin darlings.

it’s chic, practical and forward-thinking.

and fun.

the other F word.

movie nights and screenwriting days #LifeInLosAngeles.

darlings

los angeles is lovely at twilight.

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even when it’s a strip mall.

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better when it’s an apartment building with neon and naughtiness (in yesteryears, perhaps now – who knows…….)

talking of plots:

we’ve seen three movies in the past *looksvaguelytocamera* day or so.

because we’ve been writing a LOT and needed a break (well, one doesn’t need an excuse for a moment of celluloid dreaming, darlings).

one of them we’re going to skip over swiftly because we were heartbreakingly disappointed (the only thing worse than having a row with someone once loved is watching two people one has loved through both of the earlier movies bicker non stop for 108 minutes – devastating).

moving swiftly on ——

now THIS was Astonishing.

bravo Mr. Douglas and Mr. Damon.

thank you from all of us in West Hollywood and Crenshaw Adjacent (and Palm Springs and Chelsea, NYC and Old Compton Street, London and probably a small Via Glorioso near Versace’s Atelier in Milano where that tiny perfect cafe resides where you stand with all the male models at the bar and knock back a darkly rich espresso).

George had Movie Night chez 1904 towers for the Candelabra One with a little light brie and a sumptuous bowl of antioxidant-bursting-berries and we laughed, cried and whooped over the Outfits.

and now to the third film (actually this was the first one we saw…..) – breathtaking – BREATHTAKING – the acting, the premise, the Humanity, the longing, the pain – oh – OH!

a fine piece of theatre rendered onto film stock (or was it digital – it looked gorgeous anyway, talent was most definitely involved behind, in front and to the side of that film).

but you’ll never look at a naughty site or give out your information on-the-interweb again.

not that You would.

but we’re just saying……..

d a n g e r o u s.

talking of movies and Hollywood – we’ve been reading a FINE MANUSCRIPT (oh, tis good) – a page-turner – and thoroughly enjoying lounging on the sofa chaise or lying back against the pillows in a little Elizabeth Taylor slip (very Tennessee Williams but only sipping a weak tea with lemon) – letting the pages fall onto the small rug as we race Eagerly through the story. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwe can’t possibly tell you who wrote it.

it’s not yet published.

but we promised to write a small blurb for the author’s site – so exciting.

also talking of Hollywood – we’re starting to plot too – and work out where our 4 x female characters from 1929 might have lived. 
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there’s a Very Clever (or horrifying, depending on your view of privacy) site-on-the-interweb called The Movieland Directory which has “triangulated” (geek/word) data sets encompassing Los Angeles (public) telephone directories from the 1930s+, Travel Manifests from Atlantic-crossing-great-ships, the Census (which becomes public – what – *looksvaguelytothemiddledistance* at some Point, clearly) and mapping software – voila!

you can find out all the places where Louise Brooks, for instance, once resided.

isn’t that astonishing?

especially if you live here and always felt strange tingling feelings outside Certain Blocks on disparate streets………

*significantlook*

one. might. have. done.

talking of Louise Brooks (as we were) – we were back at the Academy of Motion Pictures Library with the LETTERS of Louise Brooks.

yes.

the actual letters.

astonishing to hold them in one’s modern day hand and experience the thrill of opening a portal into a former Time.

she was awfully naughty.

lots of terrifying gossip about hollywood and the Mob and what men-with-money-and-zero-skills used to demand of Talent.

she was also Very Witty:

(writing in advanced age by this point)

7 North Goodman Street                 10 March 1977
Rochester, NY 14607

My darling Herman Mankiewicz who once (1925) assigned me to review No No Nanette (lousy) while he slept in the next seat….

When I was in Paris in 1958 for a month of homage by the Cinematheque Francaise and wouldn’t leave my bed and gin and tomatoe (sic) juice to go anyway, Lotte Eisner came every day to see me……………Returning to Paris one night Lotti and I went to Man Ray’s where he was entertaining a strange couple who had come to look at his paintings.

……..My last visitor was Christopher Isherwood on a friendly call combined with film watching at Eastman House (8 Feb). I hope you get more nourishing stuff out of me on Keaton and Schenck than I got out of Ish-Ish on Auden and Vidal.

Then we Returned that File to the Special Collections Desk and took the next Manilla folder – the correspondence of a certain Kate Hepburn. Sadly it was mostly Correspondence Received by K. Hepburn but there were a few scrawled notes, probably to her faithful secretary, on how to Respond. We whooped (silently, as it was the Library) to hold in our hands a letter from Someone We Have Met (in Palm Springs – the director and writer Gerald Ayres who directed this which we Adored) to K. Hepburn (such fun!)

Gerald Ayres                July 2, 1981

“I pretend to be a writer and I paused over the keys, debating what qualifying adjective to put in front of ‘pleasure’, and like most writers, I wanted all the words, so I let it stand, pleasure. for that is what it was.

It seems that Mr. Ayres met Kate in the Library at Mr. Cukor’s house – which is where Ms. Dorothy Arzner wrote to K. Hepburn in this note (below).

Dorothy Arzer                         Nov 11 1976 PM        13c stamp
Box F
La Quinta, CAL 92253

Katherine Hepburn
c/o George Cukor
9166 Cordell Drive
Hollywood, California 90069

PLEASE FORWARD

“Do come if you are of a mind to, I’d love having you.”

“I love knowing you are in my world and my time”

The final Manilla Envelope contained two sheafs of yellowing paper from the Screen Directors Guild – one was called:

Suggestions for Writing A Film Play
from the notebook of Dorothy Arzner

sadly this was not dated.

but she had some Excellent Advice:

A knowledge of human character is the bed rock on which the higher form of drama rest.

But more than this: the dramatist must have a philosophy of life.

Contrast Helps Movement
If one nature strikes fire from another than the air is tingling with movement.

The test of a dramatic theme is that it can be expressed in no way so well as in visible action on film.

There was something so Wondrous about holding these materials close and making pencil marks in one’s notebook (No Pens Allowed at the Library) and reaching back into the past to get saturated in ideas for something-to-write-in-the-near-future (before we have to get a Proper Job – which might be fun actually – we sort of miss it).

talking of ideas.

we really want to find an agent on This Coast who sells screenplays to Movie Studios – because we have written several (although we noticed that we haven’t written one for a little while because when we went to open Final Draft it gave us a nasty scary notice about the Version we Have not being Compatible with the Upgrade of the OS we just did *sighs* and there was an activation code but the Automated Telephony Service did not have that Option Available *sighs* – thank goodness we are Calm and can call the Helpdesk at Final Draft tomorrow (it’s Memorial Day in the United States today) and then Fix the Situation.

thank goodness that we also save everything as in Portable Document Format or we couldn’t share this with you now.

The Goddess of Donal Bay | 

The head of the Muses freaks out when she finds out “life coaches”, have replaced them in modern life. She comes to earth to restore her reputation. But she has no idea that the eternal soul, Liam, is now in possession of a hot new television writer as his latest incarnation and is determined to thwart her plans and take over L.A for his own heady desires.

INT – VIRTUAL COPY OF ST. PANCRAS STATION, LONDON DAY

Steam blows into the Victorian rafters. An eternal soul, LIAM, 45, unshaven, unkempt and deeply sexy, is irritated.

LIAM
I was promised I could be a man.

A GUIDE, an ethereal being, checks her clipboard. She hands Liam a slip. He does not read it. The guide swings a globe round to the USA and points to Los Angeles.

LIAM (CONT’D)
There was nothing there last time I went down.

Another soul, CORNELIUS, 70, very elegant, takes the Guide’s clipboard and reads.

CORNELIUS
Donal Bay, beautiful place.

He consults the clipboard.

CORNELIUS (CONT’D)
You are terrible at being female.

LIAM What are you?

CORNELIUS
An entertainment attorney. I can’t wait. All power offices, sharp suits and fast cars. Divine.

LIAM
I’m going to decline this mission.

The first guide stabs his hand with the information slip.

CORNELIUS
You can’t – until you read your extra information slip.

Liam glances at the piece of paper. A slow, sexy grin appears on his face. He drops it to the floor and saunters to catch the train that just pulled in.

INT. OLD-FASHIONED STEAM TRAIN CARRIAGE – MOMENTS LATER Brown leather seats, luggage racks overhead. Liam grins.

LIAM
I’ve never been a lesbian.

He looks around at the others on the train.

LIAM (CONT’D)
I wonder who else is a lesbian on this trip. Apparently it’s so hard to tell these days.

Cornelius looks amused.

LIAM (CONT’D) You’re not one are you?

CORNELIUS
No, I’m a straight man this time around. I took all the right lessons on buying electronics.

LIAM
I never take the classes.

CORNELIUS
You’re going to be a lesbian without any training at all?

LIAM
As if I need classes on dating women.

GUIDES enter the train carriage and sit down next to each eternal soul and the carriage fills with white light.

we LOVED writing this one.

at the time of writing *looksvaguelytotheOtherCoast* we thought of This Actor for Liam and This man for Cornelius – still keen on Terence – but who would you cast as Liam?

need a bit more dialogue?

*blush*

you are Most Kind.

here you go —–

EXT. BODHI TREE ANNEX – EVENING

A line is forming round the block for the life coach speech. Liam and Cornelius walk past. Liam taps his finger on a flyer featuring Calliope stuck to the wall.

LIAM
What’s the ice maiden doing now?

CORNELIUS Oh. How clever!

Liam rips the flyer off the wall to read.

LIAM
What’s a “life coach”?

CORNELIUS
An inspirational speaker and personal advisor who helps you move towards your goals.

LIAM
Not one word of that sentence made sense to me.

CORNELIUS
They are calling life coaches the modern muses. (beat) So an ancient muse just became a modern muse! She is super smart.

Gina is in line. Liam looks curiously at Gina.

LIAM Why is Gina here?

CORNELIUS
I told you. Calliope is your competition.

LIAM
Then she better be prepared for a fight.

CORNELIUS
I had no idea you cared about Gina.

LIAM
I don’t want that muse making my life complicated.

CORNELIUS
I’m going inside to hear her speak.

LIAM
Public lectures remind me of the Victorian era – not my favorite period.

Cornelius exits into the annex. Liam spots a gorgeous sports car being parked by a valet.

LIAM (CONT’D) Now that’s more like it.

Liam takes the keys from the valet’s hands. He slides into the seat, turns on the engine. It purrs. So does he. He blasts on loud rock music and screeches off, fast.

so – actors for Liam ideas please.

two more quick scenes – just to give you a broader reach of character (although he’s an open book and Such Fun to write):

EXT. MULLHOLLAND DRIVE – MOMENTS LATER

Gina and Calliope are parked at the spot where you can see all the lights of Los Angeles below. The car’s retractable roof is back. Liam is sprawled on the back seat with a beer and his feet over the side of the car.

LIAM
This is a glorious place.

CALLIOPE
When did you stop writing fiction?

GINA
When I had to start paying rent and eating.

CALLIOPE
Not all novelists are poor.

GINA
The benevolence of wealthy patrons supporting writers and poets died out years ago.

CALLIOPE
It did?

LIAM
That was a racket anyway.

Liam looks around and suddenly notices the couples in other cars making out.

and a bit more with Terence Stamp, we mean, Cornelius (but couldn’t you just see Terence being delicious in this?)

LIAM
So where’s your work?

He opens a few cupboard drawers.

CORNELIUS
They are still using actual hardware, curious.

Liam walks over to her desk.

LIAM
What is this machine?

CORNELIUS
We used to have these. Let me see if I can remember how it works.

LIAM
Move over. It can’t be hard if they use it.

He taps randomly until he finds the On button and opens folders in quick succession until he sees a new short story.

LIAM (CONT’D)
Now it’s all making sense.

Cornelius peers at the screen.

CORNELIUS
What did you find?

LIAM
A new story – and just guess who it is about.

CORNELIUS
Her job is to inspire.

LIAM
She’s highly manipulative.

Cornelius slaps him playfully.

LIAM (CONT’D)
As well as being unbelievably sexy.

Liam points to the screen.

LIAM (CONT’D)
An opinion that my incarnation shares. This is hot.

Liam finds the Calliope story engaging.

LIAM (CONT’D)
At least she’s good. I hate it when the incarnations turn out to be stupid.

Liam looks around her room. It’s spare, lacking in charm, a make-shift life.

CORNELIUS
You like her! You never like your incarnations!

LIAM
Not yet I don’t. But after I’ve finished with her, it’ll be fun. And I’m not letting that goddess ruin it.

Liam rifles through her closet.

LIAM (CONT’D)
We are going for an upgrade. Let’s kick this life up a gear. Tomorrow – we shop.

and if you know any agents (nobody is going to return our call until the Book Comes Out – that’s how this town works – although CAA sent a lovely vermillion logo embossed Rejection Letter which was chilling and yet fun) – do let us know ;-)