Tuesday, November 11, 2014

How I Didn't Get Myself to a Nunnery

That girl they found ensconced in mud and loam,she wasn’t me. Small wonder, though, they jumped.To a conclusion. Water puffs you up, and we pale Slavic girls looked much alike—back then. Deprivation smooths you out.Yes, that was the season of self-drowned maids,heart-to-hearts with skulls, great minds overthrown.And minds that could be great if they could justcome up for air. Not in that town. Something stank.
But me, I drifted on. I like rivers.And I’m all right with flowers. I floatedon a bed of roses—well, O.K., rueand columbine. It bore me up not down.That night I made a circle with my thumband finger, like a lens, and peered through itat the moon—mine, all mine. My kissed-white moon.“Moon River wider than a . . .” Mancini/Mercer wrote that, sure, but I wrote it first.
You wonder where I’m going with all this?Where water goes. It empties into sea.Sold! I’d take it—the sea or a fresh life.Some other life. A good man—good enough,fair—fished me out. He’d come to quench his thirst.No sun-god prince, of course, like him I’d loved,still loved. (Some loves don’t die; not even murderkills them.) I married his thatched hut, hatched chicks—kids running underfoot. Don’t cry for me,
Denmark. I’d learned the art of compromiseback there, in the black castle—then came blood,ghosts. Something in me burst. If not lover,father, king, then whom can you trust? Alone, I took up some playing cards. I played them into skinny air. A voice said, Swim or drown.It said: Your house caught fire, flood, caught fear—it’s coming down. No one loves you now, here.By land or water, girl, get outta town.
by Suzzane Lumis


 I read this great article in the New Yorker about a passionate documentary filmmaker about to release her film "CITIZENFOUR" on Edward Snowden, a former NSA analysts finally revealing some of the horrendous lengths our government is taking into invading our privacy as citizens. Whether or not it's true is something I'm not sure about. BUT, I love that Poitras spent so many years following something she was passionate about. She has created something that is possibly lethal, that will probably get her in trouble with one country or another, if not our own. In George Packer's extensive article on her experience filmmaking, he essentially describes how "she disappeared into a world of secrets from which she is only now emerging." So awesome. Isn't that everyone's journey?? Whether your making a film or not??? I only hope that one day I can create something that will get me in trouble - a documentary or fictional narrative so honest, so to our core as humans, that it ignites a fire in people.

Number #3

I've put feature #1 and #2 on the shelf as I take the time to write #3 for a friend. It was her story idea. It's about death and guilt and family and immigrants and how the worst things that we think happen to us, can in fact be the events that usher us into so much goodness. 80 pages in one week. 40 more to go. Deadline?? Thursday. And then back to #1 and #2.


One on One

I had rehearsal in a hallway the day before Halloween in a building that housed a several theaters, offices, and a season costume shop. The elevator was broken so everyone was climbing the stairs, out of breath and excited for the occasion. As the array of people passed us by, anxious to get their costumes before the good ones sold out, I watched an actor emotionally unveil and crack away at her walls within. I was alone, with her. I sat criss cross next to the broken elevator while she stood by the steps, sometimes in tears. We finally made progress. After so much investment in booked rehearsal space with the two of us and the other actors, it was only when she and I sat alone that the story finally came to life.

The next rehearsal, I worked with her scene partner at a coffee shop - Cafe Puccini. There is something to be said about working with an actor alone. They, probably unknowingly, unveil different, more intimate connections to the material when it's just me sitting in front of them. Sometimes it's more effective then when they are with their scene partner. I like that I'm open to new ideas - to new ways of doing things. I'm never restricted to tradition or habit. My way is NEVER the highway. I'm restricted to the actor - to the DP. I'm restricted to my creative collaborators and their habits and their traditions in working. I'm here to figure them out, to find their strengths, to climb their mountains and to crack away at their specific walls so that I may reach into their hearts and work effectively create something honest and beautiful.

As a director, I stand on vision and my UNDERSTANDING of craft. THEY (the DPs, actors, production designers) actually carry it out.

FILMING Adore: 3 days.

Monday, October 13, 2014

"All About Eve" (1950)

"All About Eve" (1950) is possibly one of the best written films I've ever seen. The writing is so strong, so on point, and the acting just carries it away. You are swept away with each and every sentence spoken. My thoughts from this lean towards how to replicate it?? How do I write dialogue as witty and truthful as this?? Do I just write everything I want to say with no filter? Do I plan out specific topics I want to cover?? What kind of process will give me the best results?? So good.
I just learned this film is the only film to receive four female acting nominations. So awesome. GREAT job Joseph L. Mankiewicz. 

Give Love Words

"As a society we are embarrassed by love. We treat it as if it were an obscenity. We reluctantly admit to it. Even saying the word makes us stumble and blush...Love is the most important thing in our lives, a passion for which we would fight or die, and yet we're reluctant to linger over its names. Without a supple vocabulary, we can't even talk or think about it directly." -Diane Ackerman