This month's movie top box office earners were based on a 1966 TV series, a 1963 comic book and a 1925 novel. And Daft Punk had a number one with their disco single 'Get Lucky', based whole or in part on guitarist Nile Rodgers' work with Chic circa 1976. Nile talked to GQ about recording with the French duo:
Once it got down to specifics — once I had to pick up my instrument, and it was like, Now we've got to translate from concept to reality, we go from nothing to something—I said, Well, this is how we used to do it. And guess what, guys? You're also in the place where I cut my very first record. This is where Chic became Chic. And not only that, I also did INXS here, the biggest record of their careers. And I was here when the studio was built for Hendricks, and I was here before that, when it was a nightclub called Generation, and I played here and hung out here as a teenager. There's a lot of great ghosts in these walls. And at that point, it was like, Okay, the magic is about to commence. I started to deconstruct my parts — I do one pass where I'm playing it, and I take it apart, and do it sort of in single notes and other components. That process seemed to be the way they worked, because they were working with me. They would sing little licks that they'd hear me do, or I'd play something and that would spark an idea.It's a nice thing as you get older – things come around.
Also announced this week: John Slattery is going to direct a movie version of Pete Dexter's God's Pocket starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christina Hendricks and John Tuturro. I'm a huge fan of Mr Dexter, and this means he gets paid.
Realiti is still a work in progress. Without giving too much away I can tell you that I've seen the rushes and they're amazing. But don't tell anyone: we don't want to peak too soon. In the meantime my ongoing thanks and gratitude to Chow and Good Luck Bar; to the crew to date which includes Jack Barrowman, Oren Graham, Joseph Hambleton, Cath Maguire, Kelly Manu, Lee Tolley and Niki Winer; and my admiration and respect to the immensely talented actors including Michelle Langstone, Johannes Meister, Nathan Meister, Miranda Manasiadis, Graham McTavish, Aroha White, Richard Whiteside and Tim Wong. All of whom are being corralled, encouraged and captured by the directorial eye of Mr Jonathan King. Jonathan has been shooting a lot of handheld, and can hold a half-crouch for a really long time.
And hats off, too, to Wellingtonians. Their city might be home to one of the most expensive film productions in the modern world but the locals still brake for a micro-budget New Zealand movie. Literally, sometimes: we've been filming on the street. Sorry about that, chief.
Pictured: Graham McTavish and Miranda Manasiadis between takes at a very special house; cast and extras in the club; Graham, Oren Graham and Nathan in the wind; and Michelle Langstone -- a star and a star on Twitter.
Montag jammed his Seashell to his ear.
"Police suggest entire population in the Elm Terrace area do as follows: Everyone in every house in every street open a front or rear door or look from the windows. The fugitive cannot escape if everyone in the next minute looks from his house. Ready!"
Of course! Why hadn't they done it before! Why, in all the years, hadn't this game been tried! Everyone up, everyone out! He couldn't be missed! The only man running alone in the night city, the only man proving his legs!
"At the count of ten now! One! Two!"
He felt the city rise. Three . He felt the city turn to its thousands of doors. Faster! Leg up, leg down!
The people sleepwalking in their hallways.
He felt their hands on the doorknobs! The smell of the river was cool and like a solid rain. His throat was burnt rust and his eyes were wept dry with running. He yelled as if this yell would jet him on, fling him the last hundred yards.
"Six, seven, eight !"
The doorknobs turned on five thousand doors.
He ran out away from the last row of houses, on a slope leading down to a solid moving blackness.
The doors opened. He imagined thousands on thousands of faces peering into yards, into alleys, and into the sky, faces hid by curtains, pale, night-frightened faces, like grey animals peering from electric caves, faces with grey colourless eyes, grey tongues and grey thoughts looking out through the numb flesh of the face.
-- Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 (1953)
The pressure to entertain, to sell ourselves and never to be visibly anxious keeps ratcheting up. The number of Americans who considered themselves shy increased from 40 per cent in the 1970s to 50 per cent in the 1990s, probably because we measure ourselves against ever higher standards of fearless self-presentation...
At the onset of the the Culture of Personality, we were urged to develop an extroverted personality for frankly selfish reasons -- as a way of outshining the crowd in a newly anonymous and competitive society. But nowadays we tend to think that becoming more extroverted not only makes us more successful, but also makes us better people. We see salesmanship as a way of sharing one's gifts with the world.
-- Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking (Penguin, 2012)
(Pic: Gustav Courbet)
Some people see a glass that is half-full and some people see a glass that is half-empty and others see a Glass That Could Fall And Break Into Shards And Take Someone's Eye Out What If It Was A Child You Would Never Get Over It* (*Celtic Edition). News of a national literary fellowship losing its sponsor puts me in mood (iii). It would be nice to think that private partnerships between the business and the arts community would flatter the former and permit the latter to survive or at least develop with some latitude but the challenge is one of time, not scale: most small businesses are created and die within the time it takes to write a novel, and lately the fortunes of the world economy can turn before a small painting would be able to dry. I benefitted from the Sargeson Fellowship and like to think that I paid it back in column space / visibility / reciprocal behaviours. But as a writer once remarked, the benefit of funding a novel is that at the end of the process, you have a novel.
Meanwhile, pictured: production art from the highly anticipated Marvel feature Guardians of the Galaxy. This is a movie that will star a raccoon with a gun.
While I am but a nascent fan of gun-wielding raccoon-based entertainment and believe, as a writer, that other writers should be permitted the freedom to express themselves, there comes a point when all you can see is the Third Option. We've all had a lot of fun with storytelling, and I'm the first to acknowledge that. But I think it's become time to stop this shit and go read a book.