Thursday, 26 August 2010

Something needs to happen

As unlikely as it may seem to anyone who's met me, I ran a marathon a few years ago. And I've often thought that running and writing are sort of analogous.

Sometimes it comes smoothly. You feel that everything's working together to give you a momentum that propels you forward, sometimes even giving you time to relax and enjoy what you're doing.

Other times, it feels like each individual step is a crushing effort. You've got no rhythm and no momentum, and it's just a series of awkward, juddering lurches.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Gainsbourg (wr/dir Joann Sfar, 2010)

Last week we made a rare venture from the BFI to the Curzon Soho to see Gainsbourg – a biopic of the French singer-songwriter written and directed by Joann Sfar. Going north of the river... brrrr. 


Anyway, from a screenwriting/creative point of view, two things stuck me in particular.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

15 August 1968: The day I won the lottery

The queen and I don't have much in common, but we do both celebrate two 'birthdays'. Forty-two years ago today, my mum and dad, John and Rita, collected three-month-old me from the Home for Catholic Friendless Children in Liverpool.

Obviously not everyone has had such a happy experience, but being adopted was a priceless gift to me. While a lot of parents seemed to treat their kids as an inconvenience, knowing how many hurdles my parents had to jump to get me made me realise just how wanted I was.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Screenwriting magazines (cheap digital subscriptions)

When Jane and I started to go to the States semi-regularly (around 2000), one of the little things I'd look forward to was picking up copies of screenwriting magazines that weren't readily available over here.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

The Final Programme / Michael Moorcock Q&A (BFI)

Ah, you never forget your first Moorcock...

Spring 1986: You're waiting at the now-lost Gormenghast splendour of Manchester Victoria station, en route from Chorley to an open day at Hull University. It's one of three places that offers Law and Politics, although – if it came to it – you'd probably prefer London or Birmingham.

Anyway, you've got a bit of a journey ahead of you, and the batteries in your Walkman aren't going to last all day, so you nip into WH Smith. Drawn instinctively to the sci-fi and fantasy section, something red and bricklike grabs your attention.

Monday, 9 August 2010

The Unforgettable Bob Monkhouse

I don't normally bother posting my documentary reviews for Orange, but the sub there was complementary about this one, so here goes.

I suppose it's also of interest because it offered a nice reminder that Bob Monkhouse was a tireless and prolific writer above anything else.

Plus, I guarantee that you'll tell the 'roast beef/pea soup' gag before the end of the day. 

(The documentary should be available on ITV Player for about a month.)

Saturday, 7 August 2010

BAFTA and BFI Screenwriters' Lecture Series

During September, BAFTA and the BFI are hosting a super-di-duper season of events with leading screenwriters. 

No great film can exist without a great screenplay, yet screenwriters remain in the shadows - seen, all too often as adjuncts of the director's vision, rather than authors in their own right. To correct this misconception we invite some of the industry's top screenwriters to talk about their art and what inspires them. 

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Psychiatric Tales, by Darryl Cunningham

Something that's caused me a lot of regret down the years has been the disconcerting ease with which I've managed to lose touch and drift away from various friends and acquaintances - especially in them black-and-white days before the web. 

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

August at the BFI

I know I'm always banging on about the stuff I'm seeing at the BFI, but I really am excited about some of the events during August.

(At the time of writing, tickets were still available for all of these except The Lodger, which is a members' event - although it might be worth giving them a ring).