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Posts Tagged ‘film making’

Blowing the Bloody Doors Off and Other lessons in Life by Michael Caine.

May 10, 2020 Comments off

blowingBlowing the Bloody Doors Off and Other lessons in Life by Michael Caine. Pub. Hodder & Stoughton 2018.

The best autobiography of a celebrity that I have read.

Born in Elephant & Castle in South London he became one of the most celebrated actors of our time and he is still working in his 80’s.

This book is really a handbook on how to be an actor. Being an actor is a combination of professionalism and courtesy. Preparation is the key, learn your lines until they are natural and you can relax. When you go on set be ready to go. Always be on time and if you think it is tough at the top you have never been at the bottom or have forgotten what it is like. Rehearsal is the work, the performance is the relaxation.

His favourite director was Lewis Gilbert who directed him in Alfie and Educating Rita but he learnt from every director he worked with good and bad. I am not going to tell you too much more except to give a few quotes from the book that will whet your appetite.

On an enforced retirement to Maimi in the 90’s he said  “however happy I kidded myself I was, I was never going to be happier than when I was making a film”

On opening Langan’s Brasserie he said “if ever I saw a waiter looking at their watch in front of customers they would be fired immediately”

On drugs -A friend gave some marijuana and I laughed for 5 hours. I knew that it affected memory and I had lines to learn I never touched it again”

On Richard Burton  -Richard was always very pleasant to me when he was sober but that was almost never”

Shelly Winters who starred in Alfie with him said this -I always like to screw the leading man on the first day. It gets it out of the way”

Michael Caine never runs anybody down he wanted people he worked with to want to work with him again. He talks well of his beautiful wife Shakira and said she only was attracted to him because of the way he treated his mother.

Not many people know that.

Monster by Walter Dean Myers, adapted by Guy A. Sims, illus. Dawud Anyabwile.

June 25, 2019 Comments off

MonsterMonster by Walter Dean Myers, adapted by Guy A. Sims, illus. Dawud Anyabwile. Pub. HarperCollins, 2015.

This is one of the most powerful graphic novels I have read and if I wanted to deter anybody from pursuing a criminal career that could lead to jail I would get them to read this novel.

It is the story a teenage boy, Steve, who is asked to be a lookout and to case a drugstore that two hardened criminals plan to rob. The robbery goes badly and the shop owner is killed. Steve and his two alleged partners in crime stand trial for the murder and face life in jail if convicted.

The story of the trial is powerful as Steve learns of the horrors of prison life and has to face his parents. He learns too that criminals do not tell the truth and will do anything to get off even if it means implicating others.

The graphic illustrations are outstanding and will live in your memory long after you finish the novel. Plus there is a filmic quality to the novel with Steve seeing everything as though he was making a film about it.

Stunning stuff for visual learners of high school age.

Expelled by James Patterson & Emily Raymond.

October 23, 2017 Comments off

expelledExpelled by James Patterson & Emily Raymond. Pub. Penguin Random House, Imprint Young Arrow, 2017

This novel for teens had me laughing from start to finish. It is clever, it is witty and the dialogue between characters is buzzing. If you are a reluctant reader get your eyeballs into this novel, I guarantee you won’t put it down.

The brief plot is – someone has put a revealing photograph using the IP address of 16 year old Theo’s Twitter account. For this he is expelled from school along with those that featured in the photograph. He is innocent.He is aggrieved and wants justice and has to convince the others that they must pursue the truth. They decide to do it by making a film about the incident and the outcome is superb. But be warned it brings out truths that you may not be ready for.

Theo is unhappy and doesn’t want to be known as the kid with the dead father who was expelled. He has a crush on Sasha in a way that is a cross between like and lust.

Sasha is an intelligent and aloof beauty. When she says anything the boys sit up and notice. When the movie is suggested by Theo the boys take it seriously because of Sasha who herself has been expelled for alleged theft. There is also some thought that she is the girl with the impressive boobs in the photo on Theo’s Twitter page.

Jude is Theo’s best friend and is assumed to be in the photograph too. He describes himself as a 16 year old bisexual virgin in a Hello Kitty T shirt and plans to paint himself to success and happiness with his art.

Parker is a 200 pound football player with the intelligence and language skills of an ox, who was also a subject on the photograph. He was swigging from a whisky bottle with a hand on the afore mentioned boobs.

Felix is the film maker moved by the fact that the film Tangerine was  shot on iPhone 5’s. Can he do it with this story and get to Sundance film festival?

Great cover. You see this cover and you want to pick the book up. It’s a rivetting story get into it.