Monday, February 19
I found this book after I watched Music and Lyrics last weekend. I don't know what kind of coincidence that is, but it's a rather nice one. Love Actually (Book#4) contains the full screenplay, loads of photos, and behind the scenes information from Richard Curtis himself, who is also the man behind Notting Hill and Four Weddings and a Funeral. I usually maintain that I'm not a romantic comedy fan, but I suppose I changed my mind after I saw Notting Hill. Actually, I read the script to Notting Hill first before I watched it.
In his notes to Love Actually, Curtis says that a lot of his favorite movies--at the time of writing, around 2001--happened to be multi-character stories. He cites Amores Perros as one of the best ones. And then he thought, wouldn't it be cool if he did the same? So he did, and he directed it too.
Of the ten couples in Love Actually, the one I liked the most was the one with Colin Firth and the Portuguese girl. They couldn't understand each other. At the end of the day, Colin Firth drives home the girl and Colin says that the drive home is his favorite part of the day. In the subtitles, the girl says, "Leaving you is the hardest part of my day." Or something like that.
Anyway, in Love Actually, Hugh Grant plays the Prime Minister and there's this bit where he dances around 10 Downing Street. In the book, Richard Curtis says that Hugh Grant watched the footage of himself dancing and declared that it was so horrible that it would be the first and last time he will ever dance in a picture again.
Guess what Hugh does a lot in Music and Lyrics.
Wednesday, February 7
I started reading Lawrence Grobel's Conversations with Capote (Book #3) initially to get material for a paper on writers who crossed over to screenwriting. The book has been lounging in my shelf for such a long time now, and it wasn't for the paper, I wouldn't have cracked it open. Now I wish I did so earlier. I started reading it on the train home and didn't put it down until I finished it several hours later.
Truman Capote's In Cold Blood is one of my favorite books, and it's not entirely accidental that the book is about a very masterful account of a massacred family in the American midwest in the 1950s. He had this literary brawl with Norman Mailer, who hired researchers and wrote The Executioner's Song without actually talking to the subject. That got Capote railed about him, and he said that Mailer would never write anything that would be remembered in twenty years or so down the road.
But by the time the conversations with Grobel had taken place, Truman Capote had sort of devolved into a semi-regular talk show guest, the kind whose every syllable would turn out to be controversial.
Here's a photo that appeared in the book:
This was my first time to see this photograph of Capote; and I suppose, like everyone else, I was mesmerized by this photo of the reclining young man. A friend and I had this debate about which celebrity Capote resembled in his youth. I thought it reminded me of local actor Dingdong Dantes (terrible, I know), while my friend suggested a mix of Jack Black and Ewan McGregor.
At any rate, it was a controversial photo, one that catapulted Capote to the best seller list and made him a literary star. Wikipedia points us to Gerald Clarke, who in his Capote: A Biography (1988), wrote: "The famous photograph: Harold Halma's picture on the dustjacket of Other Voices, Other Rooms (1948) caused as much comment and controversy as the prose inside. Truman claimed that the camera had caught him off guard, but in fact he had posed himself and was responsible for both the picture and the publicity."
It's also this photo which made Andy Warhol become "madly in love" with Capote. Somewhere in the book, Capote says: "When he was a child, Andy Warhol had this obsession about me and used to write me from Pittsburgh... When he came to New York, he used to stand outside my house, just stand out there all day waiting for me to come out. He wanted to become a friend of mine, wanted to speak to me, to talk to me. He nearly drove me crazy."
Elsewhere, the photographer responsible for this photo recounted walking on Fifth Avenue. Halma overheard two middle-aged women looking at a Capote blowup in the window of a bookstore. When one woman said, "I'm telling you: he's just young," the other woman responded, "And I'm telling you, if he isn't young, he's dangerous!"
As for me, I just think that the photo just did what it needed to do: get people interested in the writer. Perhaps his youth had something to do with it. Pero naman di ba, if you're going to have an author photo na rin lang, it better be something as hot as this. So all in all, panalo ang Lolo Truman dito.
~Which Shakespearean Heroine Are You?~
When I took this quiz the first time, I was Lady Macbeth. Then when I took it again, I was suddenly mad Ophelia. Hmm...