Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Not dead yet

And no, I'm not talking about Dick Cheney. It's just a really busy time of year for me, and I've been fighting a neverending virus, and there's so much I want to write about it's hard to juggle it all.

I'm finishing a second draft of a current script. In the home stretch. But then it goes out for comments and a new cycle of revisions begins. Most people have no idea how hard it is to write something. Until you've done it yourself, you can't really appreciate it. Others like to write, but hate to rewrite. For me, the real writing starts with the rewriting. The first draft is the roadmap, the basic elements of the story. But subsequent drafts focus on fleshing out characters, smoothing out transitions, finding what works and what doesn't, and then killing your babies. No wonder the writers are striking. That's a lot of work, sweat, pain, hair pulling, eyestrain, lack of sleep, and lack of human contact to trade for four cents on the DVD. I'll have more to say about that in the weeks (and possibly months) ahead.

It's also pre-awards time here in La La Land. That means I get to see just about every movie ever released this year, for free, often with the star or writer or director speaking afterwards. And you were wondering why I moved back to LA! Last night I sat about 20 feet from Denzel Washington after a screening of his phenomenal new film, The Great Debaters. (Washington directs as well as stars in the story.) This one is my early pick for the Oscar for best film. More on that later too.

Another MUST SEE this season: Charlie Wilson's War. The dialog is the best you'll hear in any film this year, bar none, thanks to West Wing scribe Aaron Sorkin. We sowed the seeds of our own destruction, but not for the reasons mentioned in the film. Am I being cryptic? I hope so. Go see the film so we can discuss it together.

Tonight I just got back from seeing 3:10 to Yuma, after which the director and two of the actors, including Christian Bale, appeared. I enjoyed the film and was engrossed in the relationship between Bale's character and the marvelous one portrayed by Russell Crowe, a personal favorite. It was hilarious to hear the director spin the movie as rebelling against the current state of affairs. He offered that maybe America gets involved in these horrible wars because for too long Hollywood gave us happy endings and painted Americans as invincible. He didn't want such an easy ending for his film because that's not the way the world really works. He said maybe if people see more realism in films they won't vote for -- well, you get the picture.

But you didn't come here to read about films (even though the first two are based on real history). You may have come to get an update on Washington Post reporter Jefferson Morley's lawsuit against the CIA over the records of George Joannides, the CIA officer responsible for the DRE group that Lee Harvey Oswald clashed with in New Orleans shortly before Kennedy's assassination. Morley just won the latest round when the United States Circuit Court reversed a lower court decision. That doesn't mean records are in hand. But it's a good step in the right direction. You can read the court opinion here.

Meanwhile, follow this tennis match. Serve. The CIA issued an NIE (National Intelligence Estimate) concluding Iran is not developing nuclear weapons. Return. Word leaked out that the CIA destroyed interrogation tapes that showed "severe interrogation techniques." Smash. An ex-CIA agent says waterboarding was approved by the administration at the highest levels. Gee, the last time the White House and the CIA duked it out in the wake of another watery episode (Watergate), Nixon was forced to resign. So I'm cheering right now. Fight! Fight! Fight!

In other news, Al Gore proves himself the true leader of the country and the world, continuing to remind us that all our petty bickering will mean nothing if the world fries or freezes in the next several years. Read or watch his Nobel Prize acceptance speech here.

I hope to do a more substantive post in the near future, but what with holiday purchases and parties and other activities, it may be a while yet. Thanks for poking in. And if you don't want to have to keep checking back, just enter your email in the box on the right and you'll be alerted any time this blog is updated.

And if I don't have a chance to say it later, try to get out and enjoy this holiday season a bit. If we are on the verge of destroying the planet, go out and enjoy it for a few moments while you still can!


Post a Comment

<< Home