Friday, January 11, 2008

January 11, 2008 Bonus Blog Post
Just got back from lunch down at the new Marriott Resort near Desert Ridge. Talk about instant lush environment. It's amazing how they truck in the mature trees and foliage and the place looks like it has been there for a half century, rather than the half a year ago when it was raw, flat desert. Met James McPherson of the Arizona Preservation Foundation to talk about our joint efforts. Good guy. He bought.

Ever wonder what the behind-the-scenes correspondence between the Top Secret Writer and myself, looks like? Well, wonder no more. Here is a typical, recent exchange:

January 10, 2008

We saw the Brit flick “Atonement” last weekend and it really jumped around in a non-linear fashion. It appears , Pulp Fiction-style storytelling has entered the mainstream. With that in mind, here is a beginning of the graphic novel I’m toying with:

He sees the village from a blackened, volcanic ridge. Sporadic fires have broached it’s rambling borders, but have not consumed the center. Swirling smoke still eminates from some of the outlying buildings and the pungent smell of seared livestock wafts over the landscape.

As a biting sandstorm sweeps across the the far edge of the village he sees furtive rat-like figures fleeing from the church with their hands full of shiny objects. He guesses at their trajectory, and takes a side street, coming in from behind as two of them round a crumbling adobe corner. Pulling up at the rear of a cantina, Mick warily dismounts, pulling his machete, as he approaches the rear entrance where a flickering light cuts the gloom.

Cut to: the interior of the cantina where an assortment of bandidos and miscreants are sitting at tables drinking out of bottles, with their hooch (stolen goods) spread out in front of them. One of them wears a Rurale uniform, and while he has no swag in front of him, it’s obvious he is condoning, if not profiting from the massive looting of the town.

A cry is heard along with a SL-NNNNNNK, as the head of the portly bandido bounces into the room. Mick wades in with pistol and machete drawn and dispatches most of the bandidos, shooting and slashing as he goes. The Rurale escapes the carnage and gets the drop on Mick, but out from the back room flies a feminine form as Beauty plunges a knife into the Rurale’s back and drops him.

“Damn you Beauty,” Mick says with some digust. “I told you to stay out of

TITLE: 13 Hours Earlier

He sees the twin sunsets floating above the distant peaks of the Sierra Madres, but he knows they are not sunsets because he is heading due south. His relentless range finder takes note of the billowing dust on the far side of the massive dry lake bed. Rarely does he follow a road unless he knew it leads to a place his prey wanted to go.

Dry lake sequence with warning: “Beware those devils left behind.” Mick
trails the Kid across the dry lake, and thru the fire.

TITLE: Three Months Earlier

Escape of the Kid.



BBB: It Only works because you know the story--a bafflement to all others. Reminds me of the beginning (tease) of an old TV western. Of course I started my TV doc on Kit Carson that way (the Mrs White episode) and then flashed back. All this new non-linear filmmaking is simply character driven as opposed to narrative driven. Its not new--think of The High and the Mighty or other disaster flicks where the characters' soap-opera tales are given as the main part of the filmwithin a film while the plane in peril frames it all.

“But it Only works because you know the story--a bafflement to all others.”

Poppycock! We know everything we need to know at this point. Good story
telling is about giving the reader information only when it's necessary.
January 11, 2008

“BBB: Poppycock?!?! Is that some kind of Kingman term? Have you been
watching Bill O'Reilly? Poppycock??”

Yes, it is a Kingman term, translated loosely as, "distinguished opium penis."


BBB: While you busy yourself getting bitten by dogs and seeing art films (which is what "Atonement" is) I took the kids to see "National Treasure". No non- linear structure in that puppy--but its now in its third week at boxoffice #!. The girls all went to see "Juno" as well, which they loved. I want to see "Charlie Wilson's War", but can't find the time.

" Juno" is wonderful (I gave it a 9.5). Really excellent little film with a very satisfying wrap-up (unlike "No Country" and "There Will Be Blood"). "Charlie Wilson's War" really irritated me (I'd give it a 4). Here they try and make us root against the Russians, but every time a Mig is shot down I kept thinking, "Now these same people are shooting at us! Those aren't faceless villains they're shooting down, those are kids like Robert Chenal from Cave Creek who's in Iraq now. Everything Wilson and the CIA did, led directly to 9/11! And they spent $500 million messing it up, and the Saudis matched it! They matched it, with no questions!" And other things, but I won't bore you with them. By the way, "Atonement" has a five-and-a-half minute tracking shot at Dunkirk that is better than anything in "Charlie Wilson's War".

And does anyone wonder why the Top Secret Project is not finished?

"Not me. I knew it from day one."
—J. Waldon, Kingman area president of the Anti-BBB Fan Club

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