brothercyst: September 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

FIRES IMMINENT

The re-release of FIRES from Civil Coping Mechanisms is on October 10th. I'm so grateful to Michael Seidlinger and CCM for putting this back into print. I wrote it eight years ago and it's been out of print since late 2008... too long!

This edition includes the short story "The Girlfriend Game." Thanks to those of you who've read the book before, and thanks in advance to those who read it for the first time now. More soon.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

MAMET MEMO

I read this a long time ago, but it came up again yesterday in conversation and I re-read it... it's relevant to all dramatic writers in any medium.  David Mamet's all caps memo to the writers on THE UNIT

IF THE SCENE IS NOT DRAMATICALLY WRITTEN, IT WILL NOT BE DRAMATICALLY ACTED.

THERE IS NO MAGIC FAIRY DUST WHICH WILL MAKE A BORING, USELESS, REDUNDANT, OR MERELY INFORMATIVE SCENE AFTER IT LEAVES YOUR TYPEWRITER. YOU THE WRITERS, ARE IN CHARGE OF MAKING SURE EVERY SCENE IS DRAMATIC.

THIS MEANS ALL THE “LITTLE” EXPOSITIONAL SCENES OF TWO PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT A THIRD. THIS BUSHWAH (AND WE ALL TEND TO WRITE IT ON THE FIRST DRAFT) IS LESS THAN USELESS, SHOULD IT FINALLY, GOD FORBID, GET FILMED.

IF THE SCENE BORES YOU WHEN YOU READ IT, REST ASSURED IT WILL BORE THE ACTORS, AND WILL, THEN, BORE THE AUDIENCE, AND WE’RE ALL GOING TO BE BACK IN THE BREADLINE.

SOMEONE HAS TO MAKE THE SCENE DRAMATIC. IT IS NOT THE ACTORS JOB (THE ACTORS JOB IS TO BE TRUTHFUL). IT IS NOT THE DIRECTORS JOB. HIS OR HER JOB IS TO FILM IT STRAIGHTFORWARDLY AND REMIND THE ACTORS TO TALK FAST. IT IS YOUR JOB.

WARRIOR

It depresses me when good movies do poorly at the box office.  To my shock, I loved Gavin O'Connor's Warrior last weekend, and just saw that it basically bombed.  It's pretty shamelessly manipulative, but it's fucking awesome.  Basically, what this review says.  It's a total pleasure to watch, or at least it was for me.  It can be fulfilling to see cliches executed brilliantly.  Go see it while it's still in theaters.

****

Halfway through House of Holes, love it.

Friday, September 09, 2011

NICK MCDONELL ON 9/11

My friend Nick McDonell from back in NY wrote a great piece on 9/11 in N+1.  Check it out.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

TW SEASON 2 / HOUSE OF HOLES / LA IN 40s / SALMON

I'm on the fourth week of my new job, which is enough time that it seems real. I'm a writer, along with my screenwriting partner Ned Vizzini, on season 2 of MTV's Teen Wolf.  It's a show I love and have been a fan of since it premiered.  The job's fucking great and I'm lucky to have it.  (Lucky because TV writing jobs, especially your first one, are insanely tough to get and there's no clear path to getting them if you're coming from outside the TV world.)  So I'm super grateful that the showrunner gave us a chance.

****

I'm about halfway through Nicholson Baker's House of Holes, which is amazing.  Also, today I bought Super Sad True Love Story and The Art of Fielding.  Good times.

****

Check out this fascinating footage posted by TheAtlantic.com's Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg. It's rear-projection footage that would appear blurry in the background of car scenes in movies from the late 40s, early 50s. But when you see it like this, clear and unobstructed, you get a long, lived-in look at what LA was like then.



****

I've been eating a lot of salmon lately.  Salmon sashimi, and wild salmon steaks that I buy from the grocery store.  (Probably not actually wild, that's likely a lie.)  I used to live near a farmer's market, but no more, so it's easiest just to go to the grocery.  Should I not be eating so much salmon?  Is 3 or 4 days a week too much?  I do love it, and it's "brain food."  Mercury doesn't seem to be an issue in the same way that it is with tuna.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

CLIVE BARKER / POINT BLANK / MISTY / EMMY THE GREAT

Today at the office I read Clive Barker's short story "Twilight at the Towers" and it reminded me that I fucking love Clive Barker.  It made me want to go back and read all the Books of Blood, which I did when I was in my early teens.  And also The Damnation Game, which I read around the same time, and which I'm pretty sure introduced me to the word "chitinous."

*****

I saw Point Blank, the French film, two nights ago.  Really very good.  Best new action movie I've seen in several years.  Reminded me that Americans just don't know how to make them anymore.  I mean, compare this to the trailer for Abduction (which will probably be a hit but elicited groans of just absolute contempt in the last theater where I saw it play).



*****

I also saw Play Misty for Me recently for the first time.  Deeply upsetting.  Like, pit of the stomach.  Arguably the first modern stalker movie and Clint Eastwood's directorial debut, it's got a fairly ingenious and clever screenplay, and despite some dated shit (the awful romance montage in the woods, or whatever) is truly squirm-inducing to watch.  You just loathe the Evelyn Draper character so much (or at least, I did).  Also, Clint Eastwood at 41 was an impossibly handsome human being.

*****

Got this from the Paris Review blog.  Video is unremarkable but she's really good, no?