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Showing posts from July, 2010

Twilight Over The Mountains

The twilight over the mountains on Topanga Canyon Boulevard was beautiful last night...I love blurry photos!

Swimming With The Fishes

I had a great time yesterday at UCLA talking to visiting film students from the University of Miami about my "journey as a writer" (mostly on the 101 and 405 to get to the campus).  It's always good to experience the enthusiasm and fresh perspective of those aspiring to work in the business - and it was wonderful to see my friend, Paul Lazarus, who runs the film program at UM, where I used to teach graduate screenwriting.
Paul, who is a former movie producer (Westworld and Barbarosa are among his credits) told me a tale of the high days of Hollywood in the 1980s, when - during a negotiation on a particular project - he received a call from a heavyweight (in every sense, including the Vegas-"connected" variety) show business attorney, who asked Paul, "Are you trying to screw my client?  Do you want to wind up at the bottom of a lake?"
Paul - a former entertainment attorney himself (Mel Brooks was a client) - answered: "Are you threatening my life?&q…

Paul Bowles' The Sheltering Sky

Some years ago, the British film director (and wonderful friend and collaborator) Nicolas Roeg gave me a book and told me, “Read this, it will change your life.”
I had no idea what to expect – except that with Nic, I trusted that he knew what he was talking about.  I went home and read the book, Paul Bowles’ magnificent novel, The Sheltering Sky, set in Morocco and first published in 1949, and indeed it both woke me up, psychologically and emotionally, and changed the way I thought about things.
The novel is set in Morocco, where American-born composer and writer Bowles lived for most of his life, and among its other effects, The Sheltering Sky made me fall in love with the country, too.  Marrakesh became one of my favorite cities in the world (I still dream of its exquisite architecture, its wonderful people and its unforgettable desert beauty) and the drive from there to the Sahara through the Atlas Mountains is still one of the most …