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Isserley, Penelope Cruz And The Slow Gestation Of Jonathan Glazer's Under The Skin

My friend, the film critic Ryan Gilbey , recently wrote this piece for the New Statesman in Britain about my work on the first three drafts of the script of Jonathan Glazer's upcoming film, Under The Skin , released April 4 in the US and already in release in the UK and elsewhere. Working with Jonathan was a great experience, and Under The Skin itself is an extraordinary piece of work, both in terms of Michel Faber's novel and Jonathan's film. Ryan's review of Under The Skin is here , and to experience more of Ryan's work, check out the Guardian article about my lifelong friend and collaborator (on Insignificance ), the great British filmmaker, Nicolas Roeg, at the end of this blog post from June 3 2012: Nicolas Roeg - His Own Timing, His Own Wisdom and Kindness. Here is Ryan's New Statesman article: Isserley, Penélope Cruz and the slow gestation of Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin Jon

Jonathan Glazer, Scarlett Johansson and Under The Skin - in The Sunday Times

Scarlett Johansson in Under The Skin. Ryan Gilbey has an excellent article in today's Sunday Times about British filmmaker Jonathan Glazer's movie, inspired by ("adaptation" seems too literal a word) Michel Faber's deeply unsettling novel, Under The Skin. The film stars Scarlett Johansson as an alien predator (of sorts) who picks up male hitchhikers in the seemingly unlikely landscape of Scotland. (I'm half-Scottish; somehow science-fiction isn't a topic you most immediately associate with Scotland.) I worked on the first three drafts of the script, before Jonathan - over the period of a decade - took it in a totally new direction, including the intriguing device of having Johansson pick up unsuspecting real-life hitchhikers (who were later persuaded to sign a release for the film - or not, in some cases) and see what came next, courtesy of a camera hidden in her truck. Ryan was kind enough to quote me twice in his piece. You can read

San Francisco's Wonderful California Academy of Sciences

Anemones. P hotographs Copyright  ©  2014 A lexander Chow-Stuart. The California Academy of Sciences really is one of the wonders of California.  Located in San Francisco's beautiful Golden Gate Park, just across from the Japanese Tea Garden, the Academy's building alone is worth the visit.  Photograph by WolfmanSF, courtesy of Wikipedia/Wikimedia Commons. P hotograph Copyright  ©  2014 A lexander Chow-Stuart. Designed by Renzo Piano , the Academy's stunning $500 million ecologically sustainable structure , with its multi-domed "living roof," is both highly distinctive and, hopefully, earthquake-proof - the Academy having suffered two major losses of structures and parts of its collection, in the great  1906 San Francisco earthquake  and in 1989's  Loma Prieta earthquake , after which the Piano building was commissioned.  P hotographs Copyright  ©  2014 Alexander Chow-Stuart . The Academy&#

Ivanpah - The World's Largest Solar Power Plant - Online Today In The Mojave Desert

The future - at least, one potential solution to our energy and climate problems - is here now.  As reported by Gizmodo ,  the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System -  the world's largest solar plant, comprising 300,000 computer-controlled mirrors and 450-foot centralized solar power towers powering turbines with steam - started generating electricity today in the Mojave Desert on the California-Nevada border.  Dedicated today by  Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz , and j ointly owned by US-based  NRG Energy , US-Israeli  BrightSource Energy  and Google (which put up $168 million to help build it), Ivanpah is the world's biggest solar power plant.  The remarkable photographs tell some of the story, but essentially - according to the  official  news release  - Ivanpah (located on the site of a silver mining ghost town from the mid-1880s ) is capable of generating sufficient electricity to power 140,000 California homes with clean ene

The Crimson Wing - A Wonderful Film About Flamingos

A week or so back, our five year old daughter and I were searching through Netflix for a nature documentary to watch when we chanced upon The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos.  We started watching and were quickly entranced not just by the flamingos themselves, but by the extraordinary nature of the cinematography and the astonishingly vivid colors of these curious pink birds (scientists still do not know for sure why they often stand on one leg: perhaps to conserve heat in cold water, although they do it in warm water, too) set against the deep pure blues of the water and sky of Tanzania's Lake Natron.   When the film ended - after a beautiful and moving time spent getting to know these birds' lives, much as you do in the widely acclaimed, Oscar-nominated French documentary Winged Migration (a must-see, as is The Crimson Wing ) - I noticed that one of the producers was an old friend, Paul Webster , with whom I worked on The War Zone an