Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Red pen is done

And Daniel has changed clothes.  And Tad's become a force to deal with.  And Van's more aware and conflicted in the final third.  And my newish ending works even better then before.  I just hope it all makes sense.  Now comes the joy of inputting the red-pen stuff and seeing just how long this story's turned out to be.

So I took a break and watched "Casque d'Or" as I ironed.  It's a classic French film from 1952, with Simone Signoret (who would win the Oscar for Best Actress seven years later)...and was interesting.  It seems like a meandering little story set in the France of La Belle Epoch (1890's) and deals with a group of criminals and their first.  But it slowly reveals itself to be about how a man's obsession with a woman can make him turn on everything he believes in order to have her, often without thinking through the consequences of his actions.  It's all so easy-going and straightforward about this, you don't realize just how wrapped up you are in the story until it's almost over.

But this is one of the reasons I love French films.  They can do low-key dramas with earth-shattering meaning better than anyone.  Even their comedies are low-key...and yet moments stick with you for years.  Like "La Chevre" (The Goat), which is a comedy about a businessman's daughter who goes missing in Mexico.  She's one of those people who has phenomenal bad luck but somehow always manages to come out okay in the end.  So the businessman has a detective (played by Gerard Depardieu) take along another man who has phenomenal back luck to retrace her steps and see if they can find her, that way...and it nearly drives Depardieu insane because it seems to be working.  The bad-luck guy is played by Pierre Richard, and I can still see him swollen up like a balloon from a bee sting in an airplane and them having to crash land near a hospital so he can be cared for...and then Depardieu finding out something similar happening just weeks before and nearly wiped the place out.  And the ending is priceless.

Of course, two of my absolute favorite films are French -- "Les Quatre Cents Coups" (The 400 Blows) and "La règle du jeu" (Rules of the Game, which is the English title but isn't quite correct because the French title is singular and it actually makes more sense that way).  They had major effects on how I view films and what I will and will not accept in the realm of suspension of disbelief.  I have those on I may watch them once I've done my inputting on "The Lyons' Den".

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