Derry, Northern Ireland

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

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Done, for now...

I got the bridge set between the craziness of Adam's adventures on Tuesday night to Wednesday morning, when he wakes. He winds up lazing as he remembers events from earlier in his life and compares Casey to his mother and Cora, a woman he lived with, done in as gentle a tone as possible. Then he has breakfast with Casey and Patricia and heads on to the bank. This means I may have added another chapter, and definitely added another 8 pages, but I'll decide that on the next pass through.

So now I can get to the rest of the story -- and try to figure my way around a point of logic that's begun sticking in my head, dealing with Lando and Casey. I'll have to make an explanation of it that sounds reasonable, but I can do that at the appropriate time. Right now, I'm happy with this little bit of progress.

So I cleared my head by watching the 1979 version of Mad Max, with the real voices in it, not the American dubbing. Man, they got away with murder in making that movie. Some of those stunts are still breathtaking. Some of the attitudes are really offensive, now. The script was probably 10 pages long, that's about how much dialogue there was in it, and the acting was so-so, but it ran.

Mel was gorgeous, back then -- 23 years old when it was made -- and you could tell the camera loved him. Too bad he turned into such a douche. Or maybe he always was one; I dunno. I used to really like him, as an actor, but then he turned into a star and stopped taking honest chances.

That seems to happen, once you reach a certain level, in Hollywood. Fear of making a fool of yourself or something. Nicholas Cage was another actor I admired, because he was willing to go completely nuts for a part...but at the same time, he could make a decent man interesting, onscreen. That's hard to do. Henry Fonda, Jimmy Stewart and Gary Cooper could do it, but very few actors after them were able to pull it off. Then Cage won his Oscar, and after that, he got lost in his mannerisms and now is a joke.

I felt the same about Bruce Willis, for a while. I liked him in Moonlighting; he was far more talented and interesting than Cybill Shepherd. In Die Hard and In Country, he was sharp and held the screen. But it seems his ego overtook his intelligence and he revealed himself to be limited in far too many ways. The closest he came to being a decent actor, again, was in The Sixth Sense. Proved his limits.

A lot of actors are limited in what they can do. Robert De Niro is great with intensity but he cannot play quiet unless it's being used to emphasize danger. Leonardo Dicaprio can't play quiet, either. Sean Penn was so good, he could make you care about an evil man about to be executed in Dead Man Walking, but hasn't even begun to rise to that level since, despite 2 Oscars for lesser roles.

Mel...he got his Oscars for Producing and Directing a piece of homophobic, revisionist history, even as he whitewashed the gayness out of other characters he played and pretended that selfishness was a form of heroism. Like he's afraid someone might think he's queer, regarding the former, and knows Americans like tough guys who take revenge for personal reasons for the second. Which made him a huge star but even less than interesting in my eyes. His later troubles were only the tape that sealed the package.

So why did I watch MM? Memories of when I still cared and was shallow enough to think beauty outside meant beauty within. Learning that notion was foolish was a rough lesson in life.

It's one Casey is now struggling with.

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