Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Desert Song

Julia and I listened to the Susan Boyle CD during our two-and-a-half-hour drive to the desert. We were surprised how bloody good it was. Then we put in Barbra Streisand’s new CD. We didn’t get to hear all of it as there are 35 tracks. Note to Barbra: you can have too much of a good thing. I mention our road trip listening pleasure on the way to the Palm Springs Film Festival to give some idea of the type of ear candy Julia and I prefer.

We were meeting our great pals, Lori and Joan, at Lori’s dad and stepmother’s fabulous pile in Palm Springs. Lori currently prefers The Black-eyed Peas and Lady Gaga wherever she goes ‒ really loudly and constantly, so all conversation was shouted and there was much asking each other to repeat what was just said. Five years have passed since the four of us used to hang and travel together on a regular basis (BM: Before Marley).

Later, in a restaurant, Lori was taking forever to decide on a bottle of wine. Joan opened her hands in wonderment at such protracted indecision. Julia saw Joan’s opened hands and wrongly assumed (more loud music in the restaurant) that Joan wanted to say Grace, so took mine and Lori’s hand until we were all linked, heads bowed waiting for someone to start the prayer and wondering why no one had mentioned that Joan had found the Lord since we were last together.

An amazing and beautiful 86-year-old lady hosted a cocktail party for The Making Of Plus One…before its world premiere at the film festival (Cannes didn’t count as a premiere; that, apparently, was just a screening).

I spoke to the venerable woman’s sixty-something daughter who told me she had seen a couple of good films at the festival as well as some terrible ones, including one foreign entry where she walked out, because it was “nothing but fornication and human defecation.” Holy fucking shit.

Director Mary McGuckian told us the exciting news that she had secured distribution for the film. It involves a new distribution model where the movie is released in a different state every month. More on this as details come in. I guess it’s to avoid paying out $25,000 for each print of the film for every theatre.

My group agreed to meet Mary, Jennifer Tilly and Michael Eckland at the red carpet outside the Regal Cinema where our film was being screened, but we couldn’t find the red carpet, what with there not being one. More wishful thinking on our part.

The screening went well, a packed cinema filled with people who paid for their seats, laughed in the right places and applauded at the end. I won’t lie to you, the film’s not Avatar, but a pleasing romp through the trials and tribulations of getting a movie made. As I said during the Q & A, it’s a miracle that any film ever gets made at all, let alone released, and this has been the most amazing adventure for me.

The next morning, Julia and I went for a walk and wandered onto a beautiful golf course. We kept to the path and marveled at the glorious scenery. However, we soon learned from the course marshal who came chasing after us that the path was not for walking, but for carts, and we were lucky not to have been killed by a golf ball. Ironically, we were on the cell phone telling our dad (who is president of Hayling Golf Club) about our weekend’s adventure just as we were escorted off the course.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Play Mitzi for me

I don’t know about you, but 2010 has got off to a cracking start. This may be because I am a Pisces and this, allegedly, is going to be our year. http://www.susanmiller.com/forecasts/monthly/pisces_full.php

This is excellent news because, frankly, 2009 sucked. The Making Of Plus One… screening at the Cannes Film Festival and my dad’s 80th birthday party were the highlights of a year drowning in lows.

As one door closed, another was slammed in my face. And then another. Until finally Colin and I had to sub-let our apartment and move in with friends to re-group financially. Despite being a normally robust and positive soul, the year’s rejections and disappointments almost brought me to my knees with stress-related illnesses and chronic insomnia. So much so that I looked like I had been hit by the ugly stick and felt like shit.

My misery was compounded when a friend of the same age suddenly looked 10 years younger than me, thanks to a $10,500 facelift.

Arthur, the acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist, came to my rescue (he’s also my sister Julia’s other half). He brought me back to the land of the living and the remotely attractive.

So, before you submit to the knife, might I suggest you try Arthur’s acupuncture facelift? He can cure other ills at the same time. That’s me above with Colin on New Year’s Eve. Not bad for almost 55, though I say it myself. Thanks to good genes, I only needed eight sessions; most would need 12 at $85 a pop. Arthur’s offices are in Woodland Hills: 818 999 0300 or naturalmeddoc@gmail.com. I am proud to be his poster girl.

Back to 2010. My children were here and it was the best Christmas and New Year ever. In the first week of January, I was offered some research work on a network TV show. My work was so well received that I have been offered a producer job on the show (a one-off) for real money.

Julia and I are going to Palm Springs this weekend for the film festival with two of our bestest friends ever, Lori Leve and Joan Scheibel, where The Making Of Plus One… is being screened. Two extra screenings have been arranged because the one at The Regal on Saturday at 6.30pm is sold out. And there are parties, parties, parties.

A producer has offered $1.5 million partial funding to make the movie Plus One actually based on my book using my script. The fabulous Academy Award nominee Jennifer Tilly has read my script, loves it, and agreed to play the Mitzi character.

Another 11 months like this please, Cosmos.

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