Saturday, December 04, 2004

"Go ahead! Eat the writer!"

The Movie: Shadow of the Vampire, 2000 (Steven Katz, screenwriter; E. Elias Merhige, dir.)
Who says it: John Malkovich as pioneering film director F. W. Murnau
The context: Having hired a real vampire (Willem Dafoe) to play Nosferatu, Murnau finds the production slipping out of his control; he says this line sarcastically, not sincerely.
How to use it: Every professional writer will find some use for this quotation. Trust me.

Lack of hot water (which did finally come back) and bad weather delayed my departure for Cambridge, and then a misunderstanding of the Mapquest directions sent me the long way around -- I wound up taking Route 1 through a big chunk of southern Maine and through New Hampshire before realizing that I never should have left 95.

Val, a neighbor of mine who keeps cats, rabbits and a horse, is taking care of Dizzy until tonight. He likes her, and he especially likes the way her jacket smells. The horse lives at its own stable, and Dizzy's staying in my apartment, so he's not likely to meet the cats and rabbits personally.

I got to Kate's late, but did manage to talk to a couple of people I wanted to see. I also made sure that Kate's going to order my client Kent Harrington's new book, Red Jungle, which is coming out just before Christmas. The publisher, Dennis McMillan, produces limited runs of beautifully-designed books; he does very little marketing, because he generally doesn't need to. But Kent's book deserves a wider audience, and we're all hoping that some major press will swoop in with a mass-market deal once Dennis's print run sells out. Publishers Weekly gave the book a good review this week, and that's always encouraging.

This morning I'm working with Mikki Ansin on her book project, a retrospective of candid stills from the Merchant-Ivory productions of the 1980s and 1990s. Mikki was the still photographer on most of those movies, and she has gorgeous pictures of the actors and technicians going about their lives "between takes" -- which is what the book will be called.

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