Died of TV Guide – Leveson, Hackgate, and Press Reform in ‘Adventures in Paradise’ London Hackgate Film … by Elan Durham

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Hello all … europabridge here, author of the original Hackgate screenplay ‘Adventures in Paradise‘ and other film projects … MFA, ex-academic, world traveler, and future expat in London and Cornwall … we hope.

A few thoughts relating to my own Hackgate-inspired ‘Adventures in Paradise’ romantic comedy-revenge caper.

Rather than imagine a world where all inequalities or absurdities are erased, which is impossible – I like to imagine a world that functions with an overall sense of fairness and reason, as opposed to being guided by an ethos of all the spoils going to the rottenest. Of course, my imagination only works in the fictional world, which is why I write screenplays!

In this context,  I am reminded of Dan Hodges original response to Hackgate in The New Stateman. Yes, Hackgate happened, and it will happen again because the people want it. They want to hear Hugh Grant‘s conversations, they want to capture those tunnel death photos of Princess Di, and they want to know who’s shagging whom, in the ever-shifting power plays from London, New York, Paris, Hollywood, and DC … because, don’t you know … ‘Nobody rides for free … Pay up or play!’

Information is knowledge. And misinformation is also a kind of power that can be used against whomever we want to harm or control for political purposes or financial gain, or just for malicious sport, as I have learned watching this and other media debacles unfold in print and online.

Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have lost my reputation. I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial.‘ What remains is bestial after personal agency, privacy, family, career, and personhood have all been invaded by these stalkers aided by their legal ‘right to know’… But writing ‘Adventures in Paradise’ has resulted in a much more entertaining, witty, and enduring experience than this blog rant. Perhaps it is also my tribute to a women who dared to forge ahead in Aurora Blunton … as she is my own Leveson Inquiry.

(Aurora c’est moi! Sorry Flaubert.)

Aurora is a celebration of the kinds of female characters I grew up looking at in movies starring Audrey Hepburn, Katharine Hepburn, Carole Lombard, Greta Garbo, Irene Dunne, and Myrna Loy … She is light as a feather, has the gravitas and intelligence of a British barrister, and the appeal of a major movie star. (Only in my movies!) Clive Reade is my old world Hollywood hero, the Cary Grant we all still crave for in our leper-skinned, anti-hero comic book age. And he is most definitely NOT the schmuck foisted upon us by Hollywood executives, because his twitter following exceeds the 3.5 million mark.

AIP is a statement about the life of the community, the tabloid press and its standards; celebrity, the pursuit of a story no matter how absurd or ludicrous, and the glare of the limelight … no matter how lurid.

Hacking, expressions of online hate, stalking, revenge porn, and tabloid gossip go much deeper than  casting aspersions upon a person’s life, political views, or status in the community. They represent an effort to change the course of human history by creating a social corrosive so strong it etches away and destroys all evidence of civilized discourse, such that no human witnesses remain. Just players in the game.

Stalkers and hackers conjure up a thumbs up or thumbs down agenda for whatever hapless dunk-drunk draftees end up in the docket of world doom … Can’t you just hear the roar of the crowd? See the down-pointed thumbs? Unholy wieners and stale beer! Talk about fascist populism … And the British public subsidizes this kind of hooliganism with more than half a billion dollars of tax pounds per year.The Insider by Piers Morgan perfectlybeastly.blogspot

‘Adventures in Paradise’ is my response, a fleet-footed film for people with enough brains to think, also a window to escape through for a few hours, to have a laugh, or the last laugh … For the rich, the poor, the press, the hard-pressed … hopefully to live on in the public imagination for decades.

Perhaps we can all agree upon one thing: At the end of the day, people need a break from reality. I do not trivialize the events of Hackgate but rather I want to place them in a context people will enjoy watching, a context that endangers no one, but manages to address all the key issues while entertaining, and distracting for a few hours – memorably.

Finally, it is probably more accurate to call ‘Adventures in Paradise’ a dramedy – a mixed genre film sprinkled with romance, revenge, satire, glamour, travel, tabloid intrigue, corruption, and betrayal – one that ends happily for my hero and heroine. I really do love the way the story ends – every moment of happiness hard earned and believable.

Thanks for stopping by  … And feel free to contact me with queries.

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Location, Location, Location … ‘Adventures in Paradise’ – London Hackgate Screenplay

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Hello all … europabridge scribe and author of ‘Adventures in Paradise’ Hackgate romantic comedy-revenge caper screenplay … the sequel, ‘Return to Paradise’ … four other screenplays, and a novel about a young woman coming to terms with her life in America, I think the popular term for this now is Women’s Fiction.

A brief post about locations in ‘Adventures in Paradise’ as there are many, and for good reason.

Before I returned to the US a few years ago, I covered perhaps as many as 100,000 miles in my travels, and conceived of my ‘Adventures’ screenplay as a way to revisit my vision of the world, as seen from the perspective of airplane windows, taxis, ships, hotel rooms, trains, and other transportation modes – in a more global than local view of life. Because frankly, local sucks.cropped-instagram-and-twitter-2683.jpg

I’ve also used the script at times as a postcard of sorts for travel to the UK … Thus, ‘Adventures in Paradise’ features major settings in London, Cambridge, the Cornish Coast, Lake Geneva, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and various luxury island retreats like St John and the Seychelles … Why? Because Clive Reade, my hero, conveniently owns  the largest and most luxurious 5 star hotel-resort chain in the world.

The picture-postcard approach to filming AIP greatly appeals to me, and I think it appeals to many film-goers. Some of the most successful films have had vibrant LIVE locations, and I stand by the idea of an international film that travels the world.

A solemn promise, however: there will be no 3-D version of ‘Adventures in Paradise’ … though human life is explored in as many dimensions as possible.

At any rate, because the Cornish Coast is so beautiful, mysterious, and romantic (home to Le Carre, Agatha Christie, and Daphne Du Maurier), I wanted some of the more romantic sequences in ‘Adventures’ to be filmed there, in addition to a scene featuring my Cornwallian Chef – Clarence Stapleton in his new St Ives restaurant – STAPLETON’s.

The romantic aspect between Clive and Aurora in ‘Adventures’ is somewhat submerged, and may be more of a subplot, due to the fact that they do not come together as a couple until some 80 minutes into the story … all while avoiding each other, bumping into each other, and then discovering they actually LIKE each other–finally. You might chart their progress like so: starting out as enemies, becoming wary colleagues, good friends and Hackgate investigators, and then coming together as a couple. Actually, their relationship becomes one of the vehicles for how the film solves its mysteries, as they pool their better resources and work together to get even with the dirty rats that framed them both! And that’s why ‘Adventures in Paradise’ is a Romantic Comedy-Revenge Caper.

After unraveling a number of tabloid boondoggles together, all quite taxing and exhausting, Clive Reade and Aurora Blunton take a long weekend off the coast of Cornwall where they wander around the Isles of Scilly, as William and Kate did on their honeymoon.

(Right: Tresco, Isles of Scilly photo yours truly.)Instagram and Twitter 4918

Sometimes I use a montage scene technique between Clive and Aurora, other times comic moments help them discover a dynamic between themselves … after they jokingly challenge each other to a drinking contest Clive wins hand-down.

Is it the people, great seafood, excellent wine, stunning landscape of Cornwall, or removing themselves from the madhouse of London that finally seals their hugely lovable fate? I’m not exactly a pushover, but even I was bowled over by this lushly romantic weekend they share alongside scones, Earl Grey Tea, pasties, drinks, golf carts rides, rock pooling, and bushels of Cornish roses filling every vase to overflowing … With the wind from the Cornish Sea blowing through the sheers to the ways in which they discover how lovely they are individually and together … The Isles of Scilly play a key supporting role in bringing Clive and Aurora together. Just as all my locations are key for developing the action and placing characters in unique places that drive the plot forward. Adventures indeed! … Stay tuned. isles-of-scilly-pelistry-bay-beaches-1432-large.jpg

FOLLOW & DM me @europabridge1 on Twitter  or Instagram …

(Photo above by Tresco blog, Isles of Scilly)

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‘Adventures in Paradise’ A Romantic Comedy-Revenge Caper …

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Hello all … Today and everyday until it’s sold I’m writing about my ‘Adventures in Paradise‘ screenplay set in London. The script draws from various inspirations and sources to create a mixed genre film that I hope will break box office in 2018.

The first draft of about 80 pages was written in response to an OP/ED Dan Hodges penned for The New Statesman defending the NOTW. Though Hodges might have been writing in jest, I wrote a letter to the Eitor in support of privacy – inspiring myself to finish the first draft, and launch this pet project, that has gone through enough twists and turns to merit its own screenplay … Thus, ‘Adventures in Paradise’ was born, a  romantic comedy-revenge caper (WGA reg) weighing in at 130 pages, and completely original in the way it looks at the events of Hackgate … But to say that ‘Adventures’ is just about Hackgate is a bit like saying ‘Bringing Up Baby’ is about cougar conservation. AIP is about how Hackgate and the kinds of people and techniques used in Hackgate disrupted lives, and, in a sense, changed the course of human history.

RETROSPECTIVE: KATHARINE HEPBURN

RETROSPECTIVE: KATHARINE HEPBURN — Image by © Sunset Boulevard/Corbis

Clive Reade (written with Colin Firth in mind) is a celebrity in his own right: the third richest man the world with a premier 5 star luxury hotel resort collection, he’s elegant, smart, and decent. Clive brings back a cinematic presence no one has seen in a long time … since Cary Grant. Aurora Blunton, a Cambridge educated reporter, is stunning in any context, and provides Clive with his first equal partner. Though her personal and professional experiences, she gives Clive another window into the culture of Hackgate. Together the two conduct something like their own Leveson Inquiry, except that their exploits are much more interesting and entertaining … even caperish. London by Albertonardelli

Can a romantic comedy-revenge caper deliver a proper perspective on Hackgate? Actually, I believe it is the only way to treat the issues without becoming preachy and descending into what I call ‘kitchen sink drama’ or the kind of boring preachy movies of the 70’s.

‘Adventures in Paradise’ is funny, satiric, and at times justifiably savage, brutal, and surprising in the way it pushes the envelope to examine privacy issues, love, harmony between career men and women, secretive lives, and even the odd moment of thuggery recalling the Krays. No surprise, I’m looking for an agent in the UK or US with the power to reach across the pond, as most of the roles are written for British actors, and many of the film’s locations are based in the UK.

There are key roles for Americans (or actors who can impersonate them) – notably Californian millionaire bad boy Trent Cortigan ~ a role that calls for a presence like Chris Hemsworth … In fact, I’d hold up a production schedule just to secure him for the film … Unleash the Kraken!Chris Hemsworth as Trent Cortigan in #AdventuresShooting locations also include Cambridge UK, Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly, Geneva, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and various luxury island resorts … St John’s, Marbella, and the Seychelles. mqdefault Buble in London

And I’d like Michael Buble to sing ‘Foggy Londontown’ …

Buy cheap, buy twice, invest in the goods, and you’ll be repaid 500 million times over, that’s my motto, and I hope you agree …

By the way, it’s useless to resist, as I’ve written the feel-good movie of the year for people with – brains!

‘Adventures in Paradise’ a story of tabloid vandalism set against great wealth, poverty, corruption, betrayal of decency and innocence … with many great comic turns. Clive and Aurora find redemption from the tabloid life through their investigative adventures together and through love …claridges-map-room-london.jpg

(Above: Claridges Map Room designed by David Linley … Another ‘Adventures’ location.)

  • NOTE: London sunset with Big Ben photo by Alberto Nardelli on twitter. I do not claim ownership rights to any of the photographic or graphic materials used to illustrate my ideas or represent persons, places, or products (like hotels, restaurants, teddy bears, or yachts) when blogging about ‘Adventures in Paradise’, or my other screenplays or various ideas at europabridge.wordpress.com. I do claim absolute authorial copyrights for my screenplays, and for all the literary works I have written for television and film, as well as for short stories, or novels, and anything I discuss here or tweet about on Twitter. When tagging photos, I have tried to be descriptive or to refer to the website where the photo was featured. Many photos are in the public domain; others were being used in the same way I use them – on blog sites or fan sites ~ to represent persons or as a tribute to their personages, or to suggest certain possibilities. No photo is ever used to malign or harm a person’s reputation.

For Writers … A Tribute to Colette … Writer-Vagabond-Actress

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This tribute to Colette is an idea I had after cracking open a book I hadn’t looked at since the 80’s The Vagabond.

I was introduced to her in Southern California by an older friend, which began with the innocent loan of The Vagabond, and ended with my reading until I’d made my way through her entire oeuvre, which includes some 50 volumes.

Along the way, I became enamored of Paris, married a Frenchman — disastrously — and eventually became a writer myself, looking back at Colette with some mixture of skepticism, nostalgia, and love, which is also the way one sometimes regards old friends who become enemies. Or perhaps in the acrimony of a bad marriage, Colette’s own contributions to my life became for a time somewhat tarnished.

Nevertheless, Colette lived a remarkable life.

Growing up in the countryside of Burgundy, raised by a woman who rightly looked upon her daughter as her greatest achievement, she went on to marry a Parisian — Willy — who would lock her up in an attic, and force her (child-labor-style) to produce some talented, and entertaining adolescent books exploring the saucy adventures of one Claudine

The Claudine books Willy signed his name to, refusing Colette’s authorial rights, which made him a fortune, and a personage in Paris, and Colette a kind of literary slave and ultimate example of demimonde arm-candy.

Eventually they divorced, and she went on to write under her own name, tread the theatrical boards, and become one of the first entrepreneurs of that era — creating her own line of make-up, and merchandising products the way major stars do today, with her ‘Claudine’ and ‘Colette’ brands.

She was the first woman inducted into the esteemed Academie Goncourt in Paris but is known, if at all, in America as the author of Gigi, a play which launched Audrey Hepburn‘s stunning career on the stage and screen, and Leslie Caron‘s career in film.

Actually, it was Colette who discovered Audrey Hepburn … Spotting the gamine ballerina at the Hotel de Paris in Monaco, she pronounced: ‘Voila! There’s our Gigi!’

C’est tout! A star was born.

I could go on about Colette for some time, if for no other reason than her life is so storied … She wrote beautifully, lived dangerously, loved outrageously — while sometimes embracing the most time-worn cliches, yet somehow making them seem exquisitely her own.

She died at peace with champagne on her lips, and a priest’s blessings on her soul who intimated she might be something of a saint.

Not bad for a woman whose very presence in France, not unlike other revolutionary figures in Arts and Letters, provoked debates about the condition of the human soul. Covering the juvenilia of Claudine to the full-bodied and wry observations of Lea about her own Cheri, Earthy Paradise — an amazing collection of writings — forms her autobiography and temple. Edited by Robert Phelps, this remarkable tome is a testament to her generous life, capacious person, fine sensibilities, and implacable reason.

Above, a poster from Stephen Frear’s effort based on Colette’s most famous creation– Lea’s Cheri — the young lover who cannot live without his older Parisian courtesan. So very French!

An excerpt about writing from The Vagabond follows. No comment needed, Colette speaks for herself, as ‘Renee Nere’ in a stirring testament to ‘the old scar that writing represents’. This translation by Enid McLeod is a bit flowery for my tastes but never mind, it was chosen in France as one of the best twelve books of the 20th Century.

(Read from one of the links below to learn more, and check out Antonia White‘s translations.)

I love this photograph … Colette looks like a refugee in her own life.

“To write, to be able to write, what does it mean? It means spending long hours dreaming before a white page, scribbling unconsciously, letting your pen play round a blot of ink and nibble at a half-formed word, scratching it, making it bristle with darts and adorning it with antennae and paws until it loses all resemblance to a legible word and turn into a fantastic insect or a fluttering creature half butterfly, half fairy.

Gigi

Gigi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To write is to sit and stare, hypnotized, at the reflection of the window in the silver ink-stand, to feel the divine fever mounting to one’s cheeks and forehead while the hand that writes grows blissfully numb upon the paper. It also means idle hours curled up in the hollow of the divan, and then the orgy of inspiration from which one emerges stupefied and aching all over, but already recompensed and laden with treasures that one unloads slowly on to the virgin paper in the little round pool of light under the lamp.

To write is to pour one’s innermost self passionately upon the tempting paper, at such frantic speed that sometimes one’s hand struggles and rebels, over-driven by the impatient god who guides it — and to find, next day, in place of the golden bough that bloomed miraculously in that dazzling hour, a withered bramble and a stunted flower.

To write is the joy and torment of the idle. Oh to write! From time to time I feel a need, as sharp as thirst in summer, to note and to describe. And then I take up my pen again and attempt the perilous and elusive task of seizing and pinning down, under its flexible double-pointed nib, the many-hued, fugitive, thrilling, adjective … The attack does not last long; it is but the itching of an old scar.

It takes too much time to write. And the trouble is, I am no Balzac! The fragile story I am constructing crumbles away when the tradesman rings, or the shoemaker sends in his bill, when the solicitor, or one’s counsel, telephones, or when the theatrical agent summons me to his office for ‘a social engagement at the house of some people of very good position but not in the habit of paying large fees.’

The problem is, since I have been living alone, that I have had first to live, then to divorce, and then to go on living, To do all that demands incredible activity and persistence. And to get where? Is there, for me, no other haven than this commonplace room done up in gimcrack Louis XVI? Must I stay forever before this impenetrable mirror where I come up against myself, face to face?

Tomorrow is Sunday: that means afternoon and evening performances at the Empyree-Clichy. Two o’clock already! High time for a woman of letters who has turned out badly to go to sleep.”

From The Vagabond by Colette. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, New York 1955

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British RomComs, 30’s Comedies, and Hackgate …

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‘Adventures in Paradise’ (WGA reg) is loosely based on the events of Hackgate in London, and weighs in at some 130 pages. That’s a little over two hours in the theatre but the script moves quickly, and works very much like a puzzle. It draws on many sources … British RomComs, Screwball Comedies like the Nick & Nora series, Howard Hawks ‘His Girl Friday’ and Susan and Dr. David Huxley from ‘Bringing Up Baby’, Hitchcock’s stylish who-dunnits, and even PG Wodehouse’s ‘Scoop’.

I hope I’ve drawn on the very best inspirations to tell a story that will last the ages, or at least until I’ve been in the ground for about 50 years!

I wanted to create a new screen icon in Clive Reade, as film goers, especially the female ones, want to see some combination of Cary Grant and Mr. Darcy stroll into a make-believe world, and transport them to a place where people speak in more than commonplace utterances … about extraordinary events. 90744-004-0A84ED6C Philadelphia Story

I’ve had a wonderful time creating a complex character in Clive Reade, who is not so much perfect, as he is lovably imperfect–always catching up with who he needs to be to face the challenges my screenplay throws at him. He is horribly betrayed, but endures in a Buster Keaton kind of way making a brilliant comeback with Aurora Blunton by his side. How does he do it?! He has something almost extinct in our age … character, grace, and intelligence. And, of course, packets of dough and a beautiful brainy woman at his side!

Very helpful, indeed.

The story has plenty of action, just no gratuitous violence–or maybe just a tiny bit–a few busted lips, a broken nose, some rough-housing … But the action constantly shifts forward to keep you guessing in the middle of some pretty complicated developments. It’s made for quick, brainy, visual, media and travel oriented people, and the rest of humanity, who love a good love story about high crimes and misdemeanors, and glamorous, funny romantic films …

Mayfair_Map_Central_London

‘Adventures in Paradise’co-star Aurora Blunton lives in a flat with her Jack Russell terrier, Tippy … Sophisticated, Cambridge-educated, beautifully turned out, and stunning in any context, Aurora is disastrously out of place at The Sentinel, (tabloid) where she lands in a terrible career move due to a frame-up and betrayal. Her progress as a major player in the London scene and Hackgate investigations are issues I paid close attention to, as I want women who love film and women in film to feel honored and even thrilled by her presence. Possible casting ideas include Carey Mulligan of ‘An Education’ … as I thought she was terrific in this, and other roles. Carey Mulligan as Aurora Blunton

London, Journalism, high crimes and misdemeanors, love, intrigue, and international locations … Where else but in my films?

Follow me on Twitter or Instagram @europabridge1 for more news about ‘Adventures in Paradise’ and my other screenplays.

 

RELATED: Cinema Style – by Cathy Whitlock , film historian

 

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Screenplay for the Adventurous – ‘Adventures in Paradise’ Hackgate Romantic Comedy-Revenge Caper by europabridge

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Hello all … europabridge author of ‘Adventures in Paradise‘ the London Hackgate romantic comedy-revenge caper screenplay.

Thought I’d tell you all a bit about my casting ideas for the screenplay, an original work recalling aspects of Network, To Catch A ThiefCharade, and British ROM COMs, as well as Hollywood Screwball Comedies … (and that’s more than enough for now).But before I do that, I’ll offer some thoughts about the winning Charade.CHARADE(2) w shower

What interests me about Charade mostly is the balance between a sadistic world (mob-like murders), and the charms of the two leading stars whose charisma and humor keep the film from toppling over into a twisted exercise in Grand Guignol …

After all, in dealing with Hackgate, as a romantic comedy-revenge caper I’ve had to bypass the heavier issues, such as the death of Milly Dowler or the McCann tragedy or the heinous murder of Daniel Morgan … not because I lack the chops to write a darker film, but because I saw an opportunity to have fun with a landmark media case.  My rationale, not unlike the writers who wrote the Screwball Comedies of the 30’s was to provide a bit of fun at the expense of the creeps. In short, we see the evil-doers get their asses kicked, and we feel better!

And, of course, I also want to avoid lawsuits. People’s lives have been invaded enough … They certainly not need no further invasion by me.

Nevertheless, people do break the law in ‘Adventures in Paradise’, they have intentions that are anything but honorable, and lives are ruined – in the sense of being cheated, invaded, slandered, humiliated, and mocked. But the film hero and heroine–Clive and Aurora–discover who the culprits are, set the media and legal hounds upon them, and live another day to  … well, you’ll have to see the film when it opens — hopefully in 2018-2019 to find out more.

After all, I have a polished screenplay ready for some genius agent, director or producer – weighing in at 130 pages – and a sequel – ‘Return to Paradise’ in the works. Both feature tabloid lunacy, stalking, blagging,  hacking, Hollywood farce, romantic betrayals, comedy, sniveling villains, glamorous cars, drama queens, world travel, 5 star hotels, resorts, and restaurants, Dickensian struggles, and love. And it’s all lots of fun, really.

I have thought about who I think would be interesting choices for ‘Adventures in Paradise’, and wanted to share my ideas about casting possibilities.Colin Firth Academy Award

After spending many months, nay, years crafting the role of Clive Reade, I’ve decided Colin Firth is a great candidate for this incredible man of the world … A win/win situation, very good deal, indeed.

Colin Firth could easily represent the obsessive aspects of Clive Reade … A man so absorbed in his empire he doesn’t realize he is soon to be engaged to a world-class uber-bitch … A man who deserves only the best, and gets it in Aurora Blunton! A man who can wrangle billions while speaking poetry with aplomb (though not very often, as we do not want Americans throwing up popcorn and KitKat bars in theater aisles) … A man who can trounce a villain at a dinner party with his singular wit, and throw legendary parties in Belgravia. A man who can legitimately romance an intelligent, lovely young woman, and win big despite getting punked by the tabloid press …. Who travels the world via private jet, drives a Bugatti around Lake Geneva, and will act opposite some of the very best talent available …

Jesus Christ, will someone buy this script from me, so the world can experience Clive Reade? Next to Daniel Craig’s James Bond, this is the British man of the 21st Century, (in my humble but not very silent opinion).

And now for Aurora Blunton … Aurora is written for a woman in her early thirties, so she’s not an ingenue but her experiences in the tabloid trade have already put her in an extremely vulnerable position. Later she emerges clearer, harder, and diamond-sharp after her caper-like investigations with Clive remove the third rate junk from their lives.Carey Mulligan as Aurora Blunton

I don’t want to reveal too much but surely what happens to her at The News Register, The Sentinel, and in between reveals a scummy tabloid underbelly which stands for being lynched by the media, by men with less than honorable intentions, and by misogyny as a whole.

An actress I’ve thought of as a perfect match for Aurora but who would also bring her own unique qualities to Aurora is Carey Mulligan.

It’s easy for me to see her deliver the more wry, comedic aspects of Aurora, as well as the heady romantic and serious side in scenes with Clive, and in her bravura performance at a conference about press reform in London.

Let someone else sort out the casting … These are my top choices but I’ll admit to thinking Benedict Cumberbatch would also make a very fine Clive.

After I had aged Robert Bullock somewhat to be a contemporary of Clive Reade’s (which the plot needed), I thought of many actors who could play him, and settled on Rupert Graves. 600full-rupert-graves He would expertly chew the scenery with Colin Firth, and with whomever is cast as Aurora Blunton … But there is also a key scene that he’d have a ball with, and that is the party scene in Belgravia near the end of the film. This is the kind of front-page Daily Mail tabloid news bust that’s somewhere between La Cage and Richard III that I think Graves would rock  and roll through … My romantic-comedy revenge-caper might need a ‘R’ rating, but I hope ‘MPAA’ will do.

Jack Black as Charlie LomanAnother key villain role is that of The Mustachioed Man or Tommy Lohan – tabloid stalker, hacker, and smarmy snoop, who conveniently supplies the film with someone to laugh at and loathe … Jack Black has the kind of self-absorbed manic and comic potential to take the role of a despised stalker and make it a winning role – for a lasting impression of comic villainy. michael-buble1

Michael Buble. I love his vocal qualities, and would like to see him appear at Clive’s private dinner party bash toward the end of the film to sing A Foggy Day in Londontown … How’s that for class?

Emily Blunt would make a great choice for Diane Gregory.

Already she has turned in so many varied roles it is clear she could pull off an outrageous role like Diane, and still have film-goers enjoy her exploits. This really is the key to Diane: she’s outrageous but likable. And this is why, by the way, people love soap stars like Joan Collins – she has a sense of fearlessness on camera that Blunt definitely has in abundance.

Blunt would also understand how to work her mojo for Diane Gregory making her an interesting character to follow in my sequel – ‘Return to Paradise’, where she goes after Clive with the intentions of winning him back.

After reading about Emma Thompson’s EFFIE, I realized my treatment about the Pre-Raphaelites (focusing on other artists in ‘Kelmscott Manor‘) somewhat parallels hers and Greg Wise’s material.pixlr_20170324164003198Then I recalled Thompson’s screen persona, and promptly plumped the role of Eleanor (no coincidence), as a solid supporting role and investments banker/friend of Clive’s. Frankly, the dinner party scene is a tour-de-force, and having Emma Thompson cast in ‘Adventures’ will make it an even bumpier ride.

Other supporting roles written for major British talents, where they might parade their skills at dinner party banter include: Dame Maggie Smith, Christopher Plummer, Michelle Dockery, Gillian Anderson, Richard Grant, and Phyllida Law.

emma-stone-ny-mag-cover-2… I’ve written a supporting role for Emma Stone too, in my reprisal of Judy Holiday’s wacky blonde sidekick, in Iris, a clueless financial adviser at Clive Reade’s dinner. But whomever directs ‘Adventures in Paradise’ will have his/her hands full in this penultimate scene with 20 dinner party guests, fierce dialogue up and down the table, and even cameos by the pets.

Look, I’ve had as much fun as I could writing this script … knowing there are people out there who have not sold their last brain cell into bondage, and can still enjoy a really well-made comedy-caper set in London … So pass the word: perhaps film has not been entirely swallowed up by X-Men and superheroes.

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I inserted this photo just for laughs. Taken at Starbucks in LA; obviously pink underwear was the fashion trend for the day …. No role for this guy in AIP … Sorry!

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Is that all? Not really …

  • OTHER LOCATIONS

There are nine major shooting locations, one of them Geneva in the Pregny Chambesy canton … Could anything could spoil this view! Well, maybe …Lake-Geneva-001

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Investigative Reporter/Editor Various scribblings … NYT’s, Salon

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Dear Readers:

A few links to some things I’ve had published on the Web follow … If you like what you see, be in touch …

NYT’s Arts Comment of the Week

”This may seem a bit obvious, but the mood of the nation is not exactly attuned right now to introspective music. After all, we’re in a recession, unemployment is high, and there are simply too many pressures affecting people’s moods to sit in the heat and weep or swell with nuances of reflection worthy of a Wordsworth poem. (P.S. I like Sarah McLachlan’s music.) I would suggest moving Lilith Fair’s tour dates to the fall, or into concert halls around the winter holidays, when people are more attuned to relating to one another. Lady Gaga is like the Busby Berkeley of pop music, and we’re in a 1930s kind of mood.”

ELAN DURHAM of Cotuit, Mass., responding to Jon Caramanica’s column about Lady Gaga, Sarah McLachlan and feminism in pop music.

 

When  Predator Collides with a Fabricator: 378 Reader Recommendations

Maureen, I’m sort of surprised that you have taken this angle, now that much of the evidence is in the public domain concerning the maid’s broken credibility.

It seems just as likely she offered herself to Strauss-Kahn because she was conspiring with her money laundering-thug friends to blackmail him, receive a huge settlement from Sofitel, or from the man himself. Whatever evidence falls from that tainted tree is poisoned …

As far as her physical evidence (bruising, torn ligament), it’s not impossible that she produced it in some way (self-inflicted), since she did not leave his room and go straight to Management. There was a time lapse …

Further, a character who would lie about her husband being murdered and being gang-raped herself is desperate; she would not be above producing the evidence–no matter how painful to herself. His semen would be welcome. This was the DNA evidence she needed.

Strauss-Kahn undoubtedly has a problem with self-control. This is not contested; his female colleagues in France have attested to as much. My guess is that he finally met his match: liar meets liar.

But really, this woman has done a tremendous disservice to women who have suffered from rape and assault. Now there will be cries all over the Internet from men who are convinced there’s not a woman alive who has claimed to have been raped who isn’t lying or didn’t ask for it.

Salon.com The Death of Online Civility

FYI: For those of you who are scratching your heads and wondering why so much ink is wasted correcting a professionial journalist’s grammar and understanding of Gothic architecture, welcome to online bullying, or trolling. Sometimes, disguising themselves as well-meaning ‘correctors’ they often exist simply to demolish any coherent discussion of the issues the journalist was hired to write about … (Or about which the journalist was hired; an absurd construction appropriate for the hopelessly tone-deaf … Oops, dangling preposition, call the language cops.)

Most recently, two bloggers obliterated the dialogue between readers on no less than half a dozen or more threads in response to Salon’s Emily Matchar’s “Why I can’t stop reading Mormon housewife blogs”. The men were obscene, irrelevant, blogging endlessly about hell, damnation, guns & ammo, and in monopolizing the conversation robbed other readers, who apparently had something to say, of a forum … These readers, by the way, would’ve had to wade knee-deep through caca to read the genuine responses to the author’s thoughts, as I did, (and I flagged every bogus blog along the way). Not a great way to spend an evening, by the way, though I did come across a blog that was so arresting; it gave me an idea for a new novel.

The nitpicking here is a minor example, but I would bet any amount of money I do not have that neither of these men would bother a writer at the NYT’s or The New Yorker or any other online magazine with their exquisitely-tuned sensibilities, as they concern sentence construction and building construction. Despite all this, I can’t help but consider how lucky the readers of this article at Salon are now … being informed by Ms. Miller’s friend in Cambridge, UK who actually knows something about architecture.

Thanks, Laura Miller, for clearing up these issuesInstagram and Twitter 193.jpg