"It's easier to bone the President's wife than to get a movie made." Ray Charles.

How a cult music book became a cult music documentary, and it only took ten years.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Good news today, as my co-producer's last documentary, a feature-length examination of 'The Third Man', has been invited to try out for the documentary section of Cannes. It deserves to get a lot of attention - I've seen plenty of films about film, and this is one of the most consistently intriguing. It helps that its subject matter is one of the greatest popular films of the twentieth century. It also helps that, as the producers - Canal Plus - own the rights to the original, we get to see enormous chunks of 'The Third Man', not only excerpted but re-projected onto the snowy streets of Vienna, slowed down, repeated and generally squeezed until every drop of mythic resonance has been extracted and placed on the screen. It's a beautiful piece of work and it's good to have such distinguished company on this long, strange trip.

I've been offered a job of work directing another documentary, an interesting but straightforward piece of telly, and it's a badly needed lifeline at a time when a year and a half of unpaid development work has left me financially high and dry. (Now there's a bit of a badly mixed metaphor). Life being what it is, of course the job would take me out of the country for a lot of April... which is going to be the month when we have to work our arses off shooting as many interviews for ICFM as we possibly can, while our interview subjects are in north London rather than deep in the Mississippi delta. I'll make it work, of course - the producer of the telly job knows I have to prioritise ICFM so with a bit of luck there won't be any major conflicts and I'll manage to earn some money and get the job done. Both jobs.

No radical news on the festival front - still awaiting confirmation on the lineup for the Sun night, Stax is almost sold out already, and I imagine when/if the Primals and Jason Spaceman get confirmed as guests for the Ardent night, it'll light a fire under those sales too. I still don't know who the representatives of the new Memphis sound are going to be, but I've just recently heard a couple of tracks by a guy called Harlan T Bobo here - he's apparently a member of American Death Ray Music, who I missed last time they played here because I was in Dublin, and based on these tracks I really missed out on something. I get the impression that those guys, along with The Reigning Sound (who also play on the Bobo stuff) will be back pretty soon, though.
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