Searchlight

February 24th, 2005 | brainjuice

(I write on my mailing list when I travel. I’m usually drunk. February 2003:)

The searchlight atop the Eiffel Tower strobes into my hotel room. Mist wreathes the midsection like a smoke ring. Brandy in the glass, cigarette in the small elegant ashtray. Listening to a mix CD Laurenn gave me in San Francisco. Stack of research material arrived earlier for the next set of meetings. 34 years old and I’ve got bloody homework. A Samsung DVD player squats in the corner, awaiting a disc that is evidently being couriered to me.

The hotel is beautiful, and so is the room. Boobytrapped with fashion magazines, however, and the TV was tuned to The Fashion Channel, a constant parade of skeleton sex zombies (Ray Harryhausen doing softcore) stalking towards the camera in an infinite wardrobe of unwearable art, backed with ambient audiowash. THE FACE magazine confirms that zombies are once again Cool, and informs that Celt-ambient Enya-style is dans la vent somehow. I have sudden visions of zombies eating live flesh in a huge mall to the strains of “Orinoco Flow”.

I’ve had a title with no story sitting in the file since ’99 in Australia: “Fuckable Zombie.”

French Film Director is a very nice guy. None of the Director’s Mania. Knows what he’s good at, knows what he wants to do. He tells me that word of French Film Thing has already leaked here, so I’m continuing to code things until the contracts are signed. Which possibility seems to have gotten closer today, as this is clearly someone I can work with, and French Film Producer appears very happy. French Film Producer is one of the great conversationalists of my acquaintance, and has all kinds of great dirt. To some of you, this will mean nothing, but the idea of Mondino having once been interested in a film version of RANXEROX amuses me no end. The excellent video director Chris Cunningham is currently attached to a new attempt at RANXEROX — an extremely perverted and violent Italian sf comic — and I can’t help thinking it’s a hopeless cause.

Stories of Tsui Hark grabbing his camcorder in a Hong Kong restaurant and filming the view, and then him and his wife, in that signature Tsui Hark romantic style.

There are two kinds of smoking in Paris. Heavy and Super.

The local cafes had me briefly entertaining the notion of composing miserable poetry, delicate erotica or manfully doomed romance. Sadly, the general ambience is of ad copywriting. Paris feels a little too much like London (which shouldn’t be surprising). The ethnic mix is ever so slightly different to London (French police seen questioning a confused man of Arab extraction on the car ride in, too), but the rain brings down the same dirt with it.

Okay. Been drinking steadily since half four, and it’s now nearly midnight. Time to apply this finely-tuned French Shamanic state to the research material.

I remain, your fuckable zombie:

– W

(The Film Thing — an intended live-action feature-film version of CAPTAIN HARLOCK — went nowhere, after some reportedly fairly dishonourable behavior from the people we were dealing with. I had to code all this because HARLOCK was huge in France, and our business together was already springing leaks. For the record, the Director was Olivier Dahan, and the Producer was my good friend Jean-Pierre Dionnet.)


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  1. You can find Warren on Twitter: @warrenellis