Ancient Ice: my bad side excerpt

I was cold and afraid. It was too big or I was. I leaned forward to get my sense back and banged my cast against the gunwale. IMG_3389The sound echoed back, low, like the closing of a door, and the white wall went out of focus and I blinked to make it clear and it was broken, the spires gone, what looked so small and distant, and dissolved like a monster into the water, splintering in a massive rush, dissolved like snow. Part of the other side slipped off too and another shelf, each part vanishing into the water. IMG_3391It spat back up in a lurch of bright blue and ice, rushing out of the darkness right at us. My head was empty, my hands balled tight. Ray ran in a short heavy stride to the cabin.

“Take that, b’ys.” Charlie slid the oars to Fitz and Tommy, and they dug them through the water, hardly moving the boat. Another section of the iceberg rose up out of the water, dripping, and collapsed. cropped-IMG_3380.jpgThe vibration of it came up through the water into the boat’s floorboards, a humming, hollow and deep, a pure force, and then a rising in the water, a vast dark thing, coming toward the boat. Ray couldn’t get the boat to start, and as much as everyone was doing, scrambling and pushing and turning, banging, no one spoke. IMG_3127The silence was louder as the wave rolled up to the bow, Apollo and I there, and pulled us up, higher, steadily to the top and back down again. The second wave was bigger. We couldn’t see what was left of the iceberg now, everything gone, and I was almost panicked, thinking it was too high and we would go under. We rose up, the stern coming up past us, shards of ice at the bottom of the next wave. I stepped back with it, thinking it was easy now, and lost my balance as the third wave came, almost as big, and my foot was sliding out and I was fine with that, and would have hit my head against the bench if Fitz hadn’t caught my arm and put me back on the bench. cropped-IMG_3221.jpg“That’s 10,000 years old,” he said. “It was snowing 10,000 years back and then it got all packed and floated down here. 10,000 years of history that is, before the Vikings, before the Romans, before the Greeks, the Egyptians, the Incas, the Mayans, everybody. People had just got out of the caves and begun the farming then.”

Cut to the Chase: Top Five Film Chase Scenes

I have always been enticed by the chase scene, dreaming of one day making a film that is a relentless series of chases from beginning to end.

Bullitt (1968) with Steve McQueen

Bullitt (1968) with Steve McQueen

Chase scenes require ingenuity and detail and are, like science fiction films, frequently a letdown. That said, there are a few great chase scenes, like the 1968 film Bullitt that stand above the rest.

5. Midnight Express (Alan Parker, 1979) Billy Hayes is arrested for drug smuggling in 1970s Turkey and tries to escape police in an Istanbul marketplace. Moroder_Midnight_ExpressThis chase scene utilizes the basics – music, crowds, close-ups – effectively, creating a genuine tension that is hard to achieve.

4. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (Wes Anderson, 2004) A homage/parody of Jacques Cousteau’s exploits. zissouThis rescue scene from the pirates is unforgettable specifically for its subtelty in music and camera angles.

3. The French Connection (1971, William Friedkin) New York cop Popeye Doyle battles drug dealers. the_french_connection_chase_garbage1Many aspects of this film are dated; however the iconic chase scene will never go out of date.

2. Terminator III: Rise of the Machines (Jonathan Mostow, 2003) The third installment of the franchise that documents machines coming back in time to kill a future revolutionary hero. terminatorThe chase scene between an industrial crane and fire truck is notable for its epic destruction – including a crushed bouncy playpen – and its consistent sense of humor.

1. Ronin (John Frakenheimer, 1998) Professional crooks chase after each other through France to secure a briefcase with a secret. roninThe car chase goes through Paris and features a remarkable sense of detail – securing a seat belt halfway through the mayhem – as well as unmatched tension when it crosses lanes and goes the wrong way onto the highway.

my bad side: Manhattan by boat

The boat circled below the island with the sun setting over the broken horizon, the clouds going after it, pulling each other together in the red and blue. Manhattan skyline (6)There was a pool with bright blue chlorinated water like in Florida, so square and odd in the back of the boat, the river water gushing past. I sat in the corner looking at Crystal with her back to everyone, looking at the city, her elbows poking out, under the 59th Street Bridge and looking up at the dark mass, the dirt and cables, the shadows of the cars and trucks, and sank into how almost safe and eerie it was.Phone 200 Lisa was in the pool and singing to Chumbawamba, delighted in herself, drinking shots, and laughing convulsively, doubling over and then trying to get out of the pool and throwing up and almost going over, and then crying, Ian holding her and then their mother, and it was sad and worse how separated I was from it and didn’t care. OooooI watched the boat turning the corner, going into the Harlem River and seeing the city, the steep hill up into the Harlem, how green and wild it looked, and then the Bronx on the other side, flat dull and grey, highways and warehouses and nothing else and then Yankee Stadium, as dull and grey as everything else.

Apollo Film posted

Apollo has just been posted onto vimeo. IMAG1642The 5-minute film follows Dee as she comes home to her New York apartment to find a drunk fire fighter with a knife in his hand and her dog, Apollo, bleeding on the floor. IMAG1649It is begins with an evocative opening shot, followed by a hypnotic sequence in a car. IMAG1659It is a compelling work – acting and technically solid. It’s well worth your time!

Another “Bad Side” film

I have written the first draft of a second Bad Side script. It follows Dee on the train with Apollo north out of the city.

The train inches past the soot and cables, the decrepit buildings, twisted rust jutting out, bottles and shards, an animal skull on an electrical box, and then is on a bridge. DEE wraps her hand, stiff and fat, in a sweatshirt. The conductor approaches, his hat pushed forward; he is older with a thin face and empty eyes.

 CONDUCTOR: Ticket?conductorDEE: I gave it to the other guy, the one before you.

CONDUCTOR (Looking at Dee’s cleavage): Where’s your receipt?cleavageDEE: I must have thrown it away.

CONDUCTOR: Which is it? You threw it away or you gave it to the other guy?

DEE pulls her dress out from her legs. There is a stain on the waist. It looks like blood.

 DEE: I didn’t think I needed it.

CONDUCTOR: Where are you going?

DEE: Providence.

CONDUCTOR: Got on at Penn? (He looks down the aisle and then back at DEE) I have to write you up,

DEE: What does that mean?

CONDUCTOR (Opening his ticket book): What’s your name?TicketDEE (Pulling a hoodie from her bag): Crystal Sinclair.

There is a long pause as CONDUCTOR writes out the slip and then hands it to DEE.

 CONDUCTOR: You mail it back to the address at the bottom.

DEE: Mail it?

CONDUCTOR: The fine.

DEE: Can I get a water from you?

CONDUCTOR (Leaving): The cart will be through.The snack cart & woman on the train.

Bernardo at Hank’s Saloon in Brooklyn

Bernardo played its first-ever gig at Hank’s Saloon in Brooklyn last night, thanks in part to Bill Murray on a bicycle.

Hank's Saloon's facilities

Hank’s Saloon’s facilities

Lead man, Mike Deminico, walked into the bar a couple of weeks back, inquiring into playing at the venue, and received an indifferent response and email address. Somewhat miffed, Deminico considered abandoning the enterprise when Bill Murray bicycled past and returned Deminico’s greeting. billMurrayBikeThiefHis resolve buoyed, Deminico got in touch with the manager and was on stage shortly thereafter.

Mike Deminico leads Bernardo at Hank's Saloon.

Mike Deminico leads Bernardo at Hank’s Saloon.

The music of Bernardo is an unadulterated pleasure, straight ahead and wildly fun; the short 35-minute set was simply not enough. Deminico promises more in the months ahead.

Facebook: “Liking” technology above all else

My facebook subscription to NASA provides updates on space missions as well as remarkable photographs of the universe. saturnmoonsNASA also posts photographs of our planet, including a recent shot of forest fires in Idaho. idaho-081213This photo has been ‘liked’ by over 2,212 people, to whom I posted the following comment: Facebook is weird. Why would you ‘like’ these images? The electronic world just makes everyone further and further from what is actually real.

Moose Mellios replied: You can appreciate the technology of an image without liking the subject.

I posted a reply – That is what I mean; we are distancing ourselves from the subject – but I get the feeling that Moose, and many others in facebook world, just won’t get the point.

Can you hear me, Major Tom?bowie