Missed Pitch #1: Alexander Salkind

(Paris, 1986) Curtis was a nice enough guy – even if he had been hitting on my girlfriend, calling her “his earth mother” – and was the personal assistant to the wife of film producer, Alexander Salkind. Mrs. Salkind, he said, wanted to produce an adaptation of Euripedes’ Medea, the Greek tragedy of a mother murdering her children.

I wrote a brief scene – Medea desperate on the rocks, blood on her hands – and headed over to the Salkind’s sprawling apartment for my afternoon appointment. Salkind’s wife wasn’t there, off having lunch with a Count and didn’t return until the evening, intoxicated, and acted out Medea’s anguish, crawling beneath the grand piano, for her husband.

Salkind hated the idea. “There are three things people never want to see in movies: suicide, AIDS and this.” And then he turned to me. “And what do you have to say?”

“Uh, well, I see your point, but…”

“Ah.” He waved me off and left the room.

His wife stayed under the piano, worn out from her performance, as I went into the kitchen and got drunk with Curtis. “You’re a sneaky rat bastard, that’s what you are.”

I didn’t understand why he kept saying that, but the tequila was good.

The Floating Principle

There are so many notes, too many to write down, through the layers, each idea scribbled for the one above, seeking to understand the depths, or just trigger that moment of happiness and stay in that. There was a drunken child wanting to fight everyone, and I kept him in my room before going back up through the city, floating above the crowds, not floating as much as striding, walking in flight, thinking someone would be confounded, and yet none of that happened.And then I was at the rink, tightening my skates for the game, as I took notes, hoping I was in the right layer to remember that I was playing for the Leafs again. 

Ice Friday: Richard Adam’s “Watership Down”

Like the pain of a bad wound, the effect of a deep shock takes a while to be felt. When a child is told, for the first time in his life, that a person he has known is dead, although he does not disbelieve it, he may well fail to comprehend it and later ask–perhaps more than once–where the dead person is and when he is coming back.