Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Bob Hoskins, get out of my dreams...

...but don't feel obliged to get into my car. [Blame Billy Ocean if that doesn't make much sense.] Normally, I don't remember the dreams I have while sleeping once I wake up. Sometimes a last, lingering image or moment will remain. This morning I dreamt I was walking along a pavement with actor Bob Hoskins, who told me about a comedy he was appearing in. Don't ask me, but I'd already heard about the film, which also had several other noted actors in it. Bob and I both knew the movie wasn't much cop [presumably I need have dreams that feature industry buzz]. Still, Bob remained philosophical about what he was doing: 'Work's work' he said.

Woke up this morning [insert blues guitar refrain here] to discover someone is planning a remake of The Long Good Friday, a film that helped turn Hoskins into the Cockney Jimmy Cagney. [Someone's also remaking Barbarella, but that's another matter.] Can't say I'm looking forward to the remake of TLGF much - remakes of great movies rarely measure up to the original. Remakes of bad or so-so films are another matter; sometimes greatness can be found in the seeds of failure. Don't believe me? Compare Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with its flop source material, Bedtime Story.

Of course, I shouldn't complain about remaking TLGF, since I've already done that in a Doctor Who novel called Amorality Tale. It was set in Shoreditch during the deadly London fog of December 1952 [a real event when thousands of people died in the city in a few days], instead of Docklands in 1980, and it used aliens instead of the IRA as the enemy. But Amorality Tale owed a not insiginificant debt to The Long Good Friday for its inspiration. By the time I'd finished writing the novel, it had moved far, far away from its source material, but the ghost of TLGF's structure lingers.

Not sure why I felt the need to mention any of that.

In other news, the BAFTA TV awards were handed out on Sunday night, creating all sorts of surprises. The fact Doctor Who or Helen Mirren's performance in the last Prime Suspect weren't even nominated had already been mulled over. There was a lot of surprise that zeitgeist hit Life on Mars lost out to Jimmy McGovern's series The Street for best drama series. I loved both shows, but think The Street has more to tell us about where and how we live today. There's a second series in production and I can't wait for it to return.

What else? I'm pure busy, with waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many plates spinning at once, all of them demanding my attention. Had to turn down a £600 job yesterday because I simply don't have the time to make a good enough job of it. I'd rather do the best possible job and prove my worth that way, than grab every piece of work going and satisfy nobody with the over-stretched results. Felt like I should be handing back my freelance writer membership card for turning down work, but there's no need as I don't have one. [I am a member of the Society of Authors, the Crime Writers' Association and a student member of the Writers' Guild of Great Britain, but that's three other matters and time is pressing.]

What else? My current quintet of eBay comics auctions all reach their climax today, so hurry up and make your bids, or suffer crushing disappointment. Go on, you know you want to. My next batch of house-clearing will probably involve a complete set of pre-ban Action comics, perhaps Martin Barker's seminal book about Action, and a few other treats from my private stash. Slowly but surely, I'm reclaiming my workspace.

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