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Friday, December 10, 2010

In Which John Cameron Mitchell Meets Girls At Parties...

(Left: John Cameron Mitchell. Right: Amanda Palmer. Middle: Two Ladies checking out the menu of the place we were having lunch last summer who probably have no idea they were even in this photograph).


Life is weird and wonderful and filled with strange coincidences. Exactly two years ago to the day I blogged about watching, and really liking, John Cameron Mitchell's film Shortbus (at http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2008/12/no-coherent-theme-of-any-kind.html).


Mitchell then volunteered details about another project he’s been developing. “I’m also working on something with Neil Gaiman. It’s an adaptation of a short story called ‘How to Talk to Girls At Parties.’ It’s a sort of British, punk-era story that involves an alien girl on her spring break. I’m going to supervise an adaptation with a British writer and eventually direct.”

You can read the short story, which was nominated for all sorts of awards when it was released in 2006, at Neil Gaiman’s website. If “Rabbit Hole” proved anything it is Mitchell’s amazing versatility and range and seeing him dip into the world of Lovecraftian science fiction, wrapped around a period comedy set in 1970s England has us positively giddy. Certainly, plenty of exciting stuff on the way from a director who refuses to be pinned down to any one style.

And it is all true. He is going to be making it, and I'm really happy about this.

I've not said anything up until now, but I think the deals are all pretty much done, and seeing he's talked about it, I'm happy to confirm it. I'm not going to be writing the script, but I've been sent treatments and outlines, and watched it start to look like a movie. I love his work (I think I learned about him from my daughter Holly, who loved Hedwig and the Angry Inch) and think he's one of the nicest, smartest people I've met in the film world.

Here's a cool, almost abstract short film he made recently, starring Russell Tovey and Sir Ian McKellen and Marion Cotillard, which I love for several reasons. David Essex singing 'Rock On' is only one of them.



Those of you wondering about the story of How To Talk To Girls At Parties can read it, or download it and listen to me reading it, at http://www.neilgaiman.com/p/Cool_Stuff/Short_Stories/How_To_Talk_To_Girls_At_Parties. (The film that John plans to make begins with the short story, and then goes on from there.)

(Oops. Nearly forgot. The last part of the Kevin Smith Smodcastle Evening is now up and live: http://smodcast.bandcamp.com/track/chapter-3-neil-gaiman-reads
It contains me reading "BEING AN EXPERIMENT ON STRICTLY SCIENTIFIC LINES..." and is followed by a reading of a chunk of American Gods, which I read the narrator's part, and get Kevin and Amanda to do the other parts. And which made me wonder about doing a full-cast audio book of American Gods... You can listen to it for free, but it's a donation if you want to download it. And for whatever it's worth, I think this podcast is for "mature listeners" only...)

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