Archive for June, 2014

June 29th 2014

Sunday, June 29th, 2014
June 29th 2014
Filmwise: negotiating rewrites on the ninth draft of the little girl in Baghdad story.
“It is a truth universally acknowledged,” to paraphrase, “that a man of a certain age must be in need of the treadmill!”
The answer as to whether one has reached that certain age is a point of debate, depending on how well one has slept the night before, mostly.
I have, nonetheless, returned to regular gym visits; as a fillmmaker, at least, good health is not a negative.
Well, halfway through the week, I was on my oh-dear-how-did-I-get-my-self-into-this-pickle stage of the treadmill, when the fire alarm went off.
The middle-aged chap next to me was so immersed in his headphones and sweat-a-thon that he needed the personal visit of the large gym manager to get off his ride.
Passers by were amused by the sight of men and women in various degrees of perspiration and muscle bulk, all loitering on the pavement outside the gym.
The chap who’d received a personal visit from the gym manager was finding his way into a conversation.
“Are you a regular here?”
Easy, tiger!
“Only a month now,” said the young woman, using her towel to wrap herself.
“Oh, have you recently moved to the area?”
“No, up to the start of the month, I was using the Uni gym. It’s the summer break.”
“Oh, have you graduated?”
“No, just finished my first year!”
Seemingly startled by the recognition that he was a man in his forties chatting to a seemingly teenage girl, and one who like him was in sweat-soaked gym-wear, the man couldn’t have been more relieved by the big manager’s announcement: “Everyone, please make your way down to collect your stuff and leave. The fire brigade are on their way.”
Peace and love,
Ja’far
Filmwise: negotiating rewrites on the ninth draft of the little girl in Baghdad story.
“It is a truth universally acknowledged,” to paraphrase, “that a man of a certain age must be in need of the treadmill!”
The answer as to whether one has reached that certain age is a point of debate, depending on how well one has slept the night before, mostly.
I have, nonetheless, returned to regular gym visits; as a fillmmaker, at least, good health is not a negative.
Well, halfway through the week, I was on my oh-dear-how-did-I-get-my-self-into-this-pickle stage of the treadmill, when the fire alarm went off.
The middle-aged chap next to me was so immersed in his headphones and sweat-a-thon that he needed the personal visit of the large gym manager to get off his ride.
Passers by were amused by the sight of men and women in various degrees of perspiration and muscle bulk, all loitering on the pavement outside the gym.
The chap who’d received a personal visit from the gym manager was finding his way into a conversation.
“Are you a regular here?”
Easy, tiger!
“Only two weeks now,” said the young woman, using her towel to wrap herself.
“Oh, have you recently moved to the area?”
“No, up to the start of the month, I was using the Uni gym. It’s the summer break.”
“Oh, have you graduated?”
“No, just finished my first year!”
Seemingly startled by the recognition that he was a man in his forties chatting to a seemingly teenage girl, and one who like him was in sweat-soaked gym-wear, the man couldn’t have been more relieved by the big manager’s announcement: “Everyone, please make your way down to collect your stuff and leave. The fire brigade are on their way.”
Peace and love,
Ja’far

June 22nd 2014

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014
June 22nd 2014
Filmwise: The short film assignment is taking longer than expected; working through the client’s feedback and suggestions.
Amoure
Coffee, shaving cream, freshly applied make-up, and newspaper ink, topped with a hint of unwashed skin – the blend of scents permeating the 8:30 train to Central London.
Standing closest to the slit-shaped ventilation window, I am in between the two mini  sofas facing one another on either side of me. “Not a big fan of these.” I remember the couple of instances that made me avoid these tiny seats. Not enough leg room, and you invariably have to move to let someone get to or leave the window seat. If you happen to be by the window, then you’re forever planning your manoeuvre over the feet and bags of those by the isle. “Nota a big fan of these!”
However, there is such an influx of new passengers at the next stop, that I find the aforementioned mini-sofa the lesser evil than losing balance and falling on top of the civil servant with the reading glasses teetering on the tip of his nose.
I take a seat.
Next to me is a youngman, clearly running late for a job interview – he’s wearing a dark woollen suit over a barely ironed shirt and a tightly knotted tie. He is perspiring, perhaps out of anxiety, compounded by the summer morning heat.
Behind me, on the single sideways-facing seat that is hemmed in between the back of this mini-sofa and a small glass partition, a middle aged woman reads her book.
All around me, everyone is in their digital and analogue generated personal space – books, Kindles, iPads and smart phones.
As the carriage absorbs an expected, though mild, convulsion from left to right and up and down, this decidedly externally grey world is suddenly pierced with colour and warmth. A female hand reaches for a male arm for support.
Having been steadied, the hand gently squeezes the arm, feeling the cotton fabric of the light coloured summer suit.
The seat opposite me becomes vacant, the thirty-something owner of the hand eases herself into the frame.
Her other hand is marked with an understated, though expensive-looking, diamond ring.
She and the man with the caressed arm share sweet-sounding words in their melodic tongue. They are Italian.
The reading glasses stop teetering for a second, the youngman with dark suit appears less anxious and the woman behind me appears to abandon what may be a love story on the page.
We all seem to be entranced by this gentle rendition of love.
Peace and love,
Ja’far
Filmwise: The short film assignment is taking longer than expected; working through the client’s feedback and suggestions.
Amore
Coffee, shaving cream, freshly applied make-up, and newspaper ink, topped with a hint of unwashed skin – the blend of scents permeating the 8:30 train to Central London.
Standing closest to the slit-shaped ventilation window, I am in between the two mini  sofas facing one another on either side of me. “Not a big fan of these.” I remember the couple of instances that made me avoid these tiny seats. Not enough leg room, and you invariably have to move to let someone get to or leave the window seat. If you happen to be by the window, then you’re forever planning your manoeuvre over the feet and bags of those by the isle. “Not a big fan of these!”
However, there is such an influx of new passengers at the next stop, that I find the aforementioned mini-sofa the lesser evil than losing balance and falling on top of the civil servant with the reading glasses teetering on the tip of his nose.
I take a seat.
Next to me is a youngman, clearly running late for a job interview – he’s wearing a dark woollen suit over a barely ironed shirt and a tightly knotted tie. He is perspiring, perhaps out of anxiety, compounded by the summer morning heat.
Behind me, on the single sideways-facing seat that is hemmed in between the back of this mini-sofa and a small glass partition, a middle aged woman reads her book.
All around me, everyone is in their digital and analogue generated personal space – books, Kindles, iPads and smart phones.
As the carriage absorbs an expected, though mild, convulsion from left to right and up and down, this decidedly externally grey world is suddenly pierced with colour and warmth. A female hand reaches for a male arm for support.
Having been steadied, the hand gently squeezes the arm, feeling the person beneath the cotton fabric of the light coloured summer suit.
The seat opposite me becomes vacant, the thirty-something owner of the hand eases herself into the frame.
Her other hand is marked with an understated, though expensive-looking, diamond ring.
She and the man with the caressed arm share sweet-sounding words in their melodic tongue. They are Italian.
The reading glasses stop teetering for a second, the youngman with the dark suit appears less anxious and the woman behind me seems to abandon what may be an engaging encounter on the page.
Perhaps, we all are entranced by this gentle rendition of love.
Peace and love,
Ja’far

June 15th 2014

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

Filmwise: This week, took a break from the ninth draft of the little girl in Baghdad script. Had a short film assignment. All good.

“You choose!”

At my favourite ice cream shop in London, I found myself in the middle of a queue surrounded by what seemed like three generations of an English family. While the youngest, two primary age girls and a boy, were excitedly debating “the red one and the yellow one”, before changing their mind and going for the “orange and chocolate one”, their parents were cautioning, “only one scoop!”

The oldest of the group, clearly the grandfather, was happy to stand back and watch the drama of transient childhood desire and contentment unfold before him for the umpteenth time.

“We just got back from two weeks in Italy,” he announced to me. He must have thought me someone familiar with the country.

“We drove from Genoa to Florence. The coast en route was just breathtaking.”

I made a mental note of a couple of the places he mentioned.

“Two scoops? What flavours would you like?” asked me the young Italian woman behind the counter.

“You choose!”

Peace and love,

Ja’far

June 8th 2014

Sunday, June 8th, 2014
June 8th 2014
Filmwise: The ninth draft of the little girl in Baghdad is under way.
“Screen one is next!”
At my local picture house, the small audience for Godzilla (Dir. Gareth Edwards, 2014) was already out of the door thirty seconds into the end credits.
The three young employees tasked with cleaning the isles off popcorn and other show debris seemed at a loss – in the otherwise empty cinema, I was leaning against a wall, with eyes fixated on the screen.
Noticing their obvious anxiety to get on with their work, I whispered to the nearest, “I am listening to the soundtrack; you can put the lights up, if you need to.”
With evident relief, they turned on the overhead lights.
The finale of the Alexandre Desplat score was my cue to release them.
As I walked out, one of them announced, ’screen one is next!”
Peace and love,
Ja’farFilmwise: The ninth draft of the little girl in Baghdad is under way.
Filmwise: The ninth draft of the little girl in Baghdad is under way.
“Screen one is next!”
At my local picture house, the small audience for Godzilla (Dir. Gareth Edwards, 2014) was already out of the door thirty seconds into the end credits.
The three young employees tasked with cleaning the isles off popcorn and other show debris seemed at a loss – in the otherwise empty cinema, I was leaning against a wall, with eyes fixated on the screen.
Noticing their obvious anxiety to get on with their work, I whispered to the nearest, “I am listening to the soundtrack; you can put the lights up, if you need to.”
With evident relief, they turned on the overhead lights.
The finale of the Alexandre Desplat score was my cue to release them.
As I walked out, one of them announced, ’screen one is next!”
Peace and love,
Ja’far

June 1st 2014

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

Filmwise: I am halfway through completing the ninth draft of the little girl in Baghdad story. The main amendments are at a couple of story-beats to add clarity, and also pace to the unfolding narrative. All good.

Prompted by a dear friend, this year I have taken to getting in touch early with connections made at Cannes. Usually, I wait for a couple of weeks, to allow the other parties some unpacking time.

Aside from that, I have been enjoying the improved quality of life that a newly refurbished kitchen, with an automatic washing machine, can bring about.

Not sure how long it will take me before I start missing the random, and sometimes memorable, encounters at my local launderette.

Peace and love,

Ja‘far