Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Casting the Losers Movie

I got asked by the folks at the My Book, The Movie blog to draw up a dream cast for my book Losers. Since casting movies with 14-year-olds is sort of an impossible feat anyway, I decided to throw all the rules out the window. Half my cast is dead. The other half are way far away from being fourteen years old. Here's a snip (or read it from the start):

Hollywood would probably want Jupiter to look like Christian Slater in Heathers. I'm going to go with Ewan McGregor, though -- five years before Trainspotting, with his hair a little shaggier and his eyes a little more feral. His best friend, Vadim, in my head was always an Igor type. (Except, of course, that in Russia "Igor" is a name that real people actually have, and one of my best friends is named Igor, so I need to watch the references around him.) He's cool in his own way, but we'd probably have to prettify him up, so instead of, like, a 14-year-old Kyle MacLachlan who isn't quite ready to star in Blue Velvet, we'll probably have to go with what can only be described as a Wesley Crusher-type.

Read on ----->

Oh, and I talk a little about the process of making the movie 1/20from the writer's point of view anyway, which usually doesn't mean much, since they try and keep the writers far, far away from the production -- except that I snuck my way onto the set running for coffee and stuff. Fun. Illicit fun.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Me: It's great to see you here. But why did you move to Crown Heights?

Ari: To show the people of Gotham that their city doesn't belong to the criminals and the corrupt.

(I promise, this wasn't a setup. It just popped up in the middle of a conversation.)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Day at the Movies

Today was the first NYC screening of 1/20, the movie I wrote! My whole family was there -- my kids, my parents, the generation in between (uh, my wife and me). It was wonderful. I was more uncomfortable than ever. It's so hard to see something you wrote and not be able to stop and change the lines before you recite them. When I read live, I'm always rearranging the words on the page so they sound better coming out of my mouth. Watching a movie you wrote, you're like rubbernecking at your own accident. (Not that i was reciting them in the first place.)

1/20 movie

(And honestly, I think the movie turned out amazing. Such good actors. The director makes everything look beautiful, even electric toys with their guts hanging out. Not to mention the city of Washington DC. But I keep hearing my lines, and thinking, did I really write that? No. Once the music's left your head, it's already compromised.)

1/20 movie

I think i'm a lot more successful at being a father than being a writer. Not that I'm that good at either one, but being a father, you just screw up and you have to keep going. Being a writer, you're never sure if what you're doing is good enough, so you just keep redoing it, until someone rips the pages out of your hand and gives them to a publisher.

1/20 cast and crew

And I should say, thanks to Rew Starr and her posse for making the showing so successful. And for making me feel at home at a theater with that many animal heads hanging on the walls.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hasidim on Halloween

So yesterday was Halloween, a holiday that causes me no end of consternation.

You know how the Official Jewish Community is always talking about being Jewish on Christmas, and feeling peer pressure, and not knowing how to deal with it? Well, Christmas is easy to ignore -- all my non-Jewish friends are non-Christian anticapitalist anarchists of the Occupy Wall Street variety, anyway -- but Halloween is not. Creepy music! Costumes! The macabre! Back before I was religious, it was a religious holiday.

Yesterday, the Kveller staff asked me for any Jewish-related Halloween memories. I started writing something. Then I changed my mind and drew it as a cartoon instead. You can read the whole thing over at their blog, if you want. Can I recommend that you do? I'm pretty proud of it.

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