Veiled threats, always the best kind.
Oh, and I am going off for the interview in a little while. The Times want to talk to me about Teen Dreams for the film supplement, and it slightly freaks me that, after a drought of interviews on the previous two books, I already have two booked for this one with two and a half weeks to go to publication date.
So, anyway, 'Brick' is essentially another high school remake of an old classic, the classic in question being Dashiell Hammett's 'Red Harvest' though there are bits of 'Farewell My Lovely' and 'The Maltese Falcon' in the plot as well. Brendan was dumped by his sweetie and has never got over it - when she asks him for help, he gets involved with life again. All the more so, when he finds her dead...It is about high school, and drugs, and cliques. I suspect that a second viewing will make possible a far slashier reading than the notional solution of the mystery allows, because Brendan is like Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe in being quite clueless about sexual undercurrents even when they bite him in the face.
It is an instant classic, and if I ever get to do a second edition, or another teen book, I really look forward to studying it at length. It is one of the first essential films of the year.
And then there was the disappointing, but interesting, 'American Dreamz'. There is so much here that is potentially wonderful - Hugh Grant as a Simon Cowell clone, and Dennis Quaid as Dubya, and Willem Dafoe as Karl Rove and Mandy Moore as a Britney Spears wannabe. And they are all quite good in it, and let down by a script that fails to have the courage of its convictions far too much of the time.
Yet, I loved the idea that both Presidential politics and international Islamic terrorism are branches of showbiz. I liked 'They don't call me the Torturer because I don't like to torture people' and the later scene when Omar, the showtune obsessed reluctant terrorist, is singing 'My Way' with heart because he has decided to betray his comrades for his dream, and his controller, who does not notice this, is mouthing the words along with him, thinking he knows what is to come. I loved the final liebestod moment. I liked the idea of Dubya reading The Guardian and quietly freaking out.
It is not nearly good enough, but it certainly doesn't suck, if you go assuming that it is disappointing.
And now off to destiny.