Also spent time today answering some more congratulations on the nytheatre.com thing and running errands -- post office, library. I'm getting in daily trips to the library, mostly in dropping off and picking up books in Richard Stark's Parker series, which Berit and I are going through like popcorn, though I don't think they'll have any immediate influence on any work I'll be doing.
By chance, I've been reading a number of memoirs, mostly of actors -- apart from Patti Smith's excellent Just Kids. That was the first one I read, and unfortunately it was so much better than the rest that the remainder of the memoirs have not looked so good. I've recently gone through Hal Holbrook's, Jane Lynch's, John Lithgow's, Diane Keaton's, Kristin Hersh's, Roger Ebert's, Tina Fey's, and the journals of Spalding Gray, as well as a combined bio of Carole King/Joni Mitchell/Carly Simon. Now I have a new one from Judi Dench. It wasn't intentional, but this will come in handy for my work on next year's play Removal, which is about a writer (or so it seems) looking back on his life and trying to revise it through obsessive revisions in his art. So these will be good to see how some artists do it, even when they aren't so enlightening or entertaining. Also, we've been watching Ken Russell's films in order, so I've finally gotten to see most of his early composer biographies for the BBC, which will also be a good source of inspiration.
I also have a nice stack of library books on branding, which are needed for research on another upcoming show, Invisible Republic #3, but I really need to get into those, and I probably won't be able to until after Xmas.
Tonight's viewing, while I was working on the scripts, was Sidney Pollack's Jeremiah Johnson -- meh; nothing wrong with it exactly, just . . . didn't grab me; Vincente Minnelli's Two Weeks in Another Town -- fun big Hollywood camp, with a great crazed car ride through Rome sequence (Berit, familiar with the automotive fatalities of Contempt and Toby Dammit, now calls out, "No, you're making a movie in Rome in the 60s, don't get into that car!" when the convertible shows up); and Robert Aldrich's The Legend of Lylah Claire, which was almost disappointing, though entertaining, in a bad-good movie way, until it got to the ending, which nearly made the whole thing a masterpiece -- I had heard that the last 2 minutes of this film were NUTS and either ruined it or saved it, depending on your point of view, and the psycho ending isn't even that long actually, but for me it made everything before it worthwhile. But whoa, is it nuts. Then it was the last of the available BBC Russell bios, the amazing Song of Summer. Really some of his finest work, though I still prefer the operatic, perverse Russell of 1970-1977.
Then, while internetting my merry way and enjoying some hot tea and cold aquavit, back to some of the TV shows we cycle around between on Netflix Instant. Tonight, a second season Mission: Impossible episode, a recent 30 Rock and now, as usual, several How It's Made episodes until sleep finally comes.
Tomorrow, fixing scripts, researching, and finally getting back to the Weekly Random Ten lists. And maybe some first words on Westerns. Berit and I have been watching American Western movies chronologically, starting with Stagecoach from 1939 and planning on ending with The Shootist (1976). We're up to 1972, and 134 movies of a 147-movie list, and I'm still not sure what I might do with what I've learned, or even what I've really learned. I just knew that it was important to know these movies better if I really wanted to GET movies and America and the 20th century in some important ways, but it's not something that can be intellectualized or verbalized so well. Or maybe that's the point.