Tag Archives: Elmore Leonard

August Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts & Trends

29 Aug

AUGUST LIVED UP TO ITS NAME

Majestic, grand, august…The rare blue moon appeared, not to be seen again in these here parts until 2015…The annual Perseid meteor shower peaked mid-month…Film at Lincoln Center’s retrospective David Bowie, Movie Star…In a little bit of book news, little book news that is, Chapter One of Genesis found in a book the size of a ladybug…Hidden in his personal archives for 50 years, Pavarotti’s first-ever recording, an aria from La Boheme taped on August 29, 1961 in Italy, just found, to be re-mastered and released…The first electric guitar patent awarded in 1937. Eric, Jimi, and Pete are grateful…The 50th anniversary of the audio cassette tape. A revolution: small, cheap, and could be played in cars…OwnSteinwayShowroom.8.29.13.useing three Steinway pianos wasn’t enough, billionaire John Paulson now owns more, lots more. He bought the company for $512M…Harlem Week, now a month-long, with food, music, and loads of culture…Prayers to Linda Ronstadt whose beautiful voice is silenced by Parkinson’s…What’s love got to do with it? Everything for Tina Turner who married her beau of 27 years. Her debut single with Ike in August 1960, A Fool in Love, “…the blackest record to creep into the white charts since Ray Charles’…” went to #2 on the R&B charts. No fool, she. Oh yeah, mazel tov!…Yeah, yeah, yeah. Sid Bernstein, who brought the Beatles to Shea in 1964, was remembered for something much more than that at his memorial. His kindness. Amen to that…Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors celebrated Americana with country, rockabilly, SoutherMostlyMozart.8.29.13n soul and rock ‘n’ roll…No mostly about it. The Mostly Mozart Festival’s closing concert led by Maestro Langrée was all Mozart…Could be a story by O. Henry. An acoustic ecologist who searches the world for nature’s quietest spots, Gordon Hempton the Sound Tracker, is going deaf. He’s racing to complete Quiet Planets, a 19-volume set of nature recordings…Left brain logical, right brain creative? New study says hooey. “The artistic network needs both sides of the brain…if art is really about communication about your emotions, if you’re not able to do that, you’re not much of an artist, are you? You always have to use both sides of your brain to be a functional human being.”…Spike Lee using Kickstarter to fund his new film. Is he doing the right thing? Discuss amongst yourselves…Richie Havens’ ashes were scattered over the site of Woodstock, where he was the opening act in 1969…August is Admit You’re Happy Month. Just as research from Scotland reveals links between culture, health and happiness. So listen to music, go see art, read books, see a movie. Find your happiness.

 CIVIL REFLECTIONS

The Butler was dramatic, emotional, thought-provoking, and inspiring, “…In this movie, history is more than a succession of public events, it is individual experience given a full measure of respect.” Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey imbued their characters with dignity and fortitude, taking us through the civil rights movement, Viet Nam, and beyond…About a lifelong hero of mine, I was looking forward to the new documentary, The Trials of Ali.8.28.13.crMuhammad Ali. Having seen all the others, what could be new? With revealing details about his conversion to Islam and refusal to serve in Viet Nam, there were remarkable interviews with his second wife, the straightforward, no-nonsense Khalilah Camacho-Ali and his loving brother, Rahaman Ali. After a long legal fight that ended in 1971, the Supreme Court ruled in his favor. Ali was awarded the Dr. Martin Luther King memorial award in 1970 after his return to the ring. Coretta Scott-King told Ali he was “…a champion of justice, and peace, and human dignity.” Ralph Abernathy called him “…the living example of soul power, this was the March on Washington all in two fists.” Ali followed his faith, his conscience, his moral compass…Dr. Martin Luther MLK.8.28.13.paintingKing’s March on Washington, which culminated in his I Have A Dream speech, happened 50 years ago. A day of nonviolent protest, a day of speeches, prayer and song. Thousands were there to commemorate it 50 years later. Many who appeared in The Butler and The Trials of Muhammad Ali came and spoke: Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, Caroline Kennedy, and President Barack Obama. Dr. King’s moral voice and his honorable message memorialized. He lifted us on hope and he is ever with us as we keep his dream.

ART IS THE DRUG THAT I’M THINKING OF

ArtEverywhere.8.14.13.makeartnotwarGreat works of art on billboards and bus-stops all over the streets of London for the Art Everywhere project…“Someday everything’s gonna be diff’rent when I paint my masterpiece.” Bob Dylan’s paintings at the National Portrait Gallery in London. Ties in with his new release, The Bootleg Series Vol. 10 Another Self Portrait (1969 – 1971). Ties in with his tour. An absolute marketing bonanza of tie-ins…Sounds of art at MOMA? Yes, sounds. Carsten Nicolai uses waves, mirrors and projections in exhibit of artists who use sound as their form of expression…Celebrating the 75th anniversary of the first photographer to have a solo show at MOMA, Walker Evans’ pictures of American life in the 1930’s…And using light, color and space, James Turrell transforms the Guggenheim. 

DOGS+PANDAS GET THE MEDIA SPOTLIGHT

PandaTaipeiZoo.YuanZai.crThe first 24-hour channel for dogs, DogTV, launched on August 1…What’s your dog telling you? Learn their facial expressions. Raised eyebrow? Pay attention to me. Left ear back? I’m scared…Sunny, also a Portie, joins Beau at the White House…Did you know that the best bomb detector is a dog? After Boston Marathon attack, demand is up. Good dog, brave dog!…Alert the media! Baby news means Pandacams everywhere…“We have a cub.” The tweet heard ‘round the world for giant panda cub born at Washington, DC’s National Zoo…The first twin pandas born in America in 26 years at the Atlanta Zoo…My heart swelled and my eyes got teary watching the mother and child reunion at the Taipei Zoo, as the mother panda swept up her cub in her arms…And Scotland’s on panda-watch, she may be pregnant…With only 1,600 giant pandas left in the wild, their survival relies on this surge in births, giving us cause to hope, and hopefully cause to celebrate. 

LE BLOG C’EST MOI

WWW.GetShorty.8.21.13We lost Elmore Leonard, but he left us Chili Palmer, Nestor Soto, Cundo Rey, Teddy Magyk, and Richie Nix. Tough guys all, but honest (in their own ways) and big hearted. Read my two tributes to him…Also posted: Glenn Gould on the arts, Patti Smith’s advice (clue: integrity!), Paul Simon’s songwriting method, marketing gone wrong, Stephen King, M&M’s+Meatloaf, before Bono there was Satchmo, and my Summer Reading List. What are you reading?…All this and more on Yvette Perry’s Blog…You can now easily share this newsletter with your friends. I have posted it there. Just click on any of the share buttons below the post…Lastly, yours truly is quoted in the Great Big Book of Things Marketers Say just published in video. Look for me at 4:57. My pearl of wisdom? “Listen.” 

DreamOn.8.29.13.iHeartRadio2012.useSoundtrack to this Issue is Dream On from Aerosmith. Check out this version with the boys live at iHeartRadio Music Festival 2012.

 Buddha, stay. Good dog.IMGP2541.cr.newsltr“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”  (Buddha)

Sources:
Steinway showroom pic: Steinway & Sons
Maestro Langree pic: Mostly Mozart
Tina Turner quote: I, Tina by Tina Turner and Kurt Loder
Brain Study quote: Dr. Gayatri Devi, CBS This Morning, August 27, 2013
The Butler quote: Richard Brody, The New Yorker
Scott King and Abernathy quotes and Ali pic: The Trials of Muhammad Ali
Make Art Not War print: Bob and Roberta Smith, Art Everywhere (London)
Bob Dylan lyrics: Bob Dylan official website
Aerosmith pic: iHeartRadio

Elmore Leonard + John Travolta = Get Shorty’s Chili Palmer

22 Aug

Elmore Leonard’s dialogue told you everything you needed to know about a character. He did it in as short a prose style as necessary. To him, less was definitely more. I already knew Chili Palmer – I knew how he walked, how he talked, and how he looked you in the eyes. So when I saw him in the big screen version of Get Shorty personified by John Travolta, I was already along for the ride. 

Post.ElmoreLeonard.getshorty.8.22.13Get Shorty tells the story of a loan shark in Miami, Chili Palmer, who goes to Hollywood to collect a debt and ends up a movie producer. Hey, he figures, it takes the same skills he already has as a mobster. Who knew? Chili’s talk is straight, no bullshit. And he knows his movies. Here are some of Chili’s bon mots:

“Rough business, this movie business. I’m gonna have to go back to loan-sharking just to take a rest.”

“That was ‘Rio Bravo.’ Robert Mitchum played the drunk in ‘El Dorado.’ Dean Martin played the drunk in ‘Rio Bravo.’ Basically, it was the same part. Now John Wayne, he did the same in both. He played John Wayne.”

“Look at me.”

“I’m the guy who’s telling you the way it is.”

“I got an idea for a movie.”

“They always pay.”

“Going into the movie business. I’m thinking about producing … I don’t think the producer has to know much.”

“Look at me. What I’m thinking is, ‘You’re mine’ … But what I’m not doing is feeling anything about it one way or the other. You understand? You’re not a person to me, you’re a name in my collection book, a guy owes me money, that’s all.”

“You know, Welles didn’t even want to do this movie. But he had some studio contract he couldn’t get out of. Sometimes you do your best work when you got a gun to your head.”

 

Source:
Chili Palmer’s quotes from Get Shorty: imdb

Elmore Leonard Sure Could Write

21 Aug

Get Shorty, Freaky Deaky, Out of Sight, Be Cool, Stick, Killshot. Could there be any cooler book titles? The guy who wrote about Chili Palmer, Nestor Soto, Cundo Rey, Teddy Magyk, and Richie Nix – could there be any cooler names? – died yesterday. His name was Elmore Leonard and he was writing stories for most of his 87 years.  Just like the titles of his books, his writing went straight to the point. No extra words, no meaningless flourishes, no redundancies. An economy of style – that was his thing.

WWW.GetShorty.8.21.13I love his books. Especially Get Shorty. But I don’t really think it’s the book that I remember or what it’s about. It’s the characters. How they talked. The things they said and how they said them. I could never forget Chili’s saying the words, “Look at me.”  I could actually hear Chili talk. The sound of his voice, his inflection, his whole style.

The dialogue Elmore Leonard wrote told me everything I needed to know about his characters and their stories. In an article he wrote for the NY TimesEasy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points and Especially Hooptedoodle, he listed his 10 rules of writing. This is Rule #10:

“Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip … Think of what you skip reading a novel: thick paragraphs of prose you can see have too many words in them. What the writer is doing, he’s writing, perpetrating hooptedoodle … I’ll bet you don’t skip dialogue.”

 

Source:
Elmore Leonard’s rules on writing: NY Times, July 16, 2001

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