So, despite today being a public holiday, it has nevertheless been fruitful.... yes? yes.
Thanks to a coincidental meeting at a Penderecki concert I met up with John Swartz, a friend of my parents who lives round the corner from me and who happens to be incredibly knowledgeable, despite his protestations to the contrary, about Zimbabwean music and its traditions. He's a music producer in his own right and after assuring me he had very little music that would be appropriate at his house, he then lent me a massive stack of CDs which I'm making my way through now. It not only contains music by Mapfumo and Mtukudzi who I spoke about before, but some mbira music (my favourite) which is absolutely mind blowingly awesome. It's so amazing I wish that, like Dyana, I was making a musical. So, I tentatively broached the subject of John being music supervisor on The Tunnel. And he's interested which is very good news - he's already got some amazing ideas. I think this really is the way to go - I generally love being really involved in my own soundtracks (to the extent that I have been doing them myself for my last three films. that "involved"), but here I feel that I'll need help to really do it justice. so yay.
I've decided to go with Yvette and Cassidy of Substance Films to produce. I haven't told them yet, but that's the decision. As you can tell, I've been procrastinating for far too long, mainly because producers make me anxious (not a good thing) and I so badly want to make the right choice. But as soon as the festive season is over we need to get started. And now we will. I'll call them tomorrow.
My friend Bevan is down from Durban and completely out of the blue I asked if he'd be interested in shooting. OK, this isn't as random as it may sound: he's actually an excellent cinematographer - we studied together but have never worked together. But I somehow I thought this would be a good idea- Let's leave it at that because I suddenly feel awkward about singing his praises online. He knows how good he is. I do have some other excellent options for DOPs, but let's see how this goes... If Bevan can do this before he leaves for London next year.... that'd be grand indeed.
Also had a meeting with Tumi who I met while I was assisting on a massive TV set - I'll just say he's a far better AD than I am (I'm pretty awful. This meeting was probably the best thing that came out of the whole experience). But he's also very keen to work on the film, and the more enthusiastic people I can find, the better.
Also met a Zimbabwean guy called Mike on Tuesday- I took his number (he was pretty bemused by this) and will try find somewhere to cast him. He just has an amazing look - you know how some people do? Quite scary actually.
I know I said this before, but I've been reading Mike Leigh on Mike Leigh and wow, what a book. It may be one of the best books on filmmaking I have ever read. I really have the utmost respect for that guy. In every way - in how he approaches film, his method, his assurance, his own movies, life and art in general. So that is an inspiration I recommend.
Another is that I have finally seen (and this is a big deal for me) Mr Lonely - I've been waiting for so long for it to come here in any form and was beginning to lose hope when lo! after a particularly awful day I went to my local dvd store and there it was. wow. A very very interesting film. Harmony Korine has been a hero for a while so you can imagine the excitement. Despite the few problems I have with it, I do have this to say: what a pleasure it is, to see a film, a contemporary film, which surprises you. Harmony, if you ever read this: Thank you. To be given a film which not only surprises and delights on a plot level, but in every way, this is so unusual, which is strange as it is one of the most vital parts of story telling. Surprise. The Gap (as Robert McKee says, as much as I hate to quote). This isn't even counting the movie's great performances, it's striking, clear imagery (the nun with the monkey!!!! Werner Herzog with the flowers!!! Werner Herzog!!!!!!!), it's awesome soundtrack. Surprise, in its purest, most innocent form. That's what I want.
OK OK a brief PS. I'm listening to a song called Toputika Neshungu by a group called Mbira De Nharira. It sums up my whole film, is ecstatically beautiful, made me cry, and this is how it's described on the CD: "There is so much to say about the state of affairs in the world regarding religion and trade, love and hate, peace and war, that all of it cannot be said in one song. The whistling and humming gives one a chance to fill in their own words."
what more can I say? That's my movie.
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