Posted by amybou on:
I hope you don’t feel too abandoned—it’s been a little over a week since our lunch date editing rendezvous, a few days before SBIFF started, but absence does make the heart grow fonder, just as perspective sharpens the revision process. While my SBIFF coverage might seem like a distraction, the Writers and Directors panels have helped me think about storytelling and structure. (Who mentioned something about second act problems, the "murky middle"? A few screenwriters talked about the incubation process, which often does happen off the page).
Last night I thought of you as I slipped on my sparkly 1920s rhinestone bracelets and grabbed my flapper beaded handbag (which really is too delicate to accommodate a cell phone, by the way) and headed to the Cinema Vanguard Award to see the stars of “The Artist.” So I dressed for the occasion, just as my narrator Violet would’ve done, since she works at a vintage couture atelier in Beverly Hills and is curating an exhibition on Fashion & Surrealism at LACMA. I wore my Betsey Johnson tuxedo sweater dress that is a nod to Elsa Schiaparelli’s seminal trompe l'oeil sweater along with a black dinner jacket from the 1930s that belonged to my great-grandmother, which she wore to the Chicago World’s Fair in 1933 (the lining is impeccable; she’s believed to have made the jacket herself.) Tonight I will be seeing a film that officially counts as novel-related research—"Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel"—a documentary about the fashion icon, Vogue editor, and Costume Institute curator who popularized the exhibition of fashion at museums. And my post about the Opening Night party at the Contemporary Arts Forum was a chance to write a party scene, and very quickly, without endlessly revising, as I do with fiction (though what I love about blogging is that I can tinker and make edits after I post). Since there are many party scenes in my novel (also set in museums and gallery spaces, as it happens), perhaps the opening night party counts as research too. If only I’d inadvertently propositioned Jean Dujardin, rather than Kevin Kline—well, it might not have been so accidental. But since I didn’t get the chance to have an exhilarating/bumbling exchange with a ridiculously sexy French man (GOOD GOD HE IS SEXY), that may have to wait for fiction.
Ever yours most faithfully,
(PS: "Downton Abbey" also counts as research—so cut me a little slack on my researching behind-the-scenes stuff too…)