07 October 2010

Introducing: Wordwrestler

Wordwrestler is a writer and a public servant.

You can have lunch with three fictional characters - one from a book, one from a film or play, and one from a TV series. You can eat with them separately or together. Which will they be? Would you introduce them to one another, or to anyone you know? Why?

Three incarnations of Sherlock Holmes walk in, one walks out. Doyle's version from the page (pre-Reichenbach Falls), Nick Meyer's and Nicol Williamson's version as seen in The Seven Per Cent Solution, and Dr. Gregory House. Because I have no idea which would win, but I know it would be amazing to watch.


If you could have an exclusive interview with any two people (real, not fiction) - male or female - one currently living, and one dead who would they be? Why would you want to talk to them? What would you ask them?

I'd like Sarah Palin and Andrew Jackson to sit on the interviewing couch together. I think they have a lot in common, so much so that they would fall in love, Jackson would take her back to the 1800s with him, and they'd end up swirling down the drain of mutually destructive passion instead of going into politics. Of course, this creates one of those paradoxes that make time travel so tricky, because if not for Andrew Jackson, Sarah Palin could never have existed. But even in fantasy, nothing is ever perfect.


You're stuck in a room for a year and you can only have access to three movies. What movies do you pick?

Desk Set, The Age of Innocence, and The Apartment.

Desk Set is by no means the strongest Tracy/Hepburn film--it's one of those movies where you think more about how much fun the cast must have had making it than about the story--but it is my favorite, and not just because Bunny Watson is a kick-ass librarian. In this movie, more than in any of their others, Tracy's and Hepburn's characters meet as equals from the start. Sure, she has a fatal flaw in the shape of a 7-year dead-end relationship, but neither the audience nor Hepburn seem to really believe in it. We all know she's better than that. And so does Tracy, but he doesn't go through any strange "romantic" machinations to get her to come to her senses. He just wants to know more about this person. At one moment, he tells her, "I bet you write wonderful letters," and in that moment, it is a declaration of love clearer than any other. So, yeah. I'm a sap for that movie.

The Apartment, on the other hand, is a What Not to Do template for relationships. While Wilder and Diamond give the script a "happy" ending, so many problems cluster around the borders of the frame that the new couple seems doomed from the start. Just because you mutually reject suicide, adultery, and corporate corruption doesn't mean you'll be good together. The Apartment is also comforting because it is very much a movie of its time. I doubt it could ever be remade, and certainly not as a comedy.

And finally we come to The Age of Innocence, which I chose because no-one said anything about being able to take books into this room. It's based on one of my favorites, a book I can read any time, in any mood, and still love. The film's got some flaws, but it is completely faithful to the satirical spirit of the book. Plus, Daniel Day-Lewis. I could seriously stare at that man for a year and a day and not get bored. I'm not made of wood, people. You need to know that going in. I am not made of wood.


If there were a mass book burning, and you had the choice to save three books for your own public consumption, and three books to destroy so that no one could read them ever again, which would they be?

I would not have time to save or destroy any books. I would be too busy organizing the bucket brigade.

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