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Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Writer's Life 10/8 - Minutes

Lately, no American films available at Netflix have captured my interest, so I scanned the foreign section and added 11 Minutes (2015), a Polish-Irish collaboration, to my list. I'm glad I did. It's one of those multiple character story of intersecting lives. From the early moments it is obvious that a catastrophe will occur. The suspense derives from how it will. 95% of the narrative is devoted to glimpses of the players' lives: a jealous husband, a sleazeball producer, a hot dog vendor, an artist, a would-be thief, an adulterer, an emergency medical crew. The events are often out of linear sequence. Some shots are repeated from a different angle. The proceedings are not easy to follow, but the payoff makes it worth it. Although it is a bit too arty for my taste, the cinematography (Mikolaj Lebkowski) is lush and beautiful, and the slow-motion shots in the last few minutes are fantastic. I figured this was the work of a young director. Wrong! The name Jerzy Skolimowski, born in 1938, rang a bell. In 1962 he wrote the dialogue for Roman Polanski's highly acclaimed Knife in the Water. He also wrote and directed Deep End (1970), which I saw long ago and did not like. Given the pace of 11 Minutes, Skolimowsky is one energetic 78-year-old dude. Kudos. This is one of those flicks where there is a disconnect between my opinion and those who rate works at IMDb, where 758 users forge to a consensus of 5.8 of ten. On a scale of five, I rate 11 Minutes 3.5. It runs only 81 minutes and requires patience, despite the fast pace.

Last night I completed the latest run through of the novel I expect to self-publish in January, Five Cents. It grew by a few pages to 190. I've yet to add acknowledgments and a dedication, both of which I've been working out in my head. This time the narrative did not seem as rushed as previously. It covers approximately a five-year span. Now only the last 15 pages fly by. I don't want to pad it with the extraneous, so it will remain that way unless I come up with something significant. I don't know if it's a good book -- I prefer to let readers decide such matters -- but I believe it is infinitely better than the 600+ plus page manuscript I began in 1975. So far I've accumulated $361 in gift certificates for Amazon, earned doing online surveys. I'm close to cash-out at several sites, so I should have more than $400 with which to buy copies. The Sicilian mind is always scheming to find the least expensive options. I'll do a wash in early November and again in early December. By then I hope to be ready to order a proof copy.

I had no luck selling books on the street today, a session curtailed by sprinkles. My thanks to whomever downloaded Adjustments to Kindle this week.
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