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8th December 2012

I am back now from a nice long visit to the UK. Sometimes when I wake up I cant remember in which country I am. I went to make a film EDITH, having agreed that I would be employed out of London, to save the Producer an air fare. Budgets are always tight on independent films...but alas not only did I not get the fare over, but so far nothing at all after that. The film has been postponed and I am told that it will be made in the New Year, in Hungary, not Austria as originally planned. It does happen quite often that independent films are postponed as money is always an issue, but this was somewhat last minute, as I was not told that we would not be doing the film in the immediate future until I got to London. I was rather chagrined as you can imagine, but there we are...that’s show business. Still I had things to do in London, places to go and people to I had a nice break for a change, away from my current day sitting my little grandson Luke. I had also finished filming THE YELLOW WALLPAPER, which was quite exhausting although it was only two days of actual filming. It’s being edited now and I will see some of it next week - I am excited.

So now I am back in Boise, where winter is coming, the leaves are falling and the fiscal cliff is looming and as a broadcaster just said “ is not like Willie Coyote falling off the cliff”, rather more serious. I do hope that some of the legislators do not treat this like some “Chicken” - face off game, it’s happened before and it’s amazing that grown men/women can behave so childishly gambling with the well being of a great nation and all its people.

Being a member of BAFTA and the Academy, I saw several screenings in London, while I was there. There are some outstanding movies as usual....I still think ARGO is a terrific film, as is LINCOLN, with an extraordinary performance from not only Daniel Day Lewis, but also from Tommy Lee Jones, Hal Holbrook and many others. The interesting thing is that the film is not really about President Lincoln’s life, but more about one part of it....the passing of the 13th Amendment, in simple terms the Abolition of Slavery. It is a fascinating subject and the fighting and bitterness that went on in the Government to get it through was amazing. The acrimony felt towards Lincoln is not too far from the feelings held by some of the current leaders towards President Obama. I do not doubt that that thought was somewhat in Steven Spielberg’s mind when he made the film. Slavery is disgusting and as horrible a condition as we humans can dream up and there were already many people in the US who were against it long before President Lincoln’s activities. Anyway do see it if you can I recommend.

I also saw HITCHCOCK, which I enjoyed very much, there are lovely performances in it from Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren...nominations on the way? I had the pleasure of renewing my friendship with Tony Hopkins after many years of not seeing each other. We reminisced about THE LION IN WINTER and the congratulated each other on the fact that we were both still cranking along and ignoring time way.

Mrs Hitchcock really had a difficult life with such a complicated and tricky man. She was his editor and really was a great asset to his work. Another great Editor Anne Coates has just moved into my apartment complex in London...I cant wait to meet her. She edited all David Lean’s films. How great these film makers are and were.

Sorry I haven’t written for a while, but I took only my IPad to London and while it is a wonderful tool, it’s not ideal for the kind of stuff you can do on a computer. Also I did not have broadband in the flat where I was staying and was using my mobile phone as a ‘tether’, very useful, but grindingly slow.

The picture with this blog is of me and Patricia Brake, who played my maid “Gwenny” in LORNA DOONE way back in the Sixties and we have been friends ever since!

More anon dear friends

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