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February 3rd 2010

I think at my age I am reasonably aware of my faults and how damaging some of them can be to me and others. When I am focused on a project, I am very single minded, obsessive, I would say. One of my best friends says “Oh Janie’s got her red flag out again”. That red flag will generally stay out until I have achieved what I want, how I want it and when I want it. That’s not terribly healthy behaviour, but it can be useful in getting things done, but it can make you rather unpopular. I say all this as we have be finishing our film “Beware of What You Wish For”: http://www.newchillingtales.com It’s all very exciting as I have said ‘ad nauseum’ and frustrating when you know how little you know about certain aspects of it. Anyway all’s well and the next step is to try to sell it! How? Well that is the question. I’ll let you know when I have the answer.

This is a long winded way of saying I will now change the subject. Sighs of relief all round.

China is always in the news now. I made what I think must be the worst film of my career, I think it was called “A Time For Love” -cant really remember-in Hong Kong, before the handover. The script was not too bad and I got to be made up as a period Chinese Princess, that was fun, but our leading man and director (the same person) was not good and I cant say I enjoyed working with him. Enough said, I do get on with most people, but I do not like lack of ability together with arrogance and I did not enjoy the work experience. And it was a love story - him and me. He was very proud of his knowledge about wine - he had a wine cellar in his house and had had fake cobwebs sprayed over the bottles. ( A Hollywood tool). Alarm bells started to ring in my head when I first met him and taken to inspect his wine cellar!

The rest of the film was fine, but I do not see the point in wasting time working on films, you dont really want to do. And this wasn’t even well paid, but we all do it. We read a nice script, see a good part and off we go! Hong Kong was great though and the Chinese people lovely. They are dignified and friendly and I liked them very much. There were many, many people living on this tiny island, about 80 square kilometres, so many of them that many had to live on junks (boats) as there wasn’t enough room on land. There are over a million people living there. There was a high level of poverty, but the people did not beg and maintained their dignity. It may have changed now, but I doubt it. I remember seeing a little girl in her English school uniform doing her homework in the gutters, between the street market stalls, with rats running about and she did not turn a hair.

I went to the home of a very wealthy business man - it was gorgeous, but quite small. Deep pure silk pile carpets, doorknobs made of solid gold and bathrooms outfitted in jade. Jade is considered very lucky in China and most people wear some every day. One of the actors, Bill Beckley, an Englishman, was playing my brother and I always remember filming with him one day in a Chinese cafe.There was a particularly pretty puppy running about and we couldn’t decide if she was a pet or planned for the menu that evening. We were torn between mild hysterics and real concern. That is one of the least attractive cultures in China- eating dogs. Of course many of you will say and rightly so, how lucky I was to get paid to go to work in Hong Kong for six weeks and I have been lucky with travelling about, cant argue with that.

Election fever is hotting up and it seems to me that we are already in the middle of the campaign. I believe it will be a close race, I just wish that, we as a country, would realise that our lives are so affected by global issues now, but we are just too inward looking, so much of the time. Same in other countries I suppose, but I think we have got to look more outside of our little narrow world Facebook is a really good tool for that and keeps us all looking outward and beyond our own lives. The Internet has been simply wonderful for expanding our world, while bringing it so much closer to us all. As we saw with Iranian protests last year, you simply can't close the barriers now and hide. No matter how many people they execute, information via the internet will always reveal the regime to be brutal and and oppressive. Doing something about it, is another issue, but I have a feeling that “jaw, jaw” will overtake “war, war” in time.

I wonder too if we will go back to a barter system one day, our financial system seems to have woven a gordion knot around itself and unless someone comes along and boldly cuts it, we seem to be doomed to be entwined in it for a very long time. Oh well no point on dwelling on it too much, so I will think about something else --- my film perhaps?!
Bye for now dear friends.
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