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21st JANUARY 2011

Didn't the Beatles write a song called "Back in the USA"? Well I am back, whether they did or they didn't (actually it was "Back In The U.S.S.R." written on one of their world tours - Ed). Got in at 2am, bit later than planned, but main thing is I got here! The weather is about the same as in the UK, so nothing new there. But the air is dryer and therefore it doesn't feel quite as cold as ours in England. Everyone asks/writes about the weather, so why not me!

As I left I read a newspaper piece about George VI being anti semitic and keen to keep Jewish refugees from leaving Germany during the last war. What a load of tosh. The story has been ascribed to Production companies trying to discredit the King and by association "The Kings Speech", which is proving to be such a popular film and keep people from voting for it in the Oscar race. First of all the King had absolutely no power in his role in King (as he says in the Film). Like our present Queen, who is head of the Army, the Church and the State, it is a titular role only - she cannot call the Army to go to War, decide about Church matters or tell the Government what to do. It tells her what to do and say. It's true that at the time of the last War the British had a Mandate to Administer Palestine and effectively controlled it until the Jewish State was created. I assume the British Government was quite keen not to have too many Jewish people entering in order to form a Jewish State - exactly what happened in the long run. But this Policy does not and did not make George VI an anti semite. The UK took in many Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany including my father, for which he was eternally grateful.

So shame on the people who spread such lies in the interest of money, because that is what it is about as usual. Winning an Oscar for Best Picture adds huge income to a picture. I am a big fan of the film, not just because a friend wrote it, but because it is an excellent movie and George VI was a good and compassionate King, especially in the time of a terrible war.

Interestingly enough my English uncle, the one who was in the SAS, was in the Palestine police. He said it was an interesting time, because the people who eventually came to power in Israel, were at the time the so called terrorists, who were fighting the British in Palestine. What a completely daft world we live in. But we all have different loyalties, beliefs and it would be great if we could live more tolerantly with each other. Ours is such a tiny planet.

Anyway enough of all that. I am now focusing on the making of "The Tell Tale Heart" here in Idaho, which I shall direct. I am at the same time thrilled and terrified, but with getting the right people as crew and actors will make a big difference. The first in our series "Beware of What You Wish For" is now selling nicely on Amazon. Amazon has been really excellent through the whole process and I cannot speak highly enough of them. Their communication process is terrific. No doubt this is why they are riding so high in the Internet world. I may try the whole thing now on the US division of Amazon. I know the audiences are there for horror and thrilling films.

There was a version of "Whistle and I'll Come to You" by MR James on television over the Christmas holiday. It is a brilliant and terrifying story and the original was really frightening. Watch it, it's on You Tube. Regrettably the powers in their 'infinite' wisdom decided to re-write this version and I suppose make it more interesting for the modern generation of viewers. So they diluted the story and it was not nearly as scary, in my humble opinion. It is so arrogant to think that they understand human nature better than those great writers. Hello - you people, why do you think Shakespeare still works after all these, 500 years, because he understood human nature so well, our weaknesses, our vanities and our strengths etc. Well so did most of these other fine writers and that's why their stories stand the test of time, we do not need to mess around with them. Good old egos at work again. That's why I am going to try carry on doing my own without too much interference from "other people"! We'll see, I'll either run out steam, or we just wont get small amount of money we need.

I watched a show last night, which included the story of Rod Serling and his great series "The Twilight Zone'. I am not sure if it reached the UK. He wrote all the stories and they were brilliant. Sadly though he ran out of steam, fighting with "those who must be obeyed" (apologies to Rumpole) too quickly and gave up after only five years. He understood the public so much better than the "suits" and never underestimated the public intelligence.

I have had some really lovely fan mail from people who saw "The Lion in Winter" either again or the first time and I am so delighted that the film still works for people. It is a great piece and no-one "messed around with it", before, during and after it was made!

Stay healthy and be happy. Jane

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