How about a 1940s vampire noir? Yes, it’s a movie, or will be.

That’s really where we all come in. I don’t think I’ve ever posted about a Kickstarter campaign before, though I did participate in one for The Last Lonely Place, another noir film which had the backing of the Humphrey Bogart estate (and thus, caught my attention), but this one…Oh my. I write noir, I read noir, and I love to watch noir. And I can’t wait to watch this one.

bloodkissIn short: Michael Reaves, Amber Benson, Neil Gaiman, Tom Mandrake. Michael Reaves has written some great films, Amber Benson of course I knew from Buffy, Neil Gaiman is an author extraordinaire…and making his acting début (!), and Tom Mandrake does fabulous comic books.

But, all those people aside, it was the concept that really got me. A noir film, set in 1940s Hollywood, with vampires. And a detective who doesn’t believe in them. All things I am fanatical about, in one film.

Here’s a bit from their press info:

Emmy Award winning writer Michael Reaves is creating a new film, BLOOD KISS, and new genre, Vamp Noir. He’s discovered a fresh acting talent to co-star, superstar writer Neil Gaiman. Also starring fan favorite Amber Benson from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Blood Kiss revolves around detective Joe Belicek, who must solve the murder of a
vampire before a deranged killer murders them all. Inspired by Film Noir, this
supernatural thriller is set in 1940s Hollywood with famous haunts like the Brown Derby.

I liked the sound of it so much I couldn’t help but pledge. If this sounds like something you’d like to see made, a pledge is the way to make it happen. $10, or more (up to $10,000 if you’re so inclined!), and we can see this vampire noir. I can hardly wait. It’s like the Sound of Music, except that these are my favourite things (not that there’s anything wrong with whiskers on kittens, of course.)

Check out the film’s website, too: bloodkissmovie.com

Article: Lesbian drama tipped for Cannes win (BBC)

From the BBC:

An intimate love story between two young women has received rave reviews in Cannes as the film festival draws to a close.

Directed by Tunisian-born French director Abdellatif Kechiche, Blue is the Warmest Colour, has shocked some critics with its graphic sex scenes.

Variety magazine said it contained “the most explosively graphic lesbian sex scenes in recent memory”.

The film is the bookmakers’ favourite to win the Palme d’Or on Sunday.

But reviewers have speculated the film may require editing to secure cinema distribution.

The three-hour character study centres on the 15-year-old Adele, played by French actress Adele Exarchopoulos, and her lover Emma, played by Lea Seydoux.

The Hollywood Reporter said the “sprawling drama” would “raise eyebrows” as it crossed the barrier “between performance and the real deal”.

Kechiche, best known for his critically acclaimed 2007 film Couscous, said he would consider cutting some scenes to allow the widest possible audience to see the work.

“We wouldn’t want the film not to be screened because of one scene,” he said. “But of course that wouldn’t apply if it were the whole thing.”

The headline to this article caught my eye, for obvious reasons. As I write and read lesbian fiction (and romantic fiction), I’m heartened to see that a lesbian film is receiving such rave reviews. However, it always surprises me when people talk (or complain–hard to tell which it is, here) about ‘graphic sex scenes’. And yet, so many films contain such graphic, awful violence that I can still remember it years later. (Gaspar Noé’s film ‘Irreversible’, for example), and very little is said. (Though certainly in ‘Irreversible’s case, there was plenty posted about its violence, though most seemed to centre on the rape scene.)

Personally, I’d much rather watch a graphic sex scene than a violent one. Sex is something that most people experience in some form or other (mostly positive, I would hope), but violence, particularly on the scale shown in film, would not be.

This film will be on my ‘to watch’ list, and I hope it wins the Palme d’Or, and gets a wider distribution.

Cover Reveal: The Paris Game

I’ve been sitting on this for a little while, waiting until I returned from my trip. But now, I’m pleased to be able to show off the cover for my upcoming release, The Paris Game! It is the first in a new series, and I’ll be releasing a second book later this year.

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On the darker side of Paris, it’s dangerous to not pay your debts…

A singer in a jazz club past its prime, Sera Durand must come up with thousands of euros to pay back her boss, a ruthless gangster.  A confrontation with her ex, an art dealer profiting on the wrong side of the law, leads her into a questionable wager, but one that could solve her problems.

Marc Perron knows a winning proposition when he sees one. Seducing a shy young woman of Sera’s acquaintance will be the easiest thing in the world, and the prize, to have Sera in his bed once again, is worth the chance of losing a sizable sum. What he didn’t expect was the depth of Sera’s desperation.

When one of his deals goes awry, Marc’s solution could cost them more than money…

The Paris Game - Alyssa Linn Palmer

Article: Franglais row (BBC)

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From the BBC’s website:

“The French parliament is debating a new road map for French universities, which includes the proposal of allowing courses to be taught in English. For some, this amounts to a betrayal of the national language and, more specifically, of a particular way at looking at the world – for others it’s just accepting the inevitable. …

“According to the left-leaning daily newspaper Liberation, 790 higher education courses in France are already taught in English, and like Fioraso it sees nothing wrong with the idea.

Its all-English front page on Tuesday featured the words “Let’s do it” in bold capital letters.

Liberation represents a growing fringe of the French population – young, urban, trendy, the kind which, in the last 20 years, has adopted franglais in their daily life.

For them, the work of the Academie Francaise – which offers grammatical advice and alternatives to new foreign words – now feels irrelevant and obsolete. They like nothing more than adding English sounding suffixes to French words, or combining English words into new terms such as “fooding” (made out of “food” and “feeling”).

The result is a fantasy English that exists nowhere else; this, many think in France, is an inverted snobbery. “Why speak French well when you can speak English badly?” asks with irony the literary critic Bernard Pivot.”

I would hope that France does keep up some of its language snobbery–every language has different ways of viewing the world (the article likens it to a particular ‘vision’ of life). However, I did notice on this trip, as compared to my earlier trip in 2003, that many more French people spoke fairly good English, and were more willing to use it. English does seem to be the language of the world (particularly in business), but I think there is a place for others.

The best bookstore.

imageFoyle’s is quite possibly my favourite bookstore ever (with the exception of Shakespeare & Co. in Paris, for obvious reasons). I could browse there for weeks and never see everything. You may be surprised that I only came out of there with one book (a biography about Sartre & Beauvoir, and their relationships with others), but I didn’t have too much suitcase space to spare. But, even better was that I finally met the most excellent Aleksandr Voinov. :)

More posts about my trip will be forthcoming!