Monday, November 01, 2010

Red Asphalt Blues

I have good news and bad news.

The good news is RED ASPHALT is going to be a major motion picture.

The bad news is that it will NOT be based on my book of the same name.

Nerts.

Timur Bekmambetov, director of the crazy ass (and highly recommended by me) Russian vampire films NIGHT WATCH and DAY WATCH, as well as the 2008 Angelina Jolie starrer WANTED and the upcoming ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER, told Empire magazine that he's turning the old driver's education film documentary RED ASPHALT into a 3D feature film. "I am working on that with Lionsgate," he explained. "It's a movie about drunk driving... in 3D! 3D is the only way to recreate what you feel when you drink an"It's my original idea – I wrote the treatment. Everyone drinks and drives once, and I want to make a horror movie about it. It's one big car chase. People will feel what it's like when you're drunk and driving, and it's really scary. The world is not exactly the same."

Wanna bet?

In my world, whatever goes around, comes around...and around...and around...

I took the title of my RED ASPHALT from the same old film as both an homage and an allusion to the former occupation of Calvin Wheeler, my main character, as a traffic school instructor, a not-so-subtle touch of irony since he suffers from road rage.

RED ASPHALT also started out to be a screenplay, albeit an unfinished one. Therefore, the book is technically a novelization.

In RED ASPHALT, Calvin is also writing his sci-fi/fantasy magnum opus called ABRACADABRA, a project he is convinced will deliver him from his hum-drum existence straight into instant George Lucas status. Watching TV one evening, he watches a grade Z cheesefest of a film with the same plot as his book and his dreams came crashing down around him.

Coincidence or precognition?

So what's the thrust of all this, you might ask, if you ever used the word thrust in this context? In udder words, what's it all about, Alfie? Where does this leave my RED ASPHALT? I wouldn't say dead in the water. Oh, the title is perhaps a goner, if the 3D drunk driving extravaganza is ever made at all. Could be ol' Timur won't even get around to making his epic remake. Damn Russkies. Still can't trust 'em.I could always adapt RA into a porno and change the title to say, RED ASS-FAULT. Or maybe change the main character's back story and give him a road raging driver with a severe learning disability, calling it READ ASPHALT. Or I could just change the title altogether and keep true to my vision, which seems a little more likely. (How does HIGHWAY TO HELL IN A HAND BASKET sound? Yes, you're right. Like ass. Well, there's always BLOOD ON THE HIGHWAY. That would make it double jeopardy.) In all sincerity however, I think my version of RED ASPHALT is viable and potentially powerful movie material. And no way, Jose will it be in 3-D, if I have anything to say about it. Of course, I won't have anything to say about my screenplay at all, no matter what it's called at unless I get off my dead ass and finish it. Aye, there's the rub. Kind of like an Indian burn on the ol' psyche.

Then what's with all this pissing and moaning? Isn't it enough that I already fulfilled one dream by writing and publishing my own novel, one that has not only gotten some decent feedback but also sits on the shelves of more than just one public library? Apparently not. I want more. That's why I keep the dream alive and don't let news like this set me back anymore. Maybe I'm finally learning. More likely, I'm getting older, but not necessarily wiser. The most I can do is therapeutically kvetch about it here and move on. It's how I roll...I guess. I've not tracked the progression of my roll before.

I guess the thrust, the point, the what-the-fuck of the whole thing is this Möbius strip we call LIFE. And once again, here for all the world to see is a clear description of life imitating art. When it concerns my life, it's drawn by M.C. Escher.

At least it's not a black velvet painting...or is it?
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