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Deborah Moggach is an English novelist and screenplay writer. She has written eighteen novels including The Ex-Wives, Tulip Fever, These Foolish Things (made into the film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) and Heartbreak Hotel. Her latest book is called Something to Hide. She currently lives in the Welsh border town of Presteigne and also has a maisonette in Kentish Town, North London.
In 2016 she was interviewed by the Guardian for their My Writing Day series.
Everyone has their rituals and I have to start the day with a roll-up and a cup of coffee. It gets my brain fizzing – it loosens the connections – and if I’m interrupted, I’m lost. If someone even says “I’ll phone you some time in the morning” it threatens my concentration, which is a feeble organ at the best of times. With screenplays it’s not so bad because it’s a more public…
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This is by far my favourite film ever. I may say Midnight in Paris or the Aristocats as my absolute favourite but the truth is In Good Company represents my essence. It’s so subtle, so sophisticated and the only character I can truly relate to is Carter Duryea the lead. It felt timely to write this review because I am 26 and Carter is 26. I have seen this film many times over the years as I had bought the film when I was a teenager in April 2006.
My first impression of the film watching it as a sixteen year old wasn’t a positive one I was almost bored by it but that is simply because the humour and dynamics are too sophisticated for mere teens it’s a grown-up film and you need to mature a lot to appreciate this film. So it took a lot of time for me to fully appreciate it but I was immediately drawn to the film and would watch it over and over again. As a teen watching it I found it so exciting that Alex gets to date Carter and their serendipitous run-in at the cafe is enjoyable.
As a teenager I was obsessed with this one film still of Scarlett johansson outside the (real) Cafe Reggio on 119 MacDougal Street and West 3rd Street, Manhattan. I loved the leisurely vibe and her fashion sense. The term #LIFEGOALS didn’t exist back in ’06 but if it had this photo was it for me. I even wore a blazer and hoodie constantly.
In the scene Alex is reading “Early Short Stories” by Anton Chekhov.
Before I used to, in a way, look up to Carter and thought he was amazing. Now I’m 26 and I completely relate to him because he has this success yet he has nobody, the people at work dislike him and he’s dating a teenager. There’s a lot of insecurity around him and his collegiate girlfriend because she’s dating her father’s boss. So just when Carter is trying to find a chance at happiness it’s really shot down, happiness is never truly tangible for him in the film.
Alex: “It’s strange you know, it seems like your sort of bummed out about your career but you’re so successful.”
Carter: “My career is pretty much what I have in my life that and a dented Porsche.”
In the chance encounter at Cafe Reggio there’s a real sense of disappointment and mild sorrow in Carter. He doesn’t seem as happy as he ought to be given that he’s young, handsome and successful. Alex cannot, as perhaps the audience, understand why he seems somewhat dissatisfied toward his accomplishments. A decade later I understand why Topher Grace portrays Carter in such a mild state of unease and hopelessness (very subtlety.) The truth is when you’re a Carter Duryea type you’re not going to be liked, all you have is your career; with great skill and talent come disappointments as nobody else is as on the ball.
Initially until I actually turned 26 the fact that he was secretly dating his colleague’s 18 year old daughter didn’t feel inappropriate but now I see that it is. That’s partly because I was seeing myself as the 18 year old Alex in the film so naturally felt it would be wonderful to date someone like a Carter Duryea. He comes in his Porsche to collect you from your dorm room and gives you a Diamond Chopard necklace for no reason. (Gotta say guys like him don’t really exist-sadly!)
Previously in my teens I didn’t immediately like Carter yet I was completely gravitated by this character because he represents so much truth about what life is like on the other side. I didn’t immediately take to Duryea not because of his traits or actions I think it’s to do with how the character is handled. There just wasn’t enough expression in Grace’s face, because there are plenty of reasons why the audience should root for Carter but perhaps they don’t. Some actors are auditory and other actors are visual and it’s the latter that pull you in deeper. What I mean by that is auditory people make less facial expressions. Why? Because they’re focused on dialogue, they’re focused on reply, tone of voice or coming in with their line at the right time. Whereas a visual actor (think the entire Friends TV show cast) are incredibly expressive and the emotion on their face is easy to read whereas as I did not see this in Topher. Though his entire performance is strong and perfectly captures the nuanced message that success is not all it seems and the scary truth as Life Coach Tony Robbins would put it: “Success Without Fulfillment Is the Ultimate Failure.”
Films like this just aren’t made anymore. What makes the film so satisfying is that there are no major betrayals between characters no maliciousness and nothing too salacious which makes it so refreshing. Notably the Paul Weitz also directed About a Boy and was an executive producer of American Pie 2. A film similar to this may be The Company Men starring Ben Affleck yet it lacks the sweetness of In Good Company as it’s very real and poignant. In Good Company portrays corporate culture with a wholesome dash that continues to make it a pleasure to watch as the years go by.
To understand how the coffee-house culture we know across the world today took its shape, we have to look back to London in the late 1950s, specifically as captured in the Look at Life newsreel on the city’s bohemian coffee house boom just above.
“Coffee is big business,” says its narrator, over a montage of neon signs advertising places like The Coffee House, Las Vegas Coffee Bar, Heaven & HELL Coffee Lounge, and La Roca. “The coffee bar boom in Britain began in 1952, when the first espresso machine arrived from Italy and
B e c a u s e I L o v e J e s s i c a S i m p s o n
A traffic light flashes in the sky with Chinese lettering above it. Jessica Simpson’s face is on the moving billboards. A train rolls on a rail above, passing by several skyscrapers.
Inside a rectangular building, Jessica Simpson rides a glass elevator, which gives her a view of the never-ending high-rises, wearing a black leather crop top and pants. She walks on the metal floor as a ying-yang ball bounces. There are a few satellites in the room. She stops the ying-yang ball with her foot. It opens, counting down from 70 seconds until it destructs.
She slinks through a tunnel, where she walks in bare feet in the water. Her outfit has changed to a white tank top and short shorts with a wide belt. She lifts her arms up and a device takes her to a room full of mirrors. Men in black masks climb up the building.
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In my quest to find 1000 “true” fans, February’s focus is social media. If you want to get caught up, check out the 1000 “True” Fan Landing Page.
Review of Past Week (Mission 5: Is Twitter a Waste of Time?): My answer…perhaps yes?
Let me explain. Twitter is great for interacting with people (or other authors in my case.) I learn from posts, especially following hashtags. My take on twitter: If you like it, use it. But use it like it’s intended–social…with chatting, interacting, and helping others the best you can.
My BIG DISCOVERY this week:Hootsuite. It makes twitter so much more user friendly. It’s free software that lets your organize your streams (you can do Facebook too.) I have it set up simple, with three tabs/organizational areas. Having Hootsuite lets me interact more meaningful…and quickly. All I do is open it up, scan all my streams/tabs (interacting…
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Cheryl Ann Thomas is a contemporary ceramics artist. Cheryl Ann Thomas was born in Santa Monica, California in the year 1943.
Thomas earned a B.F.A. from the Art Center College of Design located in Pasadena, California.
Price range information: Sorry none available.
Below a link to the website of the artist:
Works of the artist can be found in many prominent collections including the Carnegie Museum in Oxnard, California, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas.
Below a brief interview with Cheryl Ann Thomas:
The artist has been the recipient of a grant from the Pollack Krasner Foundation.
In this clip we view an exhibition featuring Thomas from 2014:
Thomas does a wonderful job at creating organic shapes that have light and airy feel. These works have a great sense of life and movement.