Category: Movies

The Pope in the Pool

In my current WIP, I’m writing a scene where my protagonist, an antiques dealer, is shown a number of items found together in an old leatherbound trunk. The items are clues, and the reader needs to know exactly what they are so they can understand what comes next. In fiction writing, this is called exposition, and it’s a tricky thing to get right because it can pull your readers out of the scene. Like saying, “Thank you for your attention, now back to the book.” I’d written and rewritten the scene several times, shortening the exposition, trying to make the details more interesting. It still wasn’t right. Then, in the middle of the night, an idea came to me, as they often do. There’s something about the liminal space between wakefulness and sleep that stimulates the creative side of my brain. Sometimes, with the light of dawn, I find that brilliant idea has flown away. Sometimes I realize that brilliant idea wasn’t brilliant. Every once in a while, though, I remember what popped into my brain, and it’s exactly the right thing. That’s what happened with my problem scene. The idea that came to me was a screenwriting tool called […]

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My Five Favorite Miss Marple Episodes

In no particular order: The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side (1992) When Hollywood star Marina Greg returns to England and takes up residence in Gossington Hall, bodies begin to fall. Favorite character: Dolly Bantry performed by Gwen Watford. Miss Marple’s best friend and her perfect foil. She is kind, socially adept, observant, sometimes misses the big picture, and Miss Marple’s biggest fan. Favorite line (from Dolly): “His wife was dressed in turquoise from head to foot including gloves. Very odd.” Favorite scene: Dolly leads a gaggle of village ladies as they prowl through Gossington Hall, checking out the new bathrooms. At Bertram’s Hotel (1987) Miss Marple spends a holiday at a posh London hotel where bodies begin to fall. Favorite character: Bess, Lady Sedgwick played by Caroline Blakiston. She strolls through the airport, retrieves her roadster, throws her high heels in the back seat and drives like a bat out of hell through London. Favorite line: When Miss Marple’s friend tells her a story about ordering a muffin for breakfast in the US only to be served a tea cake with raisins, Miss Marple sneers and says, “Oh, Americans have a lot to answer for.” Favorite scene: Afternoon tea. […]

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Classic horror movies

There is still time left in the month to get your fill of horror movies before Halloween, hopefully saving a favorite for the big day. Here are my top classic horror movie picks guaranteed to make you sleep with one eye open.

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Alfred Hitchcock

Today is the birthday of the great film director, Alfred Hitchcock, famous for his movies as well as his interesting insights in suspense. One of my favorites is, “There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.” He also said, “The more successful the villain, the more successful the picture.” To celebrate the day, I asked my fellow Miss Demeanors if they had a favorite Hitchcock film, and this is what they said: Connie: I’m not a fan of scary movies, but I have three favorite Hitchcock movies–Strangers on a Train, The 39 Steps, and Rebecca.  Tracee: I had to take a while to dig deep and try to remember, have I ever seen Psycho? I mean, actually, or just in so many clips over a lifetime that I think I have. I have a fondness for Rebecca (maybe the first of his movies that I saw, and I loved the house), same for Notorious since I first saw it during a Cary Grant festival while living in Paris. Basically my affinity for Hitchcock seems to be personal and unrelated to the qualities of the actual film. Rear Window wins for clothes. On a side note, Alfred Hitchcock’s […]

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