Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Writing for Cinema

This evening I interviewed the Scottish novelist Alan Bissett on stage at the Bookworm Festival. He's written four books, about men & booze & stuff, mostly in the Scottish vernacular. Think Irvine Welsh. Pack Men, his latest, is about a group of friends caught up in the Rangers 2008 UEFA Cup Final invasion of Manchester. He's currently working on TV and film adaptations of some of his work. Nice, talkative, driven guy.
Before that, I sat in on a talk about Chinese cinema, featuring Zhu Wen (poet, novelist, screenwriter and director; his Seafood won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2001 Venice Film Festival) and Murong Xuecun (novelist and screenwriter; he won the People's Literature Prize in 2010). They talked, predictably, about the equal pressures of censorship and commercialism, but there were lots of light-hearted moments too, like the analogy of work and love-life: Zhu's flitting between artforms was like dumping one girlfriend for another, while Murong was married to the novel.

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