Friday, April 27, 2007

Taboo

I do love a bit of taboo. Every so often I read a news story that, in my opinion would make a fantastic film and which I'd love to write the screenplay for. So in a first for this blog, I've decided to declare my interest in this news item - "75 year old Granny & her 25 year old Gambian lover" here .

I know that there are all kinds of legal issues with scripting a real story (about real people.) But aside from this and in the unlikely event that anyone has managed to snap up the film rights from this duo, I'm your writer.

How I'd love to get right inside their heads. She - sedate, reserved, well travelled and now 'livid' with her granddaughter's betrayal in a revelatory article in the
Guardian earlier this week. He - the softly spoken black outsider, forced to smoke out of a bedroom window and with no one else to talk to.

It's not just the obvious age and cultural differences that attract me but the whole idea of 'impropriety' in middle England and the subtly embedded prejudices at play within and outside the family. I know this 'type' of story pops up fairly frequently but this particular tale resonates with me.

The 'family values' sub text of the Daily Mail's story
here focuses on why a gentile, respectable elderly lady of means from the 'picturesque village of Buriton' should embark on such an 'unsuitable' and (probably) doomed relationship. No one seems too interested in imagining what the young man may be thinking.

Yes there have been other films about supposedly 'mis-matched romance' notably
The Mother brilliantly scripted by Hanif Kureishi and Vers le Sud (Heading South) with Charlotte Rampling and my all time favourite: Harold and Maude but this story seems to offer even more fascinating possibilities.

What do you think? And have you come across a news story you'd love to script?

13 comments:

potdoll said...

I ADORE Harold and Maude.

Sounds great. I remember a tv presenter over here getting herself a permanent young holiday romance and shipped him over. i seem to remember her having to defend herself to the world. then she got breast cancer and a few years later she died. nobody mentioned him after her death. i would love to know his story.

far away said...

Hi Pot - you've got good taste - he hee!

that sounds a bit sad..

then there was also some woman who married a Masai warrior and imported him to Barnoldswick or summat...

potdoll said...

hee!

it's a fascinating subject isn't it. we seem very suspicious about these relationships which is also interesting to me. jealousy, fear, or something else?

Far away said...

yes probably a bit of all of those Pot plus schadenfreude too. I think we bring our own baggage into how we view others...

which is what makes these stories interesting to unpack..

Lianne said...

At the Tobias Hill thing I went to last night he told a story about his parents asking him to move out of home. He put an ad in the paper saying he was poet and was broke (or something like that) got lots of replies but they were all trying to help him find God. One was from an 89 year old woman who said she had cancer but that wasn't his problem. She'd give him a room for free and free food if he would be there at night to prevent burglars. He moved in but she died within a week. He said she was a remarkable woman and he wished he'd met her earlier. I thought that one week they knew each other for would have made a great story, but I 'spose he'd got dibs on that one!

Far away said...

That's a fab story Lianne.

I'm sure you could take the idea of that one week as a template and make it your own...

funny how old age seems to be coming up today

potdoll said...

oooh yess! we do like a bit of schadenfreude!

Lianne I can see that week long idea working well on stage.

Lianne said...

Hmmm, well I'm not sure what to work on next...

Pillock said...

Not a news story exactly, but I read one of Bob Woodward's books about the Bush Administration and the Iraq war. There was a bit about a CIA agent who went to Kurdish northern Iraq with a ton of money. That's 37 million dollars in hundred doller bills, if I remember rightly. The little house he stayed in literally stank of money. He started bribing local honchos, and soon everyting in the area cost a hundred dollars. Aundred dollars for a coke. A hundred dollars for a pair of shoes. No one had any change. Not sure what the story is, exactly, but I love the character and the setting. Comedy-thriller 'who are the good guys?' sort of thing.

Pillock said...

Pots, speaking of Harold and Maud, Yusuf Islam in concert is just starting on BBC 1.

Far away said...

Hi P!

Actually some of that story -vast amount of money disorganising a small village - reminds me of Diop's 'Hyenas' - one of my favourite films http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104467/ based on Durrenmatt's 'The Visit'

A brilliant story premise definitely..

Anna! said...

Hi, I'm new to your blog. I think this story would make a great film or play for the subtextual reasons you mentioned. There is much in this story that separates it from the more stereotypically "May / December" romance stories.

For some reason "The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone" comes to mind (I believe the last version starred Helen Mirren) - aging wealthy American woman in Italy and her youthful gigilo Italian boyfriend.

Far away said...

Hi Anna!
I haven't seen that (or the earlier one) - must try & look them up..