Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Bob Hoskins

One of my favorite British actors, Bob Hoskins, has died at age 71.

In this country he may be best known for playing private detective Eddie Valiant in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"  I loved him as the kick-ass priest in "A Prayer for the Dying."

But my favorite Bob Hoskins performance of all time was playing Arnie Cole, diamond-in-the-rough filmmaker star of "Flickers."  "Flickers" was a  series about the early days of picture, and hardscrabble Arnie Cole was determined to make it big in the business.  Of course, he didn't have any money, which made it an even bigger challenge.

My favorite line from the series was when Arnie and his partner are trying to come up with a script, but since neither of them can write,  they decide the best thing to do is steal a plot from  "Literature."  (I wish I could reproduce that word in Arnie's Cockney accent. ) The line was, "The thing about literature is, there are lots of great stories in it--"  (beat)  "...if you can get through all this crap!"

I looked on YouTube for bits of "Flickers" but all I could find was this bit.  Stay with the opening credits to get a glimpse of Arnie Cole, cinematic auteur.

Monday, April 28, 2014

What A Weekend!

St. John XXIII!

St. John Paul II!

Man, I wish I could have been in Rome for the canonizations.  I was lucky enough to make it to John Paul II's beatification, so I suppose I should be grateful.  And I was luckier still- no, beyond lucky all the way to truly blessed- to have met John Paul II many times.  I wrote about all that in "Breakfast with the Pope,"  which if you haven't read yet you really should.

Yes I'm tooting my own horn here.  But really, it's a terrific read.  Give it a try.   You can read a sample here:

So I've been incredibly blessed and should not be at all jealous of those lucky devils who got to be in Rome yesterday.  No.  Should not be jealous.  Not a bit. 

 But I have to admit to a little- no, make that a lot-of Rome envy.

I always have Rome envy, of course.  I love fountains and cobblestones and St. Peter's Square.  I love gorgeous churches and  sublime architecture.  I love the Italian language.  I love pizza.

So I'm up for a trip to the Eternal City any time.  But a double canonization? Of two popes, no less?  What a party.


I will probably be looking at photos and videos on the Twitter feed for at least a week.  And I will be praying to our new saints for all of us.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Quote of the Day for Writers!

"It wasn't easy for Roberto Abruzzi to begin.  No one in Santa Vittoria had written a book and not too many people had read one, but everyone knew how this book should be written.

"'Put down anything, put down a lot.  Long books are better than short ones,'" Vittorini, the old soldier and the most cultured man in Santa Vittoria, told him.  "Say anything just so as you say it beautifully."

The priest Padre Polenta, handed him this note one morning:

      Remember this, Roberto.  One's words must glide across the page like a swan moving across the
      waters. One must be conscious of the movement without a thought of what is causing it to move.

It was enough to stop him for a month."

Robert Crichton, "The Secret of Santa Vittoria"

Too Beautiful. And They're Adorable!

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Just So You Know.... book "Breakfast with the Pope" has a Facebook page now.  So go like it, OK?