Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bouchercon 2011: Boobs, brains, and bald guys

I moderated no panels today at Bouchercon 2011, which meant it was time to break out the aloha shirt; shed the customary stiff,  professional demeanor; and attend other folks' panels.

The day's highlight was Russel McLean, David Corbett, Megan Abbott, Wallace Stroby, and Todd Ritter shephered by able moderator Jeremy Lynch through a discussion of crime movies. How smart and entertaining was this lot? Even though Corbett and I are 180 degrees apart on Hitchcock and a bit less than that on Chinatown, he offers plausible reasons for his antipathy in the first case and his enthusiasm in the other.

Corbett calls Hitchcock's work mere exercise, and I presume he refers to that director's technical mastery. I think he's wrong, but it's a plausible reason not to like Hitchcock; the man was famously a master of every aspect of moviemaking and a player of technical games.  Oddly enough, I find Corbett's beloved Chinatown equally calculated. To me, that movie is a  calculated effort to shock by being more explicit about the dark family secrets that underlay so much American writing around the middle of the last century. But you know what? Corbett, the bald guy of this post's title, is so sharp a commentator, so reasoned in his criticism, and so forthright about his own predisposition toward passionate storytelling that I just may give Chinatown another try.

More later. For now, though, I'll reprise a comment I made at my first Bouchercon, in 2008:
"Carousing is good. Brainy, funny people are better. Carousing with brainy, funny people may not be the highest form of human activity, but it will sure as hell do until something better comes along."
***
Other highlights:

"I love Tom Cruise, but have you seen Far And Away?"
-- Eoin Colfer

"I always carry have tuna."
-- Sara J. Henry on the packaged food that sustains her on the road.

"Watching craftsmen at their job is, I think, inherently interesting."
-- Peter Spiegelman on the appeal of the caper novel.

"I was all over that like a money shot on big tits."
-- Christa Faust's enthusiastic reaction upon being asked to join the first night's panel on "Sex, Violence, and Everything That Makes A Book Great." This is nothing more than savvy self-promotion, of course. Christa's best-known novel is Money Shot.

© Peter Rozovsky 2011

Labels: , ,

18 Comments:

Anonymous I.J.Parker said...

Don't think I want to think about Christa Faust's comment.
But the Tom Cruise note brings up the announcement that he will play Jack Reacher. How much of a misjudgement is that? The whole idea is hateful. But then I don't like Tom Cruise.

September 17, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I.J., I have modified the post to make clear that Christa Faust's comment need indicate nothing more than authorly self-promotion and enthusiasm for the task at hand.

I haven't read Lee Child, so I can't judge Tom Cruise as a choice to play Jack Reacher. At least before he started acting oddly, Cruise got some respect as an actor, not just as a star, so who knows?

September 17, 2011  
Anonymous I.J.Parker said...

Jack Reacher is tall and rugged. Cruise is short and pretty. Not at all the same type.

September 17, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Last year's Bouchercon included a Jack Reacher/Lee Child lookalike contest. At least one of the contestants looked enought like Lee Child that I thought it was him at first.

September 17, 2011  
Blogger John McFetridge said...

Thanks for the updates, Peter, much appreciated.

September 17, 2011  
Blogger John said...

I attended the panel about the comic crime novel for which you were the moderator. I thought Colin Cotterill's wise crack about the intelligence level of the panel was inexcusable even for one about humor in the crime novel. It was pretty insulting even though everyone burst out laughing uproariously. I noticed you were not too forgiving either. Did something happen earlier? I arrived about 10 minutes late and might've missed something.

September 17, 2011  
Blogger LP OBryan said...

Thanks for the updates, from all of us who'd love to be there so much it hurts!

September 18, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

John McF, you think you've seen uodates? Give me a few hours sleep, a big breakfast, and the Ali Karim dinner, and then you'll see some updates.

September 18, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Other John: Were you there when Cotterill stalked off the stage, strode down the center aisle, then turned around and came back?

A few hours later, I was at the table where recordings of the panel were being sold, and that panel is unavailable because of a "technical glitch."

Hmm ...

September 18, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

LP: Thanks for the comment. Perhaps you can come to Bouchercon 2012 in Cleveland, 2013 in ALbany, 2014 in Long Beach, or the newly awarded 2015 in Raleigh, N.C.

September 18, 2011  
Anonymous Linkmeister said...

I would be interested in seeing what a Philly guy thinks is an aloha shirt. Photo, please. ;)

September 18, 2011  
Blogger The Celtic Kagemusha said...

Funnily enough, Peter, I just watched Polanski's (Polish) debut feature, 'Knife in the Water', which might be said to be 'Hitchcockian' both in the nature of its 'cinematic exercise', and in the young director's skilful ratcheting up of the tension; in this case, though, having a limited budget, and tools, to work with.

Which or whether, its a Masterpiece.

And Hitchcock is a Master Director

September 18, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Linkmeister, I should be wearing the shirt in a photo or two that may wind up on this blog. I can tell you that it's from Hawaii, it's cotton, and the design dovetails perfectly from the pocket to the material above.

September 19, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

TCK, I think David Corbett's and my differences on Hitchcock are a matter of temperament. It would be interesting to know what Corbett would have to say about Polanski's being called Hitchcockian.

September 19, 2011  
Anonymous Linkmeister said...

I look forward to seeing it!

September 19, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Linkmeister, you're not the only DBB reader from Hawaii who has requested a picture of the shirt. I've put the pressure on myself this time.

September 19, 2011  
Blogger Sara J. Henry said...

I think my exact quote was, "I have tuna." Or "I always have tuna." But close enough!

September 19, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Amended!

September 19, 2011  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home