There is now a flood of books entering the world’s shops and markets, books about graphene and football and Nelson Mandela and Nigella Lawson and One Direction and North Korea and Alice Cooper and the Great War…one day the ISBN numbering system will run out of space to accommodate this avalanche of literature. But, until then, we can relax in the knowledge that ISBN 0140246525 is uniquely allocated to Making Priscilla, the slim volume by Al Clark about his adventures in the movie industry in the early 1990s, as he set about making a new film – indeed, a completely new type of film – called ‘The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’.
Packed with bizarre characters, quirky situations and some brilliant turns of phrase (I really think this should be a set book for GCSE English), the book includes a description of director Stephan Elliott;
“…on his hands and knees the following morning on the Croisette begging the forgiveness of both director and wife. This cartoon humiliation behind him, he meets me for dinner with an executive from Fox, to whom he proposes the idea of adapting Bret Easton Ellis’s graphically grisly novel American Psycho as a musical.”
When I first read this passage I howled with laughter, since it seemed utterly daft and unconvincing. I mean, what a ridiculous idea! But now we find that the Almeida Theatre in London is getting rave reviews for ‘American Psycho – The Musical’, produced by Rupert Goold and starring Matt Smith. This is the tale of a Wall Street whiz-kid who really, really makes a killing.
Three years ago I enjoyed studying Marketing as part of my OU Business Diploma; now I carefully scan adverts for their cultural messages. Tonight I saw a couple of distinct bits of marketing: one, using the universal retro-slogan which has taken over the UK, said “Keep Calm and Drink Coffee”, which is really an impossible task. The other showed a sportsman crossing the finishing line at a race; the poster was advertising Niquitin, and the defiant slogan proclaimed “If you can quit smoking you can do anything” which sounded more upbeat than any other abstinence campaign.