But first. What is the point of getting to cast your own movie if you don't get to choose the leading man? This role is somewhat underwritten in the script as it stands but luckily my life is pure high concept, as they say in da biz, so can shop it around anyway. After long, arduous hours of thoroughly auditioning candidates on three, no wait four, continents I have narrowed it down to two. Tough call. I'm thinking of reconceptualising it as somekind of arty Orlando-esque deal and they can both take bits, so to speak. Now I know you'll just want to gaze at these for a good few minutes, just to really get a sense of the essential character. That's fine, I understand. I'll be waiting for you below.
And in the role of me. I went through a few choices, each representing an essential aspect of the Mule-ness.
The Ingrid Bergman of Dorking, Ms Molly Sugden?
I flatter myself that my sense of humour is a distinguishing characteristic and it would take a deft comic talent indeed to fully realise this on screen.
Ms Margaret Rutherford? She of course is best known for her breakout performance as Miss Marple in a series of classic films, for your consideration please also see the sublime Blithe Spirit and The Importance of Being Earnest. As Miss Marple she perfected the art of hiding her razor sharp intelligence and exceptional observation skills under surface clumsiness and eccentricity. The take home message for the audience? Understimate the Mule at your peril, suckas!
Ms Bea Arthur? She don't take no nonsense. She in yo' face. She says: don't play me. She says : You diss Johnny Cash, prepare to die.
I considered all these, and all would be excellent. Sure they are uncanny physical likenesses and project an aura of emotional truth. But there can only be one. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you:
Fiona is the leading lady in the 1987 feature film starring Bob Dylan, Hearts of Fire. This film is terrible. And you know if I say something Dylan is involved in is terrible ... well, you can believe its pretty bad. But hilarious. A bored looking Dylan, a bored looking Rupert Everett and a blank looking Fiona wander around and ... do stuff. There is a sex scene I have tried very diligently to erase from my consciousness, the price was losing great slabs of the "plot" as well. The back of the video box says :
A red-hot triangle, HEARTS OF FIRE is an intense story of three people; a fading musical legend, a rock star at the peak of his career and the girl they both so desperately want. Directed by Richard Marquand (JAGGED EDGE, RETURN OF THE JEDI) .... charged with energy, emotion and a booming rock soundtrack HEARTS OF FIRE is a film not to be missed!
Or not. Everett is some kind of Marc Almond-esque New Romantic with a dreadful mullet and an even worse co'ney accent. Fiona is supposed to be this hot dynamo of a singer but minces pathetically around like a contestant on the "Pat Benatar Theme Night" on Australian Idol.
And you know all those wonderful pithy lyrical quotes Dylan is known for? Well, wait til you hear the gems he gets to speak in this script, including the line every girl longs to hear from the window of a moving cab:
Aw, shit. I love you.
In the climactic concert scene, Billy (Dylan) announces his "surprise" presence by flicking a lit cigarette at Fiona on stage. It's supposed to be a dramatic breathtaking cinematic moment but ... he flicks a lit cigarette at her. Call me old fashioned, but that's not quite up there with "dinner and a movie" in my book.
Anyway. I would like Fiona to play me in my movie because it would be a cool six-degrees thing. The chick in that hilarious turkey of a Dylan film, played me ... ME! ... in a film. I will get free beers for the rest of my natural life.
The music generally sucks but Bobby does do a quite lovely snippet, only about a minute long, of a Shel Silverstein song, A Couple More Years, also recorded by Dr Hook and Waylon Jennings. He sings it to her while she's asleep on some hay in a barn, surrounded by chickens. Why is she asleep in a barn? Jesus, I don't remember.
MP3:A Couple More Years -- Bob Dylan (2.3mb)
Thanks to Honky Tonk Highway for finding me the MP3, go over there and hassle him to start updating again ....