Finished reading the screenplay for Spartan (2004) by David Mamet

The screenplay is somewhat different to the finished film. The dialogue’s very Mamet. It’s almost a code. Characters saying things that are both direct but also cryptic. His descriptions are dense but direct, and maintain a focus on the character’s intentions. He uses parentheticals more than any other writer I’ve read. Overall it’s very utilitarian. It does the heavy lifting. It’s a document used to make a film, not a thing on its own.

Finished reading the screenplay for Fight Club (1999) by Jim Uhls

Not sure which version of the screenplay this is. It feels like the continuity version because it parallels the film so closely. I’d love to see the first or second draft of the screenplay, just to see how it differs from the finished film. That to one side it’s still an engaging read.

Wuhan virus – a reason to adopt a plant based diet

The following explainer of the Wuhan virus reads like the opening of an apocalyptic television show. Think Survivors (1975-1977) or The Walking Dead (2010-). It could also be the opening of any one of a hundred films. Stories like Fukkatsu no hi (1980) or Carriers (2009) or Contagion (2011). A virus, from who knows where, jumps the species barrier, infecting humans, then spreads through the population on the interconnected nature of our social, economic, and travel systems.

The outbreak has been linked to Wuhan’s Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market where they sell a bewildering assortment of meats.

I don’t eat meat so the variety of death on offer seems a little unnecessary to me. Humans don’t need to eat meat. We can get all of our nutritional requirements from plants. There’s plenty of evidence to prove this. Just watch The Game Changers (2018). Elite athletes who switched to a plant based diet achieve the best results of their lives.

I realise asking the people of Wuhan, or anywhere else, to stop eating the animals listed, could be seen as an act of cultural imperialism. But then I came across a post showing a dead bat infusing in a soup. That’s not the worst of it. It also contained the warning that bats are a reservoir of up to sixty different viruses.

It seems to me beyond hubris to think we can do this kind of thing without consequence. You only have to look at the HIV pandemic to see what can happen. According to Wikipedia HIV is “believed to have originated in non-human primates in West-central Africa, and are believed to have transferred to humans (a process known as zoonosis) in the early 20th century.”

The Wuhan virus is just the latest in a long line of threats that could do serious damage to us all. It’s bad enough bringing farmed meat into the food chain. Adding wild animals and their diseases is asking for trouble.

Removing meat from your diet benefits your health, and the health of the planet. It also reduces the possibility of some unknown virus or disease jumping the species barrier, and infecting humans.

It’s one less thing to kill us all.

Watched Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)

I loved this. It has all the intensity of the original film. Plus it also manages to make women the real focus of the film. It’s not John who saves mankind from the machines, it’s Dani who gives people hope, and is the focus of our future resistance. Sarah Connor is one of the great feminist icons of the twentieth century. Dani Ramos is the reality of her strength for the twenty first. She is not Sarah, a womb for John, she is John, the fighter that brings the battle. The things is, that realisation and it’s manifestation as a person, has taken more than thirty five years. That’s not great. In fact it’s very poor. A fact that’s interesting on so many levels.

Finished reading the screenplay for Michael Clayton (2007) by Tony Gilroy

This is an engaging, dialogue heavy, read. The descriptions are dense. Longer paragraphs, are kept pacy by short, often one word sentences, that drive the action forward. But overall it’s the dialogue that shines here. There’s no exposition. You get everything you need from characters, what they’re asking for, and how others react.

Michael Clayton (2007) by Tony Gilroy