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Sibel Is Coming…. Back

November 18, 2015 at 7:23 pm
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Big doings at the Jean Cocteau next week.

Starting on Tuesday, when the amazing SIBEL KEKILLI visits Santa Fe once again. Last time she was here, I introduced her to margaritas and chile con queso, so of course she had to return.

GAME OF THRONES fans know Sibel best as Shae, of course, but she’s much much more than that. In her native Germany, Sibel has twice won the prestigious Lola Award (the ‘German’ Oscar) as Best Actress.

Last time she visited us, we screened the first of her Lola-winning films, her feature debut in HEAD ON. So this time it seemed only right that we show the second, WHEN WE LEAVE.

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We’ll be showing WHEN WE LEAVE only twice, on Tuesday night and again on Wednesday, and Sibel will be on hand to introduce the film and answer your questions afterward… about WHEN WE LEAVE, about GAME OF THRONES (yay Shae!), about her current starring role in the hit German crime series TATORT, about her work with Terre des Femmes, or whatever. You might even be able to persuade her to sign your GAME OF THRONES books, who knows?

Advance tickets can be purchased on the Cocteau website.

See you at the movies!

Max Is Coming

April 22, 2015 at 6:33 pm
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I’m VERY excited to announce that Mad Max is coming to the Jean Cocteau Cinema.

Remakes are often problematic, but this one looks as though it could be something special. And I say that as a fan of the original Mel Gibson trilogy. The first MAD MAX was just okay, I will admit, but BEYOND THUNDERDOME was damned good, and I rank the middle film, THE ROAD WARRIOR, as the best post-holocaust film, and one of the best SF adventures, ever made.

The reboot looks as though it is drawing more on THE ROAD WARRIOR than the other two. But hey, take a look for yourself:

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(Ignore that last frame about 3D. The Cocteau does not have 3D. See it in gorgeous 2D!!!)

We’re going to try and make FURY ROAD’s run at the Cocteau a real event. We are making arrangements to bring in Max’s V8 Interceptor to park in front of the theatre, and we hope to have the Gyro Captain, the Humungus (Ayatollah of Rocknrollah), and Max himself on hand. (No, not the actual actors, sorry). (Not sure whether the Gyro Captain actually appears in FURY ROAD, but he’s my favorite characters from ROAD WARRIOR, so he’ll be here anyway).

FURY ROAD will open at the Cocteau on the night of Thursday, May 14. Advance tickets are available for purchase right now at the Cocteau website. And as a special bonus for all you Warriors of the Wasteland, anyone who purchases an advance ticket to FURY ROAD, any showing, before May 10 will also get a FREE SMALL POPCORN. Real butter and special toppings, no charge.

“Remember lingerie?”

At the Cocteau

April 14, 2015 at 1:25 am
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We have a couple of interesting, offbeat movies at the Jean Cocteau Cinema this week.

SPRING is a romantic horror movie that’s won all sorts of acclaim on the festival circuit.

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And then there’s KUMIKO THE TREASURE HUNTER, which is… kind of hard to characterize.

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Check them out. I intend to.

See you at the movies.

Three Tales, Three Women, One Film

February 3, 2015 at 7:17 pm
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[“There is a girl who goes between the worlds.”

“You can buy anything you might desire from Gray Alys. But it is better not to.”

“When he finally died, Shawn found to her shame that she could not even bury him.”

Some of my younger fans and readers may not realize that my career did not begin with A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE. Truth be told, I had been a professional writer for twenty years before I typed the first lines of the as-yet-untitled story that would grow to become A GAME OF THRONES. I had published four novels and half-a-dozen collections, won the Hugo and the Nebula and the World Fantasy Award, written science fiction, horror, and high fantasy.

Most of it in the form of short stories.

The lines above were the openings of three of those short stories:
— “The Lonely Songs of Laren Dorr,”
— “In the Lost Lands,”
— “Bitterblooms.”

“Laren Dorr” is the oldest of the tales, and probably counts as my first foray into high fantasy. It is a deeply romantic tale, a reworking of a character that I had originally five years earlier, for a story in a comic fanzine that never appeared. I had the notion that I would write a whole series of tales about Sharra, the girl who goes between the worlds. Never got around to that, alas, but in 1992 I revived the concept for another dangerous young woman with the same power — Cat, heroine of my failed ABC pilot DOORWAYS.

“In the Lost Lands” was supposed to launch a series as well. I had in mind a series of loosely connected tales about the enigmatic witch woman Gray Alys, and those who were brave or foolish or desperate enough to treat with her. But I never wrote that second story.

“Bitterblooms” was science fiction rather than fantasy, set on a distant planet in the far far future, and part of my Thousand Worlds sequence… albeit somewhat tangentially. There is a starship in the story, but it’s a derelict, no longer capable of flight. The setting is a world locked in the grip of a deep winter, a winter that lasts for years.

“Laren Dorr” was published in 1976, “Bitterblooms” in 1977, “In the Lost Lands” in 1982. Old work, certainly, but I was always fond of those three stories, and of the three women who starred as the protagonists: Sharra, Gray Alys, and Shawn of Carinhall. None of the stories had anything to do with A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, of course, nor even with each other… but a careful reader can find hints and shadows and seeds of many of the ideas that would later bloom in Westeros in each of them. Still, even so, they remained obscure, known only to a few.

But maybe not for much longer. The German filmmaker CONSTANTIN WERNER, a director, producer, and screenwriter whose previous credits include PAGAN QUEEN, BETTIE PAGE: DARK ANGEL, and DEAD LEAVES (you can learn more about him from his IMDB page, here: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1127897/ ) optioned the three stories a few years back, and has woven them together into a screenplay, under the title IN THE LOST LANDS.

And now the project appears to be moving toward production, with the exciting new that Myriad Pictures has signed MILLA JOVOVICH to play Gray Alys.

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Milla is best known to science fiction fans for her starring turns in FIFTH ELEMENT, RESIDENT EVIL, and ULTRAVIOLET. Constantin tells me she’s a big GAME OF THRONES fan too. It’s a thrill to have her be a part of this, and I will look forward to seeing her bring Gray Alys to life. (Maybe I will be so inspired that I’ll finally write those other Gray Alys stories… but no, not until I finish A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, calm down, friends).

For more details about IN THE LOST LANDS, check out the reports in the trades:

http://variety.com/2015/film/news/milla-jovoich-in-the-lost-lands-casting-berlin-1201421451/

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/milla-jovovich-final-talks-star-769165

http://www.screendaily.com/festivals/berlin/european-film-market/myriad-heads-to-efm-with-in-the-lost-lands/5082573.article

JUSTIN CHATWIN will also star in the film, a German-Canadian co-production scheduled to film in Germany. More casting to come, of course.

If any of you would like to read the three original stories, you can find them all in my massive collection GRRM: A RRETROSPECTIVE, also published as DREAMSONGS.

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Congrats, Congrats

January 24, 2015 at 6:22 pm
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Congratulations to GILLIAN FLYNN.  Her story "What Do You Do?" from ROGUES has been nominated for an Edgar Award by the members of the Mystery Writers of America.

It's a terrific story, and Gillian is an amazing writer.  Gardner Dozois and I are very proud to have had the honor of publishing it.

Fingers crossed for Gillian to bring home the head of Edgar Allan Poe when the MWA gives them out at the end of April.

For a full list of this year's Edgar nominees, go to http://www.theedgars.com/nominees.html

If you'd like to read "What Do You Do?" — and a lot of other great stories about con men, scalawags, ne'er do wells, cads, scoundrels, and their disreputable brothers and sisters — ROGUES is available from your local bookstore or favorite online bookseller.  And you can snag a signed copy (signed by me, not Gillian, alas) from the Jean Cocteau Cinema at http://www.jeancocteaubooks.com/

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Congratulations also to the amazing and talented SOPHIE TURNER, our very own Sansa Stark, who has just landed the plum role of Jean Grey in the next X-MEN movie.

Yes, THAT Jean Grey.  Marvel Girl.  Phoenix.  Dark Phoenix.  One of the most iconic.. and most powerful… characters in the Marvel universe.

I first met Jean Grey in the first issue of the X-MEN, when Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduced them back in the 1960s.  I first met Sophie when when we were shooting the pilot of GAME OF THRONES.  This is a casting made in comic book heaven.  It brings out the old fanboy in me, the kid who used to write letters that began "Dear Stan and Jack."

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 Sophie will be terrific.

'Nuff said.

Father of Robots, Dead at 100

January 16, 2015 at 3:45 pm
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There's sadness in Santa Fe, and amongst robots all througout the world.

Robbie the Robot's dad has died, at the age of 100.

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VARIETY ran an obit for him… though, unaccountably, they barely mention Robbie in passing, instead headling Mr. Kinoshita's later lesser creation, Robbie's idiotic younger brother, the LOST IN SPACE robot.  (Who was so dumb he never realized he had no name but 'Robot.')

http://variety.com/2015/tv/people-news/robert-kinoshita-designer-of-lost-in-space-robot-dies-at-100-1201404482/

Robots live forever, but all men must die.  Still, Robbie is weeping into his popcorn today.

Sibel Is Coming

December 12, 2014 at 12:28 pm
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I think Sibel Kekilli has forgiven me for killing Shae.  🙂

She must have, surely, because she's coming to Santa Fe week after next.

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Those of you who are GAME OF THRONES fans know Sibel best for her turn as Shae, of course… but this beautiful young German actress has done a great deal more of that.  Among her other honors, she's won the Lola Award — the 'German Oscar' — not once but twice.  In honor of Sibel's visit, we'll going to be screening the first of her Lola-winning performances.  For three nights only,  you can see HEAD ON on the big (well, medium sized) at the Jean Cocteau Cinema.

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HEAD ON will be showing on December 18th, 19th, and 20th.  Tickets will soon be available through the Jean Cocteau website at http://www.jeancocteaucinema.com/    And circle the middle date on your calendars.  December 19 is the date that Sibel will be joining us at the theatre to introduce the film, talk about her life and career, and answer your questions… about HEAD ON, sure, but I imagine she'd be glad to take some GAME OF THRONES questions too.

(And we will have plenty of Ice & Fire books on hand for her to sign, including the new 'Making Of' book).

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See you at the movies.

Magic & Mystery

February 19, 2014 at 1:17 am
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Everyone needs a little magic in his life.

So come join us at the Jean Cocteau next week, for MAGIC & MYSTERY WEEK.  Starting this Friday, the whole week will devoted to wizards, sorcerers, illusionists, and practitioners of the dark arts (like screenwriting).

For starts, we have three movies opening.

DESPERATE ACTS OF MAGIC is a delightful new romantic comedy about magicians.

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THE PRESTIGE… well, what can I say?  Based on the novel by Christopher Priest, this tale of a bitter feud between two rival magicians is becoming a classic, and may well be the best film about the world of magic ever made.  Directed by Christopher Nolan, adapted from the novel by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, it stars Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Scarlett Johanssen, and Michael Caine.

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And, for our midnight shows, we have THE RAVEN, Edgar Allen Poe by way of Roger Corman, starring Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, and Boris Karloff.  (Yes, and Jack Nicholson, believe it or not).

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The movies are just part of Magic and Mystery Week, however.

We also thrilled to present the first live-in-person magic ever offered at the Jean Cocteau: three performances by the Amazing MISTY LEE, straight from LA's famed Magic Castle.   Misty will be performing three shows only, so be sure to catch them if you're in the area.

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And last, but certainly not least, on Sunday February 23, we will be joined at the Cocteau by JONATHAN NOLAN, screenwriter on THE PRESTIGE and MEMENTO, showrunner on PERSON OF INTEREST, and all around terrific talent.  Jonathan will be introducing THE PRESTIGE and answering questions about the film… and he and I will also be doing a dialogue about scriptwriting and adaptation on Sunday afternoon.  Should be fun.

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Advance tickets to the movies, the magic shows, and the dialogue are all available on the Cocteau website.

So come join the fun.  We promise not to saw you in half.

This Weekend at the Jean Cocteau

February 12, 2014 at 11:10 am
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Something for all tastes, I think.

See you at the movies.

Coolest Dragons Ever

February 10, 2014 at 4:52 pm
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VERMITHRAX PERJORATIVE

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SMAUG

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DROGON

Gotta love them dragons.

I have long maintained that Vermithrax Perjorative was the coolest dragon ever put on film… but Peter Jackson's version of Smaug, from the second HOBBIT film, may have stolen his laurels.

And I gotta say, our own baby Drogon is growing up fast.