GTO 3987 on Mulholland

GTO 3987 on Mulholland

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Buskers: A New York story

Many of the projects I work on are understandable and predictable--movies with a French flavor or location, documentaries on Ferraris or racing. Elysée Wednesday TV has my signature all over it featuring good friends and exciting cars and is an natural extension of our Wednesday evening gatherings.

Buskers is something else entirely. It is a New York story and while I've visited the city, I've never lived there nor can I say that I know it more than superficially. Busking is the term for musicians--and other types of artists--performing in public on the streets and in the subways. It is not an activity unique to New York--two actors in my first film Montmartre were buskers and I spent an exciting July 14th celebration with them as they busked in the rue Mouffetard. I loved it!

I was recently given a copy of the book Buskers by my friend Larry Masser who was my agent when (Interview) began to attract interest in Hollywood. Larry is erudite and we share many interests. He thought I would enjoy Buskers. I did.

Written by Heth and Jed Weinstein, Buskers chronicles the life and times of these busking brothers and details the joys and the pain that comes with the life of a street performer. They endure so much for the pleasure they provide--though the music is too often taken for granted by passers-by--and one hopes that the pleasure they take from it is as gratifying to them as it would be for any performer with an audience. The story is as much about the brothers and their relationship as it is about the music. Life hasn't always dealt them an easy hand but they've played their cards well learning to bluff when the occasion demanded.

The first and natural instinct is to attach a New York director in making this book into a feature film--Abel Ferrara, for instance. Then the name Marshall Brickman comes to mind--a man who certainly understands New York and performing. Neil Jordan created such an edgy yet accessible atmosphere with The Good Thief, a favorite remake of a favorite French classic Bob le flambeur, that I can't help wondering about how such a film would look given his deft touch. Would the story interest David Permut? Creating the imagined combinations of writer, director and on-screen talent that will bring a project to life is like enjoying the appetizers to a wonderful meal--it shouldn't be rushed but we should be ready to move on to the first course that promises to be just as rewarding.

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