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Authors: Corey Mesler

Memphis Movie

BOOK: Memphis Movie
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MEMPHIS MOVIE

COREY MESLER

Copyright © Corey Mesler 2015

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Mesler, Corey.

Memphis movie: a novel / Corey Mesler.

pages; cm

1. Motion picture producers and directors—Tennessee—Memphis—Fiction. 2. Motion pictures—Tennessee—Memphis—Fiction. I. Title.

PS3613.E789M46 2015

813'.6—dc23

2014048925

Cover art by Jeane Umbreit

Interior design by Elyse Strongin, Neuwirth & Associates, Inc.

SOFT SKULL PRESS

An imprint of COUNTERPOINT

2560 Ninth Street, Suite 318

Berkeley, CA 94710

www.counterpointpress.com

Distributed by Publishers Group West

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e-book ISBN 978-1-61902-626-1

CONTENTS

REEL ONE: ARRIVAL

CHAPTER 1

CHAPTER 2

CHAPTER 3

CHAPTER 4

CHAPTER 5

CHAPTER 6

CHAPTER 7

CHAPTER 8

CHAPTER 9

CHAPTER 10

CHAPTER 11

CHAPTER 12

CHAPTER 13

CHAPTER 14

CHAPTER 15

CHAPTER 16

CHAPTER 17

CHAPTER 18

CHAPTER 19

CHAPTER 20

CHAPTER 21

CHAPTER 22

CHAPTER 23

CHAPTER 24

CHAPTER 25

CHAPTER 26

CHAPTER 27

CHAPTER 28

CHAPTER 29

REEL TWO: UNFAITHFULNESS

CHAPTER 30

CHAPTER 31

CHAPTER 32

CHAPTER 33

CHAPTER 34

CHAPTER 35

CHAPTER 36

CHAPTER 37

CHAPTER 38

CHAPTER 39

CHAPTER 40

CHAPTER 41

CHAPTER 42

CHAPTER 43

CHAPTER 44

CHAPTER 45

CHAPTER 46

CHAPTER 47

CHAPTER 48

CHAPTER 49

CHAPTER 50

CHAPTER 51

CHAPTER 52

CHAPTER 53

REEL THREE: THE GUN GOES OFF

CHAPTER 54

CHAPTER 55

CHAPTER 56

CHAPTER 57

CHAPTER 58

CHAPTER 59

CHAPTER 60

CHAPTER 61

CHAPTER 62

CHAPTER 63

CHAPTER 64

CHAPTER 65

CHAPTER 66

CHAPTER 67

CHAPTER 68

CHAPTER 69

CHAPTER 70

CHAPTER 71

CHAPTER 72

CHAPTER 73

CHAPTER 74

CHAPTER 75

CHAPTER 76

CHAPTER 77

CHAPTER 78

CHAPTER 79

CHAPTER 80

EPILOGUE

DELETED SCENES

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

BOOKS BY COREY MESLER

for Cheryl, Toby and Chloe

and for Craig Brewer, Ira Sachs, and Linn Sitler

and

Willie, David, and Ed

and

BLACK LODGE VIDEO

The events and characters in this photoplay are fictitious and any resemblance to persons living or dead is coincidental
.

ERIC WARBERG FILMOGRAPHY

Shlomo Stern, Boy Mystic
(1981) (student film)

The Hen Man
(1983) (writer only)

Situations Defined as Normal
(1983) (Assistant Director)

Strangers in Love
(1985)

Titanic Opera
(1990) (not released)

After You I Almost Disappeared
(1994)

Sunset Striptease
(1995)

When I See Beverly
(1997)

Dog Soup
(1998)

The “Hill” Trilogy:

     
Huck and Hominy
(1999)

     
Cracker Hobgoblin
(2000)

     
Diddy-Wah-Diddy
(2002)

She and He in a Swivet
(2003)

Spondulicks
(British title:
What, Ducks?
) (2005)

Memphis Movie
(working title) (2007 . . . in progress)

CAST

THE DIRECTOR:
Eric Warberg

THE WRITER:
Sandy Shoars

THE ACTORS:
Dan Yumont, Hope Davis (as herself), Ike Bana, Suze Everingham, Deni Kohut, Kimberly Winks (a local), Sue (Lying Sue) Pine

STILL PHOTOGRAPHER:
Ricky Lime

CINEMATOGRAPHER:
Rica Sash

A.D.:
Reuben Wickring

SET DECORATOR:
Kay Tell

LOCALS:
Dudu Orr, Ray Verbely, Bandy Lyle Most, Mimsy Borogoves, Sean Meezen

THE DRIVER:
Hassle Cooley

A LOCATION SCOUT:
Jimbo Cole

A MOVIE CRITIC:
Luke Apenail

A LOCAL WRITER:
Camel Jeremy Eros

A SPRITE:
Lorax

A BORDER COLLIE:
Fido

VARIOUS GHOSTS

 

“You can't banish the world by decree if it's in you. Is that it, Joseph?”

      
“How can you? You have gone to its schools and seen its movies, listened to its radios, read its magazines. What if you declare you are alienated, you say you reject the Hollywood dream, the soap opera, the cheap thriller? The very denial implicates you.”

—SAUL BELLOW, from
Dangling Man

  
We live two lives—one with our eyes open and one with them closed. Eyes open are for perceiving the exterior universe. Eyes shut are for exploring the inner cosmos. I spend all day with my eyes shut bumping into people and things.

—FEDERICO FELLINI

  
It meant nothing that Hollywood was filled with great musicians, poets and philosophers. It was also filled with spiritualists, religious nuts and swindlers. It devoured everyone, and whoever was unable to save himself in time, would lose his identity, whether he thought so himself or not.

—ERICH MARIA REMARQUE

  
Are ghosts dreadful because they bring toward us from the future some component . . . of our own deaths? Are they partially defectively, our own dead selves, thrust back, in recoil from the mirrorface at the end, to haunt us?

—THOMAS PYNCHON

Art attracts us only by what it reveals of our most secret self.

—Jean-Luc Godard

1.

Q:
 
So you've come back to Memphis to make a movie.

A:
 
Yes. Is that it? Is that all you want to know?

Q:
 
Ha, no. Why Memphis? Why now?

A:
 
Well, Donald, I'll tell you. Memphis is ground zero for me, that is, emotionally. It is, obviously, where I came from, but it is also where my heart goes when I am in need of solace, reparation, succor.

Q:
 
I see. Plus your last movie in Hollywood tanked.

A:
 
Yes. Yes, it did.

Q:
 
What happened? You were being hailed as the next—

A:
 
Don't say it.

Q:
 
Tarantino.

A:
 
Shit. Yeah, I know. I got that, the next Tarantino. It's like being the next Dylan, you know? Like they called Springsteen that when he started. And, first, he had to live that down. First, he had to kill that spiritual father before he could become whatever it is he was to become.

Q:
 
Would you say you're the Springsteen of movies?

A:
 
Huh. But, Tarantino, you know, at first I thought Tarantino wanted to be Robert Altman—now it's clear he always wanted to be St. Spielberg. It's the same gee-whiz, eternal-child, look-at-me, everything-is-nostalgic shtick. It makes one want to throw up one's pabulum.

Q:
 
You had a falling out.

A:
 
No, no, I've never met the man. The whole Tarantino tag began and ended with movie critics. I think it was
Premiere
who first threw that one out there.

Q:
 
Would you say this has been a long gap between films, a longer than usual—

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