four stories (or, the girl in the pearl dress)

Every life, I feel, is a film.

Everyone has a story to tell. I love the idea that everyone - even the 'bad guys' - are the hero, or heroine, in the film in their head. The film that is their life.

So when I received an invite to FOUR STORIES, designed in a way that reminded me of Miles Davis's Kind of Blue, which reminded me of Carrie in Homeland, and which also reminded me of the opening sequence in the brilliant The Talented Mr. Ripley, (everything is somehow a film or music reference for me) - well, I had to go to the premiere last Tuesday. And I brought my husband along.

It was held in a small theatre space across a cobbled mews from the London W hotel, where the after party was held, and these photos taken. We were handed drinks and whisked into our seats, and Mark Kermode - who we love, from the BBC Culture Show, did the introductions and the Q&A after.

The concept is simple, and clever: W Hotels teamed with Intel Ultrabook Experience, to showcase new film talent. 1000 screenwriters entered a contest last August, submitting a ten minute script, on anything they felt like, with only two rules: 1), the film must take place in a W hotel, somewhere in the world and 2) it must somehow involve an Intel Ultrabook.

Immediately, my husband became cynical. 'It's just a big commercial,' he sneered, while drinking our hosts' white wine and eating their popcorn. 'Sssh,' said I, wondering who the girl was with the pearls on her back, and kicking myself that I hadn't brought my camera, as she - and a girl with a black bob - would have been great streetstyle shooting.

And as the films started - and in the first, I discovered that the girl in the dress with the pearls was the star of the first one, Naomi Scott - I started thinking about the relationship between patron and artist. How the corporations - the luxury hotel chains, the computer manufacturers - are in truth, the Medicis of our day. And how wonderful it is, that someone is willing to spend money to help launch new talent. And if it raises our estimation of said Patron, is that really such a bad thing?

But more than that, I truly liked the films. And so did my cynical husband. Our favourite took place in their Washington DC hotel, titled Eugene. It was written by Adam Blampied, who's a student at the London Academy of Musical and Dramatic Arts, shown above on the left (that's Roman Coppola, who, with his production company The Directors Bureau, created the competition, in the centre, above, with Margarita Kallas, who starred in his film - the fifth, it turns out, in the Four Stories series). When Adam spoke at the Q&A afterwards, I was touched and moved at how nervous he was, at first. After all, I've written screenplays, been paid to be in development, and yet, nothing I've made has been made into a film. Yet. And I imagined what that must feel like: to be sat in front of a group of strangers, being judged, and being asked to talk about your work.

And he did himself proud, Adam did. I loved what he said about his process: how he started writing one film, while a second one seemed to grow in his imagination. In the end, the first film didn't quite work, but the second one - the one that was just itching to come out - was the one he submitted.

And I thought of how often that happens in my life. How one thing leads to another. And how, hopefully, we learn from our 'failures'. And grow. (And how, if I were to get my hair cut, I'd really want that bob that Margarita was sporting). And that's pretty much what Roman was saying, too: just do it. Just go for it. Because you never know. And life's too short not to even try.

And then afterwards, the funniest coincidence: I was talking to two of the lovely girls who works with W hotels, and one of them - Charlotte Rose - said that I'd helped her with her dissertation. She had asked me to take part in an online interview, and I'd said yes. And it was funny that of all things, it was W hotels. Because of another story. Which I might just talk about another time. But I guess what I'm trying to say is, everything is connected, which is why, just in case, I try to 1), show up and 2), be kind to the fellow creatures in my world. Because you never know. And because Karma's a bitch!

The London (world) premiere was last week, and the LA premiere was last night, 4th of December. From top to bottom: Naomi Scott, of Modern/Love, Will.I.Am, a girl with very blue eyes, Margarita Kallas with Naomi, and the very cute boy is Douglas Booth. To see the films, click here, on the Ultrabook Experience. When you do, please let me know which film you liked the best.

Thank you to Helen, and Lotte, and everyone else who put this lovely event together. Even my cynical husband, on the way home, admitted he had fun, and was very glad he showed up. So, I guess you could say it all ended up happily ever after. But I really want to go to the W hotel and spa in the Maldives. The one featured in 'The Mirror Between Us.' I mean, right this very minute.


Anne said...

Fabulous just fabulous. Very impressed With all your work Jill

Anonymous said...

Jiil, you Are SO good at writing stories, really.... This is great! Valeria

Anonymous said...

Jiil, you Are SO good at writing stories, really.... This is great! Valeria