Action! 

Actor Peter Coyote calls Corey Mesler's Memphis Movie (Soft Skull Press) "spot-on" in its re-creation of what it takes to make a movie. But what Coyote maybe doesn't know is that Mesler — co-owner, with wife Cheryl, of Burke's Book Store — went into this, his eighth novel, with only a vague idea of what he was doing.

"I read a few books for background," Mesler told the Flyer. "But, honestly, I had no idea whether my depiction of a film set, film folks, or the entire film milieu was at all accurate, until Peter Coyote and [actor and former Memphian] Chris Ellis both told me I nailed it."

Courtney Love, you might say, started it years ago. According to Mesler: "She came into the bookstore with an entourage. I thought, This is strange. This is not usually how a day in Memphis progresses.

click to enlarge Corey Mesler - SANDRA MCDOUGALL-MITCHELL
  • Sandra McDougall-Mitchell
  • Corey Mesler

"I started Memphis Movie like I start all my novels: with an amorphous idea of what I'm doing. When the character of Eric Warberg began taking shape is when I thought I might be onto something good."

Warberg, a onetime Hollywood success story but with a few recent flops under his belt, is Memphis Movie's central character, and he's returned to his hometown, Memphis, to get his directing career back on track. How? By making a movie. About what? Even Warberg isn't so sure. But no problem. The action in Memphis Movie is more off the set than on, and so is most of his cast and crew — on the make and bedding every which way.

Chaotic, crazed? That describes the action in Memphis Movie, and Mesler said so. But he also recalled his role as an extra when the Metropolitan Opera, on tour, would come to town: "I hate opera, but backstage it was exhilarating. I was struck by how chaotic and crazed and downright ornery it was behind the curtain, and then, suddenly, when the action moved out onto the stage, it was magic aborning. There was an artistic whoosh. Beauty from chaos. Hey, there's my theme in Memphis Movie!"

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Blogs

Beyond the Arc

Deflections: The Roster, TV Angst, and The Buy/Sell Clause

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

The Vietnam War

We Saw You

Cooper-Young Fest, Big Bugs, Art of Caring

Music Blog

Linda Heck: Bound to ExCITM tonight

Intermission Impossible

A Memory of Charles Billings

Tiger Blue

Three Thoughts on Tiger Football

News Blog

Layoffs Again Hit Commercial Appeal Newsroom

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Leonard Gill

Readers also liked…

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2017

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation