PROJECT LASZLO & LASZLO
With a list such as the one below, you would be excused for thinking; “Most or at least the best parts are probably taken.” Not so; I have managed (mainly indirectly) to make a living from my book Svenskt Konstglas during the last few decades, and it is not until now (winter/spring of 2019), that I am starting to (commercially) develop The Laszlo & Laszlo Project. 53 titles are published on Amazon (15 in English), but nothing has been promoted/sold, so for all practical purposes: nothing is published. Also, there are 3 movie-rights - as well as 1 finished script, 4 books begging to be turned into films, close to a dozen “treatments,” as well as an undeveloped theatre play - yet no efforts have been made to find publishers or producers. Everything is in place and "ready to roll" but the texts and projects below - as well as texts/projects in other languages - all more or less unexploited. I am a member of the relevant writer’s/scriptwriter’s guilds/organizations, but virtually no royalties have been pursued. Welcome to Project L&L. VIDEO
NB. As the Laszlo & Laszlo Project has non-English aspects, you can read about the Spanish, the Italian, the French, the German and the Swedish similarly-sized projects and their possibilities (though only the English gets continuously updated).
- My Uncle Jacinto (Sr./Senior) (10 languages) is a new adaptation/into-English-translation of Mi Tio Jacinto. There is an old (quite good) translation that belongs to “Random House” that they did not want to part with for a price I could afford, so I did a new translation from the Spanish original. This is a book for “children of all ages”; a bestseller in Spanish, popular in Japan and a blockbuster movie with Pablito Calvo all over the world. A prominent Paris newspaper wrote; "Nothing like this has been written since The Little Prince." If you have any close-to-legitimate reason to want to watch the movie, feel free to contact me. See article. VIDEO
- Paco Never Fails (Sr.) (6 languages) is a new adaptation/into-English-translation of Paco el Seguro. There is an old English translation that belongs to “Random House,” but as it is not very good - and as the publishing rights have reverted to me, and as they were asking too high a price for the translation rights - I did a new translation/adaptation from the Spanish original. This is a book about an honest and simple man in the 1940s Madrid that makes his living from keeping the wet-nurse’s milk from drying up by making them pregnant; it also became a movie, starring Alfredo Landa. If you have any close-to-legitimate reason to want to watch the movie, feel free to contact me. See article. VIDEO
- Mother Unknown (Sr.) (4 languages) is an adaptation/into-English-translation of Donde los Vientos Duermen/Madre Desconocida. In Tangiers, during WWII, a young boy is left at the doorsteps of Kurt, our protagonist, holding an unsigned letter: "Kurt, You always wanted a son. Here he is. Don’t try to find me." That Kurt is the father is beyond doubt, but who is the mother? Kurt goes in search across war-torn Europe: Naples, Paris & Avilla. The idea/subject-matter is top class, and the story-logic - of this text that until now has not been available in English - has been much improved during the into-English translation. I have good reason to believe that Mother Unknown will become a film. See article. VIDEO
- Doña Juana (Sr.) (4 languages) is an adaptation/into-English-translation of the Spanish original. It is “a theatre script dressed up as a novella,” and has not previously been available in English. It is written in a feminist spirit – Don Juan travels through time to give Juanita (who will become Doña Juana) a lesson on how to deal with men, but soon finds himself enamored with the girl – and the influence by Senior’s friend, Simone de Beauvoir, is obvious. See article. VIDEO
- Short Stories by Senior. (Sr.) (4 languages) is an adaptation/into-English-translation of Solo el Paisaje Cambia. Though this book has been published on its own in English, it has – together with a paragraph or two of biographic comments to introduce each story - been published also as the first part of The Laszlo & Laszlo Chronicles, introduced below (9). See article. VIDEO
- The Seal Castle (Sr.) (3 languages) is an adaptation/into-English-translation of El Castello de las Focas. Senior, before leaving his homeland (Austro-Hungary), saving on the rent, took up residence in the famous Turkish Baths of Budapest (the seal castle). This book contains reflections from this time, and though it is written in the same manner as The Crab's Rhapsody, these two books are in a totally different style than his following works. As they are both pretty short, I might fuse them into one. See article.
- The Crab's Rhapsody (Sr.) (3 languages) is an adaptation/into-English-translation of La Rapsodia del Cangrejo. Senior, after leaving his homeland (Austro-Hungary) spent some time in Paris, before escaping the occupation by moving to Spain. This book contains reflections from this time, and though it is written very much in the same manner as The Seal Castle, these two books are in a totally different style than his following works. As they are both pretty short, I might fuse them into one. See article.
- The Complete Works of Andres Laszlo (Sr.). (2 languages) is all of Senior’s (7) fictional works. As these are now all adapted and translated into English (and available on Amazon), the publishing of his complete works has become an option not only in Spanish but also in English. The fact that all seven books have been not only translated but also adapted allows for all sorts of possibilities, and all future translations of Senior ought to be made from these English texts. See article.
- The Laszlo & Laszlo Chronicles (Sr.&Jr.) (5 languages) is a biographic collection of 47 short stories, spanning 100 years of Andres Laszlo Sr. and Andres Laszlo Jr. adventures; we’ve had some pretty interesting ones. If you are interested in a new form of biography, ideas to turn into movie scripts (and maybe man-eating tigers of Sundarbans), look no further. See article. VIDEO
- The Challenge (Jr./Junior) (6 languages) is my adaptation of Mi Tio Jacinto. Here Madrid becomes Cape Town; bullfighting, boxing; white, black/colored; 1940’s, 2010’s & 20.000 pages, 70.000. It comes with 70 great illustrations (in the same style as the cover) and would make an attractive hardback children's book in A4 format (no available). It also comes as a script (see "23" below). See article.
- The Drug Problem (Jr.) (2 languages) is a liberal anti-illegality book on Drug Policy. It covers more or less all aspects of the drug problem, though the suffering-aspects are not emphasized. It comes to the conclusion that whether drugs in themselves are good or bad is of little interest. Instead, what is of interest - or, should be of interest, rather - is that the consequences of illegalization are so very much worse than what the consequences of a more liberal approach in all likelihood would have been: they are so much worse that the question of whether more narcotic drugs would be consumed/more people would use drugs (or even die from drugs), if legalized/liberalized, fades into relative insignificance. See article.
- Short Stories by Junior (Jr.) (5 languages) is a book about my/Junior’s adventures. As nobody wanted to listen to my thoughts on drug-policy, I made myself some money, whereupon I sat out on an all-a-man-should-have-done-project. I have had a lot of great adventures, in which an interesting tiger co-stars. Though this book has been published on its own in English (as The Laszlo & Laszlo Chronicles I), it has also – together with an introductory paragraph of biographic comments to each story - been published as the second part of The Laszlo & Laszlo Chronicles, introduced above (9). See article. VIDEO
- Dysfunctional Discourses II (Jr.) (1 language) is a book-project that, if successful, no doubt will make myself persona non grata on this planet. As I wrote The Drug Problem, I came to realize that the illegalization of narcotic drugs is a mind-bogglingly dysfunctional way of organizing ourselves. I then thought: “Maybe drug illegality is only one of several different ways in which we organize ourselves dysfunctionally." Dysfunctional Discourses so far is no more than a project in its infancy: a project about how and why we organize ourselves in bad ways. See article.
- The Caspian Connection (Jr.) (2 languages) are the two first books (in an intended series) in which we follow the adventures of Odin’s son (that is unaware of whom his real father is), as he walks the earth in present time. These two books are only 95% finished but presentable. I do not have the competence to squeeze the full value out of this project (and its top-class back/hidden story), and that's one reason why the project presently is on the back-burner. This calls for cooperation: writers on subjects where I am weak, a script-writer (one that could have written the script for The Millennium Trilogy would do excellently well) and a producer. See article. Also, see a separate article on book 2.
- Swedish Art Glass (Jr.) (2 languages) is really about several books on Swedish art glass, all based either on my own (quite well received) Svenskt Konstglas from 1989, or my latter investigations into Flygsfors Glassworks and “Coquille.” These books all have one thing in common: unless Swedish art glass becomes much more appreciated, they won’t get published without financial assistance. See article in English or a more comprehensive article in Swedish.
MOVIES, SCRIPTS & PROJECTS
- My Uncle Jacinto - movie royalties (Sr.). This movie was an international blockbuster. All I have received the last 30+ years is a couple of thousands euro (all in/from 2017); there must be a lot more royalties to be collected from all over the world by whoever has the right skills. See article below (16). VIDEO
- My Uncle Jacinto - new animated movie (Sr.). My Uncle Jacinto must be one of the world’s most popular children’s books/movies, never to be animated. In Spanish film festivals, it is often shown as one of the top 5 Spanish/Hispanic movies of all times, and today - as we quite possibly say goodbye to bullfighting for good, and as Jacinto is a torero - this is a story that “must” be animated. See article below (17). VIDEO
- Paco Never Fails - movie royalties (Sr.). This movie has allegedly never been shown outside Spain, but even if so, there should be at least Spanish royalties to be collected (other than those paid by SGAE). Also, I own the Scandinavian distribution rights, so I am looking for a movie-seller do approach Scandinavian broadcasters on my behalf. See article below (18).
- Paco Never Fails - new movie (Sr.). Twice have I been called from across the world to Gallimard in Paris, twice have I been asked to sell the rights to make new films based on the book, twice did I manage to make a fool out of myself, and twice it came to nothing. However, there's a silver lining because now such an adaptation could be made also from a new and much improved English translation. See article below (19).
- Sin Uniforme - movie royalties (Sr.). This movie was made from a script, which Senior co-wrote (1948) with a friend. I do not know what can be done in regards to this movie. Warner Brothers produced, and Ladislao Vajda directed: maybe there are royalties to be collected. See article below (20).
- Mother Unknown - movie (Sr.) is the only of Senior’s three major novels that hasn't become a movie, despite the subject-matter quite possibly being the most attractive. However, at his demise, he was negotiating with a production company. Today the text has been translated into English (for the first time) while being adapted, particularly with “movie” in mind. See article below (21).
- Doña Juana - theatre/musical/operetta (Sr.). As a young girl is about to lose her fiancée, Don Juan travels through space and time to give the poor lass a lecture. However, the girl turns out to be a much better student than Don Juan has anticipated, and soon he finds himself enamored. A theatre script already exists (sort of: a month of cut-and-paste beside a producer) - and, in Paris, Marcel Marceau performed Doña Juana as a mime interpretation - and it would indeed make a great operetta/opera/musical. See article below (22).
- The Challenge: Script - movie (Jr.). The original project – to use my script to make a movie in Cape Town with Tim Spring directing - was turned down by RFF because of “too much of a Hollywood ending” (which was hopefully not the true reason, because if it was, they could not have read the script close enough). It would make an excellent family movie. See article below (23).
- Short Stories - movies (Sr. & Jr.). Both I and my father have led adventurous lives, and we have both several times required more luck than is normally granted in order to survive. My own short stories are not always all that suitable for cinematic development (yet, I’ve got three), but Senior's often are, especially as a conscious effort to make them even more “treatment-like” has been made as they were translated into English. See article below (24).
- The Caspian Connection - movies (Jr.) consists of two nearly finished books. It’s a huge project, and the movie-aspect is an important one. See article below (25).
- Revive Dad - project (Jr.). Senior was once considered a top 20th century European writer, and I believe that the only reason that he has been forgotten (apart from my own early disinclination to make an effort to keep his memory alive) is that none of his four “fatherlands” - born Austro-Hungarian, nationalized French but remembered mainly as a Spanish writer - has chosen to adopt him. In order to revive his memory, I am looking for some assistance from these countries, or maybe from some international organization, but I am not an "administrative man". See article.
- Talks by Junior - project (Jr.). I am quite passionate about 1. Drug Illegality (that I think is bad) and 2. Swedish Art Glass (that I think is good), and you could well find me prepared to come and talk about these. There will DV come a day when I will be prepared to do the same about Dysfunctional Discourses. See article.
MORE ON MOVIES, SCRIPTS & THEATRE
"Movies" are about the three movies that have been made from Andres Laszlo Senior's texts and scripts in general, and in particular: 1. The lack of payment from the corporations that have broadcasted these movies, 2. The lack of payments from the individuals/organizations that have sold the broadcasting rights to these corporations, "forgetting" about my father’s rights to royalties as a writer/co-writer of original texts and/or film-scripts & 3. The script-writers organizations (like for example SGAE/Spain & SACD/France) that might have either forgotten to collect royalties on my behalf (esp. in other countries than Spain & France) or lost track of old payments (all the way back to 1984). "Scripts" – apart from The Challenge, that already exists as a script - are about the possibility of making new movies/scripts/treatments out of my or my father’s texts: a new script of Paco Never Fails, a script for Mother Unknown, an animated adaptation of My Uncle Jacinto or finding new script-ideas in The Laszlo & Laszlo Chronicles that contains 47 short stories. “Theatre” is about the possibility of staging Doña Juana as a theatre play from a virtually finished script or turning it into an opera/operetta/musical.
16. MY UNCLE JACINTO - ROYALTIES (Sr.)
Senior wrote the children’s book Mi Tio Jacinto/My Uncle Jacinto, and later also the script for the movie (together with the director Ladislao Vajda). As the movie became a blockbuster and remains popular - often shown at festivals as part of Spain’s 5 "best movies ever" - there ought to be some considerable outstanding royalties to be collected from the broadcasting of the movie, especially in the Hispanic world. Spanish "SGAE" seems willing to pay me only for the last few years, and the Italians (My Uncle Jacinto/Pepote was a Spanish/Italian coproduction) have as far as I know never paid me anything, and apart from SGAE´s royalty payments of 2 x €2500 (all in 2017) I have received nothing since my father's demise in 1984. I am now a resident of Spain, where the movie is still popular, and I am told that it is aired not only by Spanish and Mexican television but also by various South and Central American countries, as well as in Italy, France, and other European countries. So, there should be plenty of royalties to be collected/recovered by whoever knows how to go about it. SACD (the French) say that though Senior was a member, My Uncle Jacinto/le Muchacho is not registered with them.
17. MY UNCLE JACINTO/ANIMATION - NEW MOVIE (Sr.)
Let me first ask you, how many children’s novels - that: (i) Have been translated into ten languages & (ii) Have been made into a blockbuster movie - have you heard of? Now, honestly, how many of these have not been turned into animated films? Personally, I know of only one, and unfortunately, the rights to that belong to me. My Uncle Jacinto has absolutely outstanding potential as an animated film. My Uncle Jacinto is a book for children of all ages and depicts a special day in the lives of down-and-nearly-out ex-bullfighter Jacinto and his streetwise nephew Pepote. Honour is one antagonist, crime is another, alcohol a third and separation a fourth, and sort of the common denominator. Jacinto accepts an offer to play the lead role in a comic bullfight, but declines the promotor's offer of assistance, proudly declaring that he has the required outfit. Thus the middle part of the story is spent chasing the money necessary to rent the gear, all against the backdrop of Madrid criminality of the 40s: everything from recycling cigarette butts to a Goya art-scam. For a long time, things look bleak: Jacinto is down and out, he is broke, he has been ridiculed in front of what we feel is the better part of Madrid, and he has lost his main reason to exist, his honor. And, even worse, he has lost this honor in front of the boy, who is the only important person in his life, and who is about to be taken from him. Don’t be silly; of course, My Uncle Jacinto has a happy ending, sort of, maybe, if you choose to read it that way.
18. PACO NEVER FAILS - ROYALTIES (Sr.)
Andres Laszlo Sr. wrote the novel Paco el Seguro/Paco Never Fails, and he also co-wrote the movie script with Didier Haudepin (who directed). However, it seems that Senior is not credited for his contributions to the script – and, possibly not even for writing the book on which the script is based - with SACD (now possibly fixed). The book/script was turned into a movie, but because of contractual complications it (allegedly) never got shown outside Spain. Together with Dedier Haudepin and (my then-agent) George Hoffman/Agence Hoffman, I tried to acquire the outside-Spain rights, but without success. However, Allain Katz (now deceased)/AWA Films, succeeded where we failed, and I have a contract with AWA Films, negotiated by George Hoffman that gives me the broadcasting rights for the Scandinavian countries, plus a promise of a commercial copy of the movie and €7.500, once the movie is commercialized outside Spain. However, now the rights have been bought by Dynamics Films Library S.A, and CEO Dominique Vignet explains that: (i) the debts were not included in the purchase, (ii) there is no copy for me as he has none to give/to copy, and (iii) as the movie has not been exploited (or because debts were not included in the purchase(?)) there are no €7.500 either, so I have received neither the commercial copy that the contract stipulates that I shall receive, nor the money that I am owed. It should be noted that there could be royalties from Paco not only from Spain but possibly (though, if so, probably illegal) also from France and maybe from elsewhere. Spanish SGAE has Paco el Seguro registered, but SACD (the French script-writers' organization) says that though Senior was a member, Paco l’infaillible is not registered with them. The summer 2018 Paco was shown on RTVEes.
19. PACO NEVER FAILS - NEW MOVIE (Sr.)
Gallimard (Prune Berge/TV5), between 1999 and 2002, called me to Paris at least twice (actually, I think it was three times, but I am not certain) in order to sign contracts (around €250,000) allowing for new adaptations of the original text (into new movies), but on each occasion it came to nothing, mainly because I was stupid and behaved unprofessionally. Yet, this suggests that Paco Never Fails could be the stuff of which new adaptations for the screen can be made. Also, now a new and much improved English text is available for script-adaptation, something that hopefully can stimulate some English-language interests. If you have read the book, it might interest you that in the new adaptation: 1. More suspicion has been thrown on Ricardo as the manipulator of Paco, leading to his death (thus adding the dimension of "murder mystery", that could easily be further enhanced) and 2. The importance of "the blue circle" has been emphasized. As the phenomena around which the story centers – the “impregnator” occupation – must have existed in more or less every major city, it is likely that a new adaptation could be attractive not only for French filmmakers… Actually, I have never understood why the French have been much more interested in a new movie set in Madrid than the Spanish (Ha, ha; look at those primitive Spaniards?). As the text now exists in six languages - Spanish, English, French, German, Catalan and Italian) – there are many possibilities. The book was turned into a movie by Didier Haudepin, with Alfredo Landa starring as Paco. The story is set in Madrid in the early 1940s (i.e., during World War II and just after the end of the Spanish Civil War). Here we meet Paco Garcia (a real person) who makes his living by causing pregnancy in young girls from the countryside: girls who have come to Madrid with the purpose of making a better life for themselves, as wet-nurses. These girls, once the milk from their previous pregnancies stops, need to get it flowing again: i.e. they need to become pregnant. This was at the time a real profession - I am told that in some parts of the world it still is, or at least was until quite recently - and the “impregnator” most likely to succeed (i.e. "who never failed") became the one highest in demand. Paco sees himself as a serious and professional man, and he is determined to justify the income he is earning from his trade in this 100% decent period drama on a subject matter that would have allowed for a wide variety of alternative approaches. However, "never fails" isn't really true because Paco has failed once – he has failed to grant his own wife her greatest wish, which is to become a mother – and this is a main concern. Therefore, when Maria unexpectedly becomes pregnant, Paco’s world descends into chaos. “Am I really the father?” asks the father of thousands. Though I/Andres Laszlo Jr. do not remember, I have been told that I have met the actual/real Paco, and whether it is really so or not, to him and his thousands of offspring still alive I will dedicate this new film adaptation.
20. SIN UNIFORME - ROYALTIES (Sr.)
Senior wrote the script (the story part) to this movie, together with his friend Eugenio Montes (who wrote the dialogue part). Sin Uniforme/Without Uniform is from 1948, but some source(s) suggests it wasn't released until 1950, and I have no idea as to the situation regarding rights and royalties. However, this movie probably is registered with (French) SACD as Der Drennende Radfahrer. On Spanish “Filmaffinity” there’s plenty information about the film, which was produced by Warner Brothers and directed by Ladislao Vajda. The producer was “Peninsular Films,” and amongst the cast one notices Rafael Durán and Blanca de Silos.
21. MOTHER UNKNOWN - NEW MOVIE (Sr.)
This, Senior's first major novel, he was turning into a (French) script at the time of his demise, but though I still have the correspondence, I have lost the script itself. However, whether or not it is recoverable - it should be somewhere, with someone - this is a text out of which excellent cine can be made. In the new translations of Paco el Seguro, and My Uncle Jacinto (although Random House' English translation of Paco wasn't the best), little could be done to improve the original texts. However, Mother Unknown - also published as Donde los Vientos Duermes, Madre Desconocida, Mere Inconnue and Die Mutter Meinen Shones - was a totally different kettle of fish. Here, Senior was still "unfinished" as a writer and remarkably "improvable," quite possibly so also because no professional content-editing had been provided (only Jacinto and Paco got that). In 2017 the Spanish text was translated into English while adapted, and it is now a great basis for a script. Considering that the text was about to become at worst a "near miss" as a movie in the 1980s (at Senior’s demise), I feel that there ought to be a good chance that the into-English adaptation shall do well, especially as up until now no English translation has existed.
The story starts in Tangiers, during World War Two, less than five minutes from Gibraltar as the rocket flies: a large town or maybe a small city. Whatever it was, it remained outside the war and the world order that so much of Europe had been forced to subject itself to, yet not outside the whirlwind of plots that surrounded it. This is the scene on which the curtain rises for the first act of Senior’s first important novel. Tangier, however, is only the setting that Andres Laszlo Sr.’s has chosen to get this drama started. Late at night, a young boy is left at the door of our protagonist, holding an unsigned letter: "Kurt, You always wanted a son. Here he is. Don’t try to find me." That Kurt is the father is beyond doubt, but who is the mother? Kurt goes in search across war-torn Europe: Naples, Paris & Avilla. The theme is top class, and I believe that this story soon will become a film. This is a eulogy to motherhood, though not one previously seen. Just as Doña Juana, this is a text open to feminist interpretations, but whereas Doña Juana is light and full of humour...
22. DOÑA JUANA - THEATRE/MUSICAL/OPERETTA (Sr.)
As I finished translating this "theatre-script dressed us so as to read like a novella," I was amazed. This is world class - probably to be explained at least in part by the fact that Senior was a theatre director back in Austro-Hungary - not only as theatre but even more so in its potential to be turned into an operetta/opera/musical. With some rewriting, this theatre script could be performed by only three men and a woman (though 4+1 would make things easier) and only 2 sets (or a split scene) are required. Marcel Marceau starred in a mime-version in Paris (http://www.ina.fr/video/CAF97065359/marcel-marceau-dom-juan-video.html). The story is set in Malaga: in the 1930s, on the coast, always within reach of the lighthouse’s beam. It is late. An old manner house. Let us enter: a band is playing, we find our way to the library, where myopic Juanita tries to locate Don Juan Tenorio in the hope of finding a way out of her terrible predicament. Juanita - who, when we come to the end of the story, will have metamorphosed into Doña Juana - is the devastated daughter of the house, who has just found out that her fiancé is about to elope, and to make things even worse, she gets to overhear the enamored couple plan their escape. Tears fall into her lap - and into the book, she had come to read in the hope of finding a solution - as she realizes that all is lost; "Oh Don Juan, if you only were here..." "But I am here." "Who are you!" "I am Don Juan." "Don Juan who?" "Just Don Juan." Yes, "that" Don Juan, has traveled through space and time, in order to give the poor girl some assistance: to show her how to get out of her dilemma by means of manipulating men, much as he manipulated women. However, the girl turns out to be better at "this thing called love" than expected, and Don Juan soon finds himself enamored with the girl, who turns out to be a great puppet-master and ruler of the destinies of men. The emotional foundation for a great musical is in place: Mr. Lloyd Webber, if you are reading this... And, for anyone wanting to throw a bit of modern psychology into the piece - or maybe some Lacan or Kristeva… (Simone de Beauvoir is already there, as she doubtlessly influenced Senior in writing the piece) - it would constitute a great vehicle for doing so. Beware males of the species: Doña Juana has arrived!
23. THE CHALLENGE: SCRIPT - MOVIE (Jr.)
The Challenge: Script is my adaptation of my own book The Challenge, which in turn is an adaptation of My Uncle Jacinto. Here the 1950s, Madrid, and bullfighting become 2010s, Cape Town, and boxing. I sought a production grant from RFF (with producer Tim Spring), and I was informally told that it had been a near miss, caused by what they (quite incorrectly) interpreted as a "Hollywood ending.”
The story is about Baba and his nephew Tiger; it covers a decisive day in their lives. The hero is the bond between the two and the heavy is separation. Baba - a prematurely old, rheumatic, not too bright, drunken, used-to-be prodigy boxer, with only a bit of imagined honour, a fantastic speed, and the upbringing of his nephew left to justify his existence - erroneously gets selected for the champ-part in a ‘Challenge-the-Champ boxing extravaganza’, where old used-to-be champions can be challenged by anyone in the public. Baba, confronted by paradox as he's sworn never to box again - mainly to prove to his nephew, whom he believes he is looking after, that he is not the down-and-out drunkard that he very well knows everybody tells the boy that he is - accepts. Tiger; a cuddly, bright, fast and fun-loving eight-year-old - who has so far successfully dodged school and who by far is the more street-wise of the two - knows that it’s he who is looking after his uncle.
The beginning. In the township, it rains, and Tiger builds a waterwheel, nearly drowning his sleeping uncle. The letter from the boxing promoter arrives but is not taken seriously. Tiger and Baba travel to the town center for their usual scavenging. Collecting cigarette butts, they spot a poster proclaiming Baba to be the champ to be challenged. The issue can no longer be disregarded, and an upset Baba calls the promoter to protest but ends up accepting the champ-part. Baba, too proud to accept assistance, pretends that he has got the required boxing-gear.
The middle is about the sundry tricks and petty crimes by which they try to gain the money required to rent the boxing-gear, all while the danger of separation - in the guise of a fake-watch salesman, a musician, the police, a children’s court, a real criminal, a professional hit-man, etc. - gets ever more real. Their day is seen against a background of the whole spectra of Cape Town criminality: from reusing stamps to a multimillion-dollar diamond scam. As a last resort Baba, dishonoring himself, attempts to sell a fake watch with Tiger’s assistance: they are caught. Baba seemingly is about to go to jail and Tiger to be sent to a children’s court. Dishonour and separation seem a fact, the boxing-gear shop is about to close, and Baba - amicably and logically enough to convince most of us - is told that he should ‘give the poor kid a chance’: that he’s no good for Tiger.
The end starts as Baba, devastated, is sent off with a warning. Next Tiger wangles out of trouble, soft-talks the gear-renter into giving Baba credit, locates his uncle, and gets him to the clothes shop. Now we follow them, Baba dressed to fight, on the bus to the stadium where Baba nicely deals with the first opponent: he’s still fast. But eventually he gets carried away by his overdeveloped desire for honor, and he makes the mistake of accepting the challenge of an athlete twice his size that is sent to kill him, and it is in this challenger that the danger of separation takes its final shape. Baba puts up a great fight but is, eventually, down, out and made a fool. Baba has lost what justified his existence - his honor – and Tiger has witnessed his ultimate humiliation; Baba hesitantly walks up to take farewell of his crying nephew. Don’t be silly; of course, it has a happy (Abrahamic, actually) ending, maybe, if you chose to read it that way. Read more.
24. SHORT STORIES - MOVIES (Sr. & Jr.)
I have put together my own short stories with my father’s, so as to produce The Laszlo & Laszlo Chronicles. Among them, there are several short stories that could be of interest to a producer, as especially Senior's short stories often read like treatments.
Senior had an adventurous life, and his collection of (22) short stories – first published in Spanish as Solo el Paisaje Cambia, and now as the second part of The Laszlo & Laszlo Chronicles - illustrates this. Senior has written his short stories quite expressionistically, and as I’ve translated them into English, I have made an effort to make several of them read as close as possible to (movie) treatments: 1. The Little Circus Horse is a full-sized philosophical and slightly melancholic children’s story. 2. Murder by Default is a dark tale seen from a murderer’s point of view, 3. My Friend in the Photo is a great vampire tale that could do with a better ending, 4. A Beautiful Girl is a romantic tragicomedy, 5. The Man in the Blue Tuxedo could form an excellent piece/centerpiece for a movie where we need to be told how a gambler made a lot of money in an entertaining way, 6. The Spy could have interested Hitchcock & 7. The Olga Case, Bergman.
Junior/I have had a pretty adventurous and interesting life too, and my collection of (22) short stories illustrate this (esp. if you find a charming man-eating tiger interesting). My own short stories - that are taken mainly from The Caspian Connection and The Drug Problem - form the second part of The Laszlo & Laszlo Chronicles: 8. Man-eating Tiger. There’s the tale of a tiger (several, actually, all pretty short), told from the tiger(s)’s point of view, and though I am not an ethologist, I did put some work into the research, so if you are a tiger-fancying producer, this might be something for you. 9. Panama/Conduction is about my adventures in Panama, dealing with (deposed) General Noriega’s narco-police, and constitutes a virtually 100% true, and totally 100% Kafkaesque drama, that at the same time illustrates how the fact that drugs are illegal corrupts the very fabric of society (by one of two unrecognized mechanisms). 10. A Drug-lord’s Tale/Convection. This is a story about how the drug trade can appear from a drug-lords point-of-view, and at the same time illustrates how the fact that drugs are illegal corrupts the very fabric of society (by one of two unrecognized mechanisms).
25. THE CASPIAN CONNECTION - MOVIES (Jr.)
This is simply too big a project to present; especially as a script, as I haven’t even started thinking about this yet. Actually, I haven’t even finished the books, even if they are 955 presentable. Therefore, let me just try to impress you with a wee bit of backstory on the bad guys:
Let's go to Baghdad and 832; there’s a heated argument between those calling themselves “The Kharijites,” and the religious leaders of The Abbasids. Virtually 200 years have gone since the Prophet’s death and maybe 100 years since the original "Addendum" was destroyed. In this argument, The Kharijites argue for the use of unprovoked violence to promote the continued spread of Islam. When the prophet's (and God's) purpose with the original Addendum - which was: no unprovoked war - is used to counter the Kharijites’ argument, these argue that if there ever had been such a thing as an Addendum – which, probably, there hasn't – it most certainly must have been a forgery, produced by A’isha or Uthman, trying to pervert the true spirit of the Koran; "Had the writings been here now, that could easily have been proven." Now a loose-mouthed member of the Abbasids drops a bombshell by spilling the beans: a big silver plate together with six smaller copies, by order of the Prophet, was engraved with the text of (the now destroyed original Addendum), just to make sure that violence never got used in the name of Islam. Also, the loose-mouthed blurts out that these plates are to be revealed to the world on the 200th anniversary of the prophet’s death, i.e., in a matter of days. The Kharijites have to back down, and there is panic in their organization. The leadership of the Abbasids has purposely kept this information from the Kharijites, in order to keep them from stealing/destroying the plates, and the man who has prematurely revealed the information has acted rashly, especially as he has made it possible for the Kharijites to deduce the location of the first and nearest shrine. There could still be time enough for The Kharijites to stop at least the first shrine from opening. The loose-mouthed is admonished, and the Kharijites are warned not to try to prevent the opening of the shrines.
Now, in a Kharijite emergency meeting regarding the upcoming opening of the shrines, no agreement is reached. One group argued that it’s too risky to pursue the “Six and The One”; "They are watching us, and if anything happened to the plates, they would know that it was we who had done it, and we would all be destroyed." However, the radicals argue that the plates must be found and destroyed at any cost. "With them exposed to the world, our cause would be forever lost." There is no agreement but in secret the radical branch of the Kharijites – there’re seventy-seven of them – set off to trace The One and the Six in order to destroy them all, and to kill anyone with knowledge of them. They reach the first location where the shrine’s keepers greet them as brothers in faith. However, after having gotten all the information sought, they slaughter the entire order. As they have found out the next destination (of "Muhammad’s Travellers": those that opened the shrines 200 years ago) they set out for it, and as they reach the second shrine (just about to be opened) the keepers greet them in much the same way as they were greeted at the first, but again they behave as before, and they find out that the next destination of Muhammad's Travellers was Djardjan; they set out for it. In June 832, as they reach Djardjan, it is only to find that the shrine – which had contained four of the five missing plates – has been looted a few days earlier by Karli, a Viking from the Swede’s country (Odin’s son, though Karli doesn’t know this: our protagonist). Some of The Kharijites say it’s time to give up, some even that it must be God’s will; others say it’s their duty to follow the Vikings and destroy the plates, whatever the cost. Anyhow, it seems unlikely that they’ll manage to catch up with the Vikings before they return to their home country: the country of the Swedes. And, following them back to their home would require them to recover the plates from Karli on his own home turf; not an easy task.
There's mayhem and confusion, and it’s decided that a council shall be held. This council reaches no conclusion, and in order to settle the question, it is decided that a poetry challenge shall be held to settle the matter; Handsome Jacob from Spain – who represents those set on pursuing Karl - wins for the radicals. It is decided that Karli indeed must be pursued and that the plates must be destroyed at whatever cost; because, failing, The Kharijites’ very reason for existing would cease to exist. However, as it is unlikely – at least if they all pursue them as a group – that they’ll catch up with the Vikings before they reach the Swede’s country, this idea is discarded. Then the alternative of sending a single man with horses and enough gold and silver to purchase the plates is discussed. However, this is a project – at least if failing to catch up with Karli before he arrives the Swede’s country – that is likely to require more than a man’s power, silver, gold and (quite possibly) lifetime. Alternative solutions are sought and discussed, but no feasible new solution is found. Thus, furnishing their best rider with two horses plus gold and silver enough to buy back the plates is seen as their optimal option. Handsome Jacob - a Spaniard, a convert, the best rider, and the winner of the poetry competition - accepts the job: “Your task is to retrieve/destroy the silver plates at whatever cost.”
At this moment an expert in pre-Islamic magic, the leader of those seven (mainly pre-Islamic) magicians that forms part of The Kharijites 77-strong radical core, suggests: “Here in Djardjan dwells a renowned and powerful jinni by the name of ”Djardja.” If we could make her accept the same challenge as Jacob has just accepted, it would have two thousand years to complete the task rather than half a man-age.” However, it is then argued that a jinni is too awkward and unreliable a creature to deal with, and in addition would be unlikely to be accepted by the Norse. Then the magic experts suggest they offer the renowned jinni food and sex in order to make her accept entering a human’s (i.e., Jacob’s) body, thus to be given a human appearance and a persona that will appear less awkward. The pre-Islamic expert knows the required spells and rituals for keeping the jinni from breaking such a promise and though Jacob protests vehemently, the suggestion is accepted. Now men are sent out to find suitable men as sex-partners for the she-jinni and attractive jinn-food. Once this is done the renowned jinni is conjured up, offered to, admired and given the proposal: “If you “marry into” a human shape (until your task is done) and pursue the Viking-captain called Karli and destroy the five silver plates he has robbed, we’ll give you all the best food money can buy, and all the best humans-for-sex Djardjan can offer. The jinni/Djardja answers shrewdly: “But then, when I have exhausted myself in intercourse and consumed all food and drink my body can manage, what will I do then? If I cannot continue this way of life in the Viking’s country, looking for the silver plates, how then will I be profited?” A new council is held, and eventually, it is deemed acceptable that the jinni becomes a long-time/permanent drain on the Kharijites´ resources.