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1972: Alain – The Corn Mother 19/52

The Corn Mother novella weekly serialisation artwork

I get sent so many scripts. The curse of having had a few films that managed to do well at the box office and were also a critical success. They were fashionable even for a while. It’s been a while since those days but the cachet they leant me still lingers.

This one though caught my eye. The Corn Mother. There was something in it. Something I couldn’t quite put my finger on.

There were no indications of where it was set, although I assume Peter, the writer, had Britain in mind. But for me it conjured an almost never-neverland, placeless village. Nominally it was a horror thriller but I could see glimmers of other potential in the writing, space to create something a little more leftfield, to sneak in something a bit dreamlike under the guise of genre trappings.

When I met up with Peter he seemed open to suggestions. We had a good discussion about it all and I came away feeling positive.

Of course it’s all down to the money. It always is. Conrad’s not so bad, he understands the need sometimes for a bit of space and freedom when you’re making a film but Gines, that buffoon. What does he know? Made his money in manufacturing and now he’s moved into film but he’s still applying the same sort of assembly line mentality to filmmaking as he had in his factories.

Yes, I understand. There is a need for a certain discipline within film productions but when you’re turning money into the spectres of a story and then hopefully back into money again, it’s not quite as straightforward as a factory flowchart.

I don’t think Gines really understands the film. He’s just thinking of how many peasant wenches in corsets we can get on the poster to help sell it. I know sometimes you have to play the game but the bottom line is all he thinks about.

Well, let’s see what happens. Maybe him and Conrad will balance one another out. It’s happened before.


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