Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Pulp Fiction 2

hard cover

George P. Pelecanos has been one of my favorite writers for years and the acclaim he has receved as part of ‘The Wire’ brain-trust has only increased his ranking. Caught him on the promo-thing for his new hard-cover ‘Drama City’ but he started his presentation with an acceptance of “questions about ‘The Wire’”… after the obligatory ‘read.’ He is not the most dynamic reader which is something of a surprise given the naturalism of the bulk of his dialogue. He admitted that actors, directors and editors often improved his ‘mediocre’ ‘Wire’ scenes.

The inevitable questions about his taste in music (you can check his website but he’s waaay into Lalo Schiffrin right now), muscle cars (he admits to sneaking them into his text) and what he enjoys reading (the only surprise was ‘Middlesex’) were given answers not much different from previous appearances. At least there was a new inquiry into his love of basketball which allowed him to mention his screenplay about an old ABA team. He admitted that Cutty from ‘The Wire’ grew out of his ‘Drama City’ work. He wanted to insert into The Wire ‘gloom’ a character that, although straight from prison, would have a positive influence on a child from the hood… even if that influence was tiny by society’s standards. He gladly stated that the DC crime rate was falling and he credited the school system... hinting at ‘Wire’ season 4 (which he will not be producing, only writing). He also said that although he couldn't knock DC gentrification bringing in the corporate chains (including the bookstore he was standing in) that generate jobs. He knew that crime inevitably followed the poorest people displaced.

He gently fired back at a customer who revealed the ending of one of his books which dealt with the death of a recurring character. He was quite candid when he revealed that he wrote two endings for that book anticipating his editor choosing the more marketable ending where the character lives. But he was pleased that the darker ending was chosen. He implied that the death was more 'truthful' to him but was clearly the result of trying to show consequences of violence and pride.
He worked on the script to a portion of a Spielberg / Hanks 'Band of Brothers' type series dealing with the Navy in the Pacific; a subject he was personally drawn to because of his own father's experience. But the most exciting news for fans may have been the update on one of his best books 'Right as Rain' which is being developed into a movie to be directed by Curtis Hanson (LA Confidential, Wonder Boys, 8Mile) and written for the screen by David Benioff (25th Hour).