The Inimitable Ken Ravingbone

“Well, actors are just pigment in my canvas. They don’t have the sensibility. The vision. You can quote me on that. Which rag are you whoring yourself for?”

“The Inquirer.”

“Oh, God. Their head critic is an embarrassment. The man might as well be reviewing radio plays.”

“I’ve only met him very briefly. I’m freelance.”

“Freelance prostitution.”

“I suppose you’re a freelance director.”

“I don’t call myself a director. I’m a conjuror. And a questioner. Are you going to the bar?”

“I think there are drinks coming round.”

“I’ve got very specific tastes. Furnish me with a beverage and I might answer one of your tedious questions.”

“What would you like?”

“A glass of Langlois.”

“OK. Back in a minute.”

I can’t believe I have to fawn over this tosser. At least it’s a free bar.

 This queue looks fun… Oh, fuck – it’s Pascal Merryweather. He seemed a little threatened the last time we dialogued.

“James.”

“Pascal.”

“Read your Mizoguchi piece. Not bad.”

“Arigato.”

“Didn’t agree with all of it, of course. He’s never been my favourite of the Japanese auteurs. Always been more of an Ozu man.”

“Comparing Mizoguchi and Ozu is like comparing Peter Greenaway and Ken Loach. It’s only because they’re both Japanese that it would occur to you.”

“Well, I’m not sure I’d agree with that. Anyway, I’d better get back to my conversation.”

“With whom?”

“Jeff Poole – he’s over there.”

“That ginger twat. He’s not a real person; just writes a blog.”

“Bit bitchy.”

“I’ll get back to my conversation as well.”

“Who’s that with?”

“Just that tosser Ravingbone.”

“Ah, you’re his bitch for the evening, are you?”

“I’m hoping the bastard’ll give me an interview.”

“Good luck with that. In the meantime I’m sure he’ll enjoy his delightfully subtle red. If only his films were as delicate on the palate.”

“Have a great evening.”

How has that arsehole got a career? Better get back to the Conjuror. Wait a second – he’s putting the moves on that hot waitress! Looks like Ken has got a raving boner.

“Ah, my vin rouge. Merci.”

“You’re welcome.”

“This is Irena. She’s an actress.”

“There’s a shock.”

Irena leans over to me in aside…

“Fuck you.”

Looks like I won’t be sleeping with her later. Ravingbone probably will.

“I think Irena could be perfect for my new cinematic expedition. Of course, we need to get to know each other better first.”

“What’s it about?”

“Haha After an exclusive, are we?”

“Just something good to come out of this evening.”

“It’s based on a Flaubert novella. That’s all I can reveal at this stage.”

“Well, I can’t get 500 words out of that.”

“Are you familiar with Gustave’s work, my dear?”

“I’ve read most of it.”

“Excellent. We should discuss it at length one evening.”

“I work most evenings.”

“Surely you can make yourself available? This could be a great opportunity.”

“I’m not sure the film would be for me.”

“And why is that, exactly?”

“I’ve always found your stuff highly derivative.”

“Of whom exactly?”

“Tinto Brass mainly.”

“I see.”

“But without the same level of sophistication.”

Is she really doing this? I don’t know if she’s an idiot or my new hero.

“I think I might have a word with your manager later, my dear.”

“Why not right now? He’s just over there.”

Off goes Ravingbone. More than a little aggrieved.

“Do you think he’ll sack you?”

“I doubt it. I’m only an agency staff. And my shift finishes in 3 minutes.”

Sam Bowles

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