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Life of Crime

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

French Documentary by Laurent Chalumeau

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Elmore on French TV

The French understand Elmore Leonard in ways that are just not typical of most people.  To be sure, Elmore is no Jerry Lewis in France, (thankfully) but he is celebrated.  That’s why I was open to the idea of a French documentary for Canal Plus, a premium French cable channel, written by French writer, Laurent Chalumeau.  I knew it would not contain a single liter of the usual boring crap you find in North American video “biographies.”

Laurent Chalumeau might bristle if you called him the “The French Elmore Leonard” but not if you called him Elmore’s number one fan in France.  Laurent has, by his own admission, been “ripping off Elmore” since 1984 when he first became aware of him, reading Stephen King’s review of Glitz in The New York Times, then everything by Elmore he could get his hands on.  He compared his Elmore Leonard epiphany to the conversion of St. Paul on the Road to Damascus.

Laurent Chalumeau began his writing career as a rock writer for the French equivalent of Rolling Stone.  Since then, he has written several novels and screenplays and has pretty much “been there, done that” for most of his personal obsessions with the exception of one: to meet Elmore Leonard, the man who has been such an influence on his work for the past twenty five years.

Laurent came to Detroit in late May, hired a Detroit film crew and set about fulfilling his dream.  He shot a couple of lengthy interviews with Elmore as well as an interview with yours truly, Gregg Sutter.  He filmed a joint appearance by Elmore and Peter Leonard at an event at Border’s Books in Birmingham for Peter’s debut novel, Quiver.  Later Elmore would say of Laurent’s interview: “his questions were hard!”  But a good time was had by all, despite the extra brain work.

I don’t know when we can expect to see Laurent’s documentary on Elmore Leonard in France or anywhere else,  but I predict that it will be the best damn documentary to come along since the BBC production, Elmore Leonard’s Criminal Records in 1991.

 

 

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On Twitter

2/2 Still wish they'd chisel off "Dickens of Detroit" and add something for the ages instead of a cliche that Elmo… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…
Sad day. It's been 4 yrs. Unbelievable still. Added to gravesite, Elmore's WWII Navy marker. Strange to have 2 markers, but welcome. 1/2
1st 3 episodes of Get Shorty TV series streaming at EPIX, “inspired by the novel. Can you feel the EL inspiration? bit.ly/2ugzOnP
SousVide Supreme Touch+ Kickstarter is live. 1st 249 Backers Get SousVide Supreme Touch+ For $249 — 58% Off MSRP. goread.me/1CB8
Elmore learned from Hemingway but decided the man didn’t have a sense of humor. Richard Bissell did. Elmore loved… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…
Working title 4 Up in Honey’s Room was “Hitler’s Birthday.” The publisher nixed it. “Hitler doesn’t sell,” she sai… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…
Richard Edgar Monk’s Detroit backyard @1035 State Fair St in The Switch. I added a squirrel. Elmore would not hav… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…
From the @NME. Elmore’s favorite self description. Forget Dickens of Detroit! Would sure like to find the original… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…
Elmore’s French publisher, @EditionsRivages and Italian, @Einaudieditore do great book covers. Here, Lemmy Caution… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…
@CharlesArdai “we all love Chandler ... We already have Elmore Leonard. We don’t need more imitations of those great men. But a new voice,"
Heather Locklear is reportedly undergoing a psychiatric evaluation after being hospitalized on Sunday… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Variety's TV critics @DPD_ and @carolineframke discuss their dream #Emmy2018 nominations bit.ly/2I1Yyak pic.twitter.com/maIbXdh1PV
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Complaints of sexual harassment in California nearly doubled in the first three months of 2018, while New York has… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Former ‘NBC Nightly News’ Correspondent Richard Valeriani Dies at 85 wp.me/p2WgDE-1jp2eX
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