Tuesday, July 26, 2005



This is Skander, my brother. On the weekend of August 12, if you live in New York or Los Angeles, and if you appreciate pitch-black comedy and "jaw-droppingly inappropriate" social satire, do go and see Pretty Persuasion, the movie he wrote. (You can view the trailer on the website.)

Pretty Persuasion was a Dramatic Competition pick at Sundance 2005. Critics either love it or hate it; I'm still snickering over the fact that A.O. Scott, in his Sundance roundup review for the New York Times, described it as "rancid." Directed by Marcos Siega, it's a high-school comedy starring Evan Rachel Wood as a sociopathic teen, Ron Livingston as her somewhat creepy teacher, James Woods as her very creepy father, and Jane Krakowski as an easily corrupted television reporter.

Some other things Skander is working on these days: He has written some scripts for a vaguely Buffyish YTV show called "Dark Oracle", which I haven't seen. (Yes, my brother writes for television, and no, I don't own a TV. Shut up.) He has a hell-raisin' article in the July-August issue of Script Magazine, exhorting young screenwriters to write the screenplays they want to write, rather than trying to pander to the market. He is working on getting a studio to back his directorial debut, to be titled The Perfect Ghost -- it was supposed to shoot in Romania this summer but that fell through, as these things so often do. Also, his longtime fascination with online cult-celebrity film reviewer Outlaw Vern has led him to write a screenplay about Vern -- not a biopic, but an insane satirical fantasy in which Vern singlehandedly overthrows Hollywood's grip on the public imagination and turns America on to esoteric subtitled art films instead. Vern seems uncertain what to make of the whole thing (scroll halfway down), but is being a good sport about it. True to form, the script is ridiculously funny and will offend every single human being who sees it. So far everyone Skander has shown it to has described it as "unmakeable," but that's what they said about Pretty Persuasion.


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