Apologies, I was getting my days mixed up. I recall you saying you were busy on Thursday and Saturday. Our last filming window for this is therefore Sunday. But, fortunately, also the furthest away for preparation time. So would Sunday in Paris work as a possibility for you? We’d need to confirm our end, but wanted to check with you first.
We’d still love to make this happen if we can.
Simon, CB Films.
I have not had good feelings about your project.
It seems very rushed - can I be in Paris on Sunday, where ?
do I book the trains or do you ? overnight ? what do I wear ?
You have not told me the storyline of the documentary
beyond that it is about shoplifting and kleptomania.
I have pointed out that kleptomania, though a sexy subject,
is actually very rare, and most shoplifters are not kleptomaniacs.
Kleptomaniacs steal from their friends, for example,
and are unaware or only vaguely aware that they are doing so.
My extraordinarily low-level shoplifting, though somewhat compulsive,
is both part of my anti-property philosophy
and (conveniently)of sheer economic value in a life
led entirely 'below the bread line' even before I left university
for the second time - without a degree.
As you know, I do not have television, and though I have watched some great documentaries
and some great Iranian movies thereon, I regard it as one of the greatest of the modern evils,
along with compulsory brainwashing of children. I have been told that Channel 4 has already produced some programmes about shoplifters which were contemptibly shallow infotainment. I have also had a poor experience with BBC Radio 4, who cut out the (to me) only important point that I made in a 'slot'.
I have no intention of wasting my time and someone's money taking (possibly overnight) trains to and from Paris for a tedious bit of interview which will end up as 5 minutes in a broadcast which does not consider the complicated social-ethical-economic aspects of shoplifting - which, as I point out on my web-page, is regarded somewhat differently in many parts of Europe from the often-vindictive attitude in anglophone countries. I am not sure that you have even read all of that web-page, or any others on my website. You at no point mentioned expenses, and seem to me all-too-desperate to put me in front of a camera without having seen me in real life. When October Films UK filmed me for their documentary on unconventional funerals, they were in contact for 6 weeks before filming.
If the project were by someone as serious and distinguished as Adam Curtis, and if I had been approached early on and 'put in the picture' rather than lassooed at what seems like the last moment of a tottering project, I might have been happy to recount before a camera my sometimes brazen, sometimes discreditable experiences, my brief imprisonment in Belfast's famous prison (where prison officers decided I was homo 5 years before I did), my fondness for giving money to beggars on the streets rather than to the comfortable in shops, and my thoughts on a minor criminal but not antisocial behaviour in which I have indulged for most of my life.
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