Harlan Ellison Rude (and Lewd) to Fan, Film at 7:30

Harlan Ellison Rude (and Lewd) to Fan, Film at 7:30
by Amelia G : August 10th, 2007

Harlan Ellison in Current BiopicHarlan Ellison was going to be doing some sort of screening and question and answer session tonight. I realized that it had been about a decade since I read anything by Ellison, meaning I pretty much stopped reading his work when I came out to the West Coast. Although books are a serious vice of mine, Angelenos do not tend to be big readers and this makes it easy to just sort of not think of some writers I once would have been hyper-aware of.

At any rate, some friends and I went to see a sort of documentary/promo piece for Harlan Ellison tonight. It was a potentially not quite final cut and of course it was a book event in Los Angeles. I was all fretting, when we arrived with only three minutes to spare, that it might be sold out. Oh yeah, book event in sunny Southern Cali. It was only about a quarter full, but the audience struck me as quite devout, despite Ellison heckling us all during the Q&A portion, comparing our relative silence to a boring Jackson Pollack painting or something. I don’t recall the exact analogy, but, even though it did not quite work for the situation, it still sounded fairly entertaining the way Ellison said it.

The movie had a lot of delightfully well-delivered lines and a few bright spots. Writer Neil Gaiman describes a telephone answering machine message where Ellison told Gaiman he was a dead man, that his house would be burned down, salt would be poured on the radioactive remains, etc. and finishes saying “call me” and Gaiman tells the story with surprisingly humorous delivery. Actor Robin Williams wanders in and out of the flick and of course it . . .

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