I was too tired to write a blog last night so the photos I took yesterday are here. I wanted to show how we shoot car scenes…with the car mounted on a flat bed , the cameras attached in front and the whole is being pulled by another truck. This isn’t the only way to shoot car scenes but a common way, and, in our case, essential because Guy Bedos doesn’t drive. I would take Tulea into the car with me between takes cause she knew I was inside and whimpered when we went past.

Today was the first day all of us shot together. Geraldine has been finishing a film in Spain so this was her first day on our film and it was a delight to work with her and look across the hospital bed at her awakened face, positively shining with spirit. She is an imaginative actor. I was impressed. In the scene, our friend, Claude (Claude Rich), had a mild heart attack and has been taken to a retirement home by his son and we, his pals, come to visit and decide, because we are not happy with what we experience in the home, to help him escape.

It was a long day in a very small, hot room and I am beat. But the scene went well and is full of camaraderie and humor.

It is a beautiful building, pistachio green, like buildings in St Petersburg and it offers rooms for people on welfare. There are 102 people—men and women—living there (mostly women, because women live longer than men in general by 5 1/2 years). The oldest is 108!!! There are also people in their fifties, people with Alzheimer’s. It is very sad to walk through the lounge area. I’m told that tomorrow we will work with a woman who is 102. Maybe I can interview here for my book.

Claude’s character is an amateur but fine photographer who likes especially to photograph the prostitutes he frequents. We’ve put his photos up on the wall.

Waiting to shoot. The room was really hot!

This is the lovely retirement home where Claude has been taken by his son.

I am sad anyway because my dear, sweet friend, Stephen Rivers, died last night of cancer. Stephen was my PR person for a long time —as well as my friend–and traveled all over with me, including to Russia, where I was trying to persuade the government to allow the famous and brave refusnik, Ida Nudel, to go to Israel. He was the one who arranged my meeting with 40 Vietnam veterans in the basement of a church in Waterbury, Conn. We went through a lot together. Life is terminal, but for some it happens too soon.

See you next time.

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