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STAYING IN THE PICTURE
The Kid Stays in the Picture is the name the 1994 autobiography by film producer Robert Evans(1930- ). It is also the title of the 2002 film adaptation of the same book. Last night I watched this film adaptation.1 By 1994 I had my eye on an early retirement; by 2002 I had taken a sea-change and retired to a small town by the sea, about 5 kms from the Bass Strait, an extension of the Great Southern Ocean. Robert Evans had been part of my life since the 1950s, but he had always been far in the background beginning with the 3 films: Man of a Thousand Faces, The Sun Also Rises, and The Best of Everything.
He has been so far in the background of my life that, until last night, I had never even heard of him. This should tell readers more about me than it does about Evans because Evans was at the centre of Hollywood life for decades. He has been called 'the Godfather of Hollywood'. During his 60 years in film, from the 1950s to the turn of the 21st century, the cinema was not that central to my life. I was no connoisseur of the celebrity circuit, and watching either TV or films was always a relatively peripheral part of my life. At least this was the case for the half-century from about 1954 until the last ten years, 2004 to 2014. By 2004 I had retired from all FT and PT paid employment. I had retired by degrees from FT, PT and most volunteer work, as well as the endless meetings involved. All of these occupations occupied me for 60 to 80 hours a week for more than half a century. My student-working life had lasted from 1949 to 1999.
Going to "the pictures", as cinema is often called Downunder, and watching TV were both only occasional activities, certainly not definite parts of my daily diet. That has no longer been the case for the last decade.
Many elements from Evans' 1994 autobiography, such as his childhood and all but one of his seven marriages, were dropped from this doco because the producers felt that their inclusion would slow things down, and not move the visual-auditory-experience along with the pace required for modern audiences.
Evans started writing his autobiography when he was in his 60s. I started writing mine, my memoirs & autobiography, in my 40s and there was much I also had to leave out for many reasons mainly associated with moving my story along in the direction I wanted it to go.
A person's identity is not to be found in behaviour, important though that is, nor in the reactions of others, but in the capacity to keep a particular narrative going. The individual's autobiography or biography, if he or she is to maintain regular interaction with others in the day-to-day world, cannot be wholly fictive. The person must continually integrate events which occur in both their internal-world and the wider-external world, and sort them into the ongoing 'story' about the self.'2
I want to thank 1ABC1TV, 10:20-11:50 p.m., 2/2/'14 for this stimulating doco.