I meant to do a blog post about these pics a couple of years ago but, struggling for context, I left them to dwell for a couple of years, because…well, you’ll understand when you see them. Let me explain, a couple of years I was enjoying a leisurely cup of tea with my neighbour, who had recently moved back up north from the big smoke. She spent a lot of her time down there appearing as an extra in such notable TV shows as Eastenders (where she mingled with the likes of ‘Big Ron’) and films like Four Weddings and a Funeral and Interview with the Vampire (conversations about which would normally be proceeded by ‘When I was working with Tom Cruise…’).

Anyway, she produced a book she bought at a car boot sale. I can’t remember what it was, if memory serves it was a collection of oil paintings of cats but that my just be wishful thinking. Regardless, she bought this book from a car boot sale near Pinewood Studios. According to my neighbour, everyone who’s anyone would have their stuff sold at this car boot sale. In my mind this conjured up images of Stanley Kubrick pitching up to clear his archive of ceramic dogs, or Ridley Scott getting there early doors to build on his famed collection of brass horseshoes. The ‘reality’ however, wasn’t far from the truth. Check out this letter…

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and these were the images…

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OK, so it may be doubtful that Spielberg circa-87 would struggle to afford the likes of Patrick McGoohan and Sid James – though there were clearly other factors prohibiting the latter’s hiring in 1987 – despite what he tells the mysterious ‘Derek’. It’s equally unlikely that he used the story of an ex-convict exposing his boss’ corruption as an inspiration for Empire of the Sun, though he did hire Sean Connery for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in 1989.

Perhaps the biggest mystery is what Derek and his brother David made of the check for 5 million dollars, which was notable for its absence among the collection of painted cats. Maybe they didn’t receive it? Who knows? Who cares? I don’t really know. I’ll be back next week with a more comprehensive post – though I can’t guarantee it’ll make any more sense. Until then, have a better one.

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