Cult of Personality

It’s not easy for someone like me—a member of a spiritual group in which the devotees wear all white on ceremonial occasions, perform ablutions before meditation, touch our heads to the floor before a ritual meal and obey the Master of the Path without question—to sit through the first parts of Sound of My Voice, much less be interested in seeing it at all lest it make me squirm right out of my preferred movie theater seat, C22 in the handicapped section of Arclight Hollywood, the most legroom in the galaxy.

Granted, the secret Sufi handshake of my group isn’t as elaborate as the one in SOMV, but nor is it particularly secret.  A sort of cross between a bro handclasp and a kiss, it is elegant enough to be performed quickly on the street; it doesn’t even look like a secret handshake, more like the Middle-Eastern equivalent of a European air kiss, which is what it is: very Arabian Nights somehow, or how Crusaders in an esoteric brotherhood might have met or left each other in medieval Jerusalem.

Stalking Danger


by James Killough

I worked with an actor once, a Royal Shakespeare Company stalwart, who had a great story about being stalked.  He awoke one morning to find a screenplay in the post.  It wasn’t from his agent, there was no postage on it, not even a return address. Then he started reading.

The story was about an actor who lived in a house identical to his, on the same street, who did the same things daily.  And he was being watched by a girl across the way, who had fallen in love with him, and who had written the screenplay in hand.

Not just a planet. A star is born with Brit Marling.

“So what do you think I did?” he asked me over a pint in a pub.

“Had an affair with her, of course,” I replied.

“For four years,” he sighed.  “We’re just breaking up.”