Breat Easton Ellis and Gregor Jordan’s The Informers

December 25, 2008


The trailer to the Bret Easton Ellis adaptation The Informers can be found here. The poster is killer. It is based on the short story collection by Ellis from the early 90’s. It is directed by Australian Gregor Jordon, who shot to prominence with Two Hands, and made the Heath Ledger version of Ned Kelly, a few years back.

I have a real love for The Informers, the book. It came out around the same time as my starting The Hellfire Club in Melbourne and Sydney, and it perfectly reflected the decadent world that I found myself falling into, and that I could see all around me before in the 80’s. It was a fragmented, glamorous, morally vacant puzzle box of a book with movie execs, hookers, rock stars and vampires running amok. A portrait of LA in the 80’s as prescient as anything by Fitzgerald recorded from the 20’s. Indeed, I feel there is a real connection between Bret Easton Ellis and F.Scott Fitzgerald. When making the Beautiful and Damned as a modern story, told now, I was informed by the oeuvre of Bret Easton Ellis, and I have even dedicated my adaptation of The Beautiful and Damned to him. Its a mistake to look at Ellis purely as a period writer (the 80’s). When you think about it, today’s world is even more 80’s than the 80’s! So, unless we have another era about to descend upon us from the ether, I would say, Bret Easton Ellis is our extreme contemporary. Something similar can be said of Fitzgerald…

I have always wanted to make one of Ellis’ books into a film. I don’t even care if another filmmaker has already made one, I believe I would create a version that better reflects the books true nihilistic essence with intense purity. I was born to adapt one of his books.

So, its its with great interest, and I’ll admit, some small professional jealousy, that I cast my eye on Gregor Jordan’s The Informers trailer. Yes, we have doped out existential indifference in the young and the old, we have money, wealth and power breeding only indifference and boredom, we have psychotic characters and acts of violence. In other words, it all looks good…

The trailer is interesting. It doesn’t blow me away, though, immediately, as it should. Parts of the trailer appear a little flat. It also appears as if Jordan has made some of the characters moral, self reflective or sympathetic, a cardinal mistake in the Ellis world. At least up to his last novel Lunar Park, that makes some tentative steps in that direction. But this could be wrong, you can’t tell from a trailer. Plus as a real bonus Ellis himself is screenwriter and EP so that should bode well for this adaptation, having the master himself on hand to advise on the script and production. I’m more than happy to go along with Jordan, to see what he can do. His Buffulo Soldier’s showed real promise. The characters? Bryan Metro, the fucked up rock star, looks cool and right on. Same the short vignette’s with Mickey Rourke, and the abducted child. No doubt Kim Bassinger is playing the zonked out pool boy admiring Mom, and Billy Bob Thornton her hubby. Chris Isaak plays Tim Price’s father Les. Winona Ryder is Cheryl. Brad Renfro in his final role. A good ensemble cast then. Its a strong, clever book, that will make a good film, even if it is not handled perfectly…

A small anecdote: Gregor Jordan was in attendance at a party thrown by Heath Ledger during the making of Ned Kelly, and that I had the good fortune to be invited to. Orlando Bloom and most of the cast of Kelly was there. Let’s just say it was a wild party. The Dj’s alternated between Jordan wanting to play Powderfinger (Pleeeeasse…), and my self wanting to put on the latest Electro mayhem. It was a dueling of the decks by two directors. As Jordan was making the film with Ledger, I didn’t push to hard to get my own way. The party was at the three story penthouse on the corner of Russell and La Trobe streets, that is quite an amazing pad, and it was where Heath was staying during the shooting of the Ned Kelly bio. He was a friendly and congenial host. Not arrogant, or a prick in any way. If Jordan could simply film what went on at that party, he’d have a segment of The Informers already in the can. Rebecca Sutherland from MUFF even fell into the water feature, and had Heath Ledger as host run around after her, getting her dry.  It can be assumed that everyone was fairly wasted. Blonde’s walked into glass partitions that abounded in the post modern penthouse. Side rooms were used for God knows what. It was a good night that took a few days to recover from…

I mention this only to say that I believe Jordan obviously knows this world of excess, and high society wastoids, and hopefully can reflect part of it, in his adaptation of The Informers.

By the way, the new Bret Easton Ellis book due in the next 18 months and is to be called Imperial Bedrooms. What a killer title. Again, taken from Elvis Costello. Bret Easton Ellis is one of the most important living authors in my opinion, if not THE most important. Ballard is the other. He hosts weekly dinner parties in his West Hollywood penthouse, holding court to the LA elite. See here. I wonder how one gets an invitation to such a spread? I’d be on the next plane to LA, if I could swing one. Talking nihilism, excess and politics with B.E.E would be a rare treat…

2 Responses to “Breat Easton Ellis and Gregor Jordan’s The Informers”

  1. Matthew said

    You don’t feel that story about Bret Easton Ellis’s dinner parties is somewhat trite? Like the headline should be “Extra: Writer Hosts Private Dinner Parties”? I mean, who gives a fuck? Just because he writes good books doesn’t mean his dinner parties are worth writing a newspaper article about. They might be worth visiting – I can understand why you’d want to have dinner with Bret Easton Ellis, obviously – but worth writing an article about? Um, okay…

  2. richard777 said

    Hi Matt,

    Its obviously a life style piece of bourgeois nonsense. But the fact that it is Bret Easton Ellis makes it interesting. If you have ever read a book of his, I sure dinner at his pad would be very interesting. Just to see the interior decor alone. Which would be minimalist and impersonal. What facial products are in the bathroom, etc.

    BEE seems to be entering a more public period, being a celebrated author, hosting parties ala Truman Capote. I find his books remarkable, genius, and that’s why I’d like to meet him and attend such an evening…



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