East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Ten Thousand Daggers

I’m hard at work on a short scenario for Savage World, that will be published in Italian in the forthcoming Almanacco dei Mondi Selvaggi 2017, a special book filled with Savage Worlds gaming goodness, prepares especially for the Modena Play gaming fair.

My Savage Tale will be a pulp number, and will be called The Ten Thousand Daggers of Madame Yen Sin.
It was outlining the thing that I realized I have a real hard time writing in Italian – I think the text in English.
I’m getting too old for this thing.

Setting up the scenario was also a great occasion to go and re-watch Josef von Sternberg’s The Shanghai Gesture, as the main-villainess and dragon lady in the story is based on the character of Madame Gin Sling, as portrayed by Ona Munson.


In case you are curious, I covered the movie in an old post.


Now I only have to figure out what Madame Yen Sin is going to do with her ten thousand items of cutlery, and then hit the editor with the finished product.


The Shanghai Gesture


Our story has nothing to do with the present.

There is this card, at the very beginning of Joseph von Sternberg’s The Shanghai Gesture – a simple card, that shifts the action of this unusual pulpish noir shot in 1941 from the real world to a parallel dimension.
The card was placed there upon request by the censors – that were afraid the movie could have some bad effects on the morale of the men fighting in the Pacific.
It was 1941.

That card is one – but only one – of the many elements that make it one of the films I like to re-watch.
It’s stylish, cruel, as dark and as they come, and wildly exotic.

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