There has been a sumptuous helping of synchronicity in regard to U & Me & Tennessee,right from the movie's inception. As we struggle to complete post-production and have it all ready for film festivals and markets around the world, the coincidences just keep on occurring. Tennessee Williams is still news.

Tennessee's NOTEBOOKS have just been published. If you want to get an idea of how it might have been to be around Tennessee, you can consult them. Simon Callow has written a thoughtful, considered review of the NOTEBOOKS in The Guardian. John Waters has added his own witty and perceptive take in The New York Times on why Tennessee was and is so important to so many people, and Peter Conrad's review in the Observer is the literary equivalent of an extraordinary rendition to Gitmo for the late Mr. Williams - worth a read! Plus, The New Yorker recently published a newly discovered poem of Tenn's, from his university days.

In 2006 the second volumn of Tennessee's Selected Letters was published and also the 6 DVD set of movies based upon his plays and original filmscripts was released in the States and Britian. Despite having "gone on to greater rewards" in 1983, Tenneessee Williams in now. He would no doubt be tickled by this state of affairs.

Absent from the Notebooks, absent from Selected Letters Vol. 2 - is any mention of, or correspondence between Tennessee and Konrad Hopkins. But this is not surprising. Tennessee's life entailed a never-ending parade of "gentlemen callers", the vast majority of whom figure as little more than walking shadows in his life's rich pageant.

Nevertheless, Tenn and Konrad exchanged many powerful letters and significant gifts, spanning the years 1952 - 1956. This correspondence, together with Konrad's harrowing, delightful and moving reminiscences, form the bedrock of our movie.

When Konrad first wrote to Tennessee in the spring of 1952, he was serving as a sergeant in the USAF. (He enlisted to avoid being drafted and sent to Korea. His strategy worked!). The letter was simply a fan letter - but thoughtful - and Konrad wrote intelligently and movingly about one subject very close to Tennessee's heart:

the poet Hart Crane.

"Indeed, Hart Crane was not the only one. He was a magnificient writer. He should be regarded as high as Whitman and Melville and Dickinson in our literature, especially for his White Buildings. I love his knarled, difficult images, his challenging themes -- the Chaplin-Pierrot artist in the modern commercial world, for one, is so much Crane's own story."

Tennessee wrote back immediately, and his letter contained a truly startling revelation.

"Your letter made a strong impression on me. I think mostly because of the interest in Crane. Crane remains closer to my heart than any other modern artist. I think he is a sort of archtype of the martyred artist in our times. Martyred is a sentimental word and yet in Crane's case it fits.

I must confess that his life is more meaningful to me personally, than that of Christ,

if only because he practised my vocation in my time and suffered the same damnation that I and possibly you and so many others must suffer...

I think that people of rare sensibility like Crane leave an ineradicable mark on the world which is almost mystical. It's not what they do so much as what they are, and I don't think it needs the Roman Catholic church and a list of certified miracles to make them our own particular saints who have come after them and are comforted by their shadows on the desert..."

From then on - well, their correspondence prefigured by half a century the internet romances of today.

From Tennessee at his home in Key West, Florida:

"There is more personal illumination in your new letter...and I'm glad of that. Perhaps you will throw discretion to the winds and send me an inscribed photo?"

After Konrad sent Tenn a photo, he received an astonishingly attentive and powerful reply, full of Tennessee's speculations on his character, personality and physicality, and clear signals of interest...

"Send me some more photos and I'll go on! Delighted to know you're going to be in New York sometime in the spring...It would be wonderful if your visit could coincide with the opening, (of Tenn's play Camino Real)."

And later, from New Haven, Connecticut, where Camino Real was playing before it came to Broadway:

"I dashed up here (to his hotel room) between acts of "Camino" for a private drink and just to write a few lines. I'll do better as a pen-pal after we come into New York...I feel that you're an old friend. The pictures are lovely. I hope you continue to send them. You are becoming so familiar to me now. I suspect that I know you far better than I could have known you through an actual meeting, as I am shy and possibly you are, too....In New York my phone is Murray Hill 8-6744. Hasta la vista!"

The whole story - from its fervent, hopeful beginning to its terrifying climax and disheartening denouement - along with some fascinating detours into the Greek myths, the New York literary scene in the '50's, James T. Farrell, Gore Vidal, Burt Reynolds and a chilling (but very funny) episode with Pulitzer prize winning playwright William Inge - will be laid out for all to experience in -

U & Me & Tennessee\

a timely - and clear-eyed - look at Tenn.