Monday, May 19, 2008

Weekend Update

"What a rotten film. All we meet are crazy people." A horn-blaring traffic jam that lasts for ten minutes, self-aware characters who know they’re in a movie, ominous music that rises and falls with no apparent link to the actual plot -- but then there’s no actual plot in Week End, really --just Godard’s idea of a road movie, where the streets of France are littered with burning cars and accident victims, figures from literature and the French Revolution appear and lecture the audience, and immediate relatives are butchered like livestock for inheritance money when they’re not thrown into the stewing pot to serve as food for the revolutionaries. You want a time capsule from 1967? Look no further. It’s Bunuel’s Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie with neither charm nor discretion.

Prince Caspian. Fantasy? Nope. War movie? Yes. It’s more Two Towers than anything else, and except for the minotaurs, dwarves and centaurs, the whole film could be a subplot in El Cid. Kids who were charmed by The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe will probably be terrified by the darkness at the heart of this sequel, even though its message is even more overtly Christian than the first one: pride goeth before a fall, a little child shall lead them, and faith can move mountains, or at least deciduous oak trees.

The Writing Imp. How do you know you're writing something good? When your hand is taken over by a mischievous little imp who makes your characters say and do things that force you to either wrestle control of your pen back or throw out all your notes, outlines, strategies and preparations and see where the imp is taking you. Or, in my case, when a projected 10-page scene swells to almost 20 pages -- which, the way I write, is 30 minutes of stage time -- and a two-act play is threatening, in this draft at least, to become three acts. And yet. To quote Dashiell Hammett, I haven't had so much fun since the hogs ate my kid brother.

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