Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Favorite Movie I totally forgot about and why I am angry with Maureen. Really angry.

Sinead has a good plan here -- open up a conversation that Maureen would really spend a long time thinking about and talking about as punishment for living the Toronto Film Festival. I was going to talk about my new love of the series Fire Fly -- but how our favorite movies reflect our writing is better.

My anger towards Maureen right now is due in large part to Peter Saarsgard. If Pete were going to leave his pregnant lover for one of us - Maureen has a distinct advantage because she's actually been in the same room as him. Sure five fantastic movies a day is great --but for me it all comes down to Peter Saarsgard.

Now. Movies.

My favorite dramas are Good Will Hunting and Field of Dreams (it's funny that Sinead and I are critique partners isn't it... I'm on the warm and fuzzy side of the spectrum - though when she dragged me to Aliens at the I-Max - it was pretty amazing anyway...) I think what I love about these films and how I try incorporate it into my writing is

1. I try not to get in the way of the storytelling. Those movies are great because there is not an inch of fat - there is not a scene that doesn't serve the might trinty of purpose - character development, forwarding the plot, revealing backstory or forshadowing the future.

2. I try to let the characters tell thier story. This really comes down to showing rather than telling. We know nothing of Will Hunting except what is shown to us -- he's a bad ass. Loyal. Smart. So when the big reveal of his past happens -- it's a gut churner because it's not something we've already had referenced -we've just seen hints and so by the time it shows up we're dying to know. As for Field of Dreams - we get that he's unorthodox in large part becuse of the behavior of his wife the fantastic Amy Madigan -- a man married to a woman who stands up at a PTA meeting and calls someone a Nazi Cow -- is likely to plow under his corn to build a baseball field because a voice told him to. At least I believed it.

I forgot one of my favorite movies. I visited my oldest friend in the world this weekend and as a suprise she had Clue for us to watch. CLUE! Hilarious movie! Which made me think the whole way home that comedy is so tough to write because it rests largely on the characters acting it out. Movies it works because Madeline Khan is one of the funniest women ever - but how do you write it in such a way that everyone can see it the same way you do without what's-his-name Curry or Will Farrell or Steve Correll to help you out. Tough.

Great topic Sinead. Stay away from Peter Maureen.


Sinead M said...

I can't remember Clue, but I love Madeline Khan.

Good movie nods, although I think you might have mentioned those movies before.. a little.. during drunk writer talk

Forget Peter S, it's all about Ed Norton

Kimber said...

Loved Young Frankenstein. A Halloween classic. Madeline Khan rocked it in that movie.

Molly O'Keefe said...

WHAT!!! Sinead you haven't seen CLUE??? Your life won't be the same. Seriously. Go get it on BETA because I think that's all you can get it on.

Kimber! I just saw Young Frankenstein for the first time. Laughed my hiney off at Puttin' On The Ritz.

Christine said...

Clue rocked! I loved the gimmick they had at the theatre, with different endings playing in different locations. Of course I had to wait until it VHS before I could see them all. No WAY my parents would let me go three times. :)

I love silly comedies. Dogeball being a favorite right now. :)Low on plot, high on laughs.

Molly O'Keefe said...

Christine -- I'm with you. I can't get enough of Anchorman right now. It's killing me.

Sinead M said...

Dodgeball is a great movie... hilarious.. I'm watching season 1 of Arrested Development.. I can't even express my adoration of that entire cast.
The mother, the father, Jason Bateman, any of the brothers. It's perfection

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