Thursday 30 July 2009

Writing? Huh? Wha? Why?

She said, "But why? Why do you want to be a writer?"

Because I get to have a voice. Because I get to have something to say and I get to say it. I get to create the world I want through putting words on a page. And maybe, just maybe, some people might like those words, they might relate to those words. And maybe those words will change them a little. Maybe a story about dreaming will make a little girl dream a little bit more, maybe a script about war will make someone care a little bit more, maybe a film about imagination will make a bunch of people feel inspired at least just a little bit more.

I write because if I just take things in and experience them, they'll get polluted with my judgements and belief systems, whereas if I turn what I think and feel into some kind of words, then it takes on meaning. And if I work hard enough on myself I can rid myself of those judgements and tear through the belief systems and then what will come out on the page is pure truth. Truth like Jimmy Stewart's voice, truth like Tom Hanks' eyes, truth like Marylin Monroe's body, truth like Billy Wilder's dialogue.

I could not write. I could try that. I could keep clicking on people's Facebook profiles and I could argue with someone in the street and work in a job I hate, but I'd rather do this. I'd rather live by inspiration-- I'd rather something just hit me out of nowhere and feel it say "Hey! I am an idea! Take a look at me! See if we get along! Dance with me baby! Come on, throw me down on that page. Give me some letters, give me some words."

When people say "Why do you write?"

I'm gonna say "Why do you have that ugly look on your face? You'd be a lot more beautiful if you said "You write, that's amazing!"

I write because a tree is just a tree. But once you get an idea of a tree, you can turn the tree into anything. You can imagine a beautiful woman sitting on that tree, you can write about the beautiful sunset behind the tree, you can do whatever you want with that damn tree. You see that tree outside your window right now? It's been sitting there for years and apart from when you jumped off it as a kid it hasn't had much reason to be there. But if you have that picture in your head when you write a script, that tree could take on a life of it's own. It could be the kind of tree that Forrest and Jenny would sit on, or a tree that the boys from Stand By Me would like . Before you know it the tree outside your window that inspired you is part of something sitting on some desk in Hollywood that's making some balding Executive think, "this is a movie!".

What people forget when they pull an ugly and say "A writer? What? Why?" is that anything any of us have ever been excited by or inspired by has usually come from a writer. A book you loved, a song you sung, a movie that scared you, a love letter that made you cry, a poem that changed you. This is all at the hands of some writer.

I don't care if you're a successful screenwriter, a hilarious twitter-updater, a novellist or a speech writer. Whatever you are, be proud that you do what you do. Take those letters, take those words; do something with them. Write a movie, write a love letter, write a text message, write yourself a note.

It's the write thing to do.

Care to share?

Wednesday 29 July 2009

The Writing Of The Feature.

I am not currently blogging very much as I am writing a feature film. And when I'm not doing that, I'm going to the cinema a lot (I'll be blogging about that soon).

I am writing the film right here.

And when I get a bit confused I walk around the garden bare-footed until I get a feel for the next few scenes.

Also, I added a new little thing to the left hand side of the blog.. which shows the last film I watched. I'll update it every time I watch a movie.. and the pictures are clickable, they take you to the IMDB page of the film.

Care to share?

Friday 24 July 2009

The Cinema Week.

Yes I love movies and yes I love going to the cinema-- but do I do it enough? No. So over the next week; I'm doing it as much as I can. Yes, I have work to do and things to get done-- but any second not spent doing those will be spent watching films in various places around London. It starts on Monday. So I'll see you all in the front row.

Care to share?

Thursday 23 July 2009

Inglourious Basterds Review - from the UK Premiere.

Quentin Tarantino came bouncing onto the Leicester Square Odeon stage with his usual, crazy amount of energy. His first comments were instructing the audience to turn off their cellphones, which he waited for everyone to do. And then after introducing Christoph Waltz and Diane Kruger (Brad Pitt was absent) he asked, "Are we ready to see some some basterds?' repeatedly until he got the required enthusiasm from the audience. It didn't take long. As he slammed the microphone to the floor - it was time for us, finally, to see Inglourious Basterds.

I offer my opinions honestly, I don't claim to be a film critic or have any kind of authority on film reviewing. I just know that I really didn't love the film. 'Basterds', as you might expect-- gets the full Tarantino treatment of retro titling, obscure music (featuring many post-war artists and styles) and over the top violence. Now don't get me wrong, the violence was fun to watch; but it's starting to feel a bit too Tarantino; like he's impersonating himself.

The things that made 'Kill Bill' inspired made 'Inglourious Basterds' seem old, and self-indulgent. As a Director, Tarantino has always liked the long, drawn out scenes. But I remember watching that painfully lengthy restaurant scene in 'Death Proof' and wishing it was about ten minutes shorter. Well, that happened in nearly every scene in this film-- everything was screaming out to be shorter. For vast sums of the film I felt one thing; pure boredom. The scenes were unnecessarily long without good reason; they weren't integral to the story and they didn't build tension. I hated feeling this way, who wants to be bored during a Tarantino film?

I think, for me, the main thing that was missing was any kind of characters we could care for, or believe in. Whilst Brad Pitt's smug look throughout was kind of amusing, it was hard to take seriously. The only character who really had depth to her was Shosanna (Melanie Laurent); who's tale of revenge was something the audience could really get behind.

Anyways, I don't mean to slam the film -- there were some great moments; I laughed quite a lot throughout. It's the little things that stick out in my mind, like Hitler turning to a soldier, looking serious, and just saying, "gum?," or Pitt sticking his finger in an open leg-wound as a way of torture, along with some typically brilliant violence (eeek, not a good phrase!) such as Eli Roth battering a soldier to death with a baseball bat, which will no doubt go down as one of the all-time great Tarantino scenes.

The film, as many of you will already know, does rewrite history in some small ways. This will cause a lot of division between viewers, I would imagine. Personally, as ridiculous as it is, I kind of enjoyed it. I kind of got to see what I would have loved to have happened in real life. But to say any more would give away the ending.

If you're a war veteran looking for a respectful account of your heroic work in the war, this isn't the film for you. If you have any interest in history or World War 2, again, this film isn't really for you. But if you like Tarantino and you like seeing shit blow up and all the cool stuff that comes with his movies, then you'll probably enjoy this.

I have always been a big Tarantino fan, and whilst this does show his usual skills and bountiful ideas; it seems a bit forced at times, and about 40 minutes too long. There were moments of boredom, interspersed with moments of being truly gripped, and other moments of laughing out loud. Worth a watch, but 'Pulp Fiction' this is not.

Care to share?

Quentin Tarantino at the London Premiere of Inglourious Basterds.

So this was Quentin's introduction tonight for the Premiere of 'Inglourious Basterds' - as recorded sneakily by my friend.

My review shall follow tomorrow morning!

Care to share?