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tara filma

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Everything posted by tara filma

  1. I haven't dealt with those subjects thus far because it hasn't come up. (It's beside the point that there's far-and-away enough of these three subjects that's unnecessary and forced into all contexts). My close friends and family don't usually speak like that. And these situations are what I have been writing about. I respect her for standing with her conscience. Not to be difficult--for I think I get your point--but, even with these subjects there's room for mystery and humanity, in short, drama (eg, jealousy, pride, competition in piety, greed, favoritism, forgiveness, etc). In a similar context, a lot can be said about the church today. For me, the central thing is to be honest and vulnerable in my writing and creating characters. I still have difficulty letting my characters speak for themselves and be multi-faceted. I can see clearly what's good in a "protagonist" and bad in an "antagonist"; but, it's what's good in the "baddie" that makes him human, and vice versa for the "goodie". It's not black and white in the 'real' world--why must it be in film ... especially films made by Christians.
  2. Oops, I miswrote the quote! It's corrected above. Sabrina (1995) -- Linus amazes his secretary by planning a date.
  3. Peter, you are indeed a brave and unique soul. I have yet to see these films. Are they out at Blockbuster? "I know. I seldom go to the theatre." "Seldom?" "I'm not a theatre buff." "Buff?" "The most difficult tickets to get will be for a Broadway musical...." Name that film! :wink:
  4. I do too. Usually something familiar so I don't get distracted into the music, consciously listening to the words or the rhythms. Sting, Gipsy Kings, Spanish guitar music, Billy Joel. I wish I could find the soundtracks for Strictly Ballroom and Lagaan. It's a good idea. Creativity inspires creativity. I have friends who are usually great readers of my articles--correcting for clarity and accuracy. I agree that straightforward editors are hard to find among friends, who don't want to hurt you. This is, for me, the biggest issue. Since pacing, plot movement, "cause and effect", and the visual are such integral parts of the screenplay, the effective reader must be familiar with them. Especially to offer a beginning screenwriter effective feedback. My friends are great with articles, reviews and print material. But, screenplays are vastly different. You seem to imply that this is not the best reading diet. I would agree. While the best screenplay-writing books offer good tips, they are insufficient--or, perhaps, better said they are the "bones" of the writing. The foundation. But, the "muscle and meat" of the writing is personal experience and intuition and inventiveness. This is fueled for me by reading diverse topics. (Though I need to act on this more by reading instead of using all my spare time to watch DVDs!) Woolrich (noir), Andrusia & Haskins (career), Kadlacek (Christian living) are authors of books I've looked at most recently. I want to visit Godawa (film spirituality), Couchman (Christian Living), L'Engle (art), and Shaw (poetry), too.
  5. That's an interesting take on Indian filmmakers often using the edges of the frame.... I know it was a VHS copy, and (after looking in the library catalog) it must have been the VHS duo which is not letterboxed (ie, WS). Well, my advice: If you're on a budget, see the cropped version. It's still worth it! But, I always prefer to see a WS version. I think pan-and-scan is choppy--especially in movies like "The Mission", "Lawrence of Arabia", the Indiana Jones trilogy, and "The Man from Snowy River", where the panaromic sense and incredible scenery is marred. I guess I'd probably put "Lagaan" in this category too, since the choreographed dance scenes and indelible Indian countryside deserve to be seen in WS glory. (I see the library has a WS DVD available, too. I like "Lagaan" so much, I'm going to watch it again!)
  6. Ouch. I think I can easily apply this to my own film reviews of late, and I don't like it. As an artist, I've always bristled when viewers of art only want to recognize their interpretation as valid--and not the artist's intention. Maybe I should clarify. I think there's a definite need for balance between the artist and viewer. A work of art may say much more than the artist intends. I know God uses the pieces I write to speak to me, often as I write them. When I look at the final piece it may even say something different than what I intended when I began. On the other hand, I do have a meaning I'm trying to communicate. Although the reader can discount that, I don't think that's a fair use of art. And I don't think that's respectful to the artist who created it. So, as a writer, perhaps I should consider more closely how I relate to others' art--particularly when I write about film. I want to take films that impact me and apply the best parts of them to my life. Yet, perhaps I read too much into them in the process. I don't want to appropriate the film for my own ends and distort the author's meaning. Yet, I don't want to disregard the good points the filmmaker conveys because I don't agree with his/her worldview, religious beliefs, or politics. That's a fine line. It's easy to blur it.
  7. Seen it. Loved it. Of course, I tend toward character pieces, and this 3 hr film has about 12 of them. The costumes are colorful, the music is ... a taste of India. Well, I assume. I've never been there. And my parents are farmers, so I was even more inclined to like the protagonists in the movie. Plus, the antagonist is extremely seedy for a proper British officer. Oh, in keeping with the theme of this list, I haven't seen any previews lately that have enticed me to see a film. The last film I saw because of a preview was Limbo. But, I also knew it was directed by John Sayles, and I wanted to learn more of him/his films.
  8. I didn't mean to imply that at all. I meant that the treatment of revenge that seems typical of the (particularly Hollywood) movies I have seen is a trite and predictable one. Fully agreed. Actually, that's why I asked. That sounds like something rarely seen--and, hopefully, all the more effective because of it. I began work last night on an idea about a single woman who's raped by a member of her church. I'd like to focus on how this affects her, her family and her church--veering away from a male-seeks-revenge or "victim"-seeks-revenge scenario. We'll see.
  9. True. Would your group be interested in issues surrounding interracial romance? Some films where this relationship is the focus: Corinna Corinna (1991), Dance with Me (1998, Randa Haines), Imitation of Life (1959), Jungle Fever (1991, Spike Lee), Mississippi Masala (1992, Mira Nair), Mr and Mrs Loving (TV--1996), The Nephew, Pinky (1949), Save the Last Dance (2000), Strictly Ballroom (Bazz Luhrmann), West Side Story (1961)--musical. The films above focus on race and include other issues (eg, widowhood, class, age/teenage angst, "fitting in", or unwed pregnancy), if I remember correctly. Some films with this relationship as a peripheral issue: The Bodyguard (1992), The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933), Daughters of the Dust, Get on the Bus (Spike Lee)--one man's story includes a biracial wife, The Last of the Mohicans (1992), Mandingo (1975), Secrets and Lies, The Tango Lesson (1997, Sally Potter), A Walk in the Clouds (1995). These films revolve around other issues, but include a story-line with significant implications about interracial romance. Good point. Just thinking online: The films that treat race as peripheral may be of more interest, as you often have to "dig" for what they are saying in regard to race relations--the future or the folly. Especially with regard to interracial romance, we're often unaware of our biases until we're face-to-film with them. These films could generate deep discussions. I especially like The Nephew because it reminded me that not all Scottish/Irish descendants are as lily-white as I am! I haven't seen it in a while, though, so I can't remark further. I would also recommend Lagaan, but it's a 3+ hr musical--probably not the right format for a weekly class. Further, it may be interesting to compare a film's treatment of Black/White or Native/White relations to another film's, say, Latino/Black relationships. It is for me.
  10. Hmm; many stories use revenge as the central character's motivation (eg, many westerns and film noirs, the new Count of Monte Cristo). What's the father's "pay-off" in the end? (Or, what's the result of his revenge? Does it destroy the shooter, or him? How does it affect his family? Does he change?) In my mind, it would be great to see something unpredictable happen--something redemptive and not merely trite. 3 - I'm trying to finish a dark comedy about death (actually, I should say that it's about Death -- the actual guy -- and his new protege).
  11. When I attended a scriptwriting class in LA, I bought a student version of ScriptThing. Straightforward and cheap. (I think it was $75 5 years ago.) I love not having to worry about the page numbers, formatting, and editing details. It's streamlined to write. Great idea! Cost and expediency are why, for other projects, I use the free OpenOffice suite (including Spreadsheet, Word Processor, Calculator, Presentations etc) instead of its very expensive MS counterpart. If anyone is interested, OpenOffice is online at www.openoffice.org .
  12. Hmm. Do you mean by studio funding? If I followed this guideline, I wouldn't write anything. I'm more into the indy side myself. I'm having trouble with my feature-length because it's "so Hollywood" and I find it terribly predictable. I wrote my short drama "Too Late" to vent about my relationship with my brother; it's missing a key scene, maybe two--a scene about why the brother is missing out on knowing his sister, and how. Why this lack of relationship matters. I like the title. Kind of a Jackie Chan thing (fun, slap-stick kung fu sequences, pseudo-humor)? Is it a short, so the "dumping" is the point? Or is there something more? Hah. It's been said you should create from what you know. That could be very good. I think the films I enjoy most are those which can laugh at themselves; I tend to take myself too seriously. I've been watching "Mormon films" since living in UT. Zion films does admirably portraying the LDS culture with humor; I think this makes their "religious subtext" more palatable to the viewer. Admirable. I was confused between the three friends, but it'll be a lot easier to tell Friends A, B and C apart when they have names and discernable personalities. (They probably do to you.)
  13. Any scriptwriters out there who are working on a current project? I'm working on two short dramas (one with rough draft complete, one just in the beginning stages) and one feature length romantic comedy (nearly complete rough draft, but "shelved" at the moment). I always find discussion encourages my own creativity....
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