A Leaf of Unexpected Abundance

A Leaf of Unexpected Abundance.

“Write What You Know.”

“Write what you know.”  That’s what they told me early on at film school.  I was shocked.

To me, that’s just plain lazy.  Wow, don’t leave home, your pond, your life.  Stay put, know only what you know.

What happened to imagination?  What happened to being eternally open to the worlds of the wilds of imagination, of inspiration?

Advantages of Writing What You Know:

  1. Research is a piece of piss.
  2. You can just get on with writing your story.
  3. Your characters will be ‘more’ authentic.
  4. Your story world will be more authentic.

Disadvantages of Writing What You Know:

  1. People will insist that the story world is more important than the ‘real’ world you know, which has inspired your story.   They will be write – woops, right.   And they will be wrong.  This may prove annoying, or deeply challenging.  You may be acccused of using your imagination because your real world sounds too fantastical.  Social realism thus becomes addressed as fantasy.  So now, you are arguing authenticity.   So who is the fantasist:  you, or those who apply narrow real-world thinking to your story?

Advantages of  Writing From Imagination:

  1. Inspiration

c. Kylie J. Lawrence 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Loneliest Planet

What is the loneliest planet? 

This is a question which played by chance after watching writer/director Julia Loktev’s latest feature film, visually stunning The Loneliest Planet.

Adapted from a short story by journalist and travel writer, Tom Bissell, Loktev draws out the tale almost in real-time of Nica and Alex, a young couple passionately in love with each other and on the brink of marriage.  Too soon, but not soon enough for the audience, they find themselves on the brink of betrayal, wrought by a single shocking event, which shatters everything they think they know about each other, and about themselves.

Nica, played by Hani Furstenberg a talented Israeli-American actor who could give Jessica Chastain a run for her money – partly ’cause she’s a ranga – and Alex, played by Gabriel Garcia Bernal, (The Motorcycle Diaries (2004) and Babel (2006)) are fit, seasoned backpackers, seeking experiences off the beaten track in rural Georgia, Russia.  I say seasoned, unlike their clothes, which never seem to get dirty or torn, no matter how many rocks they clamber over or grassy mountains they roll down.  But hey, John Wayne’s shining new trousers and red shirt at the start of The Searchers (1956) never truly belied the adventures of a U.S. Confederate soldier who has ridden rough for three years before arriving home to his family out in the Texas desert.

Alex and Nica’s Georgian local mountaineering guide, played by Bidzina Gujabidze, is at first a subtly shy though friendly older character, in counterpoint to the garrulous Nica, but as Nica discovers, behind the scarred exterior Dato is a thoughtful man hiding a tenderly complex story of loneliness which proves an elixir in the resolution.  Gujabidize, an accomplished mountaineer, rather than actor, offers an authentic, nuanced performance in his feature film début.

We are easily drawn into the minutiae of life on a trek in a foreign country:  a tourist’s eye-view of magnificent, rugged countryside, which both invigorates and blisters the traveller’s spirit and feet, from shattering rock-strewn hillside, to washing in flat waterways, and laughing over cheeky language games.  There are some unsettling moments for Nica and Alex: perhaps this land is not so friendly, but Dato ushers them through with care.  These hints of danger tease the viewer into thinking that they are watching a thriller.  The rising tedium  – I wanted to yank a chunk out of the story – leading to the crisis moment in Alex and Nica’s journey, contrasts with the slow-moving but rising tension in the climax scene, during which an inevitable careless betrayal elicits the aforementioned elixir.   Delaying the drama is an intriguing choice, but as a measure of character development, it works well.

After watching this film, I find the loneliest planet is not the isolated wilds of remote Georgia‘s Caucasus Mountains, but the human heart.

No bull:   If you love backpacking, or storytelling that gives you time to smell the roses, then it is worth a look. 

Newly released in Australian cinemas, The Loneliest Planet is clever, simple character-based storytelling.   Slow in parts, it is ultimately evocative, and provocative.

To watch The Loneliest Planet preview:

c. Kylie Lawrence 2013.

SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED… But Laughs Are

SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED… But Laughs Are.

SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED… But Laughs Are

It’s a quirky title, but the storytelling team behind this endearing off-beat comedy,  Safety Not Guaranteed, take us on a ride into imaginative territory.

Determined to get the story behind a crazy time-traveller-companion-wanted advertisement, the misfit trio of sleazy Gen X magazine journalist, Jeff (Jake Johnson of A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas (2011)) and young interns, the depressed Darius (comedian Aubrey Plaza of Parks and Recreation (TV) fame) and geeky innocent Arnaud (Karan Soni, Are You There, Chelsea? (2012), set out on an increasingly bizarre  trip into the perilous world of time traveller Kenneth.

Character-driven comedy with a twist I won’t spoil, the stand-out performance for me is Mark Duplass’s child-man Kenneth, a man for whom moving on is just too hard, and revisiting the past seems the only way to make sense of the present:  a theme that true romantics will appreciate.  Time travel is dangerous stuff, as Kenneth’s self-made action hero explains to Darius, but it can change your life.

A touch of over-plotting in the latter part of the second act slows the pace slightly, but overall I cannot fault writer Derek Connolly and director Colin Trevorrow’s hilarious, heart-warming comedy for engaging storytelling.

No Bull:  Get your backside on a cinema seat now.

The only person laughing more than me was a mysterious stranger in the front row.

SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED preview (I refuse to say trailer):


c.  A Room of Heroine 2012

New Theme

Tried Matala last night.  No, it’s not Masala, but the Matala theme.  Tonight, trying out Twenty Ten for size.  Decisions decisions.  It’s enough to turn a girl to Masala in the bottle.  If she were likely to imbibe.

I really want a red header, for that mysteeeerious redhead vibe, and the ordinary mysterious vibe, but am impressed with the white background which makes my posts devamastaingly[sic] clear to read.  However, will have to learn how to rejig the header for a more captivating picture or colour block.

In red.

Yellow is so last night!

c.  A Room of Heroine 2012.

A Whiter Shade of Pale

Something I have been thinking about for a long time.  Time to change the colour of our day.  As much as I really like the white text on dark grey background and the whole mysterious red header – most suitable for a red head!  it is time to bring some font contrast to A Room of Heroine.

So after I have yet another squizz at the WordPress themes on offer, these – interestingly enough, black and red – martial arts shoes are going to take me out into the sunshine down the hill.

Who knows what brighter, yet mysterious layout awaits the eye?

 

c.  A Room of Heroine 2012.