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C09P29 – Not always that way

C09P29 – Not always that way published on 9 Comments on C09P29 – Not always that way

VOICE ACTORS! Today is the last day for submissions on the LL book trailer! Info & Script here!

Backstory whoooooo! A lot of you have been asking for more history on these characters, so I hope you’re excited for these coming pages.

Cory introduced me to two older movies that I really enjoyed this week: Heathers and The Frighteners. Both have really strong closure and Heathers in particular gave me a lot to think about. It wasn’t afraid to present humans as tangled, contradictory creatures. To highlight that people can be both deep and shallow at the same time. It was a bit of an uncomfortable film (particularly the first half) but it was also a very interesting film.

It also struck me that they actually let the women be kinda…action heroes. In ways that our modern-day, gun-toting, Strong Female Characters don’t. Neither of the women in the two film are physically imposing or military trained, but they are FIGHTERS. As in, they don’t give up in the face of adversity, and when presented with a threat, they fight back. They’re not always 100% successful in their resistance, and sometimes their attempts go awry, but they stick up for themselves, defend their limits, think quickly, and often escape the bad guys with no help from an outside source. Veronica, in particular, gets a little bit John McClane by the end of Heathers because there is nobody but her to stop the massacre. She’s not a trained fighter, but she fights, and at the end of the film even the antagonist can’t help but confess that she’s stronger than he ever would have guessed. It shocked me a bit how much action they took, and how much they were able to impact, and introduced quite the contrast to what I’ve gotten used to seeing in film. For all the “look how strong this character is” scenes that women are given now, they almost always seem to fall apart when they’re actually needed, or simply get side-lined. It was really refreshing to see the female characters stay active, involved, and effective throughout an entire film.

I’ve been studying a lot of older movies lately. It’s really interesting to see how film has changed overall in just a few decades. In general, movies today seem a lot slicker, but also sloppier. It’s almost as though the ease of CGI has removed the perceived need for a strong script. Plots aren’t tied together as much, stories often have less emotional core, or a core that’s not complete. I still think there’s some great modern films, but they tend to have different strengths. For example, I love the film Inception. It’s masterful in releasing information, it does have a strong emotional core revolving around Cobb, and the effects are wonderful…but in terms of just structure and creating a feeling of closure by the end, I think it gets left behind by some of these older films. Even some of the campier ones. The first Indiana Jones, for all its globe-romping, goofy action, still has a remarkably lean and tight script. And I think it’s that script that makes it endure, more than anything else.

What older movies are your favorites, and how do you think film has changed since they came out?

9 Comments

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I just keep finding reasons to be SUPER PUMPED for this conversation.

I do think the reliance on CGI has weakened movies a lot. People think that if you throw enough explosions at us, we don’t notice that there’s nothing behind them. It stops working after the billionth time you do it, though.

But script writers have to step up their game, too. Save the Cat has become something of an epidemic in the scriptwriting community–I read an article recently where the author just matched up different summer movies to the exact timelines listed in StC. People are scared, so they reach for something easy. But writing SHOULD scare you. It should be difficult and hard to pin down–not all the time, but sometimes. If it’s easy, you’re not challenging yourself. (Or you’re just writing the cool part that you’ve had in your head since coming up with the idea. I love that part.)

(Also, have you seen Pacific Rim? Lots of CGI without ever losing the human story. I’m completely biased though because I loved it to pieces.)

A lot of people recommended Save the Cat to me, and while I think it has some good points, I think that a lot of his advice is based on summarizing characteristics rather than understanding the underlying principals that make certain story structures work. That’s why I much prefer Brian McDonald’s Invisible Ink because it is simultaneously less limiting and more specific. It doesn’t take out the hard work of writing. If anything, it focuses me down to the parts that are truly difficult and challenges me to master them. Or even attempt them, in some cases. 🙂

I’m in no position to comment on how film has changed as a medium. But hey, while we’re talking about movies…

Ender’s Game came out, and they didn’t ruin it! Of course it suffers a bit from the paring-down that happens in every book-to-movie translation, but they didn’t do any of the terrible things I was afraid they might. And they did find a few rather neat ways to tie up what might have been loose ends.

If you wanna see an older film where the women are heroes, I HIGHLY recommend “Westward The Women”. Fantastic film.

You are just giving me all sorts of exciting recommendations today! Thank you!

Haha! Always happy to share things I love. Westward The Women is a film I stumbled upon on TCM one night by chance and which totally knocked me off my feet with awesome. I love old movies, so I’m only too thrilled to spread the goodness around. ^^

Also it’s not like you make it impossible NOT to comment by inspiring interesting discussion or anything. Nope, not anything like that at all. (Unfortunately I’m nearing the end of the archive! D: And I’m a habitual trawler, not a page-a-day kinda gal, so you probably won’t hear from me for a year or so once I’m done 😛 )

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