23 September 2013

Being surprised and getting inspired: Rush


So I've been having a problem the past while in that I've been lacking inspiration. As much as I'd like to pretend that writing a script/blog/shopping list just requires sitting down and bashing anything out, it turns out it also requires a thought process. Yes, even a shopping list, otherwise I'll go and buy all the fun stuff and then realise that I haven't got any of the stuff I ACTUALLY need. On the plus side, I'll have chocolate! 

Anyway I was saying something before chocolate. Yes, inspiration. I've been lacking the push to want to write, or the desire to write anything. Which is a shame, since that's the career I want and all. I don't know what it is but it's like I couldn't find a reason, or a want, to write anything. The problem is, that because I can picture my characters and my story and can play it out, I sort of can't be arsed writing it out. Which sounds ridiculous but it is what it is! This all changed on Sunday though. It was magical.

So I saw this:

And it was kind of wonderful. Based on the real life rivalry of Formula One drivers Niki Lauda and James Hunt, this is an incredible portrayal of the lengths a person can be pushed to and the sheer determination to succeed. This film gave me back my inspiration. There is something so awesome and awe-inspiring about watching someone- fictional or not -achieve something. The film so perfectly captures the arrogance and fear, and sheer desperation and determination of these characters to achieve their goals and it is amazing to watch. Daniel Bruhl as Niki Lauda, undergoes a bit of a physical transformation and he is bloody wonderful. Chris Hemsworth shows that he has much more to offer other than being STUPIDLY good looking. It does help though, that he is stupidly good looking... And the direction in this film, holy crap. Ron Howard does not put a gear wrong (see what I did there?! Car joke ;)) and it is remarkable to watch it unfold. I have never gotten the Formula One thing, but the sheer high octane feel of the race and his phenomenal use of perspective, makes you feel like part of the race. 

I'd heard great things about the film but given my general tendency to avoid car films (Fast & Furious has ruined me) and my own resentment towards Formula One dominating my house on a Sunday, I wasn't sure I would enjoy it. I am delighted to have been proven wrong and I was surprised by just how much I enjoyed it, and by how much it inspired me. There is something so wonderful about seeing a great film unfold, a film that can teach you that anything is possible. I know I've gone a bit Lifetime movie here, but films like that are just so incredible. Films that push boundaries, or show characters that teach us about the sheer determination of a human being. 

One film that springs to mind when I think of boundary pushing and determination is Black Swan.

I saw this with a friend when I was going through a bit of a rough patch and it totally destroyed me. The film itself, is imperfect and completely OTT. I might be in the minority, but on occasion I thought Natalie Portman was a little hysteric in some of her performance, but hey ho. But it's the sheer audacity of the film and of Darren Aronofsky's direction, it really just pulls you in. The search for perfection, the desire to be better, just totally blew my mind. I stumbled out of the cinema wondering if I could ever achieve the perfection that Nina (Natalie Portman) achieves in the end. Having said that, she was batshit crazy so I'm not sure she is someone to emulate, but you get the point. Perhaps the film spoke to me even more because I was in a rough patch; I could understand the desperation to achieve anything even more, given that I felt like I wasn't achieving at all. I want a film to make me feel inspired, to make me feel like I can contribute something. I want to be surprised by greatness. And I want to be driven to create something I can be proud of. 

So, that's enough rambling for today. If you've seen any films that made you sit up and think 'HOLY CRAP', drop me a comment so I can be amazed too :).

Peace out!
14 September 2013

Films vs. Real Life.


So I've been having a bit of a mental block when it comes to writing my screenplay. Or the jumbled mess of ramblings and notes that should be a screenplay. I've just been having a bit of a shit time with my head to be honest, and it stops me from being able to do anything. Which is a joy. 

...And being a mental case.

I spend so long in the make-believe world that films create, that I have an increasingly difficult time in trying to do stuff in the real world. And the real world sucks sometimes. Films, at least, have the crap times neatly wrapped up with a lovely, happy conclusion (well, most of them). Life has your problems dragged out for an excruciatingly long time and then it just continues. And it's crap. Films are so different to real life, even if they make you believe that they could be real. Let's face it, my life will not turn out to be a Richard Curtis film. I mean, I have a very lovely boy, but we are definitely not whimsical enough to qualify. When crap stuff happens, it happens and gets resolved in a nice montage. Why can't I have a montage?!

Then I have to wonder; is this not real life 'real life' that films create absolutely ruining my ability to exist in an actual real world? Something happens and I think, "if this were a film, Ryan Gosling would hipster his way in here and sweep me off my feet".
Why aren't you in my life?
Needless to say, it never happens. 

So this all brings me to my current predicament. My absolute inability to write something I need to write. The worst thing is, I can picture the scenes, I can see my lovely (and not-so-lovely) characters waltz across in my head. It's just a damn shame that they are these totally unconnected scenes that have NOTHING TO DO WITH EACH OTHER. Often, there's even a couple of scenes from different screenplays. Which is annoying. What's also annoying, is that the scenes that are related to each other, I can't find a way to join them without hating every word I type. If this were a film, I'd have a montage and then BAM, I'd have a gloriously successful screenplay. And this is why films have ruined me. 

Denial is no longer working.

So, even though I know films are RUINING my ability to be a productive member of society, will I stop watching them? Don't be ridiculous and stop asking stupid questions. Honestly, can't you see I'm trying to work?! 
I'm not really... 
I just wish I had the ability to separate films from my real life, it would make it much easier for me to do anything. And more to the point, it would stop me having RIDICULOUS expectations. Watching too many Disney films as a child nearly ruined my ability to recognise that Prince Charming (or Eric from Little Mermaid)
Damn you, Disney. Damn you.
doesn't ACTUALLY exist. Well, not in the way he exists on film. Let's face it, if you met real life Prince Charming in a modern society, we'd probably think he was mental. 

That's why films only have the veneer of reality. We're not actually interested in the mundane, stupid details of life, we get bored by them daily. We want the fantastical to happen, and then we want to complain about it not happening in our lives. And then we'll write blog posts about how terrible films are for making us realise that things like that won't happen to us...

I think that's enough rambling for tonight. Probably enough rambling for a week, to be honest. If only I could apply same rambling to WRITING MY SCREENPLAY. Oh life, why so difficult?!

Peace out.
06 September 2013

50 Shades of Grey, Oblivion, Tom Cruise and Changes


Yes, I am alive. I have been very lax on the film blogging business and I apologise terribly, I'm sure you all missed me dreadfully...

Charlie Hunnam
Dakota Johnson
So, I've missed stuff! Newest big news being, of course, that 50 Shades of Grey has a cast in the form of Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnson! How terribly exciting for the people that actually like those books. I have (unfortunately) read the books and I LOATHED every second of it, but because I am insane I had to read them all to be able to fully articulate just how much I hate them. I ( as I've already mentioned) hate Twilight, and these 'books' were initially created as fan fiction for the books. So, horribly underdeveloped characters now became horribly underdeveloped characters who like sex. Mad. I am, however, quite interested to see how they'll transfer them to film. Like, will they give them any motivation at all, other than sex? And I do like Charlie Hunnam A LOT in Sons of Anarchy. 
Having said all that though, I'm still not giving money to see it because I resent the existence of the books SO MUCH. 

And now the reason for my terrible blogging routine; I moved! I now am a resident of England, which has been an adjustment. I moved over with my very lovely partner who has quite a great deal of Northern Ireland mannerisms, which has attracted us many funny looks. Apparently we are MUCH LOUDER than anyone else. It's been a learning curve.

So we came over on the boat, and generally that means NAP TIME (most time means 'nap time' to me, but hey ho) but this time was to be different. They were showing a film I hadn't seen and it was free! Which means I automatically wanted to watch the life out of the free film. 

The film was Oblivion, which is a fairly recent release starring Tom Cruise, Andrea Riseborough and Olga Kurylenko. 

Now, I remember a time when a new Tom Cruise film would've been a BIG THING. That was long before the time of sofa jumping declarations of love, and the whole Scientology business though. Watching this, it's easy to see how he became the biggest film star in the world. This isn't a film with lots of co-stars, or a big flashy backdrop, this is Tom carrying a film just with his presence and he does it well. When I was watching this in a tiny cinema, on a boat, he packed the place out. Sure, some of the people were sleeping, but they came there knowing they'd be sleeping in Tom's, oddly reassuring, presence (creepy).

The film itself is insanely beautiful. The visuals, the backdrop, the music, everything. The story itself, leaves a quite a lot to be desired. 

Basically, this is set on a planet Earth that has been destroyed by an alien race called 'Scavs', and the only way to get rid of them is through a nuclear explosion (obviously), leaving the planet uninhabitable for the human race, who are evacuated to the Tet. Jack (Tom Cruise) and his partner Vika (Andrea Riseborough) are tasked with running the Drones needed to protect the remaining power stations from the last of the Scavs. All the while, Jack has been having dreams of a mysterious woman (Olga Kurylenko)... And then a spacecraft lands and everything that Jack knows unravels.

If that sounds like a lot of storyline to deal with, that's because it is. I spent so long trying to make sure I got the main points, that I'm fairly sure I missed most of them. It is a lot to take in. Because there is so much storyline, there's not a lot of time for any of the characters to actually develop and make an impression on you. It ends up an oddly superficial affair, difficult to get involved in. Even though Jack fascinated me, I can't say I really cared a lot about him. And the female characters are given little time to even make an impression, they are there just for Jack to save them (irritating). It has the potential to be a really interesting story if they didn't try to do SO MUCH, or waste so much time explaining everything. It all gets a little convoluted. Also, if the women did anything, that would be nice. 

I'd give it a 6/10. It has, at least, reminded me of how massive Tom Cruise used to be, and why he was. And it is such a beautiful film, I could watch the camera swoop through the landscape all day.

Also, interesting to have Tom Cruise and 50 Shades of Grey in the same post, because you know if this phenomenon had happened in his heyday, he would've been a studio's DREAM. How the mighty fall when they go batshit crazy...

So, I'll be back to blogging at least once a week because I reckon I'll be watching A LOT of films as I take on the soul-destroying task of looking for a job. How fun!

Peace out.


Motherhood, films, beauty, and life



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