The Secret Garden...for me, the very words breathe magic. I was around five when I first saw it. I saw it and The Little Princess around the same time--they both hold memories for me. They're a symbol of my entrancement with childhood magic, memories, and friendship told in period pieces. My fascination with other times just might have been born when seeing these movies--I'm not sure. I just know that my love started very early.
As a child, on watching this movie my imagination was filled with the hidden passages, sleeping corridors echoing with unspoken memories, things left where they had been put down years before. Garden paths that led to natural wonders that were all the more wondrous because of their natural, beautiful being. And incredible, exotic rebirth. I definitely know that my fascination with India is greatly due to these movies. It was filled with the purity and rawness of childhood friendship, in life at it peak of bloom.
The film itself is strongly presented in imagery. The very potent, tangible atmosphere is surrounded by the Garden, by Life. Birds, lambs, flowers, sprouts, the rustle of the wind through green leaves and delicate stems. The life of Mary and the inhabitants of Misselthwaite is told in the currents of the seasons, although not so obviously. It all is melded into a beautiful, innocent whole, showing the wrongs and blessings, the changes, the growth, the wounds and healing. The rawness of our own human nature, in the wildness of the natural world we live in, even if at times we forget it. Gardens have a way of reminding us.
Through cold tragedies, our drawing into ourselves, to the warmth of thawing hope in friendship and the belief that perhaps the world has some beauty after all, the characters and places of The Secret Garden have always impressed upon me the singular, beautiful quality of beauty and hope.
When I learned that it had been written by Caroline Thompson, I was not surprised--she has a touch for the sweet innocence of nostalgia, for purity in friendships. Can't say I've ever watched anything else directed by Agnieszka Holland, but I think this is a sign that I should. Just to see. And heaven knows that Coppola is famous for his hit films.
Looking forward to exploring this movie more, as I study the characters and work behind the film.
Directed by Agnieszka Holland
Theatrical Release: 1993
Produced by Francis Ford Coppola
Screenplay by Caroline Thompson
Sunday, February 21, 2016
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Now as I've said before, I'm disappointed with Solo's outcome on Ep VII. I was so terrified of said outcome when it was rumored months ago I didn't even finish reading the post and swore off of anymore StarWars news until the movie came out. Which I easily stuck to, considering how petrified I was. They were going to kill off my childhood crush? No. Surely not.
But they did.
Harrison Ford's wish to be sacrificed to some ideal was finally carried out. It was done for a good purpose, and I suspect that he'll be making ghostly appearances in the next ones, but still! Personally, I think he could have given a lot more to the movies. In life. Not as a ghost, or a memory. Han Solo has always symbolized the adventure of StarWars for me--he was like the embodiment of the adventurous energy, on the every-guy level. It would be like killing of Capt. Jack Sparrow and just expecting the movies to carry on, even though he wasn't the main character in the first three. You think that would go well? Phssh. There would be riots. Personally I'm not sure why there isn't for Solo. Am I the only one waving a grief banner around here?
I do wonder what it'll be like for the others of the Millennium Falcon to carry on--what it will feel like. I was so pumped for more old gang storylines and action, I'm really quite sad about this outcome, even though it's sort of ok. My one gripe though is that throughout this movie it was too...like it was mentioned in a certain article, too riff-off like. This final scene is too Empire Strikes Back, in a mirror form. I think it would have played off better in a less "let's make this a so iconic and Darth Vader vs. Luke moment, and Solo falls into oblivion" type of scene. It's been overdone. And there are some major points to be made about Han's CHOICE to even walk onto that bridge.
1. Personally I don't think he'd walk out there in the first place. He's too common sense.
2. He speaks with actions, not negotiation. Even if it is to save his son, this is such a part of his being I don't see WHY he'd be so...foolish. Han Solo...talking someone out of their decisions? I can't fathom it, aside from the knowledge that some people change with time, but still, it's hard to swallow in Han's case.
3. The gentleness of the scene. I don't completely buy it. Yes, he's his father. But something more upfront, gritty, harsh, and loving at the same time would have been so much more believable, and poignant. And Ford could have carried that off completely. More Indiana Jones, only Solo. Come on, we've seen the gritty father before. In this context an all-stops-removed kind of scene would have fantastic. Would have served the story better.
4. Han Solo should have gone out fighting. I think he should have been willing to kill his son. Known that it might come to that, and prepare for it. In the context that he was fighting for his son's soul, yes he's still going down fighting, but not in the way that makes him the brilliant character that he is, nor in the way that would have best served the movie. Where's the smuggler that knew when to shoot and when to live to fight another day? The lack of basic practicality that is so integral to Han is sadly missing here.
5. This is more just personal preference, but I totally think it would have been more fitting for him to fully die on board the Millenium Falcon. The setting itself would have tore our hearts asunder all over again. Or, instead of falling into the abyss, (overused) I think it would have served better if they had to leave his body behind, after realizing he's dead and they immediately had to run in order to escape in time. Granted that's been used before, but I think it'd be more symbolic of how the fans feel. Han isn't lost in the abyss for us. Our fandom couldn't save him sacrificing himself like a idealist nerfherder, and now we have to go on without him. His death will be a monument in our minds. A picture of a normal hero that was someone so integral to the things we wanted to believe in ever since we saw him as children.
And perhaps it would have been even better if Han had crashed the Millenium Falcon in order to save everyone, so Han goes down with his ship, and they get one last glance before escaping. But anyway. This is all conjecture and wishful, heartbroken thinking. And it's my natural writer coming out. I want to rewrite it all and make a new one in a lot of respects, even if I do freakin' love the movie. It's alternately "AAAHHHHH!!!" with love and fangirling, and "WWWAAAAHHHH!!!" with anguish. And disappointment. There are just things that could have been done better.
I think that covers the gist of it. We're all heartbroken, and the great love of my childhood will still always have a place. More poignantly, perhaps. I'm sure Harrison Ford would be thrilled.
Hopefully the Force brings you peace, since you're a ghost now. RIP HAN SOLO.
P.S. As a way with coping with my grief, I have most hilariously established a shameless parody account on dead Han's behalf. Enjoy his tweets of wise-cracking quips.
And it wouldn't be complete if you didn't follow Condescending Chewie too. All the things he said but you were too dumb to understand....
Sunday, January 17, 2016
Rey has swiftly been declared one of the favorites in the newest addition to the StarWars saga. I know she's mine. It's not often that I completely adore a female character in a show or movie, but StarWars has always given female characters that are admirable. Padme, Leia, (Leia is still my favorite) now Rey. She's completely natural, and I was thrilled with Daisy Ridley's performance. Her chemistry with John Boyega as Finn was fun and natural. Some have said that her performance was wooden, but honestly I'd like to what them upside their own hard head.
When I saw the trailer, I had a picture of Rey being Han and Leia's daughter, and over the course of the movie and seeing that that was not the case (although I suppose any twist in the plot might allow for that still, but it'd really take a really good twist) I conjectured what everyone else did--that she was Luke Skywalker's daughter. All the clues point to it. Quite obviously.
One theory that I read about was rather bizarre--a bit much. Interesting, but too much. The theory was that, given the time frame, there was great possibility that Rey is actually the reincarnation of Anakin Skywalker, and it would complete the cycle of his fall and redemption. Well, tremendous theory--certainly a kick of a one--but I think it's just way too much.
And then, there was a bit my friend told me. "Guess what? On the new game when Ren confronts Rey, he calls her 'Cousin'!" Quelle surprise.
Friday, December 25, 2015
YOU ARE HEREBY WARNED OF GLEEFUL SPOILERS
I finally know what it's like to sit in theater full of ardent fans clapping and cheering at shared loves. It is one of the most AWESOME sensations in the world. Whoo! My friends and I had reserved our tickets early, (they on the night of the release, mine a couple evenings after). We got the premiere early, although we weren't not the first ones there--and I was tickled that we were the first seated. That was interesting, walking into an empty theater looking for our labeled seats. Then waiting for the place to fill up with other costumed dandies and the lights to dim.
When they did and the lettering stretched across the screen a cheer went up and quickly quieted down, as we all just watched. And I realized that I didn't remember feeling so in the moment when watching the prequels at the theater. Except for the first, but I was so young that I don't remember watching the intro roll at that point either. But this--this was different.
The camera panned to the side and the silhouette of a ship showed against the backdrop of a gleaming planet in stark tones. Well, I thought. This is starting off properly.
The movie was spectacular. It had the feel of the originals, the cinemagraphic tone, and the pace and excitement that has become a byword of the stories. The characters easily won my heart.
I had a few expectations that did not happen to take place. I had expected Rey to be Han and Leia's daughter. I had expected there to be a feeling of the old gang, with a lot more involvement on the part of Leia, Han, and Chewie. I had pictured Leia and Han still together, Rey was their daughter probably making off with the Millenium Falcon, and she gets in trouble and they have to jump in and they're all led on a merry chase and adventure.
Once I realized she was not, it didn't take long for me to suspect that she was Skywalker's daughter. Although...it does led me to wonder (as are thousands of other people) why she was abandoned on Jakku. What I had thought was Tattooine in the trailer is actually Jakku, and I'm really rather relieved, even if they look a lot alike. It's a good turn to start the new adventures on a new planet.
There were only two disappoints that I had. First, that Harrison Ford got his wish. Really ticked off. Months ago I heard a rumor that he was going to, and I immediately shut the page and just never looked up another bit of StarWars news. I was terrified that I'd hear anything else. And my longest crush ever dying? No thanks. Didn't need to hear it, much less see it happen. Han Solo had a lot more to offer in my opinion, but still--his death still served a purpose. And I know Ford really wanted this for his character. So. I'll get over it. Eventually.
Secondly, that there wasn't that major involvement, that old gang feel. But it was not so big in the face of all the excitement and my satisfaction with the story. I was sad that Leia didn't yell at least once. I was looking forward to hearing her bark orders, and run the place with the fiery passion that I loved. Didn't get to see that. So...yes, I was a bit disappointed. Everything was so sedate compared to what I was used to regarding the characters. Yes, people change with time but their essence often remains the same. It could be argued that such painful experiences have changed them, but I still expected more fire. More sparks. A little bit of clash between her and Solo. But still, it wasn't so big that I dwell too much on it.
Overall the movie was fun, I'm thoroughly excited, I loved the new characters, the new storyline. I'm thoroughly revved for more. And I'll never forget the big cheer that followed when we saw that a piece of junk referenced was actually The Millenium Falcon. Never forget the love.
Oh, and keep in mind that more spoilers will be coming. Bwhahaha. Come on I can't help it it's STARWARS!
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
One thing I was pondering on recently was my tendency to be so slow with my writing. I reflected on this, and was challenging myself on why I didn't write stories that catered to my natural strengths, (description, character development) in trendy, lucrative contexts. Because I know that I'd be able to do it. If I chose to write some pot boiler full of sex and booze I'd be able to satisfy readers amply. Because it's not hard to do that, when all the reader wants is kicks and I'm perfectly able to be creative with their fantasies. And create a simple story. Picture it, context it, stamp it's done. Pretty much.
And I realized it's because I want to write stuff that challenges people--and by extension, I want something that would challenge ME. Challenges my world, my life, my thinking. And it's so hard to write about that at times because I am always learning, always reflecting and going back and trying to make sense. It's an ongoing organic state of being that--just in living--makes it hard to get down a story in any timely manner. Because what I want to write about, comes from revelation. And every new day challenges the past one. What I learn today will make me look at my characters anew. And when today always comes again, our characters grow before our eyes, along with ourselves.
But where to say the end?
Now that is the question.
~ E. C. S.
"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." ~ Benjamin Franklin
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Recently I've been reading stuff suggested by a Stephanie Palmer in her Screenwriter Starter Kit. Among the blogs, articles, and podcasts she suggested she provided many different links to scripts that are available for viewing online, and I was flipping excited when I saw one of my favorites, The Dark Knight, as one of the firsts. She suggested doing them one at a time (which I totally agreed with) and it was a quick toss up between DK and Christopher Nolan's other incredible work, Inception. (Some of have called it his brain child). But DK happens to be a bigger love of mine, so...Inception will come second.
Palmer suggested taking notice of the beat of the sequences, the major change in a given scene, see how it plays out into the scheme. It's also giving me a look at the structure of putting it down on paper, how the idea of the scene plays out in type on the page. One of the most interesting things is seeing little things that are different in the script than in the movie--seeing how they changed it when it came to filming.
One thing really arrested my attention. In the scene when Joker unveils himself, and the bank manager is on the floor, Joker sticks the grenade in his mouth. When Joker moves away in the truck the attached string pulls out of the grenade, and we get a shot of the bank manager looking at the plume of smoke going up in the air. But in the script, he's surrounded by customers that scurry away from him when they see this. (In the movie they're far away in the background, the manager has a solitary presence).
I immediately had a reaction of dislike to this version--and then tried to figure out why. Quickly realized the reason. It completely changed the interpretation of the scene, which was one that played into the theme of the story arc. The stark, mysterious and ominous landscape, that image of a city both dark with light in the distance, the singularity of an intimate psychological game on ground zero of your mind. An image of you, alone, forced to look at your own image, and discover what it is.
This scene, if done as it is on the page, takes away the solitary experience. The truth that Joker even speaks of, when he points out that people freak out if "one random person is going to die", but don't if the papers say a truckload of soldiers will be blown up. It makes it personal, intensely personal, when the scene is done as it is on the screen. Private, at least in the frame of the screen. One on one, just you and the embodiment of chaos having a keen look.
It amazed me, this proof and my own personal experience of it of how one scene plays into the whole. Definitely has been an intriguing lesson.....
I'll be sharing more as I keep up my study in screenwriting.
If you want to follow me and my other work, you can also find me on facebook, google+, and bloglovin'!
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Anyone who knows me knows that I am freakin' excited about the upcoming Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens. When I first heard about the Star Wars franchise being sold to Disney, it felt...WRONG. And technically I still don't like the idea, I liked Star Wars being its own thing, Lucas the Star Wars god. (Regardless of some fans' opinions). But the idea of upcoming movies being added to the franchise--man, I was excited. And then I was freaking out. What if they ruin it? What if they just load it with a bunch of CGI like the prequels? While I like the prequels, they don't have the beauty of the originals. The Original Trilogy will always be my favorite.
My worries however started waning when I heard that J.J.Abrams was going to be doing the movies, and that he wanted to go back to the old ways of doing things, going back to the sets, and only using CGI as it was intended. When necessary. I was like, "Oh, finally! Someone after my own heart! Thank God. And I mean that." And then I got to see the leaked photos, go to see the bit of behind the scenes shots, and interviews will J.J, and it just gave my heart relief. It looked awesome. And then...the teaser trailer was awesome. And then...the official trailer just blew me away. That initial backdrop of the speeder racing across the desert with the Destroyer in the distance--it just made my heart stop.
I am just over the moon with expectation. Not only do I have great confidence (only a little bit of dubiousness left--natural fear. This is, after all, continuing a huge canon of fan-loved material) but I'm eager to see what new things the cast and crew will bring to the saga now. A story should always be organic, while being true to itself.
But I got to tell you, the best part was "Chewie, we're home." Han Solo and Chewbacca in the Millennium Falcon. Ah! Beautiful. I was so overwhelmed I did a weird laugh/squeal, and I said to my dad, "I'm sorry, I'm just so excited!" And he responded, "Ha, I can tell." But then, it's not uncommon that I get those queer looks from people. I'm just passionate, that's all.
I cannot wait until Christmas. I wonder if I should dress up as Han Solo.
What are your thoughts? Are you confident that The Force Awakens will live up to its inheritance? You have to admit though--Luke Skywalker looks freakin' good with a beard.
P.S. As an after note, I thought about titling this "Something Forceful This Way Comes" but then I thought, "Girl, that's just too cheesy. Just stop."