Serenity Gravity (and Star Wars)

Star Wars The Last Jedi was fun…

There are spoilers here by the way, so beware…

The first new Star Wars was very “full of respect”, and people complained a little about it. Like a too proper remake of Episode IV. I liked it!

Then the second one (Last Jedi it is) was much more inventive, and people screamed. “Too different!”. Pfff…

The truth is… it’s entertainment. So breathe and let’s relax your glans, buddy!…

I wrote an article about this. The director is pretty smart, and he sewed his film with many many indications saying : Do. Not. Be. So. Serious.

Fantards are so boring…

A little pattern in Star Wars VIII The Last Jedi

Relax, and it’s full of fun! Follow Yoda :

  • Luke Skywalker: The sacred Jedi texts?
  • Yoda: Oh, read them, have you? Page-turners they were not.

Hmmm… ?

When miss purple hair in The Last Jedi decides to sacrifice, she launches light speed then hit the vilain’s big ship. BIM. In silence. This has a tremendous effect!

Because yes in all Star Wars movies you hear vessels passing by (brrrmmmmmm), you hear blasters and lasers, pioooooo, zaaaaaap, etc, but that’s nonsense, because in space, there’s no air, thus NO SOUND. Nothing. Silence. Eternal.

Two films understood this : Serenity (which is a great little filmdirected by the Avengers guy : Joss Whedon), and Gravity, by A. Cuaron.

When terrible things happen in space in these movies, you hear just fucking NOTHING.

And, dang : that’s much much more effective.

Like in the sacrifice scene in the Last Jedi.

What does that mean, tell me? Less is more?

Thanks for reading!

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Ralph McQuarrie appreciation #StarWars

In France we say La Guerre des Etoiles, which mean : Stars War. Hmmm??

Today I’d like to thank Ralph McQuarrie (1929-2012), the illustrator who invented visuals for Darth Vader, Stromtroopers, R2-D2 & C-3PO, Chewbacca, the Cloud City and the AT-AT Walkers. Well, that’s not nothing!!

Have a nice day!

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_McQuarrie

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The Source of Stress in Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds”

“War of the Worlds” is a stressful film, so I searched, and found Spielberg used a pattern.

I’d like to ask him (or the scenarist), but here’s how he does to make us nervous :

He provides a protection against something, then destroys it.

Continuously, all along the movie.

The little key is provided by the daughter, who has asthma and uses a symbolic “bubble” with her arms. Her brother knows this trick and uses it with her to help her cope with worry.

  1. The father (protection) is not a good father and doesn’t know how to deal with kids (which happens all the time in Spielberg’s movies). This divorced man has nothing ready, nothing in the fridge, etc, to welcome his kids.
  2. Knowledge (lightning never hits the same place twice) doesn’t work.
  3. Cruise runs and hides IN a store to escape killing rays, to see people vaporized just next to him.
  4. The house where they hide in the night (basement) is destroyed by the events outside (plane crash), and there’s a great picture of Cruise climbing the stairs, coming into the living room – and feels the wind in his hair : there’s no roof on the house anymore…
  5. The car which is a bubble and a way to escape is destroyed (windows) and invaded by a crowd, and they have to let it go.
  6. The family they know (and could be an ally to deal with events) is separated from them near the boat.
  7. Symbols like when the daughter has to pee, goes in an idyllic field in a splendid light near a quiet river… flooded with dead bodies.
  8. The shelter provided for Cruise and his daughter is visited by the ETs and provided by a dangerous fool (Tim Robbins).

 

Tool :

Well, this little tool is something I like in the process of “how to write” (a story, a novel, a movie). Find a little pattern which could be used a a seed to find ideas.

Here : Intrusion.Which is a fractal way to play with a story, right?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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Deliverance & Archetypes

I’m reading a book from John Boorman, English director known for Excalibur or The Emerald Forest.

Deliverance is a survival movie, a very disturbing piece of. Here’s the plot I found on IMDB :

On a weekend canoeing trip down a river in the Georgia back country, four urban businessmen enter a nightmare in which both nature and mankind conspire to send them through a crucible of danger and degradation in which their lives and perhaps even their souls are put at horrendous risk.

I had a friend a long time ago who explained me the beginning of the movie after he assisted a masterclass about it. What I found in the book confirms it, and goes even further. Here we go :

The four guys are obviously Archetypes, and Boorman says that they’re all a part of the novel writer.

  1. Drew is clever, an introvert, scrupulous and gentle.
  2. Lewis is mister muscle and macho, taking decisions and full of contempt.
  3. Bobby is the fat guy, trying jokes all the time, not at ease with anything.
  4. Ed is timorous. He’s the guitar player and wears spectacles. The artist, the idealist.

 

Of course, the movie is pushing all these men into turmoil. Of course, the “men living in the forest” are not impressed at all by the city boys, and will become aggressive. Of course, mother nature is not spread all around for the pleasure of smart-asses from the city, the river is unintelligible and dangerous. And of course, macho man won’t handle this situation at all (and other lessons you’ll discover if you watch this disturbing movie).

 

I have much pleasure reading the book, because Boorman explains that the actors were also like Archetypes. Voight was really always thinking and full of doubts, and Reynolds acting directly, finding his role in “action”. And, says Boorman, helping Voight to use his instincts instead of his strong brain.

 

Tools :

Archetypes. They are always accurate to watch people, right? Astrology or MBTI too (but aren’t they archetypes, in a way?). You can also think about patterns you find in people. Personality traits. It helps to understand, to take a picture of a group.

BUT

It also shows a lesson : human beings are full of surprises. Full of “as ifs”. They lie to themselves. They don’t act accordingly. And in action, they can evolve… amazingly!

Maybe one lesson of life is to see that Archetypes don’t work.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

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To be better elsewhere, a Kubrick Tool

In a Stanley Kubrick interview yesterday I found a little tool for you.

Kubrick likes actors, and he needs them to be there, not to be puppets or reciting idiots.

That’s common sense, but he goes pretty far to get the actors out of their comfort zone.

One is to shoot scenes for hours, 20, 30 or more, to kill (or get) something.

For Full Metal Jacket, the terrible instructor at the beginning of the film had to yell his lines (plenty of horrible things, he says) to young rookies.

He didn’t want the guy to think about acting, but to BE that guy.

Thus he asked an assistant to work the text with the actor, for days, while playing basket ball.

Wait what?

If you “think” about what you say you cannot play anything. You can not do this. Therefore, the instructor had to know his text so well that he could do anything while he was screaming at the young recruits…

Voilà.

The tool is this little pattern : what could YOU do with that?

How and where and when would you need to be annoyed by something else to gain effectiveness? What for? ? To write within a crowd? To keyboard your blog on the left hand only (to slow down)? Or paint with the wrong hand? Or, as a French, to blog in English?

Wait, what? 🙂

Have a nice day, et bonne semaine à vous !

Jean-Pascal

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