Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The glorious dead

Welcome to ANZAC day. Ninety one years ago today, scores of New Zealand and Australian troops dashed themselves against the defences of the ragtag but iron-willed Turkish army. All over a narrow peninsula called Gallipolli.

When I was in Christchurch and Adelaide last year, I was deeply moved by the massive war memorial sculptures in both cities.

They're a relic of a bygone age, of course. We don't tend to see Greco-Roman idealism and nobility in art any more, nor do we scale our heroes up to gigantic size. But then again, we don't tend to have mythic heroes like we did before 1918.

Not that the myth is true. Of course, these were brave and very courageous men, but I am sure they did not see their death as glorious.

I'm rambling. I meant to say that no modern art has touched me like these monolithic figures. The raw emotion, the solemnity, the shock and grief. It communicated to me, and that's what I feel art should do.

Back to film. I was relieved when I went to Paul Margolis' workshop in March, to find that Hollywood wants simple, monolithic stories that communicate. Because I get an entirely different message from the New Zealand film industry.

Somehow we've grown a culture around darkness, obscurity and unease. Thankfully that's changing, with unashamedly commercial light comedies like Sione's Wedding proving you don't have to have an art-house film to communicate a culture.

At the same time, true storytelling - whether Hollywood or art-house - must resonate with the deepest parts of us. That's where the really hard work goes in.

Back to the grindstone! :)


There's some great great GREAT advice on romantic comedy writing at Billy Mernit's blog Living the Romantic Comedy. He's done a couple of posts on what makes a rom-com last:
  1. What Endures
  2. More of what endures
News of note:

New Zealand
  • "Hollywood writers are getting younger" ... good news for me, what with my name and all, but the assumption is that younger writers know gaming. I ain't got time for gameplay! Where do these geeks find the time and money to play all those games - and have a life?
Sci-Fi / Inevitable Sequels
  • There will indeed be an AVP2! I don't know whether that's good or bad news. Hmmm. Sanaa Lathan doesn't appear to be in it ... that's probably bad news then.


Post a Comment

<< Home