Forever Moments

In the documentary Spielberg on Spielberg, Spielberg said his main job was to connect his audience to his films. I'd say that's the job of every artist who wants their work to be seen by the world.  How do you do that?

Chinese Connection.  Sorry.  Had a Bruce Lee moment.

Emotional connection.

Underdog stories are very emotional.  All of us can relate because at some point we've been the underdog.  I'm working on becoming a published author.  I feel like underdog.

An artist's initial job is to feel.  Seems obvious, right?

I've asked people about how they felt when they watched a movie, read a book, seen a photograph.  What's the most common answer?

I don't know.

Feel yourself out (get your mind out of the guttah).

Whenever something moves you, ask yourself why it moves you.  If something doesn't move you, then ask why.  The answers will amaze you.  When I started acting, my teachers always said my body was the instrument.  Use it.  Feel it.  Live it.

Forever moments.

Every year the carnival comes to town.  They've been coming since I was a kid.  One year I took my girlfriend at the time and bought a ride-till-you-throw-up pass.  We rode all of the stomach churning rides.  Walked through exhibits like the double headed rubber rat (huh?), a wax figure of a fat bearded lady (what?), and a pickled snake with mutant feet (a lizard?).  Then our nerves were tried at the haunted house.  Only half the stuff worked.  A vampire ain't that scary when it can barely pop out of its coffin.  We talked to carnies.  Many of them stared at my ex through their good eye.

There were two things that I remember most.  It was her first time at a carnival, and she was excited.  Every time she got excited her voice would rise, and she'd sound like a little girl.  Despite the jungle of carnival noise, her voice sounded like music.  Touched me like no other voice has touched me.  Yes, I was in love.

She'd never eaten carnie food, so I bought a tray full.  As we dug in, she wanted a bite of my corn dog.  I dipped it in mustard and she took a bite.   "Mmmm," she said.  In that forever moment, all I remembered was sharing that corn dog.  There was one more bite left.  So I let her have it.

I read something in her eyes.  I got up and bought another dog on a stick.  Another forever moment strolled by as we shared in the goodness.

And every year the carnival comes to town, the sound of her voice and the forever moment sharing the corn dog permeates my mind.

My mom and I went to a restaurant one time.  The hostess sat us at a small side table.  Sheer drapes were drawn to shade us from the afternoon sun.  Old Chinese ladies rolled aluminum carts of dim sum.  Since my Cantonese wasn't great, my mom ordered.  We made small talk as we enjoyed good food and the warm sun.  My mom kept my tea cup filled and continued to order dim sum.  She wanted me fat.  Still does.  When the bill came she pulled out an old leather coin purse, and popped it open.  She meticulously counted each bill and each coin and made sure there was enough tip.  She looked at me and giggled, asking me if I'd had enough to eat.  I shook my head.  That day has become one of my favorite birthdays.

Forever moments.

Does Wolverine Need Depth?

The Hugh Jackman movie, X-Men Origins: Wolverine delivered on what it was supposed to deliver.  At the start of the story, there was a bit of action.  The next five minutes or so during the billing, when the names of the actors roll through, is filled with action.  After that more action.  But then a third of the way through there was a lull in action for about a minute, then more action.  A lot of action in the middle, the climax was action-filled, then the movie ended with a bit more action. In reading reviews, both fans and columns, there are two schools of thought when it comes to the new X-Men movie.  One claims there's too much action and not enough depth.  The other claims there was too much effort in creating depth, especially in the beginning.

In any story, be it written, film, TV, folk lore, rumor, a connection to the hero has to be made.  Or else the reader/audience won't care what happens to the hero or supporting characters.  Suspension and conflict won't matter anymore.  Who would care?  If you've watched the documentary Spielberg On Spielberg, he said his main job is to connect the audience to his film.

Let's not get into how to do that, but David Freeman who teaches techniques in writing covers it well.  Check his website out at www.beyondstructure.com.

The question is, do action movies like X-Men Origins:  Woverine need depth?  Don't we go to movies to escape?  Isn't action enough?