Pop Art

It’s a little history on an era of art, that happens to catch my eye. It’s nice to not forget my roots in art, even though I write more than draw these days.

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My Words Linger in the Pale Sunlight

A friend once told me some of my poetry had a sensuous feel. In my mind, I was thinking “sensual,” and that lead me to think it had an erotic quality I was unaware of within the words.  She meant it invoked the sense as part of the imagery, which is a good thing, but was I wrong in my impression of the word.

I mixed up the terms for the words sensuous and sensual, and fortunately not to a faux pas of a big nature. Knowing the difference between the two words has really helped me put a little more focus on what I want and what I do in my writing.

Let’s get this out of the way, “sensual” is the term one uses to describe words of an erotic nature. It’s all about descriptions that are designed to arouse. Not hating on that in the least. It has a perfect time and place.

“Sensuous,” the word I really wanted to use a few times, pertains to the senses in general. The descriptions are to illicit sensations, that isn’t necessarily leading to sex, but could in some instances.

Sometimes, when I want to describe scenes or events I tried evoking the senses, which I do think help shape how we feel in a scene. I just put the wrong word to the actions. Sometimes I hear the sound of something in my imagination and simply want to depict ways that the reader can feel it.

So being lyrical and having fun with words is a good things. I’m glad I looked up the terms. I’m such a nerd for words.

Happy creative endeavors.

A List & Rotation

So now that I insist on a direction, and I want things to happen. This means getting a list down of the projects that I want completed, and getting my writing down to a rotation.

So far I have three projects on the list, and I want two more.  Not for ambition’s sake, but I want to stay busy.  The first three will be considered the main projects.  These all need at lest three pages a day once I get the outlines completed.

The last two will be the back-ups. Stuff I work on when I feel like the other three have me :stumped,” and I want to work on something that’s not connected to the big three. One of those two has to be a smaller project, so I can get it to first draft, and off to the others.

It all seems hectic, but I want to have things done by the end of March. Yes, I’ve given myself a deadline, and I want to stick with this deadline. I also want to make myself do more writing on a consistent basis.

On a technical note, perhaps I should add a sixth project, since I consider blogging writing, and I want it to be more consistent as well. I don’t know, but I shall figure it all out. The first start is finishing the list.

As always, happy creative endeavors.

Five More Films

Because I have more films to discuss, and its fun to share.

The Matrix: This film is an exception to my “second film holds my attention the most” experience. This film has a lot of action, fighting, and sort of messed up future for the world that I find interesting. The combat is top notch. Also lots of mystery on the hows and whys. We get enough info to let us know things are bad, and in some ways, dehumanizing. As the oppressive regime gets a taste of being weakened, and Neo discovers himself is some of the best parts of this film.

Blade II: This film is far more appealing than the first, but I love both.  Blade doesn’t change much in the film, but he’s cool as hell, tough, and assertive in his war against vampires. Him teaming up with vampires to kill a new kind of vampire is a twist. Typically vampires fall into supernatural, but this film has a more science fiction/vigilante streak with some treacherous politics and family ties involved. Of all the superhero films I have seen, this is one of the few where a man of color is the hero, and uniquely establishes and holds control. Blade also takes a serious beating, and battles back to victory.

Porky’s: Unexpected addition to my list as it goes against the flavor of genre I like. It’s not for those who don’t want to see nudity or sex in their films.  It’s rated R for a reason. At its heart this is a sex-comedy, and it is hilarious.  One thing the film does, that most people may or may not notice is that the film addresses racism, anti-semitism, in addition to a series of insanely funny sexual hijinks. These guys are adept at pulling pranks and being horny. They also find themselves into and out of trouble with authority figures. Coach Ballbricker is hilarious and serious in her obsessions with Tommy, and being a mother hen to the girls. ASIDE: The subsequent sequels are nowhere near as funny or raw as the first.

Planet Terror: Let me say off the bat I hate zombie films. Not because they’re necessarily bad, but rather the genre unnerves me. I still have a difficult time with trying to watch The Walking Dead. It’s a good show, I’m just too creeped out to watch it. This film, however I like.  Perhaps because it plays with some of my expectations.  Make no mistake, this film is gory, violent, and absurd (perhaps that’s why I like it). Planet Terror takes plausibility, throws it out the window, and has all sorts of fun as a homage to old exploitation films. Definitely not a film for kids.While the creatures are more like diseased cannibals, I seem less unnerved, as they are just a different turn on zombies.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula: To clarify, that’s the films title, and its directed by Francis Ford Coppola. There are multiple Dracula films, so I needed to clarify. This is a very stylish costume horror-drama.I would dare say it has a fantasy aspect, with the use of princes, princesses, and a doomed loved.  Has that fairy tale motif, and the costumes look amazing. I would also say there’s an interesting willingness to use old school special effects. It gives the film some real distinctions. It does play some, over the top, and teases with eroticism.There is a romantic angle here, but I never felt like it was romantic. More like a bitter resolution to an old, old love with dark religious overtones and consequences to cursing God. Very adult themes.

That’s it for today. Enjoy a film or TV show, and happy creative endeavors.

The Silkened Road

Often, and creative-wise I fall off track a lot. What’s been consistent in 2015 is I stayed the course, and worked on a project I want to see completed. Admittedly frustration, and occasional bouts of inactivity plagued my work. It happens, but I’m over being frustrated and inactive.

For the past few days the fork in the road has been the direction, and path to happiness and success. Part of that path is all about self-worth. How one sees themselves in the world, and to themselves is a vital part of our beings.

We all have many labels, and wear multiple hats in life. Am I that writing warrior who knows no bounds, or perhaps the witty, poetic, playful fool who lives for the reader’s smiles/entertainment.

I enjoy working on both TV scripts and with screenplays for film, but I think its time to pick one, focus on success in that field, then venture into the other.   Why do I say pick one? Sometimes the mind and heart are split, and nothing feels completed.

This situation reminds me of college when I took a variety of art classes. As I progressed, I did not see that my strongest skill was in my drawing. I had the most art classes in drawing, and worked the hardest to improve.

My drawing skills grew stronger than my painting, photography, and printmaking skills. It was not a bad thing, but I was accumulating knowledge and skill without any assessment of who I became, and where my strengths and weaknesses resided. Looking back is a lesson, and an experience.

I see the experience repeating itself, as I have demonstrated knowledge of both TV scrips and screenplays, however, my strength is actually in cinema. I have studied more film than I have television.

While my heart has always been in creativity, the knowledge, strength and skill comes from my Cinema Studies (the inspiration behind this blog), and the reason I learned screenwriting in the first place.

If I’m going to succeed, find happiness, and strive to be a better me, I have to stay focused, always keep ideas afloat, and work harder. It’s not going to get easier, or get handed to me. I’m willing to work for what I love.

Happy creative endeavors.

 

Five Movies

Merry Christmas, All,

This is a list of five movies I happen to like. Not a top five, or the best movies. They captured my imagination, and I’ll mention a few scenes that really stood out for me.

Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back: This is a favorite from youth. It is a space opera, which is a sub-genre of  science fiction. My fave scenes revolve around Darth Vader. His utter ruthlessness and ever menacing desire drives the film for me.  Also Luke learning how to become a jedi with Yoda was cool. On a side note Lando is my hero.  It was cool to see someone of color in a film I love. There’s a bit of a fairy tale motif as well.

Pan’s Labyrinth: This film is so heartbreaking, yet intriguing fantasy and fairy tale. The whole scene with the Pale Man, and the scene when Mercedes cuts Vidal, and her following escape attempt.  Was very caught up in the intensity, and worried she’d be captured and returned to Vidal.  The brutality of war, fairy tales, and fantasy all mix, yet something beautiful happens in the story.

Raise the Red Lantern: This is one of my favorite films. It has a tight narrative, and it seems like time passes quickly when watching. I felt absorbed into this film. It does have a very tragic ending I feel bad about, yet it felt like a part of the experience. I can’t pick out one scene, I do recommend people seeing this one.

Lord of the Rings The Two Towers: Part of the epic fantasy trilogy. The middle installment happens to my favorite. I do love Gandalf’s return as Gandalf the White. I also like when he rids Thoeden of Saruman’s possession.  Also all scenes are improved with the late Christopher Lee (Saruman), so wherever he was, I enjoyed.  While not the primary villain of the series, Saruman’s presence is felt along with his plots and intrigue. In a way, it reminds me of how powerful/menacing Darth Vader behaved in Empire Strikes Back.

Clash of the Titans: To clarify, I’m speaking of the original film from 1981, not the reboots. I love the monsters/sfx in this film which has a lot of heart and imagination. The use of mythology, and creatures excited me in my youth. When I look at it again, I find it a fun tale of a hero rising to power, slaying the beasts, and getting the princess. It’s very much a fairy tale and adventure.

Part of the reason I made this list was to explore what I like about some films, and possibly they would reflect what genres I’d like to write.  Some of the qualities I note may show up in my writing.

I encourage everyone to sit back, and look at what they like, and the qualities within the text. You may find a starting point for your creativity.

As always, happy creative endeavors.

 

Nostalgia and Star Wars The Force Awakens (Spoilers Ahead)

Spoilers Ahead: I got lucky, and was able to see Star Wars The Force Awakens, and its always fun to go to the theater and get lost into a film for a short while. I write this paragraph to at least give some a chance to avert their eyes if the title didn’t give you a hint that you may or may not learn something about the film you don’t want to know.

Full disclosure: I am a huge fan of the original trilogy, so I do have a weakness for the nostalgic aspects of the film, so that comes with a few likes, and dislikes. First, I do believe the film homages liberally from A New Hope, and the parallels are there.  For example; there’s a droid with a secret, yet vital info, a desert planet.  The Millennium Falcon gets people off the desert planet away from Storm Troopers, etc.  It’s fun to see those elements.

Let me say that Fin and Rey are fun characters who prove to be likable, if not at odds with each other to a point. I also love seeing returning characters, like Han, Chewie, Leia, and Luke (sorta). Luke oddly parallels Obi-Wan with his pupil turning to the dark side and causing great pains and tragedies. It’s weird. Why is he in seclusion and hiding.  Who was he watching from afar, or waiting for–if we take the parallel to a longer conclusion. I hope Lando appears in the sequel, because he’s my fave.

In that respect, I hope that this film pays off as it seems to enable a sequel to fill in some gaps in the story.  I don’t know much about what happened between Rylo Ken/Ben, his parents, and Luke.

What I found lacking here was a real discernible villain. Granted Rylo Ken is the primary antagonist, he seems meh. I liked his lack of emotional control, and how one scene made fun of how dangerous he can get when his frustrations take over, but he just felt a bit petulant, and less of a menacing threat. His “test” to further his path to the dark side doest seem to empower him to be stronger, but divides him. He’s less effective, but gets points for showing up and being spiteful.

While I didn’t mind finding out who the awakens Jedi was, I found that final lightsaber duel a bit blah. While I can assume Rylo Ken may be too unfocused at the time to use his abilities effectively, the fact that n ex-stormtrooper and a scavenger held their own, and succeed is embarrassing for him. Just how dangerous is he, other to his Oedipal issues. I’m betting he comes back a bit more aggressive and ruthless, and less childish, however.

I did enjoy the movie, and yes, a film can have good and bad elements. I say go see it if you like a sci-fi adventure. It does feel less space opera and more adventure, but it does tie some family drama, but that’s not the focus of the series, nor is it a bit of a fairy tale the original films embodied/incorporated. Let me also add; say what you will about the prequels, but I give it to George Lucas to make the saber rules intense.

Have fun, and enjoy a movie or TV show.