Sunday, February 28, 2010

Love Movies

I love good movies. They inspire me toward my goal of someday being back in the film industry, rubbing shoulders with those who create films. I love the spectrum of movie choices out there: some atrocious, others fabulous, and everything in between. Art is not science, and there is a huge range of failure and success. What one person loves, another despises, and that is part of the fascination of this particular art form. Movies are universal. They speak to the soul in a way that for me transcends anything else. The many moving parts of performance, lighting, music, dialogue, story, camera angles and setting are amazing when they really work, transporting you to a totally different world for two hours, and somehow changing you in the process.

I've been writing screenplays on and off for 22 years. Some of my earliest efforts are abysmal, but learning any craft takes a lot of practice and time. Some of my middle attempts show improvement, and could possibly be worked on now and turned into something promising. I am slowly becoming proud of my latest work, not because the writing is stellar on its own merit, but because I have changed. I see the world differently, and have come into myself in a fresh way so I can express my thought process with freedom and transparency. I think with all writing there is a disconnect between how good it is in our mind, and the finished product on the page. I have a growing suspicion that this problem will plague me for the rest of my life, no matter what I choose to write and regardless of how much I improve at the craft. It never seems to be as great as I want it to be. But maybe that's enough. I'll have to settle with what's good enough, and when I have it as polished as I know how to make it, get it out into the world.

We saw The Informant! last night, with Matt Damon. I enjoy Steven Soderbergh's films, and the story of a bumbling FBI whistle-blower was intriguing to me. I loved the dry wit and sensationally cheesy score. Damon was hilarious, with his bushy hair, silly mustache and big glasses. His outraged posture alone was worth a lot of laughs. I've always wanted to write a true comedy but have shied away from it until now, when I have the urge to attempt something genuinely funny. Comedy is the easiest thing to fail at and the most challenging to pull off, because what is funny to one person is ridiculous to the person sitting beside them. It's tricky, like walking a vulnerable tightrope, and yet I have an undeniable urge to jump in and see if I can make other people laugh. It's a good thing to challenge ourselves and attempt what terrifies us.

We are gearing up for our 11th Annual Oscar bash next Sunday night. As I've started telling people when they get an invitation, "It's not possible to invite the same people every year because our family room and kitchen have limited space. It's the same party format each year, with ballots, trivia, concession and prizes, so we open it up to new people so they can experience it. Don't be offended if you get an invitation one year and not the next, it doesn't mean we aren't friends with you, it just means we have limited space." I always worry about hurting people's feelings, but we continue to meet new friends each year who haven't had a chance to experience the Oscar party yet, and we always hope some of our friends will spin off their own version of an Academy Award party since we have to limit our numbers to fit all of the party guests comfortably around the TV. It's my favourite party of the year, hands down. Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin should be amusing as co-hosts, and I'm certain James Cameron will provide some love/hate moments, if his last performance for Titanic is any indication. Bring on next Sunday. I can't wait to celebrate my love for movies in a corny awards show setting. That's just how I roll.

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