Movie Night

My beloved and I have promised each other we'll go to the movies at least one night a week. By happy circumstance, we discovered that Thursday nights we can get an almost private showing of any film, and we're really enjoying it. Since we're usually alone in the theater, we can talk to each other through the screening. Yes, we're those kind of annoying people. But only when there's no one to be bothered.

The movies we're seeing may not win awards or even get good reviews, but we're the type of people who can come up with a good point about anything. Even if we're discussing how the plot veered from the Hero's Journey (ah, Joseph Campbell, how you changed the landscape for writers!)or how the hand-held camera made us dizzy, we have fun. As a writer, I'm always amazed how much visual storytelling can take shortcuts that writers can't. And when my husband complains that a movie chops out too much from a favorite book, I remind him that a 120 page script can't include everything in a 400 page novel. He always brings up a good point, that in a movie you don't have to explain everything, while a novel, especially a mystery, must.

Writer friends of mine build thick notebooks, complete with pictures of movie stars who resemble their characters, to visualize their plots. I'm not like that. I can't see anyone but the character in my head, and that character never looks like anyone but that person. Even their names come with them. That's why I'm amazed at films that cast actors to personify a fictional character. What a talent that is, to pick the right person to bring a role to life. I'm in awe. Mine come to me full blown, which is by far the easier task.

It's a good thing I work with the written word.