♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
Share and tell why you like a favorite movie–perhaps a classic and/or one more recent.
Well isn’t this just up my alley? For those who are new to my blog, I obtained a master’s degree in film studies and screenwriting in June 2014. I have a lifelong love of film and attempted to write scripts in high school. After undergraduate studies (English and History), I taught myself the proper format and techniques for screenwriting, so that I could adapt books. That was what led me to eventually seek a graduate level degree in the art form. I simply love film. It has taught me a great deal about being able to deconstruct just about any text (texts being a catch all term for just about everything). I used the theories of semiotics and intertext to frame most of my work.
Currently, I am working on optioning the adaptation of my second novel, OP-DEC: Operation Deceit with a producer. My focus in grad school was on the adaptation of novels and my final project was the difficult task of adapting my own work for film. Placing a producer would be the culmination of all that work.
As you can imagine, with this known, my love of film is of great interest to those who interviewed me in the past. What we have found is that it’s hard to nail down just one film that stands out above all others for me. The reason is that when we talk film we’re talking about those films I studied intimately and from which I learned the craft. They’re each special. The, almost all films (and television) that I watch now, whether old or new, have much more profound meaning. Once you learn theory, your mind is opened up and views things from so many angles and the intertexts add richer depth. Everything becomes fascinating. That said, there are indeed two films that stand out. This pair has brought me the most emotional investment of any of the films I have watched yet (although, the trailer for the new Star Wars brought a tear to my—I am so stoked!). As much as I love and talk up Insidious and Inception and how my thoughts are set on fire by them, these other two films truly hold my heart.
So what are they?
I know! These films are on opposites ends of the spectrum; at least, at first glance. First of all, one is shot in black and white and celebrates the heyday of the silver screen, spoofing Universal’s great monster flicks of the 1930s. Mel Brooks directed and Gene Wilder wrote. The team was perfection. The other film is technicolor, not literally, but figuratively. The footage is shot in rich and startling color that is achingly alive. The reason for the format is the film posits that heaven is what each person envisions. In this case, Chris sees heaven as being inside of his wife’s paintings. As an artist, this touches my heart deeper than anything I have watched.
Though these films are different on the surface, they do have things in common. The main similarity ties into my background. The films are both adaptations of amazing books: Mary Shelley‘s Frankenstein and Richard Matheson‘s What Dreams May Come. I have not had the privilege yet to read Matheson’s work, but it is well loved already by many fans: “a classic novel of love after death, from one our greatest fantasy writers” (Amazon Reviews). It asks, on the surface, one of the greatest questions to puzzle humanity, and is something I have been fascinated by throughout all of my studies. That preoccupation with a great beyond finally spilled over into my own fantasy/sci-fi series.
The films at the top of my list reflect me in many ways, from my comedic antics and colorfulness, to the presence of twins (I’m a Gemini), the artistic imagination on fire, homage to books, films reflecting on themselves and so on. I could go on a lot more about these two masterpieces but you have plenty more reading to do throughout the hop, so I’ll let you go to check out those other entries (see the links below).
Before you go, check out author Stephany Tullis…
Stephany Tullis‘s life changed dramatically in the fall of 2008. When her oldest son asked, ‘why don’t you just write a book? Do what you love to do?’, after a few weeks of thought, she decided to give it a shot.
Stephany Tullis graduated from Russell Sage College with a Masters in Public Service Administration. She is the recipient of several leadership and career related rewards. She continues to consult for not for profits and lives in Georgia with her family. Check out her books! She’s from Upstate New York too!
Lela Markham says
Loved “What Dreams May Come”. Robin Williams never did a bad role and Cuba — well, he’s Cuba.
Not a huge fan of Gene Wilder and found “Young Frankenstein” to be too much Gene and not enough of … well, something else. But that’s a personal preference. Rationally, it was a very well-done movie that I probably would have loved with someone else in the lead role.
Captain Maiel says
Robin was an amazing man. He didn’t ever do a bad role. It’s true.
Gene is wonderful! But you know what? I am sure he’s not for everyone. That script is brilliantly put together though. It really was well done.
Nicole Sorrell says
These are movies I probably would never consider watching, but you’ve inspired me to check them out. Thanks for a great post!
Captain Maiel says
You will love them. I have the script for Young Frankenstein on my coffee table as it means so much to me. If you’ve read Frankenstein and seen the Universal Frankenstein movies (Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein and Son of Frankenstein), you will see the homage all over the place. I actually quote the film a lot. The second film, I still cry when I watch and I have probably seen it twenty times at least. It’s gorgeous. It’s what I hope we find. It’s everything.
P.J. MacLayne says
Interesting choice of movies. And from a unique viewpoint.
Captain Maiel says
It really speaks to who I am, I think. 🙂