Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Conf 92: Narrative Nightmare

No. of words: 50,775

I can't get beyond C26, it's going nowhere & all of my getting going tricks, like working to other writers' patterns, aren't getting me anywhere. What I really should do at this stage is call someone in the profession I'm writing about and chat and make notes. But I'm in shy mode and lacking confidence. Besides, I think it's better to do most research at the end, fitting it in around the story and the emotions, because research is just the best excuse for not writing while at the same time pretending that I am writing. I love it too much.

Read Philip Horne's Filmakersonfilm in the Saturday Telegraph at lunchtime. This week it was John Boorman on Fellini's 8 and a Half :

"The scene that I can identify with more than any other," Boorman says, "is the press conference where Guido can't think of anything to say and hides under the table. I can sympathise with that."

What made Fellini so special?

"Sam Fuller said that as a film director you were always looking for the one thing that would make a scene into cinema, for that magic. Fellini achieved that more than anybody else." And this film about cinematic failure is the point in Fellini's career where, partly through desperation, he triumphs, discovers his magical secret - "really by disposing of narrative", as Boorman comments. "With 8 and a half he genuinely found himself not knowing what the film was that he was going to make, and he found himself making a film about that - about not knowing. That led him into a place that few directors have ever got to, which is almost pure cinema. That is what he was always aiming at in his later films. It's a curious thing. Narrative is a brutal master: if you have a story to tell, with film it has a tendency to push everything else out. If you shoot a picture, and it's overlong, and you have to cut it, what you cut is everything except the narrative. It's the master that we all serve, and Fellini escaped it in the most remarkable way."

Now I'd better start worrying about job interview in 2 hrs time.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

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