Monday, May 24, 2010

Thus Sayeth the Writers

I've ranted about this before (here and here). So, I'll be brief. Sort of. But, as long as writers in my realm of influence insist that something couldn't or wouldn't happen in somebody else's story universe, I'll keep making this point: it can happen if the writer says it can happen.


I stopped watching Lost after Season One so I wasn't invested in the finale. But one comment I saw about the wrap-up said that the island could not possibly have been purgatory since people do not meet and fall in love in purgatory.

Interesting. But, not so.

Maybe in purgatory, as you see it, people do not meet and fall in love. But this isn't your purgatory or my purgatory or God's purgatory. If it's purgatory at all, then it's Lost's purgatory. Your opinion doesn't count. Nor, does mine. It is what the writers declare it to be.

Writers are the gods of their own universes and if, for example, a story reality establishes that all birds are flightless, then they are. If writers decide to leave the question open to interpretation, then birds may be flightless and they may not be, depending on individual perspective. The Lost finale may be open to interpretation. I really don't know.

What I do know, however, is that finales disappoint. They must. There's no way to please everyone. But there's a difference between failing to suspend disbelief enough to make something work and something not working because it's not possible.

We're writers. All things are possible.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Viewpoint of a Fish

When Sunset Boulevard was made, they didn't have the same options filmmakers have today so to get this underwater shot, cameras filmed from above looking down into a mirror. The shot is just distorted enough to give it the necessary creep factor that was lost when Billy Wilder ditched the original opening: Joe Gillis, dead on a slab in a morgue, talking to other corpses. It looked like the toe tags were talking to each other and test audiences laughed. Introducing Plan B.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Image in the Mirror

While it might be a little cliche for a person to study himself in the mirror, this image from Master and Commander feels unique and fresh to me because it's in a rain barrel and we're watching upside down as the lieutenant looks at himself, trying to decide if he really is a Jonah dooming his ship. I tried, but failed to capture the very moment he puts his hand in the water to wash his face and it mutilates his image; a parallel of how this lieutenant orchestrates his own demise. It's a beautiful thing on film but in a still, it's just a hand in water.