Over Thanksgiving, I got together with friends to watch classic films. Some writerly observations:
- William Faulkner wrote the The Big Sleep screenplay–the original Sleep with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Faulkner “peeled the onion,” layer after layer using dialog and Bogart’s face to expose Bacall’s character. That was bea-u-tee-ful.
- In Roman Polanski’s Chinatown, Jack Nicholson looks eerily like Robert Wagner. Check out the scene near the end when Nicholson lies down and we see his face straight on. Does anyone agree with me that Jake tried to save the Faye Dunaway character and failed: hence, tragedy. Or, do you agree with my buddy Nancy, that the end had no punch and the hero did not push the action. Vote please.
- Brideshead Revisited, the movie based on the Waugh novel, I loved. Period movies rock. For you who have read the book and seen the movie, do you feel the movie followed the novel’s spirit?
- Sideways and The Royal Tennenbaums. Hated them. The best part about the Tennenbaums was the concept. Sideways. Simply boring.
When a reader or viewer says, “boring,” the criticism usually means either lack of escalating suspense or lackluster characters that no one likes. Those criticisms remind me I’m revising a few similar bumps in my novel’s pages. Back to work.