Thursday, 10 February 2011

Am I Making Sense?

I haven't blogged in a while so I figured it was time once again to put thoughts to paper, or words to screen, whatever.

I recently managed to catch the breathtaking Black Swan and a whole slew of emotions and new ideas swam through my addled mind as I tried to make sense of the piece. It genuinely will reward in greater measure if you forsake your devotion to 'what REALLY happened' and just allow yourself to be taken along for the ride, allow yourself to be seduced by it. Think David Cronenberg, where things happen that are so bizarre, you're never really quite sure if events unfolded as seen, or anything by David Lynch (Lost Highway being a particular doozy).

Are films genuinely more entertaining if you can make sense of the flick or doesn't it matter?

Directors stress all the time that although audiences are very smart, you can lose them very easily and then it's a real struggle to get them back. A few of my friends found Black Swan's ambiguity too much to take, leading them from anxiety to eventual frustration. I can totally understand this. Some stories are so convoluted and warped in style and structure you almost get the sense the creator literally made it up as they went along with no clear objective in mind.

And here, to the point of this post; how much sense is required for a story to be enjoyable?

My third screenplay plays fast and loose with structure and design, involving complicated dream like sequences and operatic mood pieces, basically you are never really sure if things are happening as they seem. Most that read it detested it for it's non linear approach. I kept stressing that a script is merely a blueprint for a movie and not the finished article, but I had lost them. It was too late.

My stories/novella thus far have been fairly restrained but I do often wonder, how much must a story make sense in order to entertain?

After watching Black Swan, I am ever so slightly tempted to lessen reality's reins on my upcoming tales, although I realise that if I follow through on this, I'm on my own, I won't have the adorable Natalie Portman in my corner to save me from the detractors.

It's a pickle.


  1. I haven't watched Black Swan yet, but it looks very interesting. I say just let it flow with your writing. Let it take you anywhere... I do that all time time and am pleasantly pleased with the outcome.

  2. Nice advice! I did that with my third script though and no one liked it. Dare to fail, I guess, better than staying boring and rigid.

  3. Hi Jevron, I work as a filmmaker my self and that's what i thought as a media student...let the script flow with my thoughts...but unfortunately we write scripts for people who think differently...there are certain traits though which bind the human minds together...for eg. everybody wants to see your characters succeeding, that also makes it easier for them to identify with your in the case of Black Swan and also Shutter Island, the bizzare happenings were justified by the characters being schizophrenic...justification is an important tool that makes your audiences agree with there is no problem in going wild with our writings, as long as we are able to justify the events directly or indirectly...finally what a script needs to do is to entertain...people go to the theater to momentarily escape the harshness and challenges of everyday they completely surrender their minds to the makers of the film trusting him to entertain them...Black Swan was a bizarre film but it entertained me to the core...i was interested in seeing what next would happen in the girl's life...i was blown away by her passion...i wanted her to succeed however bizarre the reasons, as far as i understood them, it's all fine with me...
    well these are my thoughts and any other can surely differ from them...i liked your blog Jevron...a very happy writing to you :)