Death, not a popular subject unless you’re writing a best seller

Friday, 4 May, 2012

Plot lines

An analysis of the titles making up last year’s Man Booker Prize longlist reveals that topics of death, followed by love, make for a sure-fire recipe for literary success.

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Digital technology changed our lives and the best ever film plots

Tuesday, 2 August, 2011

Not only would technologies such as the internet and mobile phones, had they have been present, changed the outcome of many classic films, such as say “Psycho”, they now make writing tense or suspenseful screenplays all the more challenging.

Before checking into the Bates Motel in a deserted California backwater, Janet Leigh consults Trip Advisor on her iPhone and reads: “Smelly, dirty, really creepy owner, constantly talks to a mother no one ever sees. Filthy shower, manager’s office smells of stuffed birds, no Wi-Fi. Often travelling alone on business as a cutting-edge website designer, I foolishly checked into the Bates for a night with a gift voucher my ex gave me, and let me tell you, I spent 10 sleepless hours with the chest of drawers propped up against the door, sharpening my toenail clipper, terrified that the owner was going to come in and hack me to pieces with a butcher knife. Oh, another thing: No cable.” So Leigh doesn’t check into the hotel, there is no horrific shower scene, and Psycho does not become a classic.

L’appartement is one of my favourite examples of a film where mobile phones would have completely changed the outcome of the story… in fact there would have been almost no story if the key characters had them.

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If conflict drives all storylines then there is only one basic plot

Thursday, 13 January, 2011

How many basic literary plots are there? Depending on how a plot is defined, there could be anywhere from one through to 36 basic storylines.

Attempts to find the number of basic plots in literature cannot be resolved any more tightly than to describe a single basic plot. Foster-Harris claims that all plots stem from conflict. He describes this in terms of what the main character feels: “I have an inner conflict of emotions, feelings…. What, in any case, can I do to resolve the inner problems?” (p. 30-31) This is in accord with the canonical view that the basic elements of plot revolve around a problem dealt with in sequence: “Exposition – Rising Action – Climax – Falling Action – Denouement”.

Via Lone Gunman.

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Make your own doomsday movie with the Filmpocalypse system

Monday, 8 February, 2010

Craft your own disaster/catastrophe movie, in the ilk of say The Road, or 2012, with the Random Filmpocalypse Plot Generator:

Our future may be uncertain and destined to be very short and feature lots of boiling lava blasts and homicidal angels, but one thing is certain: the end-of-the-world genre is currently booming like a nuked metropolis, and so we all might as well get in on the action.

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Contains spoilers: the best and worst twist endings in movies

Monday, 11 May, 2009

A list of the best and worst twist endings in movies… though not all the twists in the featured films occur at their ending however, The Prestige being a case in point (spoilers):

For one, Christian Bale’s character tricks Hugh Jackman into thinking that he got a hold of his journal full of secrets – until Jackman reads that it was all planned. Jackman pulls a similar trick on Bale, revealing to his adversary that he intended to frame him. Then, it is revealed that Jackman’s character is still alive, a result of cloning himself and murdering himself every night. If that’s not f-ed up enough, Bale actually has a twin brother and the two having been living a single life, sharing both a wife and a mistress.

The Prestige also starred Michael Caine of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels fame, another – albeit comedic – example replete with twists, though they play out more during the story rather than being served up at the conclusion.

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Lost in the storyline, a story

Monday, 30 March, 2009

Lost in Translation makes it onto the list of Five great films where nothing much happens… but are they any less enthralling?

Talking of Lost in Translation, I stumbled upon a IMBd discussion about a “mystery man” who was seen in Charlotte’s (Scarlett Johansson) hotel room at one point (when she was supposed to be alone).

Clearly a goof, but it’s piqued my curiosity now.

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