Claire's post on Tuesday got me thinking about my favourite movies about writers and artists, and also about movies that are just inspiring stories that make me want to pick up a pen or gravitate towards the keyboard, even if it's 1am and I've had a few gins.
Growing up, I was just like Jo in Little Women - always thinking about writing, involving my sisters (yes, I have three too!) in various secret societies or games that I had made up, writing my own magazine, putting on plays for my parents and their friends, or spending long hours lusting over books in libraries. When I was going through a particularly romantic Jane Austen/Charlotte Bronte phase in my mid teens, I used to write by candlelight in a long white nightgown, as per the picture above! The pages of my 1998 journals are liberally stained with candle wax. I would write late into the night, long after everyone had gone to bed, or I'd get up early before school and labour over my various tales. I wish I had such industry and determination now. I can't really function before 8am these days!
Little Women is my comfort writing film - it always makes me feel dreamy and snuggly. And it's also got one of the best lines ever, that always comes to me when I'm not sure about something I've written. Friedrich says this to Jo after she reacts badly to his honest opinion about her work:
"There is more to you than this. If you have the courage to write it."And then once Jo gets her great idea, she just sits and writes, until it's done. I need to remember that!
Other films that I love and always want to write something after I watch are:
- Frida (my favourite film)
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
- Love is The Devil
- The Kid (a recent discovery, thanks to TS, the Chaplin scholar)
- Lost in Translation
- Under the Tuscan Sun
While on the subject of films, in a desire to inspire ourselves, and get out of the house, TS took me to see Slumdog Millionaire last night, which I thoroughly recommend. TS's sister is currently living in Mumbai, so now when she talks about where she lives and what she sees each day, I can actually picture it all, the pulsing melting pot of crowds, smoke, heat and colour.
I am still absorbing it, and there are many who will write more eloquent reviews than I, but there are images from it that I can't get out of my mind - the dazzling colours of the clothes the women wash in the garbage-strewn river, the way the camera blurred and jumped as the young hero and his brother ran for cover from a fire-wielding mob, and of course the music, that vibrant, soulful, makes-you-want-to-dance Indian music. Sensory overload, really. I have not enjoyed a film at the cinema so much for a very long time. Do go and see it.
Other movie/literature inspiration:
- The Private Press is currently calling for poems inspired by David Lynch's Blue Velvet.
- 5 Weird and Wonderful Movies about Writers
- Ten tips for writing your own movie
- I always enjoy misonou's thoughts on cinema
- The Guardian film blog
- Top 100 Movies based on books (this is a topic I feel very strongly about, but I'll go into another time!)