Yay, I get to blog after all!
Today’s been a bit of a roller coaster. This morning, when I woke up for school, I felt fine…. till I got up. That’s when I got all dizzy and nauseous and it sort of felt like was was being repeatedly lightly compressed. I think what happened was that fluid built up in my ears and sinuses to the point that it was affecting my inner ear.
But I didn’t know that at the time. All I knew was that my head felt like a half-full water balloon and I felt sick every time I moved it, so, no class for me.
So I emailed both the profs of the classes I would be taking today warning them that I would definitely not be there for the morning class (Story) and might not be there for the second class (Film Theory) because I was ill.
Bases thus covered, I went back to bed and had a good long sleep, which I think I really needed.
When I woke up, I didn’t so much feel better as I had a lot more energy to deal with feeling ill. I was definitely well enough for class, so I went.
Film Theory was great fun, as usual. Today we talked about the so-called “Anti-Narrative” films. As you can tell, I have a lot of problems with that word. Anti-Narrative films would be absolutely random, images and scenes completely unconnected to each other, and even then, the human mind would construct a narrative via the montage effect.
So Anti-Narrative films, like anarchy, are logically impossible due to the basic nature of the human mind. I know that this makes me a stickler on this issue, and an argument could be made that it’s just a label given by film theorists to describe a certain movement in film and that I am getting all worked up about nothing.
But that’s just the way I am. I think labels should describe what is inside in some way, and so calling people like Terry Mallick or Terry Gilliam Anti-Narrative is absurd, illogical, and a misuse of language.
And I feel very strongly about language. Artists always have strong feelings about the stuff of which their art is made. Painters have strong opinions on light and balance, interior designers talk passionately about flow and color, sound designers really want to change your equalizer settings, and writers want words used correctly and when they are not, we get mad.
Anyhow, the examples of so called Anti-Narrative included Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas (which totally told a linear narrative), Tree of Life (which tells the story of, as far as I could tell, an entire human life, and there’s nothing more narratively satisfying than that), and even 2001 : A Space Odyssey (totally narrative even in the monkey and stargate parts).
So in conclusion, Anti-Narrative is a stupid term and it burns me up to imagine there are people making movies then going around talking about how their movies don’t have narratives.
The basic description of this kind of movie is that it will have a non-traditional narrative structure (hey, they could call it that!), it will feature deeply flawed characters with serious issues that make you wonder whether you like them or not, and it is more about character that storytelling.
By that definition, the only movie you could make would be one where you described a character then did not with them. The moment the character did something, woops, narrative!
Oh, and get this, one of the things said about this bullshit movement was that they thought the script was not important. And this was said to my entire class of WRITERS. Oy!
And I know this about myself : I am intensely narratively driven. To me, a movie (or whatever) consists of two things : story, and bullshit. To me, absolutely everything serves the story. No exceptions. Even character development, comedy, red herrings, and every other literary device you can think of. It works as a story or it doesn’t work as anything.
That doesn’t mean I want nothing but plot. Even if that is possible, it would be quite alienating. You couldn’t invest in the characters or identify with them because you would know nothing about them. Even intensely plot driven stories end up showing things about the characters.
Although I do like the idea of playing with form by doing something in which you never learn anything about the characters except by their actions. You could explore a very interesting narrative space with that. Sometimes alienation can be a good thing.
Anyhow, after class it was time to hook up with the fabulous Felicity so we could go to her Stand Up For Mental Health comedy show tonight. The program does two big shows in its duration, one halfway through and one at the end of the program, and this was the mid-way one.
First, Felicity and I ate dinner at the food court of a nearby mall. I had Indian food, and it was pretty good. Although it bothered me that I got two different dishes that were basically the same color. It made it look like Indian cuisine has only one medium brown sauce.
But it was tasty and filling and came with fresh made naan, so it was all good. Then, it was off to Yuk Yuk’s, where Felicity did a hilarious and very well received set, as did the other comedians. It was a very pleasant evening. I tried a Mai Tai for the first time. Can’t say I was super impressed. I had somehow built them up in my mind as something truly exotic and clever, I guess, and instead they were just a fairly pleasant orange juice cocktail.
Kind of made me wish I had saved a couple bucks and just ordered a screwdriver (which is a highball) instead.
After the show, Felicity dropped me off at home.
As for the rest…. you were here for it!
I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.