Thursday, May 13, 2010

Film Affects

New Thursday Edition to The Writing Bug: SCREENWORKS is about what works on screen! Join Trai Cartwright on a through-the-looking-glass exploration of the wonderful world of cinema. Part craft, part cinema studies, part fan-girl ravings and part Hollywood Insider!

ScreenWorks is a blog about what works on screen – and yes, sometimes about what doesn’t work on screen. Part of our modern communal pop culture experience is sitting in a darkened theater (even if it’s your living room) with high expectations for the latest film by your favorite star or favorite director. All across the world, people love the movies.

Why? There are a million theories. It’s escapism from a high stress world, we’re born storytellers, it’s comfort “food” we remember from our youths, it’s how we learn about ourselves or pretend to be someone else entirely. My personal favorite is Roger Ebert’s posit that the speed of the film strip through the projector is at just the right cycles-per-second to trigger our brain’s pleasure zones. Literally – the flickering creates a meditative state. We’re being biologically manipulated to love movies.

Do you suppose the first filmmakers knew any of that when they started making films? No way. And yet, from the first moment a train came tearing across the screen, the audience bought in. In fact, half of them were so certain the train was real and about to leap into their laps, they fled the theater.

Film affects us. It’s a language everyone understands – we don’t require subtitles, summaries or reviewers to induce a love of a really great film. Across the world, we as a race are united through a love of visual storytelling: massive displays of emotional power, impossible action and unifying themes. That and Will Smith.

ScreenWorks is my tribute to the good times I’ve had watching, writing and making films. Because for me, there’s no better time to be had.

What are some of your favorite movies?

TRAI CARTWRIGHT is a 20-year entertainment industry veteran recently transplanted to Fort Collins. Currently, Trai is a writing consultant who teaches all kinds of writing across the Front Range for community colleges, writers groups and one-on-one.  She oversees Fort Collins’s only teen writers critique group for NCW, and run the Explorati Teen Writers Boot Camp summer program.  To work with her, contact her through her website: 


Amy Tate said...

Kerrie, my all time favorite movie is Raiders of the Lost Ark. I'm about to date myself, but I remember the very first time my parents rented a VCR. Daddy came home with it in a large black case, and in the other hand he carried two VHS tapes. We watched Tom Selleck in High Road to China, and Harrison Ford's Raiders of the Lost Ark. I have an original movie poster hanging in my basement from the theater. When you add Dr. Pepper and a bucket of buttered popcorn, life is good!

Jenny S. said...

Trai, I'm looking forward to your Thursday blogs!

How does Ebert explain the incredible teeth-gnashing frustration I feel after watching a bad movie? :-)

As a mom, I'm loving the fantastic animated movies from Pixar and Dreamworks. I also have fond memories of seeing Raiders for the first time.

Linda L. Henk said...

My all time favorite movie has to be "Michael" with John Travolta. I have it on video tape (remember analog?). Forty-four minutes in is the "Battle" scene where he and the bull lock horns. Cheers me up every time. Now maybe it's the viewing cycle that cheers me up...

Kerrie said...

I do love Raiders as well. I have fond memories of going to see Star Wars at the big Cooper theater in Denver (don't think it's there any more). I like the movie Michael too Linda. I love Pixar movies!

Trai said...

Wow, Amy you ARE a Raider's fan! I love it when a movie really ties to some wonderful memory, so that any time we see mention of the film, we're taken back to that time and place. The power of movies!

Patricia Stoltey said...

Trai, it's great that you'll be a regular on The Writing Bug. I'm a movie lover and have been since my grandmother and I started going to those wonderful musicals of the late 40s and early 50s.

I have lots of favorites, some old and some new, but my top all-time favorite film (and the music that goes with it) is Don Juan DeMarco with Johnny Depp and Marlon Brando.

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