Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A moment of clarity


I was drinking a Newcastle Brown Ale in a Raleigh, N.C., movie theater watching "Pulp Fiction" for the first time. It was the first time I ever imbibed a beer in a movie theater (viva art theaters!). And the movie immediately became one of my all-time favorites, if not my singular favorite film. I don't think that was related to the beer.

HBO has been showing "Pulp Fiction" and last night I latched on early, even though we own the movie. It's a film I will watch anywhere, anytime. I am not a screenwriter; I don't dig on screenplays. But PF taught me about how I want to write--the language, the dialogue, the staccato conversation, which stays casual and funny but delves deep into philosophy, character, life. The narrative that leaps forward and back. And everything with plot twists, pacing and humor that keep you glued. I almost come out of my seat, still, when Vega gives the adrenaline shot to Mia Wallace.

I am sure I could expound on similarities between PF and my other top all-time movies ("Cool Hand Luke," "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Snatch" are in that company). But other than being re-smitten with a late night screening of PF, I think I am on a thread where art forms and genres other than your own instruct/inform you. One of the books I have going at present is John Berger's "Bento's Sketchbook."

Berger launches off of the writing/thinking of Benedict "Bento" Spinoza, and the fact that Bento is said to have carried a sketchbook with him, which was never found (at least not that is known) after his death. Berger, an artist, writer, thinker, looks at the impulse to create/draw, combined with deep meditations, which go beneath the surface.

I can't draw. But in looking at the impulse to draw, to create, and how Berger approaches the outside world, I am inspired.

So those are my extra-genre inspirations this morning. An all-time favorite film and a new book. Add morning coffee to that, maybe a lunch-time run, and I am ready for take off.