from “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”

July 22, 2015 § Leave a comment

We can never know what we want, because, living only one life, we can neither compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Milan Kundera

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from “Story”

July 8, 2015 § Leave a comment

From the moment of inspiration you reach into your fictional world in search of a design.

Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting
Robert McKee

*****

This line jumped out of the pages and gave me some very vivid memories of my days in architecture school. We had two major studio projects every year. All of us had the same brief – it was the same location, and we were to design the same thing (old folks’ home, school, etc.). Yet despite all of that, there was no doubt in our minds that we would each come up with a design that would be uniquely ours, completely different from that of our colleagues.

And I had realised then, as I remember again today, that it was precisely because we each had a different core idea holding our design intact. Our designs were supposed to be all-rounded, to answer to various issues and solve various problems, but there was sure to be ONE core idea – a concept, if you will – that permeated our design, informed all our decisions, and gave our project its overall shape and meaning.

This core idea, what we call concept in architecture, is what we call theme in screenwriting.

from “Moral Disorder”

June 9, 2015 § Leave a comment

Is bad news worse with pictures? I think so. Pictures make you look, whether you want to or not.

The Bad News
Margaret Atwood

I thought everyone would be familiar with this figure: if I’d studied a thing in school I assumed it was general knowledge. I hadn’t yet discovered that I lived in a sort of transparent balloon, drifting over the world without making much contact with it, and that the people I knew appeared to me at a different angle from the one at which they appeared to themselves; and that the reverse was also true. I was smaller to others, up there in my balloon, than I was to myself. I was also blurrier.

The Headless Horseman
Margaret Atwood

from “We Need To Talk About Kevin”

May 11, 2015 § Leave a comment

We have explicit expectations of ourselves in specific situations – beyond expectations; they are requirements. Some of these are small: If we are given a surprise party, we will be delighted. Others are sizable: If a parent dies, we will be grief-stricken. But perhaps in tandem with these expectations is the private fear that we will fail convention in the crunch. That we will receive the fateful phone call and our mother is dead and we feel nothing. I wonder if this quiet, unutterable little fear is even keener than the fear of the bad news itself: that we will discover ourselves to be monstrous.

We Need To Talk About Kevin
Lionel Shriver

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