Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Small Picture

The following article is from one of my favorite blogs

I'm sure she wasn't writing this about filmmakers and screenwriters in particular, but, how applicable it is. I wish more films focused on the "small picture," stereotypes and stock characters would disappear and we would have an infinite series of wonderfully specific characters, new souls whose stories are worth caring about.

This is an unexpected example, especially on Oscar Sunday when we're supposed to go deep, but the "small picture" is the reason Boomerang was such a great movie.

Lady Eloise was a fantastically detailed character, vain, overtly sexual, in her 60s, and a little crazy, but still a shrewd enough businesswoman to be outraged by the original Strangé commercial. There was never an opportunity missed with Lady Eloise. A scene in which she appears, just in passing, gave us the gem, "Marcus, I don't have any panties on."

Strangé, was the same thing, but it was the commercial director who proved that even the smallest moment could be memorable. He didn't need to go for big gag to be funny, "Steel vagina, marvelous..." was far better, and came out of exploring the details of his kinky character rather than heaping on gags that didn't add to the humor.

I could expand this idea to Coming To America as well, and for that matter 48 Hours, but I'll just sum it by saying, Eddie Murphy movies were funnier when the characters were detailed, intricate, multifaceted. It's when his movies became "fat people are funny," that we all got bored. But I digress...

Here's the article...

The Small Picture
2010 MARCH 3
by Grace

Why do people always say – focus on the big picture?

What’s so special about “the big picture?”

Unless you’re making a god damn collage.

I like the small picture.

Details. Nicks.

Iridescent. Mumbling.

Within them I see everything I need to know.

Take this little gem, for example.

Can you count the lines that mark its face?

How about the chips and cracks that claim its age?

Did you count the creases of the skin it hugs? Weathered

with traces of travels,

and god knows harboring how many secrets.

Do you wonder?

And would you believe me if I told you that every single fragment of the sea

gave away, as I threw myself onto them

and then

quietly crawled close and

pressed into me?

That each one felt like a memory yet to be claimed,

a wonder yet to be understood,

a dream faded before it was known…

Would you believe me if I said

That I actually don’t know what I’m typing half the time,

That I sometimes look away and just tap out patterns of what feels good,

That sometimes the jumble of words stare back at me, wild-eyed,

And I stare back in return, wild-eyed.

That maybe I string them together like pastel shell-shaped candies,

Into little neat stacks of

Short lines that rhyme

Just so people can

Call it poetry.

That maybe I do that just to feel the rhyme.

That maybe I do that just for an excuse to post photos of seashells.

That maybe I am a seashell.

That maybe I just want an excuse to be the girl that fumbles in seashells.

That maybe I just want to be that girl

In itty bitty little pictures.

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