Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black’s Creative Process

All too often, people think that you don’t have to be a good writer to write for the movies, and that could not be further from the truth. But don’t take my word for it: the proof is in this incredible video about the creative process of screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, who wrote MILK and J. EDGAR. He talks about the importance of research, how specificity of character leads to universal, “relatable” characters, and how an author or filmmaker’s stamp on a story makes it original even if it’s “all been done.” He shares my own sensibility that writing can be used to “change the culture” and make progress as a society, so I will definitely be checking out his work soon (it’s long overdue).

In Dustin Lance Black’s Words:

“Why are you telling that story? What is the purpose of that story? For me, it’s always, How do I move the needle? How do I change the culture?”

“I love and hate what I do. It’s like an addiction. I want to solve the problems. I want to make it work. If someone believes that the world is good as is, that this is it, we’ve reached the pinnacle of human existence, then you know what? Don’t write.”

Enjoy this amazing video #withcaptions and think it over.

Japan Cuts/Japan Cats: An Informal Photo Essay

Photos from Japan Cuts: The New York Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema and the Japan CATS Party (a cat-themed reception celebrating the International Premiere of NEKO SAMURAI). More info here: http://www.japansociety.org/event/cat-samurai

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

And to finish off…more adorable pictures from NEKO SAMURA, a fun film (apparently based on a manga) for cat-lovers and others alike:

image

image

A Great Night for Film: HAN GONG-JU and SNOWPIERCER

Saw HAN GONG-JU at a last-minute trip to the New York Asian Film Festival and then saw SNOWPIERCER at Film Society of Lincoln Center. It was a great night of film because it was planned out, like my other trips to film festivals (like the Maryland FF, Nantucket FF, or Provincetown FF.)

image

But both films did not disappoint. Both were brutal in their own way; HAN GONG-JU, a debut feature out of South Korea written and directed by Su-jin Lee is more of a quiet character study about a remarkably resilient teenage girl dealing with the aftermath of a horrific trauma while navigating South Korean culture’s treatment of trauma survivors.

image

For more information of the NYAFF, visit http://www.filmlinc.com/films/series/new-york-asian-film-festival-2014

There has been a lot of hype about SNOWPIERCER, directed by Bong Joon-ho and written by Bong and Kelly Masterson, and it certainly delivered: a whirlwind of action and that also had its quiet moments of social critique that will certainly stay with me for a while.

image

SNOWPIERCER s based on a French graphic novel, Le Transperceneige. I’ve been meaning to read some French graphic novels (or BDs) to keep up with my French skills, so may have to check out this one. Here is a page I found from the graphic novel en français:

Welcome!

Hello fellow cinephiles and bibliophiles (everyone else is welcome too),

Welcome! This is not the first time that I have tried to start a blog or website or journal. But, I feel that the time has come to start some record of my literary, film-related, cultural and maybe even professional life in a casual, low-key setting. Let’s see where it goes.

Warmly,

Alessandra