Friday, 17 August 2012

Lights, Camera, Action!

“Give them pleasure. The same pleasure they have when they wake up from a nightmare.” 
 Alfred Hitchcock (

“Everything I learned I learned from the
Audrey Hepburn (

It all starts with Sesame Street and Bear in the Big Blue House till we find ourselves sitting on the edge of our sofas crying with Brigitte Jones, our eyes glued to the most magical of man’s creations: Television. How we love it and can’t get enough. I know people who refuse to have one at home and I feel sick just imagining what they do with their time. I guess it’s good for us writers, since they’re most probably reading our books with a nice glass of wine, but still.

I grew up believing that stories could take you anywhere and television was a means of actually convincing your brain that you had arrived. Hollywood can either put you completely to sleep or make you jump up in the middle of the show and want to get a burger or write through the night. I’m a movie junkie (proud of it), both for relaxation as well as inspiration. Here is my top 3 list (needless to say, they all get five out of five star ratings from me…I love all my specials equally!) of all-time inspiring movies (write-till-you-drop kind of inspiring).

Moulin Rouge (2001)
The Moulin Rouge is about a writer who falls in love with a courtesan in 1899 in the Montmartre district of Paris (anyone that has ever been to Paris will know that the city itself is magical, so a story playing there can’t go wrong!).  It’s hopelessly romantic, in spite of–or maybe even because of—its unusual and sordid setting. It’s sometimes silly enough to have been made in Bollywood, but I think that’s what fills the nooks and crannies of the movie with added charm. I love any story that has to do with the underworld of big cities and anything that portrays man’s hidden secrets so this movie was practically made for me!

Lord of the Rings
This story doesn’t need any introductions—it’s just brilliant! Set in a made up world, fantasy writers can just go wild trying to conjure up equally magical creatures of their own after watching this. The whole thing about little hobbits going on a journey to save the world from the most powerful sorcerer that ever lived is basically the whole point of a story and it is really inspiring. As Peter Ustinov put it in his novel The Old Man and Mr. Smith, the bad guys in a story need to appear much more powerful than the good ones (putting the battle in their favour) and when the good ones win against all odds, the viewers are that much more satisfied. (I always wondered why the Decepticons in Transformers have all the cool and useful vehicles while the Autobots drive stuff without weapons…now I know) Excellent!

A dream in a dream in a dream! Love it. We writers get so many of our stories from dreams and this movie is all about influencing the subconscious through our nocturnal adventures. How awesome is that?! Inception is totally mind-boggling and difficult to follow but it had exactly the right amount of weird that I adore. This movie really portrays the unfathomable expanse of the human brains and what we’re capable of. A must watch for writers!

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