New ideas!

I'm all for new ideas. I was thinking, as inspired by my last post, instead of posting actual articles, I'll just post about what I've written up as drafts, or ideas I had for new articles, and then let the reader speculate the discussion in their own minds. It probably sounds like a lazy concept but I'll give it a try, and it may even be all the better as the articles would seem to have more of an air of myth and greatness, the less they are actually seen.

Firstly, I wrote up a quick draft for an article about James Nguyen's infamous runaway hit, Birdemic Shock and Terror. The article was to defend the movie as a great movie, a genuinely great movie with a genuine defence that relies on grounded and consistently reliable film theory - namely structuralism and semiotics. The main reference was to the Whitney character's ringtone on her mobile phone, which I remember has two occurrences in the film. If you know the story behind the ringtone, and about the structuralist theories of "the signifier" and "the signified", you'd understand how mind-blowing the whole movie is, as it's full if these little instances.

Secondly, I wrote up a lengthy draft (two drafts in fact) on the subject of the video game Mario Kart wii, which I have been playing a lot recently. I'm not entirely satisfied with the article, as most of it reads more like an instruction manual, or a FAQ, where I spend too many syllables giving exposition. Such that cannot be easily dismissed as it all plays vitally in the follow-up anecdotes, and felt that's where all the real juice was contained. The anecdotes were all a big lead up to a grand moral, and the article was really less about the video game itself and more about life, and such. By the end, the whole thing becomes a cathartic revelation, and all who read would find total enlightenment, a new outlook on life and new-found determination. It was truly a brilliant article, but a shame about the exposition parts. I also found the anecdotes would little apply after mere days as the game keeps bringing newer experiences after every play, and my growth in skill constantly increases. I'd look back and feel ashamed that I would ever consider displaying crude, unrefined technique I have long trampled out. I don't know. Maybe I'll try a third draft.

I liked the part in one of the anecdotes where I get really frustrated at the game and decide to listen to the CD, "KILL" by Cannibal Corpse, after which I lightly mention within parentheses "because, you know, the time to kill is now". Such beauty in prose - wasted.

Thirdly, something I haven't drafted yet, is an essay I call "Cinema as Invocation". I think modern mainstream cinema is lacking in the primal purpose of art - that is to invoke. I've been feeling lately that I want to make a film, even one with no budget, just some kind of story. I want to know if I'd have it in me, in my bones, to make something great - or at least interesting. I'm pretty sure I don't lack the resources, but I do seem to lack people around me, to motivate and give support. But that aside, I wanted to write this essay on how a film should be composed. Perhaps it's more like a manifesto. The original idea is that cinema is comparable to music, but I couldn't get my brain around how cinema could be like music if music can itself be included in cinema. Michael Haneke, who also advocates cinema's relation to music, gets around this by not scoring his films at all (except ironically in Funny Games). I'm not so much against score, but I'm against score that lacks invocation, or tries too hard and only becomes distracting.

I'm currently reading the poetry of Emily Brontë, who is probably my favourite Brontë, as I like the way she talks about the world she lives in, the moors, the woods, the skies, and all that. It struck me how it's in the specific way she uses language to visually invoke her world in conjunction to her feelings - and that the same actually applies to cinema. In this way, cinema is more akin to poetry. Firstly, the images of film could be compared to musical notes and chords, but when images move combined with sound and music, it's more like lyrics, where you can simultaneously read on paper and read out loud - visual and aural - and let the language dictate the rhythm and melody, all for the purpose of invocation. A film should be like a melody made up of invocations, but it shouldn't fluctuate too rapidly, or too dire. Once the melody is invented, then the story writes itself.

That's what I think anyway. I should explain that invocation could be anything, ranging from nostalgia to excitement to horror. The only thing I think should not be invoked is "you are watching a movie", or my personal peeve "cool, huh!?". This might contradict my defence for Birdemic Shock and Terror, above, as that movie fails to invoke anything but incompetence, but at least that's what it wasn't intending.

All these things left unwritten, and who's going to say anything of value was lost?

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