Monday, December 18, 2006

Emma Thompson and "Sense and Sensibility"

I ran out of writing juice yesterday and flipped into movie land with the adaption of Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility ". The screenplay was written by the lovely actor Emma Thompson.
I was listening to the commentary in the production notes section and sat up and paid attention when Emma Thompson states that characters written today are one dimensional. I am paraphrasing here please note, she commented that women were either sexy or not, men were mean, not mean or there was a third "type" men could be that I cannot remember this morning. Love was sex with no layers of emotional involvement. Remember, she was talking about books and scripts, not reality.
I have been thinking about what she said in the hours since I listened. Stunning as I feel reality must be reflected in film and books, or is it not?
The characters in a 18th century English novel about money, may not be applicable to life in the 21st century. Not applicable other than we are still chasing money, tho' perhaps in a different way. Present day humans are more open, though not less manipulative than the Lucy character I would venture. I stand in any public place and in a moment can hear at the top decibel of the human vocal range, a woman telling her entire private business on a cellphone, without regard that total strangers can hear her. Our society must consider that no one within 100' has functional hearing. Unfortunately, I have not learned the Japanese art of not listening to the life functions of a stranger two feet from them.
I am still considering how this self applied lack of privacy or of mystery in person can be used in a modern day entertainment way. Perhaps we as viewers really are interested in viewing photos of Music Personalities lack of underpants. Where is the mystery in that? How do I write a female or for that matter a male character with layers and layers of emotions without creating someone that seems archaic, uncool, or not "with it" enough to attract a publisher of mass market appeal. Creating a lovely literary piece would fill my heart. Creating a lovely literary piece which (if sold at all )would not be read by thousands of people and the profit from it would not fill the truck's gas tank for a week. I do not forget that one object of writing books is to sell them. I have the same money goal in life as Eleanor in Sense and Sensibility.
I need to think on this.
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