Novel Cutting Fortnight (NoCuFoNi) progress: -4183 words. That’s out of an original 23,918. Which is actually more like 17% instead of 10%. My argument for not shooting for 20% per scene is that this includes the exorcism of a character. I clung too long to a nine-page scene that was rewritten down to a couple of paragraphs. Sometimes, showing is *not* the best thing to. Showing unimportant things does not help the story.
Good stuff I’ve watched lately, two documentaries and two comedies:
Facing Ali (2009) – This is billed as tribute to Muhammad Ali by ten of the boxers who fought him over Ali’s long career, but it’s also the stories of these ten boxers. How do these men, all of whom were notable in their own right, cope when their professional lives intersect with someone as famous, as "charged" as Ali? It’s a good ten stories. It’s also a very well-produced film, weaving restored archival footage with interviews.
American Grindhouse (2010) – Good documentary on the history of exploitation films. Some of the earliest films really were exploitation flicks, offering quite a bit of skin and violence. Also, the "noir" genre has been reframed for me as a film-making style that attempted to keep pace with non-studio films while working within the Production Code. (Available via Netflx’ View Instantly)
The Infidel (2010) – What happens when a British Muslim finds out that he was adopted and his real name is Solly Shimshillewitz? And his son is engaged to the daughter of a devote cleric? Well, the reality probably isn’t as funny as this movie. Sometimes the humor goes a little awry, but Omid Djalili does a really good of being conflicted about who he thinks he should be. This movie works for me because, while it relies on stereotypes, it pokes fun at the stereotypes of both cultures. (Available via Netflx’ View Instantly)
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009) – If I were ten, *this* would displace Night at the Museum as my favorite movie. Adult me still found it pretty darn funny. Comedically, this movie is full of call-backs: humorous things that are set up early in the movie and paid off later. And that makes it pretty smart for a kid’s film. It has the usual lessons, but again, it’s kids’ film. It doesn’t aim at being subtle. (I was amused by this quote from the Commen Sense rating: "Although no grand life lessons are offered, the movie does center on a son’s need for fatherly encouragement and the idea that you shouldn’t compromise who you are just to be popular." Apparently those lessons aren’t grand enough.) (Available via Netflx’ View Instantly)