I’ve been on a movie kick recently. I’m not a huge fan of going to the movies these days, as I don’t like crowds and hate having to deal with other people talking, coughing, chewing, kicking my seat, texting, etc. But I’ve been making more of a point to go, because there are still some things I want to see on the big screen. I was very eager to see The Master, Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest epic. I’m a fan of his work (except I absolutely hated Punch Drunk Love, though I feel like I may need to see it again), and especially loved There Will Be Blood, which was, in my opinion, the best American film of the last decade (and one of the greatest movies ever made, period). I’m still sorting through my reaction to the movie, and like a really good book, I actually want to go see it all over again to view it differently and see what new conclusions I can draw. Plus, it’s one of the most beautiful movies, having been shot in 65mm, and I want to see it again at that scale. I also finally saw Weekend, a great, small indie film about a relationship that takes place over the course of a weekend. I watched that one at home, and the setting somehow felt right for the intimate, cramped feel of the film. I’m not dying to see this one again–I think I got what I needed in one viewing–but it’s the kind of simple storytelling that packs a punch.
I go through these movies phases about once a year, and I find it’s always the time when the most book ideas come to me, too. Though reading other books and listening to music can have a similar effect, there’s something in my brain that reacts very strongly to moving images, and it gets my creative juices flowing. I have an author who’s the same way and sees just about every movie imaginable. And, like me, he gets really inspired by them, and often comes up with fantastic new ideas after seeing a great movie. But in the end, he and I take those ideas and bring them back to book form–the opposite of how it usually goes, when books are adapted for the screen.
I’m curious if any of you are as inspired by the film world as you are the book world. Or is there some other art form that inspires your writing?