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Reading, Looking, Listening, . . . Questioning
Categories: Essay | 3 Comments
Frank Kermode, August 2000, photo by Charlie MacDonald

By Walter Cummins   Life is a Fiction Over a half century ago, shortly before the twentieth-century British literary critic Frank Kermode’s seminal The Sense of an Ending was published, I found myself in a debate with the campus chaplain, a priest named Joe Casey, whom I barely knew at the time. The topic—Life is […]

Essay
Categories: Drew Whitcup, ZiR | 1 Comment

The documentary series Making a Murderer, currently airing on Netflix, is generating a lot of reaction from viewers and commentators. Many people (including hundreds of thousands who have signed a petition) are clamoring for the release of the show’s central figure, convicted murderer Steven Avery. Avery was falsely accused and convicted of an assault in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin […]

ZiR

This morning I came across an Indiewire post with a video where “Darren Aronofsky and a Neuroscientist Discuss How Movies Mess With Your Brain.” The title is a little disingenuous because it’s really about the power of narrative. I was drawn to it because of the written introduction: Darren Aronofsky, director of mind-bending films such […]

ZiR
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24 September 2013 Reading Me and You and Memento and Fargo: How Independent Screenplays Work by J.J. Murphy. It explores the distinct narrative features of independent cinema in the United States as compared to traditional Hollywood films. In the opening chapter Murphy provides a wonderful analysis and synopsis of the various banal screenwriting manuals that […]

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Asano_Takeji-No_Series-Snow_at_Iwashimizu_Hachiman_Shrine_Kyoto

24 September 2013 Reading Me and You and Memento and Fargo: How Independent Screenplays Work by J.J. Murphy. It explores the distinct narrative features of independent cinema in the United States as compared to traditional Hollywood films. In the opening chapter Murphy provides a wonderful analysis and synopsis of the various banal screenwriting manuals that […]

ZiR

July 16, 2018

Thanks a lot, Steve. And, continuing the segue-ing, here's an old (and traditional) Gary Snyder poem I just came across yesterday: Seaman’s Ditty I’m wondering where you are now Married, or mad, or free: Wherever you are you’re likely glad, But memory troubles me. We could’ve had us children, We could’ve had a home— But you thought not, and I thought not, And these nine years we roam. Today I worked in the deep dark tanks, And climbed out to watch the sea: Gulls and salty waves pass by, And mountains of Araby. I’ve travelled the lonely oceans And wandered the...

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Asano_Takeji-No_Series-Snow_at_Iwashimizu_Hachiman_Shrine_Kyoto

24 September 2013 Reading Me and You and Memento and Fargo: How Independent Screenplays Work by J.J. Murphy. It explores the distinct narrative features of independent cinema in the United States as compared to traditional Hollywood films. In the opening chapter Murphy provides a wonderful analysis and synopsis of the various banal screenwriting manuals that […]

ZiR

July 16, 2018

A very nice piece, William. I am reminded of a Sung Dynasty poem that D.T. Suzuki quotes in one of his books. I'm not sure of its relevance here, but it seems to resonate somehow. Misty rain on Mount Lu, And waves surging at Che Kiang. When you have not been there, Many a regret you have; But once there and homeward you wend, How matter-of-fact things look! Misty rain on Mount Lu And waves surging at Che Kiang.

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Categories: Essay | Add a Comment
Frank Kermode, August 2000, photo by Charlie MacDonald

24 September 2013 Reading Me and You and Memento and Fargo: How Independent Screenplays Work by J.J. Murphy. It explores the distinct narrative features of independent cinema in the United States as compared to traditional Hollywood films. In the opening chapter Murphy provides a wonderful analysis and synopsis of the various banal screenwriting manuals that […]

Essay

June 14, 2018

The time that takes place in stories compared to the time that we actually live is radically abbreviated. It briskly sweeps aside all the commonplace moments that make up the long stretch of toilsome time and focuses instead on the interesting and compelling. With a mere section break or a simple transitional phrase, days, months, and whole years are disposed of as if they had no significance at all. “Then time passed slowly until the day arrived when….” A lot of important living is hidden in such a phrase. From the moment-to-moment flow of time, the storyteller lifts out only those narr...

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