First let me introduce a new idea I had for this here blog: Art (visual, auditory, literary – any and all mediums) and what it shows me about writing or even just what I might love about a particular work. Everything will be piece specific and if you have one you’d like to suggest I’d love to hear about it! Now- onto the first post!
Take this clip from “The Piano” as an example of something totally lighting a fire within me these days (totally worth the three minutes and small amount of dubbed speech):
Admittedly I love the film (part of that, my husband insists, is due to my affection and talent on the instrument itself): It is dark, twisted, depressing and at the same time incredibly hopeful. [A little trivia: that little girl is Anna Paquin, Rogue of X-Men fame and currently a star in HBO’s True Blood] The main character in the film, played by Holly Hunter, is a woman who does not speak; her moods and feelings are communicated through the music she plays as well as her body language.
The remembrance of the music in the above clip, playing it in high school, and now for my son, brought back to me the importance of it and the role it plays in so many of our lives. As someone who deals in the written word a great deal of the time I have become hooked on solitude and quiet. I no longer listen to music while I write for it shifts my writing in directions I generally would prefer it didn’t go. Unfortunately, that has led me to rely heavily upon silence and eschew the melodies and richness of music in other aspects of life as well. Until grabbing my Josh Groban CD from its confinement in the depths of a cardboard box I had not realized how desperately I had been missing the qualities music would so often bring to my day.
How that will impact my writing I’m unsure of but it already feels as though there is more melody, more seething emotions and a richness, a depth that had been lacking these last weeks while the rhythm of the sentences themselves has also improved. [I don’t think this is apparent in my serial, thank goodness, but my manuscript has certainly been in such pain it’s been sorely tempting to put it out of its misery.] The above clip brought to my mind the very things I love about subtlety in art. It is that perception of movement, sometimes without sound – sometimes with, that takes place not necessarily in the eye but in the mind of the viewer or connoisseur. Take that woman who does not speak- do we still know what she’s thinking? Feeling? Not in finite terms, perhaps, but through her music we catch glimpses of feeling that perhaps resonates somewhere deep within us. Her expressions go further to demonstrate her anger, frustration and at times even her passion taking us beyond the realm of concrete thoughts defined by limited words. Movement without taking a step. Words with no vocalization and still Jane Campion didn’t leave us adrift on a raft in the virtual sea of ambiguity and abstraction. There is room for our interpretations and emotional processes enabling, perhaps, a greater and more intimate involvement with the characters’ plight.
Have you seen the movie? What did you think? Are there any films you’ve seen that inspire you?