Monday, December 8, 2008

The Passion of Joan of Arc Blog


This past weekend, a few new films were acquired into my collective subconscious.

Day For Night ~ Truffaut
Passion of Joan of Arc ~ Dreyer
Double Indemnity ~ Wilder
Trois Couleurs: Bleu ~ KieĊ›lowski
I Vitelloni ~ Fellini
Satyricon ~ Fellini
The Bicycle Theif ~ De Sica

All of these films were nothing short of incredible. I literally stayed up, sick, every night this weekend review film after film. Every angle shot, every word muttered, I was on it like my heart and Jaden's soul. I made a little notebook to jot down all the inspiring scenes, witty remarks, and various other film techniques that I deemed noteworthy. The movie with the most marks: The Passion of Joan of Arc.

This film was a highly emotional one for me. The past few years, I'd say I've been in an existential crisis: a moratorium phase, if you will. Ceasing any productive activity and just living day to day without expectations. Little has come from it, to say the least, and I've rarely gained any sort of insightful, earth-rattling knowledge that would move me into doing something worthwhile. Instead, I'd just float and float and float, as a ghost of a man living in a shadow of a life. Anyways, the first time I watched this film, about a year ago, I was deeply considering renouncing God and all that came with it. Thinking like the existentialists Sartre and Camus, I deemed life something that I could control. I found out, in the form of a vicious vehicular accident that this was not the case. Anymore, I still believe you have some control over things, but that you shouldn't ask what the meaning of your life is but rather, what life means to you.

All that aside, (I get off track quick), The Passion of Joan of Arc, mostly done in close-ups, brought about some sort of rejuvenation deep down within. I felt that if I stood my own, believed in myself, and did the things I know I can do, that I'd succeed. Joan didn't necessarily succeed, per se, but she nonetheless lives on as a figure of passion, purpose and poise. She kept her cool under pressure and she stuck with it until the end, even if it's death, as any true artist should do for their belief.

Holy shit, was I inspired. Words just bleed through my fingers onto the page. I've never felt such a release of pent up emotions as I did upon the finish of this film. Has anyone ever had anything like this? Being moved by something, so strongly, that you felt like you were shaken out of a slumber and thrust into an overdrive mechanism that was beyond you. I manged to compose the second act of the Noir screenplay, as well as rewrite the first: slicking the dialogue, propering the format and delving deeper into character development. My Jaden would be proud.

What about you guys? God? No god? Existentialism? Atheism? Hedonism? What kinda stuff makes you think, inspires you, moves you and cause you to reevaluate your will-power?

1 comment:

ScreenwritingforHollywood said...

Shane! Aaaaah you kill me. In a good funny way. What an amazing film line up! Bravo to you. I am even a little envious. You should have been drinking out of my new mug while you were watching those. It has been so long since I have seen 'em, it is time to watch them again... I don't even remember anymore.

"a vicious vehicular accident " I am sorry to read this. I have had a few of those. Changes it up. Puts life into perspective right quick. Usually helps expedite the ending of pointless relationships.

"I felt that if I stood my own, believed in myself, and did the things I know I can do, that I'd succeed."
This is TRUE and totally amazing once you make your dreams your reality in the day to day. I can think of the simplest little thing -- and voila, there it appears. Once I am clear on what I want... it becomes available. Life and the power of mental will are mind-bogglingly fabulous.

re Joan d'Arc
To die early doing what you love and what you're passionate about is far superior to living a long life as a apathetic dead person.

"fingers onto ... release of pent up emotions ...shaken out of a slumber and thrust into an overdrive...Has anyone ever had anything like this? "
Yes, when I ...
(laughing)
Other than that, when I travel and see the magnificent things that man and nature have built -- that is when I am inspired like that -- and also by certain novels by certain authors.

This was a great post... and not just because I got special mentions. ;-)