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Monday, April 29, 2013

The quest for knowledge


I've been working with Linda Aronson recently on a non-linear project and also using her book to help with a separate group-narrative feature script.

Her book features many examples and explanations of differing structures - moving beyond the hero's journey / lone protagonist structure.

I wonder though if there isn't another style of movie besides these. Or perhaps this idea is better described as being another way of looking at the same movie experience. I'm still trying to articulate it to myself but the best I can come with so far is "The Quest For Knowledge".

Examples would be the above-pictured 2001 and Citizen Kane. The film isn't so much about the emotional side of life, but rather more of the scientific process to discover something, to unravel it. Mystery films obviously have big elements of it (Sherlock etc) and so do films that slowly edge towards discovery like the Andromeda Strain. The intellectual exercise is part of the fun. The Matrix may also be a candidate.

It is an odd style of film. Traditionally as writers we get feedback that is often along the lines of 'make us care' but with this kind of film the feedback must be more 'make us think'.

I believe it can be as powerful as the emotional journey. Just as the emotional roller coaster draws the audience into the film and makes them feel the way the hero does - this style forces the audience to think through the clues just as the detective does. Or indeed to sit above the characters in the film and piece together disparate clues that they could never do.

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