I worked on my script today – or rather I made notes on the two drafts I’ve written of it; I only had two hours between film festival movies to work with, and I really needed to clarify some stuff before I could move on, which I want to do tomorrow. Then I watched It Felt Like Love, and Ginger and Rosa. Both were really well-done; Ginger and Rosa is now my favourite film of the year, beating out Warm Bodies. It’s also one of only two films I’ve watched and felt like an utter hack of a writer afterwards in my life, the first being Before Sunrise. Mostly it had to do with the fact that it was written and directed by a woman, and was about two teenage girls, and it all just felt so right, and in a way I didn’t think I could ever grasp or portray myself, go figure. Feelings of insecurity and ineptitude aside, it’s a fantastic film with genuinely stunning performances from the whole cast that everybody should see; I’ll definitely buy it when it comes out, just to learn more from it, because while I did feel very inferior and amateur in comparison, it was rather validating in another way, because so much of what I liked about it, the characters especially, was that they were written in the way that I at least try to write my own – taking rather ‘standard’ character types and seeing how much originality you can get out of them, how much space there is around the edges, and what might be in there that hasn’t been explored or shown yet. Something that seems new but was really there all along, just waiting for somebody to point it out.
One of the other things that struck me about Ginger and Rosa was the realisation that, because it was set in the 60s, nobody had cell phones. There was no escape from dull stretches of somebody else’s company back then, not in the same way. Nothing as socially accepted and even expected as texting. It’s like being a young child and more or less being forced to be present for other people’s company. Or even just to be present, with nothing to occupy yourself with while adults busy themselves with whatever it is they’re getting up to over your head. To live with endless stretches of inactivity.
I kind of miss it.
And it hit home to me the importance of having something to say – but also how much creativity can go into something so seemingly simple. And I miss exercising that skill. It’s something I definitely shied away from growing up out of embarrassment – I guess seeing this movie has been an opportunity to start coming full-circle. I think right now the idea of not speaking is more embarrassing than the idea of saying something stupid.
Of course there’s a bit of give and take there, a bit of a false dichotomy. I can’t even remember anything I’ve posted about over the past week or so. Other than going for a walk. Which is not the purpose of this blog. And I feel really slack for making some of those posts, even though technically they took effort to write. I think I got kind of addicted to writing a post every day when I was forcing myself to finish reading the draft and making notes, which took a ridiculously long time, and I still like the habit in theory. Thing is, if I’ve got nothing to write about – and I haven’t always had stuff to write about when I’ve written – I may well be better off not writing at all, daily writing habit be damned.
I am starting to feel excited about Tallulah again, though. Focused. Ready to roll with the clearest idea I have, rather than spend any more time mulling over the possibilities, because the possibilities are pretty much endless. I think one of the things I’m most worried about is the idea that I won’t actually be writing very much. But now saying that, I might actually end up writing heaps. Yes, a lot of the work that has to be done involves shifting scenes around, but some things do have to just be changed or added in. Another list, perhaps?
Study begins on Monday and university has managed to screw me around before lectures even begin. Just like old times. And, of course, I am expected to pick up the slack of flawed student websites and stupid communication issues that are totally out of my hands, for the privilege of going into debt in order to further my education and (possibly) career options. But I guess it was my choice to enroll in study again. I could have looked for a job instead, even though I have no idea what I’m actually qualified to do job-wise.
But oh well. I am looking forward to it. And of being presented with opportunities to come up with something to say.