Thursday, July 16, 2009

Exercise at Your Own Risk...

Is there a movie that you deeply dislike? Is there a movie that is a torture to watch? Well, you are OBLIGATED to rent that movie. You have to watch it. You have to look at it for one final, cringing time. And yes, you have to REVIEW it.

This exercise will help you understand what it is that you don't like about movies. As you understand yourself better, you might see how your likes and dislikes make you who you are as a writer. And, if you find something about a movie's writing that you deeply dislike, you can hone your senses on two fronts: you can recognize badly-written work better, and you can change your own writing so that you end up with a masterpiece that even you can appreciate.

Are you ready? Start that movie and have these questions in mind:

1) If this movie could be described in one word that IS NOT a synonym for “bad” or “awful,” it would be ____________.

2) What ONE thing would I do to make this movie better?

3) Is there anything at all GOOD about this movie? What is it? Why does all the good stuff disappear behind the bad stuff in this movie?

4) How long has it been since I saw this for the first time? Why do I not like this movie?

5) What have my friends said about this movie? How did we agree on it? How did we disagree on it?

6) What have the critics said about this movie? (You may need to do some research for this) How did we agree on the reviews? How have I disagreed with reviews?

7) Is this movie's writing bad? What one line do I absolutely detest? How will I change that line so that it's just a bit more bearable?

8) Write a 500-word or less article on why this is a good movie.

9) Write a 500-word or less article that rebuts the points of #8. You need to be able to debate with yourself so that you can look at all kinds of artistic work, even your own, without forming extreme opinions that could either make you over-enthusiastic about your writing, or a self-flagellating writer. In writing, balance is key.

10) What three things would I tell the director of this movie, if I were given the chance to talk to him/her?

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