Monday, June 27, 2016
2:00 PM |
Fourteen Texts for Remembering. Or: What I Read or Watch or Listen to When I Want Inspiration for Creativity
My friend James Neish posted something in Facebook a few weeks back about the books, movies, television shows, and so on and so forth that he revisits again and again, just to be reminded about narratives that work, a kind of review and reinforcement for his own wrestling with creativity. His guide became a list of twelve — and it made me think, “What things do I revisit often in a kind of ritual of remembrance?" Here’s mine:
1. All the Studio Ghibli movies, especially Kiki’s Delivery Service
, which reminds me about the wonder of creating new worlds that are at the same strikingly familiar.
2. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
, which reminds me about how beautiful perfectly chosen words can be.
3. Woody Allen’s Manhattan
, especially the opening montage set to Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, and Allen's character in a voice-over wondering how to begin Chapter 1 of his book on New York. (A perfect exercise of sorts on doing revisions.)
4. David Leavitt’s short stories “The Term Paper Artist” (from Nebraska
) and “A Place I’ve Never Been” (from A Place I've Never Been
), which encourage me to (a) see how one can fictionalise one's life, and (b) how to deviate from the usual formula of gay fiction writing.
5. Jonathan Larson's Rent
, which reminds me about using classical texts to make something new and comment about present reality.
6. The Lord of the Rings
films, which reminds me of wonder, and the magic of perfect pacing to achieve cohesion in a long narrative.
7. Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge
, which reminds me that bricolage and madness can often work, especially if you have a complete faith in the material and you know how every single detail should fit.
8. The first and only season of Addicted/Heroin
, and/or Jounjou Romanchika
, which remind me that the perfect addiction to narrative comes from falling in love with characters we root for.
9. Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater's Spring Awakening
, which reminds me that rawness of emotion are perfect well-springs for a story.
10. Madonna’s Confessions on a Dance Floor
, because it hums, and the album tells me -- more spectacularly even than Ray of Light, which I also love -- that an artist is always capable of reinvention.
11. Avatar: The Last Airbender
, the television series created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, which reminds me that contemporary mythologizing is alive and well.
12. David Carson’s The End of Print
, which always jumpstarts my designing instinct when I need it the most.
13. Disney's The Little Mermaid
(and it looks Zootopia
is going to make the grade), for providing the best possible sort of formula in captivating storytelling.
14. Sigur Rós' ( )
album, the only piece of music that makes me write for some reason.
What's your list?
Labels: books, creativity, design, film, life, music, television, theatre
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