August 16, 2010

Another Dumptruck To Unload My Head

Oh look, it's a rare Salinger photo.

I've been re-watching the PBS American Masters series on the history of Warner Bros. called You Must Remember This and cripes, what an icon factory that was. It's not just Casablanca but it's just about everything from that to Unforgiven to My Fair Lady to the Maltese Falcon and back to the James Cagney movies and Bugs Bunny and Star Wars. It's A Star Is Born and Million Dollar Baby and Sergeant York and Little Caesar and Harry Potter. It's Bogart and Bacall, Eastwood, Gary Cooper, Judy Garland and... what, you need more?

You know there really isn't anything new. It doesn't matter what you've got going, it's been done.

Boy meets girl = complications = best friend gets killed (usually the funny, loyal black guy) = happily ever after /or/ unrequited love.

Coward in the army = moment of truth (includes best friend, a funny, loyal black guy, who gets killed) = redeems self and lives /or/ dies saving others.

Like that formula... Get protagonist up tree. Throw rocks at him. Get him down. (Syd Field), that's all there is to anything, really. It's how you do it. Because everything has actually been done. Oh I know, let's write a Romance novel...

Daughter/son of titled family falls in love with gardener's son/daughter. Introduce catty relatives and danger to the family fortune/name/somebody knows a secret. Family objects. Lovers quarrel. Big disaster. Best friend dies (the one with the sense of humor). Turns out gardener's son/daughter is a bastard of royalty but is next in line after disaster. Etc.

(Clue: Don't be loyal, the funny one, or black because Jack, you dead.)

What's my point? I dunno.

On another front my tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers and jalepenos are going full rage out there. The combination 18" cedar wall, catnip in the corner and hot pepper spray seems to have worked. I beat the rabbits and squirrels. I AM the big dude! Woo hoo!


SK Waller said...

I found a formula over the weekend that I like (and tended to use before I even knew it was formula):

1. Hook
2. Conflicts 1 & 2
3. Faux resolution
4. Conflict 3
5. Climax
6. Fade to black

I envy you your tomatoes.

sybil law said...

Yep - it's why I usually hate vampire stories of any kind - same old story all the time. (Except True Blood is actually awesome. And I know this has nothing to do with vampires but anyway, that's what I thought of...)
We don't have any actual tomatoes, yet. When do we get some tomatoes?!!

B.E. Earl said...

Warner Brothers catalog = amazing.

Apropos of not much at all, but did you ever wonder why Hollywood remakes good or great movies? Why don't they just remake the bad ones and try to make them better?

RW said...

SK - did you know that if you put your moniker together into one word it says "squalor"?

sybil - you have to plant some first. just sayin.

Earl - I think it's called insecurity.

SK Waller said...

RW: Yes, I knew that. Thanks for bringing up that painful subject.

RW said...

Well, you know. It's a full service blog. :-)