“The better the writer, the easier it looks.”
Angelina Jolie on screenwriting
Oscar night is always fun — and tonight, there was plenty of glitz to go around. And there were some exciting and moving moments, too. One of the features I liked best was just a simple one of actors talking about why they love the movies. Several of them said they love to watch films because they see themselves reflected in them and understand more about who they are through them. I think the same is true for readers of books: we see ourselves reflected in their stories and learn more about who we are in their pages.
When you look at many of the films that were nominated: Hugo, The Descendants, The Help, War Horse, it’s very easy to get caught up in their visual richness. But all of these films started out as books and then metamorphosed into screenplays before hitting the screen. In short, they all started with words on the page. Then those words started to dance from the page and transform themselves into images, magical and mysterious. But the words came first: they gave birth to the images that transformed them.
The living quality of words was captured beautifully in the winning animated short film called The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. Just love that title and can’t wait to see the film! The Oscar night snippet I saw was entrancing: In a beautiful library full of books of all shapes and colors, books were flying off shelves and hovering in the air as if alive. What fabulous imagery. As one reviewer said, “A wonderful story, beautifully told. This short tells itself so well it doesn’t need to be elaborated on. A beautiful piece that illustrates the cycle of author and reader, and the life that books and stories give everyone, even in the darkest of times.” What a lovely review and how well put: “…the life that books and stories give everyone.” Isn’t that what we yearn to do: to give life to and through our words, to give our words wings? Write on.