I Have To Go
Arthouse short film about the perfect relationship between a man and a woman, and of course nothing is perfect. Influences by The Fountain, The New World and Joe Wright's Pride & Prejudice.
POST-THESIS SIDE PROJECTS
Hoping to film Act I Scene I of this excellently morbid and humorous play by Irish playwright Martin McDonagh. To be done as a three-person, one-set shoot using XDCAM in Buster Keaton soundstage.
The Great Global Warming Debate
Satire about the ongoing debate about global warming between scientists. Largely one location, to be filmed in the theatre.
Thai restaurant, a customer develops an affinity with the waitress, but fate intervenes as soon as he steps out. To be filmed with Thai junior coursemate, short half-day shoot, two XL2s, done SE Asian style handheld without too much planning.
Satire about the integrity of TV journalism. Largely to be shot in 201/206 or 209, using PS-Technik XL2s. Multicam, 24-style.
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For those who don't know, screenplays have a very distinct style of formatting that you wouldn't know unless you picked up a screenwriting manual. It is pedantic about the inches of the margins, and there are different margins and alignments depending whether you're typing in Action, Character, Dialogue or Transitions. These rules, however, allows for an approximate one page = one minute guide, useful for producers and readers who generally chuck straight into the bin anything that forces them to read over 120 pages. (In Hollywood culture, anything over 2 hours means that the end product, should the script ever get to that stage, will have less screenings per day compared to the average 105-minute film, which means lost revenues for the studio.)
As for the binding itself, Hollywood dictates the use of 3-hole punched Letter sized paper (Americans use Letter while the rest of the world uses A4 as a standard, Letter being slightly more squarish). Card stocks for the front and back are recommended - basically what we call manila card at home. Expensive, especially if you buy only a couple and want them 3-hole punched as well.
So basically, a standard screenplay looks like this.
Now, although there are three holes, the standard way to bind them is to use only two brass brads, for whatever reason. Almost never three. Two is good enough, of course. As for the brads, it is a very specific one - 1 1/4 inch no. 5. Say that out loud and whoever peeks his head or spins around is probably a screenwriter. For more professionalism, use washers, which is the round thing used to hold the brad tails.
Well, I guess all that remains to say is that, I hope I win this one.
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A man was heard screaming and screaming and then runs out of a hut in some unspecified place (but just assume it's Afghanistan) with blood pouring out of his pubic area having just had his genitals cut off, screaming bloody mercy, before he is shot by a woman soldier.
You'd be surprised to know that I was indifferent to all that was happening. You'd be even more surprised to know that the film is boring.
This (supposed) war movie spends a good portion of the beginning introducing us to the characters, mostly this guy in a farm somewhere and a girl who seems to have sex with every guy in town ... which is unfortunate as almost every guy is being sent to war, leaving one ugly guy which she initially resents. Whose story it is, isn't really made clear, as the story diverges once the guy is sent to war and we follow him (among others) and the girl at home. Which is interesting, I guess, as suddenly we're in scorching hot deserts and the next we're in a snowy farmland village.
The camera does that long-take-nothing-much-happening thing, and the characters don't say much, and when they do speak nothing specific is ever mentioned. That kind of movie.
If there are themes at all, I guess it's sex and war. And all the stuff in between those two things. The characters have bored sex so many times it's depressing.
My Italian friend hated it and thought that it's a (expletive) waste of 35 mm film. He also hated the director, whom he said walked into the screening with a smug, arrogant face, like some sort of philosophical bastard trying to make a movie few people understand.
Which is how we feel when we Malaysians watch certain pretentious movies, right?
Well, guess what, the film won the Grand Prix at Cannes. (The same group of people who gave the Palme D'Or to Elephant.)
Which is why you might be surprise to see me rate this film -
How Good The Film Is: 3.5/10
How Much I Liked It: 1/10
At What Point Did I First Look At My Watch: 3 mins
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This is the sixth film I saw as part of the COL•COA (City of Lights, City of Angels) screenings held at the DGA (Directors' Guild of America).
I don't know who Claude Berri is but I'm never watching his film again.
This was actually my most anticipated movie of the day, due to the actors in it, Audrey Tautou and Guillaume Canet. Ultimately, the film is one with interesting characters but a rambling storyline which tries its best not to fit into any genre, any stereotype, any previously trodden path.
All the actors, not just Tautou and Canet, deliver good performances. In particular, in the beginning Canet was rather detestable as a character because of his bad-temperedness, but through the change administered by Tautou's presence his nicer qualities are revealed. Theirs is probably the dominant relationship, though it took about a third of the movie before they even met up properly. I guess I had that anticipation due to the misleading poster, which was pointing towards a romance film.
It isn't. It's about relationships, between Tautou's Camille, Canet's Franck, Franck's eccentric stuttering housemate Phillibert and Franck's grandmere Paulette, and not anyone in particular, nor anyone's stories in particular. Which is weird, because one is used to Hollywood style films where there IS one dominant relationship and every other ones are recognised as secondary and filmed and edited as such. Here, each one takes equal importance - the relationship between Camille and Franck takes up perhaps 30% of the movie.
Ultimately, as French as the film tries to be, I wished there was a story to support these characters.
How Good The Film Is: 7/10
How Much I Like It: 6.5/10
At What Point Did I First Look At My Watch: 35 mins
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This is the fifth film I saw as part of the COL•COA (City of Lights, City of Angels) screenings held at the DGA (Directors' Guild of America).
This one is a story involving progressions. Such as Zhang Yimou's The Story of Qiuju, where we see a very pregnant Gong Li go higher and higher within the bureaucratic hierarchy to complain about her husband's being kicked in the groin. Basically, each scenes (or acts, I guess you could call them) has the same story and structure, the only difference being that the stakes are raised and so are the reactions against the stakes.
I didn't know it - which comes from purposely not reading anything about the movie, something I rarely do - so I was bored initially, preparing to give this a rating of about 6. The opening introduces us to the world of business, as played out in sports, when Jean-Claude encourages Alexandre to push his way up to the business and shows him how using their boat-rowing activity as a metaphor. What he does immediately paints him as a bastard. (Quite miraculous then that by the end of the movie Jean-Claude is no longer seen as an unsympathetic prick.) Then the movie spends an incredulous 20 minutes in a squash court, when Alexandre meets his boss and is given yet another lesson in pushing oneself forward in the dog-eat-dog world of business. Then another 15 minutes with Jean-Claude blackmailing Nicole the office assistant while running in the woods in order to advance his position. Then another 15 minutes with the boss being informed by his father-in-law over a game of golf that he will not keep his job for much longer.
Then the second half of the movie spent canyoneering where the stakes escalates into heights of tension-fraught and uncomfortable situations. Yet - and this is why this movie is an achievement - it all remains plausible. Every moment is played for real.
Credit must go to the actors, including among them Marion Cotillard (soon to get a Best Actress nomination for her portrayal of Edith Piaf in La Vie En Rose, no doubt) and Jérémie Renier (who appeared in last year's Cannes Palme D'Or winner L'Enfant); but also to the writer-director Lionel Balliu.
Fair Play, in fact, is an expanded version of his short Squash, which was nominated for the Oscar Best Live Action Short award about three years ago. It made sense knowing that - in a way each sequence is a short film on its own. Someone remarked that the film is structured almost like a play, especially the way the dialogue in each sequence seems to follow a certain escalating structure. On top of that, I could easily imagine a director screwing up when expanding his short film into a long one, but Balliu made it work because he knew exactly what he wanted to say with this and his added scenes presumably added to rather than just extrapolate from his short.
(One example that didn't work out so well is the pretentious Royston Tan's 15, where the fairly short feature length version was too long.)
Ultimately, the movie makes it point well utilising this structure.
But I don't really want to watch it again. It exposes the darkest of human nature, while making it all so natural, since no one set out to do anything bad really.
Just a pack of wolves wanting to survive.
How Good The Film Is: 8.5/10
How Much I Liked It: 8/10
At What Point Did I First Look At My Watch: 10 mins
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This is the fourth film I saw as part of the COL•COA (City of Lights, City of Angels) screenings held at the DGA (Directors' Guild of America).
Short and sweet.
I was intrigued by this one because it is written, directed and has as its main lead Emmanuel Mouret, a young filmmaker whom I've never heard of before this. It turned out surprisingly good.
Mouret has the sort of average young man look that fits the role. He's moderately handsome, moderately shy, moderate sense of humour - moderate everything. Which makes him likable and really keeps us engaged in the story. The same goes with the dialogue and the story - they're not great, impressive stuff, but it's simple and cute.
Mouret even manages, in an early scene, to use the French horn as a metaphor for a man's equipment - without the characters realising it.
In fact, without going into the story, which is so simple that telling any part of it would ruin it, the whole story is about us, the audience realising that Mouret's character David the musician and his Anne his housemate are meant for each other, and waiting for the entire 85-min running time for the characters to realise it themselves.
I would not mind watching another Mouret film in the future.
How Good The Film Is: 8/10
How Much I Like It: 8/10
At What Point Did I First Look At My Watch: 20 mins
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This is the twenty-third film I saw at the Hollywood Arclight Cinemas.
Best movie of 2007 as of this moment. Not even Spider-Man 3 could beat that, the standards set by this film is too high.
Haven't laughed so hard and so much in a cinema in such a long time.
I want to see it again. Wished I didn't have to pay to do that.
How Good The Film Is: 9/10
How Much I Like The Film: 9/10
At What Point Did I First Look At My Watch: 25 mins
Oscar Noms That It Deserves: Best Original Screenplay
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I fell asleep for at least ten minutes of it.
Supposed romantic comedy, without much of the latter, with moderately interesting characters. Blame the script.
How Good The Film Is: 4.5/10
How Much I Like It: 4/10
At What Point Did I First Look At My Watch: Cannot remember
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This is the second film I saw as part of the COL•COA (City of Lights, City of Angels) screenings held at the DGA (Directors' Guild of America). It's a 45 minute walk there, by the way, so I got 1 and a half hours extra exercise today. (Usually, it's zero, of course.)
I haven't enjoyed myself so much for a long time now.
Priceless stars Gad Elmaleh (who I just saw last week in La Doublure/The Valet) and Audrey Tautou (Le Fabuleux Destin D'Amelie Poulain, of course), in which a barman sees the beautiful seductress, disguises himself as a rich man by accident and spends a good night with her in the Imperial Suite ('I only got the Royal Suite', she says), and this results in both of them losing their respective jobs (as it were), and thus begins the misadventures of Jean et Irène (which is NOT pronounced 'Irene', by the way).
The movie is absolutely funny, that the audience was laughing nearly non-stop throughout the screening (and I was laughing along with it ... me, who almost never reacts to scenes in the cinema). Now I've heard a lot about this sort of thing happening in cinemas - but I've never experienced it. Maybe it happens a lot in the depressingly successful comedies like Norbit or Are We Done Yet? that Hollywood loves to churn out. I wouldn't know, I never went and never would have anyway. Even in comedies that I liked such as The Holiday, they're never laugh out loud like that anymore.
That's because Hollywood stopped making screwball comedies.
Clearly director Pierre Salvadori loved these types of comedies - in the Q&A he confesses to falling in love to cinema not because of European cinema but because of American comedies in the 30s and 40s.
I think I almost saw Salvadori's last film, Après Vous ... while at Warwick, but never got down to it. It was announced that that film closed the COL•COA festival three years ago, and that very soon after that he ended up in LA for a month to begin working on his next script - which turned out to be this. Three years spent making this movie, means that it probably took him two years to write?
But it all pays off, because I can honestly say there is no false note in the comedy. The plot frequently dips into familiar gags and plot twists, but never stays there for long, and as a result I was frequently left wondering - what's going to happen next? Not once did the plot twist into a direction that I disapprove of or thought, 'oh come on'.
I can't remember the last time a film made me think 'please don't end!' as much as I was enjoying it.
And the chemistry between the actors were astoundingly well-crafted. A lot comes from the casting choices - and Salvadori acknowledges that he did plan on having Tautou and Elmaleh play the characters from the scripting process onwards. Tautou plays Irène with such elegance and energy and made her real (without ever resorting to any of her Amelie cutesiness) that even though her character could've easily strayed into bitchy territory, it never once did, and we understand and support Elmaleh's character's obsession with her. She is also very sexy, and very much tanned - and the way her breasts are on the verge of popping out due to the dress she was wearing was very ... distracting. On the other hand, Elmaleh has proved himself a successful rising young comedian in the world of French films - at least, in the international scene, he might already be famous in France ... he's definitely already famous as a stand-up comedian, which is where Salvadori and Veber found him - though he might be typecasted as the doe-eyed working class love interest playing mistaken identities. Salvadori said he wanted Elmaleh because he has the quality to become invisible, yet by the end of the movie be very much the focus of attention of the movie - apparently he hosted the César Awards, which I'd like very much to see now.
If only more films like these come along.
A good film, that is.
That's all an audience member asks for. Really.
Would have wanted it to be a contender for the French selection for the Oscar Best Foreign Language Film nominee, but I guess La Vie En Rose has too much momentum for that to happen now.
I have to say it one more time - ce comédie est parfait.
How Good I Think It Is: 9/10
How Much I Like It: 9/10
At What Point Did I First Look At My Watch: 35 mins
PS - Shock and horror! I just realised that I had completely forgotten that Audrey Tautou starred in The Da Vinci Code. How amazing is that?
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This is the first film I saw as part of the COL•COA (City of Lights, City of Angels) screenings held at the DGA (Directors' Guild of America).
Guillaume Canet has always been someone I watch out for at the back of my mind, for no reason other than that I noticed the two French stars alongside Leo DiCaprio in The Beach as much as Leo himself - Ledoyen and Canet. I don't really know why that's the case, but there it is. Of course, later Canet would go on to star in Jeux D'Enfants/Love Me If You Dare, which was really popular, which I liked for the most part until the third act.
This is the first time I saw a film directed by Canet - and boy, he is pretty good.
Tell No One starts off simple enough on a dinner among family and friends. Then we jump forward to the two leads, Alexandre Beck (François Cluzet) and his wife Margot (Marie-Josée Croze) swimming innocently in the nude in a private lake. When she is attacked ... and the story jumps forward 'huit ans plus tard', and from that point onwards the plot begins its exponential spin towards utter complexity. (Exponential meaning it starts off with some intrigue, mystery, and halfway through spins into an enigma, and then at the three-quarter point the yarn becomes so complex it's something that Hollywood would never DARE touch).
While watching it I frequently stepped off the story and thought about the plot, the direction, and I guess my film student training kicked in - and here's the thing, it's okay, guys. It's fine. Mostly I was dazzled by how far Canet dared to push the complexity - halfway through one already senses the plot falling apart, what with over a dozen characters to follow and half a dozen subplots all emanating from the attack on the lake that occurred in the beginning of the film, half of those not seeming to relate to any of the leads ... at least until the end of the film. And then I remembered - of course, this is an European film, fuck the Hollywood rules.
Other rule-breakings include the inexplicable short detour into domestic life of the police inspector in charge of the case, who, while important to the proceedings, would have been very one-dimensionally portrayed if it were a Hollywood film. Coz, functionally, his character is about finding out the truth and catching the culprit (which, for half the movie, is thought to be the lead character). Three-dimensionality of character was not needed at all. And yet here is a scene of him arguing the case with his assistant in his house while placing groceries he bought for his mum into cabinets and giving her a kiss.
Ultimately, I guess I enjoyed it because it manages to do what Hollywood wouldn't do - or else American audiences would laugh it to death. In fact, when the twists and turns got going, the audience did chuckle here and there - but by and large they let it be. And, considering how easy it is the twists and turns would distance the audience, I would say Canet's direction is good enough that I was engaged throughout.
They have a very good ensemble here. I haven't seen Cluzet before, I don't think, but he played his role well. Croze, we've all seen her - she played the small but extremely memorable part of the Dutch female assassin in Munich, who later gets blow-darted by Eric Bana and walks to sit down before actually bleeding to death. Here, she plays her role so perfectly that she was always on screen even when she is not. And of course, the bit parts were filled up with such names as Kristin Scott-Thomas, Jean Rochefort, Nathalie Baye (who played the ever-dependable script supervisor in Truffaut's Day For Night and later Frank Abagnale's eccentric mother in Catch Me If You Can ... yeah, a few connections to Spielberg emerging from this film).
Ultimately, a good yarn, and well done to M. Canet.
How Good I Think It Is: 8/10
How Much I Like It: 8/10
At What Point Did I First Look At My Watch: 25 mins
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[In particular, PART VII is the most accurate in terms of its descriptions being relevant to me.]
PART I - The Counselor Idealist
The Counselor Idealists are abstract in thought and speech, cooperative in reaching their goals, and enterprising and attentive in their interpersonal roles. Counselors focus on human potentials, think in terms of ethical values, and come easily to decisions. The small number of this type (little more than 2 percent) is regrettable, since Counselors have an unusually strong desire to contribute to the welfare of others and genuinely enjoy helping their companions. Although Counsleors tend to be private, sensitive people, and are not generally visible leaders, they nevertheless work quite intensely with those close to them, quietly exerting their influence behind the scenes with their families, friends, and colleagues. This type has great depth of personality; they are themselves complicated, and can understand and deal with complex issues and people.
Counselors can be hard to get to know. They have an unusually rich inner life, but they are reserved and tend not to share their reactions except with those they trust. With their loved ones, certainly, Counselors are not reluctant to express their feelings, their face lighting up with the positive emotions, but darkening like a thunderhead with the negative. Indeed, because of their strong ability to take into themselves the feelings of others, Counselors can be hurt rather easily by those around them, which, perhaps, is one reason why they tend to be private people, mutely withdrawing from human contact. At the same time, friends who have known a Counselor for years may find sides emerging which come as a surprise. Not that they are inconsistent; Counselors value their integrity a great deal, but they have intricately woven, mysterious personalities which sometimes puzzle even them.
Counselors have strong empathic abilities and can become aware of another's emotions or intentions -- good or evil -- even before that person is conscious of them. This "mind-reading" can take the form of feeling the hidden distress or illnesses of others to an extent which is difficult for other types to comprehend. Even Counselors can seldom tell how they came to penetrate others' feelings so keenly. Furthermore, the Counselor is most likely of all the types to demonstrate an ability to understand psychic phenomena and to have visions of human events, past, present, or future. What is known as ESP may well be exceptional intuitive ability-in both its forms, projection and introjection. Such supernormal intuition is found frequently in the Counselor, and can extend to people, things, and often events, taking the form of visions, episodes of foreknowledge, premonitions, auditory and visual images of things to come, as well as uncanny communications with certain individuals at a distance.
Mohandas Gandhi and Eleanor Roosevelt are examples of the Counselor Idealist (INFJ).
PART II - Analysis by Joe Butt
Beneath the quiet exterior, INFJs hold deep convictions about the weightier matters of life. Those who are activists -- INFJs gravitate toward such a role -- are there for the cause, not for personal glory or political power.
INFJs are champions of the oppressed and downtrodden. They often are found in the wake of an emergency, rescuing those who are in acute distress. INFJs may fantasize about getting revenge on those who victimize the defenseless. The concept of 'poetic justice' is appealing to the INFJ.
"There's something rotten in Denmark." Accurately suspicious about others' motives, INFJs are not easily led. These are the people that you can rarely fool any of the time. Though affable and sympathetic to most, INFJs are selective about their friends. Such a friendship is a symbiotic bond that transcends mere words.
INFJs have a knack for fluency in language and facility in communication. In addition, nonverbal sensitivity enables the INFJ to know and be known by others intimately.
Writing, counseling, public service and even politics are areas where INFJs frequently find their niche.
- Functional Analysis -
Introverted intuitives, INFJs enjoy a greater clarity of perception of inner, unconscious processes than all but their INTJ cousins. Just as SP types commune with the object and "live in the here and now" of the physical world, INFJs readily grasp the hidden psychological stimuli behind the more observable dynamics of behavior and affect. Their amazing ability to deduce the inner workings of the mind, will and emotions of others gives INFJs their reputation as prophets and seers. Unlike the confining, routinizing nature of introverted sensing, introverted intuition frees this type to act insightfully and spontaneously as unique solutions arise on an event by event basis.
Extraverted feeling, the auxiliary deciding function, expresses a range of emotion and opinions of, for and about people. INFJs, like many other FJ types, find themselves caught between the desire to express their wealth of feelings and moral conclusions about the actions and attitudes of others, and the awareness of the consequences of unbridled candor. Some vent the attending emotions in private, to trusted allies. Such confidants are chosen with care, for INFJs are well aware of the treachery that can reside in the hearts of mortals. This particular combination of introverted intuition and extraverted feeling provides INFJs with the raw material from which perceptive counselors are shaped.
The INFJ's thinking is introverted, turned toward the subject. Perhaps it is when the INFJ's thinking function is operative that he is most aloof. A comrade might surmise that such detachment signals a disillusionment, that she has also been found lacking by the sardonic eye of this one who plumbs the depths of the human spirit. Experience suggests that such distancing is merely an indication that the seer is hard at work and focusing energy into this less efficient tertiary function.
INFJs are twice blessed with clarity of vision, both internal and external. Just as they possess inner vision which is drawn to the forms of the unconscious, they also have external sensing perception which readily takes hold of worldly objects. Sensing, however, is the weakest of the INFJ's arsenal and the most vulnerable. INFJs, like their fellow intuitives, may be so absorbed in intuitive perceiving that they become oblivious to physical reality. **The INFJ under stress may fall prey to various forms of immediate gratification. Awareness of extraverted sensing is probably the source of the "SP wannabe" side of INFJs. Many yearn to live spontaneously; it's not uncommon for INFJ actors to take on an SP (often ESTP) role.
** Aha, that explains why I'm grossly indulging on food these days.
PART III - Analysis by Marina Margaret Heiss
INFJs are distinguished by both their complexity of character and the unusual range and depth of their talents. Strongly humanitarian in outlook, INFJs tend to be idealists, and because of their J preference for closure and completion, they are generally "doers" as well as dreamers. This rare combination of vision and practicality often results in INFJs taking a disproportionate amount of responsibility in the various causes to which so many of them seem to be drawn.
INFJs are deeply concerned about their relations with individuals as well as the state of humanity at large. They are, in fact, sometimes mistaken for extroverts because they appear so outgoing and are so genuinely interested in people -- a product of the Feeling function they most readily show to the world. On the contrary, INFJs are true introverts, who can only be emotionally intimate and fulfilled with a chosen few from among their long-term friends, family, or obvious "soul mates." While instinctively courting the personal and organizational demands continually made upon them by others, at intervals INFJs will suddenly withdraw into themselves, sometimes shutting out even their intimates. This apparent paradox is a necessary escape valve for them, providing both time to rebuild their depleted resources and a filter to prevent the emotional overload to which they are so susceptible as inherent "givers." As a pattern of behavior, it is perhaps the most confusing aspect of the enigmatic INFJ character to outsiders, and hence the most often misunderstood -- particularly by those who have little experience with this rare type.
Due in part to the unique perspective produced by this alternation between detachment and involvement in the lives of the people around them, INFJs may well have the clearest insights of all the types into the motivations of others, for good and for evil. The most important contributing factor to this uncanny gift, however, are the empathic abilities often found in Fs, which seem to be especially heightened in the INFJ type (possibly by the dominance of the introverted N function).
This empathy can serve as a classic example of the two-edged nature of certain INFJ talents, as it can be strong enough to cause discomfort or pain in negative or stressful situations. More explicit inner conflicts are also not uncommon in INFJs; it is possible to speculate that the causes for some of these may lie in the specific combinations of preferences which define this complex type. For instance, there can sometimes be a "tug-of-war" between NF vision and idealism and the J practicality that urges compromise for the sake of achieving the highest priority goals. And the I and J combination, while perhaps enhancing self-awareness, may make it difficult for INFJs to articulate their deepest and most convoluted feelings.
Usually self-expression comes more easily to INFJs on paper, as they tend to have strong writing skills. Since in addition they often possess a strong personal charisma, INFJs are generally well-suited to the "inspirational" professions such as teaching (especially in higher education) and religious leadership. Psychology and counseling are other obvious choices, but overall, INFJs can be exceptionally difficult to pigeonhole by their career paths. Perhaps the best example of this occurs in the technical fields. Many INFJs perceive themselves at a disadvantage when dealing with the mystique and formality of "hard logic", and in academic terms this may cause a tendency to gravitate towards the liberal arts rather than the sciences. However, the significant minority of INFJs who do pursue studies and careers in the latter areas tend to be as successful as their T counterparts, as it is *iNtuition* -- the dominant function for the INFJ type -- which governs the ability to understand abstract theory and implement it creatively.
In their own way, INFJs are just as much "systems builders" as are INTJs; the difference lies in that most INFJ "systems" are founded on human beings and human values, rather than information and technology. Their systems may for these reasons be conceptually "blurrier" than analogous NT ones, harder to measure in strict numerical terms, and easier to take for granted -- yet it is these same underlying reasons which make the resulting contributions to society so vital and profound.
PART IV - Humorous and Abridged Version
Characterized by the burning desire to change the world, which desperately needs everyone to be NF.
PART V - INFJ Personality Type
Hallmark Characteristics: Sensitive, Serene, Reserved, Conceptual, and Idealistic
Leadership Style: Introspective, imaginative, and determined, INFJs possess strong ideals and convictions. Quietly forceful with a genuine concern for humanity, they dedicate themselves to finding creative ways of building harmony and understanding. In leadership positions they place great value on human relationships and support the autonomy and personal growth of followers.
Conflict Resolution: Intensively sensitive to the needs and well-being of others, INFJs have an innate understanding of human relationships and a highly developed empathy for the feelings of others. They work diligently to establish environments that support cooperation, understanding, and tolerance. They detest, and go to great lengths to avoid, conflict. [Very true.] When conflict does occur, they seek resolutions that respect the needs and integrity of everyone involved.
Communication Style: INFJs have immense appreciation for others' perspectives of and prefer one-on-one conversations that provide opportunity to carefully listen and reflect before responding. They communicate personal experiences to make a point and focus on innovative concepts and visions that reflect their unique personal values. INFJs persuade through gentle persistence and determination. They are persuaded through positive feedback and insightful solutions that stress points of agreement.
As Entrepreneurs: INFJs are creative visionaries committed to personal beliefs, driven by purpose, and strongly determined. The organizations they develop are extremely sensitive to customer needs and provide innovative and unique products and services to fulfill those needs. INFJs need to augment their natural abilities with others who focus on practical realities and the details of day-to-day operations.
Career Satisfaction: INFJs value harmony and cooperation and possess a genuine concern for others. In order for work to be meaningful for them, it must provide the opportunity to work with others in an environment that supports and maintains personal and professional integrity. While successful people of all types are found in all occupations, some careers popular with INFPs include: Human Resource Manager, Environmental Lawyer, Diversity Manager, Corporate Trainer, Occupational Therapist, Health Care Administrator, Minister, Social Worker, Career Consultant, and Teacher.
PART VI - Doing another separate test confirmed my INFJ-ness.
INFJ - "Author". Strong drive and enjoyment to help others. Complex personality. 1.5% of total population.
PART VII - The Protector
As an INFJ, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you take things in primarily via intuition. Your secondary mode is external, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit with your personal value system.
INFJs are gentle, caring, complex and highly intuitive individuals. Artistic and creative, they live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities. Only one percent of the population has an INFJ Personality Type, making it the most rare of all the types. [Hurrah!]
INFJs place great importance on havings things orderly and systematic in their outer world. They put a lot of energy into identifying the best system for getting things done, and constantly define and re-define the priorities in their lives. On the other hand, INFJs operate within themselves on an intuitive basis which is entirely spontaneous. They know things intuitively, without being able to pinpoint why, and without detailed knowledge of the subject at hand. They are usually right, and they usually know it. Consequently, INFJs put a tremendous amount of faith into their instincts and intuitions. This is something of a conflict between the inner and outer worlds, and may result in the INFJ not being as organized as other Judging types tend to be. Or we may see some signs of disarray in an otherwise orderly tendency, such as a consistently messy desk.
INFJs have uncanny insight into people and situations. They get "feelings" about things and intuitively understand them. As an extreme example, some INFJs report experiences of a psychic nature, such as getting strong feelings about there being a problem with a loved one, and discovering later that they were in a car accident. This is the sort of thing that other types may scorn and scoff at, and the INFJ themself does not really understand their intuition at a level which can be verbalized. Consequently, most INFJs are protective of their inner selves, sharing only what they choose to share when they choose to share it. They are deep, complex individuals, who are quite private and typically difficult to understand. INFJs hold back part of themselves, and can be secretive.
But the INFJ is as genuinely warm as they are complex. INFJs hold a special place in the heart of people who they are close to, who are able to see their special gifts and depth of caring. INFJs are concerned for people's feelings, and try to be gentle to avoid hurting anyone. They are very sensitive to conflict, and cannot tolerate it very well. Situations which are charged with conflict may drive the normally peaceful INFJ into a state of agitation or charged anger. They may tend to internalize conflict into their bodies, and experience health problems when under a lot of stress.
Because the INFJ has such strong intuitive capabilities, they trust their own instincts above all else. This may result in an INFJ stubborness and tendency to ignore other people's opinions. They believe that they're right. On the other hand, INFJ is a perfectionist who doubts that they are living up to their full potential. INFJs are rarely at complete peace with themselves - there's always something else they should be doing to improve themselves and the world around them. They believe in constant growth, and don't often take time to revel in their accomplishments. They have strong value systems, and need to live their lives in accordance with what they feel is right. In deference to the Feeling aspect of their personalities, INFJs are in some ways gentle and easy going. Conversely, they have very high expectations of themselves, and frequently of their families. They don't believe in compromising their ideals.
INFJ is a natural nurturer; patient, devoted and protective. They make loving parents and usually have strong bonds with their offspring. They have high expectations of their children, and push them to be the best that they can be. This can sometimes manifest itself in the INFJ being hard-nosed and stubborn. But generally, children of an INFJ get devoted and sincere parental guidance, combined with deep caring.
In the workplace, the INFJ usually shows up in areas where they can be creative and somewhat independent. They have a natural affinity for art, and many excel in the sciences, where they make use of their intuition. INFJs can also be found in service-oriented professions. They are not good at dealing with minutia or very detailed tasks. The INFJ will either avoid such things, or else go to the other extreme and become enveloped in the details to the extent that they can no longer see the big picture. An INFJ who has gone the route of becoming meticulous about details may be highly critical of other individuals who are not.
The INFJ individual is gifted in ways that other types are not. Life is not necessarily easy for the INFJ, but they are capable of great depth of feeling and personal achievement.
PART VIII - INFJ - The Mystic
INFJs are future oriented, and direct their insight and inspiration toward the understanding of themselves and thereby human nature. Their work mirrors their integrity, and it needs to reflect their inner ideals. Solitude and an opportunity to concentrate thoroughly on what counts most is important to them. INFJs prefer to quietly exert their influence. They have deeply felt compassion, and they desire harmony with others. INFJs understand the complexities existing within people and among them. They are at their best concentrating on their ideas, ideals, and inspirations.
INFJ children have two sides. They can be very much involved in the world of people, as well as quiet, imaginative, and in their own world. They are usually gentle and abhor violence. As teenager, INFJs look for a small group of people who understand and appreciate them. Without this support, they can feel isolated from others. INFJs who do not find a supportive social group may find the teen years to be somewhat difficult for them because of peer pressure to be popular and activity oriented. They are not likely to enjoy large parties, but prefer intimate groups of close and long-standing friends.
Many INFJs who have the opportunity to gravitate toward higher education where they often find their niche. With their intellectual bent, they are led to endeavors that allow them to deal with theory and complexity. Professors often spot their intellectual inclination and encourage it.
INFJs often settle early into a career choice and diligently apply themselves to the career's requirements. This same diligent pattern applies when selecting other important things in their lives, such as where to live, who to marry, and what activities are worthy of their dedication.
INFJs have an internal picture of how they would like their work to contribute to the general good. If they are in an appropriate career area, INFJs may reap the rewards of their insight and hard work. Because of their future-focus, their people orientation, and their push toward task completion, they may rise to positions of responsibility.
INFJs have a strong love of learning, and they tend to do well academically. Through persistence, diligence, and conscientiousness, they complete their assignments on time. They are likely to enjoy research and will go great lengths to find answers.
INFJs enjoy investigating the possibilities and meanings beyond the actual facts and realities. Reading holds a particular fascination for them because it allows them to have quiet reflection time and engages their imagination. They also like the written word (and rely on it more than the spoken word) since it is usually better structured and more coherent with a ready-made framework.
INFJs write and communicate well because they want to formulate their ideas clearly. They place high regard on their reader and audience. They seek to communicate their ideals to others. When their ideals need to be championed, they speak up in an enthusiastic and impassioned way.
As students, INFJs prefer learning from teachers whom they both like and admire, and who give them personal attention. INFJs are often 'model' students. They are quiet and orderly, reflective and thoughtful, and sincerely want to please their teachers and learn the right thing. They learn best from others but want time to assimilate material by themselves.
INFJs will go beyond what has been presented and often mull material over in their minds. Occasionally they will discuss ruminations with others in order to learn even more. They particularly like the more conceptual and theoretical classes, therefore, higher education is comfortable to them.
INFJs tend to be devoted to what they believe in and seek work where their needs, values, and ideals can be deeply engaged. They move on the wave of their inspirations and are determined to see that their values are worked out in their lives. They will work toward their goals individually and, when needed, will put together a team of other highly dedicated people like themselves. They are personal be with others, working with integrity and consistency, and they follow through on their commitments. INFJs, while concentrating on what is important to them, may ignore the political ramifications of their actions. They can be surprised by the necessity of being political and usually resent that aspect of organizational life. Being able to talk honestly and comfortably to people at work is much more important to them than 'playing games.'
INFJs orient themselves toward their goals using a personal, values-based framework. They do not 'advertise' their values and priorities because they believe in harmony and positive relationships. However, one would do well not to underestimate the amount of perseverance, energy, and time INFJs give to their priorities. What they do, they do with an almost religious intensity.
The INFJ external environment may be only partially organised. Their internal environment, by contrast, is anything but haphazard. Their ideas need to fit into a coherent whole that has the pieces in place. Organization of the internal world takes precedence over organization of external world.
INFJs prefer occupations that focus on the big picture, involve conceptual awareness, and lead to a better understanding of the spiritual, emotional, or future needs of people. They want their work to have impact and meaning and for it to bring them admiration and respect.
While INFJs can and do enter all occupations, some are more appealing to them than others. These include clergy, education consultant, English teacher, fine arts teacher, librarian, psychiatrist, psychologist, scientist, social worker, and other occupations that allow INFJs an opportunity to make their own creative contribution.
INFJs lead through their quiet yet persistent and determined effort toward long-range goals for themselves, others and their organizations. In working toward their vision, they win cooperation rather than demand it. INFJs work to make their insights real and are able to inspire others with their ideals. They use a low-key, soft, yet intense and determined course of action. When they do not directly lead others, they may still act as facilitators between people. In meetings, they focus on both people and new ideas.
Leisure-time pursuits for INFJs are often solitary or involve the company of others who are particularly important to them. Sitting around with dear friends discussing feelings can be very special to INFJs. INFJs are likely to have friends of long standing rather than make many new acquaintances. They may meet with their friends fairly consistently to share what is happening in their lives. It is sometimes difficult for others to break into this circle. These deep friendships are important, even though INFJs may not share much directly about themselves.
For INFJs, 'still waters run deep.' They tend to become attracted to someone special and prefer this one deep relationship over many superficial ones. The depth of involvement and feeling that the INFJ has toward loved ones is only partially communicated outward. At times, when alone, INFJs become truly in touch with the depth of the love they have for their partner. They may not openly demonstrate or even verbalize their intense feelings. INFJs often have an ideal standard of what love is. They hold to their ideal and are disappointed when, inevitably, their relationship and/or mate reveals flaws. INFJs enjoy sharing activities like a regular 'date,' revisiting the place where they first met their mates, or doing other symbolic things that help to continue and confirm the existence of the bond that they feel for their partner.
INFJs want to give love and to be loved. They enter into relationships just to be cared for, even when the person is not right for them and they suspect it. However, when they meet that special person, they are quick to get into the relationship and make it a serious one. They will end their other relationships in order to pursue their loved one. They become very focused, intense, and direct in that pursuit.
INFJs, when scorned, take it personally and retreat inward. They may obsess about the relationship and their role in its failure. One INFJ explained, 'people can do the most outrageous things, yet I blame myself for triggering their behaviour or not recognizing it. I see myself as responsible for relationships. Other people can dismiss them --- I'm not able to.' INFJs may blame themselves and experience a period of mourning. If they do not marshall their resources, externalized their feelings, and take risks to move on, they may experience a long periods of self-examination.
- Profile by David Keirsey -
INFJs focus on possibilities, think in terms of values and come easily to decisions. The small number of this type (1 percent) is regrettable, since INFJs have unusually strong drive to contribute to the welfare of others and genuinely enjoy helping their fellow men. This type has great depth of personality; they are themselves complicated, and can understand and deal with complex issues and people.
It is an INFJ who is likely to have visions of human events past, present, or future. If a person demonstrates an ability to understand psychic phenomena better than most others, this person is apt to be an INFJ. Characteristically, INFJs have strong empathic abilities and can be aware of another's emotions or intents even before that person is conscious of these. This can take the form of feeling the distress of illnesses of others to an extent which is difficult for other types. INFJs can intuit good and evil in others, although they seldom can tell how they came to know. Subsequent events tend to bear them out, however.
INFJs are usually good students, achievers who exhibit an unostentacious creativity. They take their work seriously and enjoy academic activity. They can exhibit qualities of over-perfectionism and put more into a task than perhaps is justified by the nature of the task. They generally will not be visible leaders, but will quietly exert influence behind the scenes.
INFJs are hard to get to know. They have an unusually rich inner life, but they are reserved and tend not to share their reactions except with those they trust. Because of their vulnerability through a strong facility to introject, INFJs can be hurt rather easily by others, which, perhaps, is at least one reason they tend to be private people. People who have known an INFJ for years may find sides emerging which come as a surprise. Not that INFJs are inconsistent; they are very consistent and value integrity. But they have convoluted, complex personalities which sometimes puzzle even them.
INFJs like to please others and tend to contribute their own best efforts in all situations. They prefer and enjoy agreeing with others, and find conflict disagreeable and destructive. What is known as ESP is likely found in an INFJ more than in any other types, although other types are capable of such phenomena. INFJs have vivid imaginations exercised both as memory and intuition, and this can amount to genius, resulting at times in an INFJ's being seen as mystical. This unfettered imagination often will enable this person to compose complex and often aesthetic works of art such as music, mathematical systems, poems, plays, and novels. In a sense, the INFJ is the most poetic of all the types. Just as the ENTJ cannot not lead, so must an INFJ intuit; this capability extends to people, things, and often events, taking the form of visions, episodes of foreknowledge, premonitions, auditory and visual images of things to come. INFJs can have uncanny communications with certain individuals at a distance.
INFJs often select liberal arts as a college major and opt for occupations which involve interacting with people, but on a one-to-one basis. For example, the general practitioner in medicine might be an INFJ, or the psychiatrist or psychologist. As with all NF's, the ministry holds attraction, although the INFJ must develop an extraverted role here which requires a great deal of energy. INFJs may be attracted to writing as a profession, and often they use language which contains an unusual degree of imagery. They are masters of the metaphor, and both their verbal and written communications tend to be elegant and complex. Their great talent for language usually is directed toward people, describing people and writing to communicate with people in a personalized way. INFJs who write comment often that they write with a particular person in mind; writing to a faceless, abstract audience leaves them uninspired.
INFJs make outstanding individual therapists who have the ability to get in touch with the archetypes of their patients in a way some other types do not. The INFJs are also the most vulnerable of all the types to the eruption of their own archetypal material. As therapists, INFJs may choose counseling, clinical psychology, or psychiatry, or may choose to teach in these fields. Writing about these professions often intrigues an INFJ. Whatever their choice, they generally are successful in these fields because their great personal warmth, their enthusiasm, their insight, their depth of concentrations, their originality, and their organizational skills can all be brought into play.
At work as well as socially, INFJs are highly sensitive in their handling of others and tend to work well in an organizational structure. They have a capacity for working at jobs which require solitude and concentration, but also do well when in contact with people, providing the human interaction is not superficial. INFJs enjoy problem-solving and can understand and use human systems creatively and humanistically. As employees or employers, INFJs are concerned with people's feelings and are able to provide in themselves a barometer of the feelings of individuals and groups within the organizations. INFJs listen well and are willing and able to consult and cooperate with others. Once a decision is made, they work to implement it.
INFJs are generally good at public relations and themselves have good interpersonal relations. They value staff harmony and want an organization to run smoothly and pleasantly, themselves making every effort to contribute to that end. They are crushed by too much criticism and can have their feelings hurt rather easily. They respond to praise and use approval as a means of motivating others, just as they, the INFJs, are motivated by approval. If they are subject to a hostile, unfriendly working condition or to constant criticism, they tend to lose confidence, become unhappy and immobilized, and finally become physically ill.
As mates, INFJs are usually devoted to their spouses, but may not always be open to physical approaches. They tend to be physically demonstrative at times, but wish to choose when, which is when they are in the mood. This maybe quite confusing to an extraverted mate. Often an INFJ's expressions of affection will be subtle, taking a humorous, unexpected turn. INFJs need and want harmony in their homes and find constant conflict, overt or covert, extremely destructive to their psyches. Their friendship circle is likely to be small, deep, and longstanding. As parents, INFJs usually are fiercely devoted. A female INFJ, particularly, is linked to her children in a way different from the other types: with almost a psychic symbiosis. This deep bond can create an over-dependency that can be unhealthy for both mother and child. At the same time, INFJs tend to be good friends with their children, while firm in discipline. They usually are concerned about the comfort of a home and most especially the comfort, physical health, and emotional well-being of both mates and children.
At midlife an INFJ can best continue developing the thinking function in the form of logic and the pursuit of theory. The pleasure of taking a theoretical model and applying it to a situation may be a source of interest which an INFJ may have been neglecting. While continuing to pursue the person-to-person in feeling-type relationships, at midlife INFJs may want to get more involved in working with NT's, who offer a dimension not dominant in NF's and vice versa. Carefully providing for rest and taking care of physical health is vital to the INFJ at all times, and mandatory from midlife on.
The oracular INFJ may opt for the inventive ENTP, but also may go for a different kind of contrary, namely the ESTP. The ESTP and ENTP, to the casual observer, look pretty much alike. Charming, suave, urbane, humorous, witty, fantastically easy to approach, venturesome, even reckless. But one is out to invent, the other to promote; this is no small difference. It takes an inventor to make a mousetrap, it takes a promoter to make an enterprise. To succeed, the promoter has to be, in the best sense of the word, a con artist. He must be able to get people's confidence. Now why would a meaning-giver INFJ be intrigued by an entrepreneur ESTP? Because he wants to help the entrepreneur find his soul and his significance in the scheme of things. Similarly, why is the INFJ attracted to ENTP? Because he wishes to rescue this iconoclast from his seeming folly (and let's face it, most inventions are abortive, or still-born).
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So it isn't surprising that screaming matches happen on set.
This one happened on the set of LA Confidential.
This one happened on the set of Lost In Translation.
Well, okay, right, if you knew your current affairs you'd know that those were spoofs of the David O. Russell - Lily Tomlin screaming match YouTube videos. They were made because the directors finished early and had time in their hands ... and it was pretty fun.
In the case of the Lost In Translation set, the mistake the AC (assistant camera, the person holding the slate/clapperboard) made was reading out the wrong scene number. ('Scene' here refers not to scenes as defined in a script but as a series of setups, or camera angles. Hence, 1 refers to the scene number as defined by the script, and A and so on to the setups.) Scene numbers are like, 3, 3A, 3B ... 3H, but never 3I or 3O, simply because Is and Os look like numbers when written. It's an industry joke which no one else outside would have guessed, of course. And yes, people do get REALLY pedantic about stuff like that - heck, you're almost certainly fired for making this sort of mistake on a real set ... or so some would want you to believe. But nah, my German friend Julian the director is just messing around in the video. Of course, any screaming match done in German is funny.
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"In the end, screenwriting simply comes down to this: THE WRITER'S & READER'S CONTRACT OF TRUTH.
Writer: I am going to tell you the truth.
Reader: I am going to believe you, I am going to suspend my disbelirf, but I am only one false line of dialogue or unmotivated action away from re-establishing my disbelief. I can't help myself from always thinking, could this really happen? Does this story satisfy me intellectually, emotionally, viscerally? Does it move me? Touch me? Where? How?
"For example, in On Moral Fiction, John C. Gardner states, 'True art clarifies life, establishes models of human action, casts nets toward the future, carefully judges our right and wrong directions, celebrates, and mourns. It does not rant. It does not sneer or giggle in the face of death, it invents prayers and weapons. It designs visions worth trying to make fact. It does not whisper or cover or throw up its hands and bat its lashes ... It strikes lightning or is lightning.' ...
"Like the Greeks, for whom theater was a communal and religious gathering wherein the fears and desires of the fulture could be exorcised and expressed, modern day plays and movies let us come together to create a new sense of the community we have lost and in doing so, perpetuate a new set of metamyths which can provide answers to the hard questions of being alive. ...
"Humans want to grow, and we will pay to see the transformation of other human beings. By watching someone experience an epiphany and change, I too am transformed. All in two hours for a mere eight dollars, while most therapists charge at least a hundred an hour. ...
"To become this voice, [the voice of the next era], don't hoard your best material. Squander it. Now. Put your best foot forward. It is harder to break in than it is to stay in. Use all your best lines and scenes now. Don't worry. When you are ready to write your next piece, you will have accumulated more material. And by that time, you will probably be obsessed by many other important new themes. Sure, even the best writers run into roadblocks and need breaks to recharge their batteries, but if you keep working, you will never dry up like a riverbed during a drought. Keep working and the words will keep coming. Trust me on this one. Keep writing; the act of writing itself is the key. It should become the central focus, safe haven, and metaphor of your life. Remember, the difference between writers and people who write is the difference between bullfighters and bullshitters.
So let your voice reverberate in the dark night and never, I repeat, never remain silent. ... Speak, let your voice ring true and listen for the echo, the ramifications of your words. And if you are truly speaking from your marrow, you will see that your language resonates in the bones of all mankind. Write, let your words sing, and then sit back, cross your fingers, and pray. You can do nothing more and there is nothing else that is more valuable to your own growth as well as that of all people."
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This is the twenty-second film I saw at the Hollywood Arclight Cinemas.
One of the first French movies I saw was Le Placard/The Closet, also by Francis Veber, sort of known as the master of French farce movies. The Closet, starring Daniel Auteuil as François Pignon, whose neighbour engineers a plan to make François appear to be a closeted homosexual in order to stop his colleagues from bullying him (due to sexual harassment laws). More irony that he works in a condom factory. The ploy goes out of hand as François's biggest bully, played by the large and intimidating Gerard Depardieu, is reduced to a sobbing sod - and of course, much to the enjoyment of the audience. It was a really fun film, which my French tutor showed us during our last French class of the term (I took French, among others, during the first year of uni). I loved it so much that when I became the Films and Admin Officer for the Student Cinema I slipped it into the schedule. And with a turnout of 80 - sounds paltry, but that figure is better than most screenings we had back then - and the audience laughing and the girls saying 'awww' every time they see a small kitten, well, I guess the movie stuck in my mind.
So it wasn't a hard decision to make to go watch this new one, which again stars Daniel Auteuil (sort of the Tom Hanks of France, he's pretty big over there) but this time he plays a jerk. Instead, the protagonist François Pignon (Veber uses the same name over and over again in his movies ... and he has a funny anecdote about that as well) is a valet who is un-mistakenly drawn into a game of false identities when a billionaire (Auteuil) caught kissing his supermodel mistress by a paparazzi pays him off to ... sigh, no point explaining the whole thing, it's basically full of subplots and it's all hilarious and fun all the way.
They don't make comedies like this in Hollywood anymore. Veber, in the Q&A, was saying that one of his major influences was Billy Wilder (whose last film was a remake of Veber, which Veber said must have killed him coz the film was a bomb and Wilder died soon after). Nowadays we get stuff like Wedding Crashers and The 40-Year Old Virgin. They are funny, of course - but those are the best of the crop. I mean, I loathe that Hollywood is filled with comedies like Norbit or Are We Done Yet? or, well, whatever else bombed in the box office (just not enough to stop the producers from making more).
Comedies like these are fun because they draw us into the lives of the character(s) and make us sympathise with them. If that sounds like a description of drama - of course, drama and comedy, two sides of a coin, yadda yadda. And they are genuinely FUNNY. Without the use of swearing or gross-out gags. They are pleasant, and I actually felt worth it to pay for such comedies.
And it's not to say that the French produce lots of them. I mean, Veber does like one every couple of years.
I like that the story here is well-structured. Veber was saying that structuring such stories is difficult, takes a long time. But clearly he did his homework, because there were no loose ends and one feels that every single character got what they deserved.
And I especially like that the mistress was written against-type. She was not the bitchy type - rather intelligent, in fact. When the billionaire offers to pay her and she asks for 20 million euros, her motive wasn't that she was after his money. Instead, the billionaire could have it back if he divorces his wife and elopes with her like he promised - "think of it as deposit ... you're paying nothing if you're truly making an effort at the divorce". On top of that, she was never pretentious when she had to stay with François in his dilapidated flat; she actually finds it fun. And there's no 'oh shucks we're living together so we'll fall in love eventually' thing going on - François is in love with another girl; Virginie Ledoyen, no less. (I like Ledoyen. Must use her in some sophisticated, intelligent female role some day.) And she's never in a bad mood, even when François is. Not that she's perfect - she does get vulnerable, and of course, one can never explain love and thus one can't explain why she is in love with the billionaire.
Anyway, a good night out. I wished I have something to say as I did brush past Veber, but there is nothing to say. Except 'Merci, faites plus, s'il vous plaît!'
How Good I Think The Film Is: 8/10
How Much I Like The Film: 8.5/10
At What Point Did I First Look At My Watch: 20 mins
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There is a huge plume of smoke rising out of the back of Hollywood Hills. It turned the sky orange, extending it across the semi-hemispheric dome of the sky and covering almost half of it.
I was crossing the road, and realised that I didn't have a camera with me - how typical - so I recrossed the road, run to the one of the sets where I know my Polish coursemate always brings his camera every single day, and dragged him out to take pictures of the fire.
As I stood there looking closer, I could actually see the flames at the very edge of the peaks, and tiny helicopters pouring water onto the fire.
The following are the pictures my coursemate took.
Not as dramatic as an earthquake or a tsunami, but I guess this looks good enough for the moment. In fact, the first thought when I saw it was that some volcano has just been born in the middle of LA. Incidentally, I dreamt of an earthquake and a tsunami, rather scary and dramatic. That was two weeks ago. Since then, there has been an earthquake in Japan and a tsunami in the Solomon Islands.
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Turns out the mathematical graphical representations are termed GUI by the filmmakers. Very intriguing.
I like some of the choices made in terms of how scenes play out. As I said, I hate it when scenes progress predictably - unless it is making a point by being predictable. Here though, we see, for example, Harold shouting skywards like a madman when the 'little did he know ...' narration is dropped on him - and not one of the other corporate employee types standing around waiting for the bus appear to be reacting to him. In most movies someone would have said 'who?', or 'who are you screaming at?' or something like that ... or some 'comedic' reaction like all of them moving away from him or something.
Now I can add a name to my as yet empty 'Writers I'd Like To Work With' list - Zach Helm. Except the problem is this: he is directing the next script he wrote - meaning he probably won't come back to just pure writing. I may be wrong. (And of course, who am I to ...)
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I started watching this as I got home around 6, saw 18 minutes of it, fell asleep due to exhaustion from the day ...
... and didn't wake up until it was dark.
More than dark.
It was 2.15 am. Didn't realise I got so tired from directing.
Anyway, as with virtually all who saw the film I liked it.
I thought the best moment for me was when Karen Eiffel the author receives an affirmation by her own character - and she, lucky enough to have her character in physical, human form - that she wrote the best ending possible and that she should not change it. No matter what the consequences are to the character himself.
What an affirmation.
And, as for the ending (you know a spoiler is coming when you read that), some critics and audiences just don't get it, even though it is nowhere nearly as deep as some movies. Fact is, yes, you would expect it to pack a bigger emotional punch if Harold Crick did in fact die and accomplish the masterpiece Karen Eiffel wanted. But that would have been predictable - you can imagine sad but calm music playing over it (possibly even including vocals in the background). Instead, the filmmakers went for something more cerebral - not killing Harold Crick, because that would have been the human thing to do, no matter the consequence to the quality of the novel. And, the filmmakers acknowledge that, through Prof Hilbert saying that it is 'OK'. And I say 'the human thing to do', becoz one of the major themes of the movie which would prob pass over the head of most of the audience but NOT writers and filmmakers is the idea that our characters are real and that perhaps we shouldn't be so cavalier with their lives.
I have to say though, what Karen Eiffel had in store for Harold's death wasn't exactly a masterpiece ... it's meaningful but in the most mundane manner, but far from poetic.
I did like how we see flashes of side characters that had absolutely nothing to do with the story ... for us writers that sounds out the FORESHADOWING!!! alarm.
And of course, the mathematical and graphical representations done by MK12 were pretty cool. I was jealous that Marc Forster came up with that in this movie (at least, I assume so). I doubt I'd have thought of doing so given the same script.
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