This week has been a hotch-potch of different tutors and input. Tuesday we talked about loss and watched the first half of the Belgian thriller Calvaire: The Ordeal. Loss can be a powerful motivation for characters, as we tend to yearn for what we used to have or something we at least have had a taste of. The memories of the good old days can surface in dialogue or imagery, and the later in the film this yearning is shown, the further back in time it can go. The protagonist revisiting his childhood in the first sequence is usually not a good idea…
Wednesday we had a Q&A session with screenwriter Lars K. Andersen about his script for Danish WWII drama Flame and Citron. He talked in depth about his research and working methods, about respecting the subject and the people who were involved in the portrayed resistance movement and a time and place in history that was previously connected to patriotic heroism.
Thursday and Friday our teacher was Thomas Howalt, who has a background as a theatre writer/director and high-profile work in computer games, educational and online multiplayer games, and is now creative development manager at Square Enix Europe. Howalt gave us a crash course in Greek theatre tradition and mythology and we talked about why we write, what drives us – and what stops us! In particular we have to find a balance between the three parts of our creative self – The Dreamer, the Realist and the Critic. I personally think the Critic should only be let out of his cage at the very final stage if at all. He tends to put a stop to things rather than keep them moving, so let’s all agree to shut that guy up.
I missed today because of sick kids. But today they’re talking about Shakespeare, and I got knee-deep in that at University, so… Alas, no big loss, I hope. They get to watch different versions of Hamlet, I get to watch Aristocats for the millionth time.
I’ll leave you with Harold Pinter’s simple equation of drama, as retold by Howalt:
A single chair stands in the middle of the stage. Two men enter.
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