Friday, February 09, 2007

Obi-Wan Builds a Bridge

In my quest to become a better screenwriter, I have been watching more movies than ever before in my life.

In an effort to ensure quality and avoid randomness, I've decided to wind my way through the AFI 100.

It certainly isn't a perfect list. There are many deserving movies left off, in my opinion.

Of course, it is, for the most part, an American list, but then how do you explain Lawrence of Arabia?

Anyway, today it was time for The Bridge on the River Kwai. What do you know? Another David Lean picture.

What a fantastic movie. Alec Guiness is truly brilliant. As a kid who had to be told how great Sir Alec was by my mom after seeing Star Wars for the first time, it was tough to find a trace of the old Jedi in Colonel Nicholson. I was struck by how skillfully David Lean had you rooting for and against nearly every character in this flick.

But I don't wish to just say what you can hear nearly anyone say about this movie. After watching Lawrence and Kwai, I was struck by the sheer indulgence of the director. Though there seems to be a move back to that sort of moviemaking, most of today's directors would certainly have dragged you breakneck from building to bombing in one hour and fifty minutes, cutting from scene to scene, rushing the action, and might even have made a good movie.

But a beautiful, stunning movie like this? Never.

My screenplay will still have to be under 120 pages, and truly the story I'm working on now doesn't demand more, but I wonder if someday there's an epic in my future, one that will hold people's attention for two hours and forty minutes, or even three hours and forty-five, as David Lean did with Lawrence.

This is something I should have done years ago, but no time like the present, eh?

So, of the AFI 100 linked above, what is your favorite?


It's about me, dummy!!!


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