I mentioned in a recent post that I’m studying for the Level II sommelier test. All of this talk of grapes and noble rot and southern facing vines on poetic hillsides got me thinking about the romance of wine. Which then led me to think about different ‘wine’ movies I have watched.
The one that popped in my head and stuck was ‘Sideways‘. I didn’t see this movie until long after it came out. I’ll be honest it wasn’t what I expected. A rambling, esoteric, occasional wallowing in the sentiment of existentialism road trip style movie. It was all the talk when it came out. I think it won some awards.
I’m watching the David Mamet Masterclass right now. I have thoughts on David outside of this but that’s for another blog. I just watched how he plots. His movies are action based testosterone filled male angst that drive home poignant, existential breakdowns like a punch to the gut. I realize there are entire swathes of society who have damned him for this as well as for not being a zombie robot to one ideology and again that’s another post.
What was interesting was he mentioned movies like Sideways as he plotted out his fake suspense, action style road trip screenplay. He said and I agree they are perfectly fine movies, movies like Sideways. Road trip movies where things happen along the way to bring the characters to a penultimate realization of themselves. They’re fine, easy to write, easy to watch but a little lackluster.
I think I agree with him and I’ve written a lot of Sideways styles stories. I might be done with them for the moment. There’s something to having the characters have these same existential realizations while interweaving it with a frantic purpose. It elevates the tension, exploits the drama and brings the watcher/reader along with you.
I think for the time being I’m going to force myself to explore this style of writing. It will be ugly but interesting to stretch this skillset.
Worse case I end up with words on a page. Best case I end up with words on a page.