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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Movies and Crazy Good Writing

By Marilyn Friedman and Noah PohlThe Writing Pad Movie Club class series gives me an excuse to invite cool peeps over to Writing Pad for some socializing and gourmet indulgence. Movie watching always helps me relax and escape after a hard day at work. But movies have a lot to teach us in terms of storytelling techniques. An artfully crafted movie can also remind me of all the great story material I have in the well-stocked pantry of my mind, especially when my brain is feeling blank.

We are very lucky to have the renowned film critic/freelance writer, Tim Grierson (pictured below), as the teacher for our Movie Club classes.

Check out these links to see some of Tim’s latest film reviews:

Below is a sample of what Noah Pohl wrote in our last Movie Club class: “From Crazy Love to Crazy Good Writing.” We watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and then Tim led some fab writing exercises and did a mini-craft lecture to help us to write our own love stories. Take one of the next Movie Club classes, “Spice Up Your Settings Pt. I and Pt II,” and you too will be inspired to write something as amazing. We'll be watching Metropolitan and Little Children. We'll learn to use setting to enhance our stories, characters and conflict, and feasting on decadent brunch tasting plates like the homemade croissants and waffles made by our talented chef, Adel.

“Every time someone mentions the brand, Hello Kitty, I am crushed. I remember how excited she got when she told me that she’d decorated her bathroom with Hello Kitty -- and that she thought I should too. I refused.

Listening to In Rainbows hurt for about eight months. The black mini fridge that smelled like ass and rotted, seeping onions until I scrubbed it clean and gave it to her, is now sitting in her room, forever, or until she sells it on Craigslist. BMW cars make me turn my head. If I see a bright green jacket, a black turtleneck, hoop earrings, or peach vodka, I get pangs in my stomach.

I will forever associate Michael Phelps winning the gold medals with cuddling on her lumpy, creaky bed. The turquoise lingerie she had. The smell of her neck. The magnets from New York on her fridge.

The way she angrily compared her co-workers to pieces of fruit: one was a pear. Now, I can't eat pears. I'm wrecked whenever I think of any of these things.”

Writing Prompt: Make a list of five very intense emotional moments that you associate with significant relationships from your past. Add a sensory detail (smell, taste, touch, sound, sight) to each moment. Pick your favorite and write about it for ten minutes.

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