Movies for Writers
I’m not sure how many of you have ever seen the movie, Iris , starring Kate Winslet, but it’s a true gem. The movie chronicles the life and work of free-spirited and free-thinking author, Iris Murdoch. Iris was a truly remarkable woman whose life and loves could provide inspiration for any author. Iris lived her life according to her own rules, making apologies for nothing, completely irreverent. She was an inspiration to independent women who loved because they wanted to, not because they were dependent upon having a partner. She was an eloquent, intelligent woman whose works were thought-provoking and meaningful.
The tragedy in this story is revealed little by little as Iris’s once razor sharp wit and intellect begin to erode under the ironic effects of Alzheimer’s disease. Having worked with Alzheimer’s patients and their families for 20 years, hers was a story I could easily relate to. Having been a writer all of my life, her story hit all that much closer to home. It was then that I realized that committing my thoughts to paper, no matter how irrelevant or mundane they may be, was crucial. Journaling and creative works of fiction would become the guiding force in my life, before Alzheimer’s or a similarly debilitating disease would rob me of my ability to express myself in a meaningful way.
I’m not saying that I intend to get Alzheimer’s disease. No one does. That’s the point. We have limited or no control over the paths that our lives may take. So seize the moment. While your talents and inspiration are still within your grasp, take hold of them, nurture them and see what transpires.
And while you’re at it, check out a good movie. I recommend Iris to everyone.
Another interesting biographical movie, also starring Kate Winslet, is Quills . This movie provides an interesting glimpse into the depraved mind of the Marquis de Sade, as depicted by Geoffrey Rush, while he is imprisoned in an insane asylum France. Kate Winslet works at the asylum and sneaks quills and ink into his cell so that the Marquis can continue to write his scandalous works. While dark and disturbing, the movie provides insight into just how far some writers will go for the right to unleash their creative powers. When the asylum finally finds successful ways of denying the Marquis writing implements, he gets quite creative with fellow inmates, mind-control and bodily emissions. His storytelling won’t be denied.
Away From Her
Away From Her is a brilliant movie starring Julie Christie as another woman who develops Alzheimer’s disease. She is an avid reader and brilliant woman with a gift for language. While not an influential author like Iris Murdoch, Writer’s can relate to Christie’s character, Fiona, whose love of words and art have also touched each of us. Eventually, Fiona’s memory loss causes her to forget her husband and she begins a relationship with a new man in the nursing home that she checks herself into. This is a poignant story of love and loss and of life’s joys and regrets.
Finally, The Reader, which also stars Kate Winslet, is a moving story about a former SS guard who happens to be illiterate. She takes a very young lover who reads to her during their trysts. Suffice it to say that their relationship has a lifelong effect on them both. The tale chronicles their relationship and it's effects over decades since WWII to the present day. It is slow moving, but powerful.
If you need a reprieve from all the writing, rent one of these films, pop some corn and settle in for the night. Maybe you’ll find inspiration in the relaxed night at the movies.
For helpful hints on writing, opportunities and resources for writers, and regular writing exercises to spark your creativity, visit The Elusive Muse blog at the link provided below.
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