There's no end
to the things you might know, depending how far beyond Zebra you go! {Dr. Seuss}

Friday, April 16, 2010

Movies on Writing

My hubby and I recently signed up for Netflix. I love knowing I’ll have something in the mail every couple days! Oh, and I love watching the movies, too, of course. While searching for movies to put in our queue, I came across some writing movies I’ve never seen: The Hours, Becoming Jane, Freedom Writers. This got me thinking of movies, whether about writing or not, that inspire me to scribble away whenever I watch them. The following five movies always tickle my muse: 

Image found here.
Little Women (1994). I love Jo’s writing hat! Maybe I need a special accessory to wear while writing. One of my favorite scenes is when Jo writes her masterpiece in the attic of her childhood home. For some reason, it sends chills down my spine, in a good way, and I immediately must sit at my desk and write.
Shakespeare in Love (1998). Even Shakespeare struggled with writer’s block! One of my favorite scenes is when Shakespeare is complaining to the doctor how he cannot find words to write his next play. If only I could complain so poetically…! Then maybe people would want to listen, haha!

Dead Poets Society (1989). I don’t care for the melodramatic ending, but I love Mr. Keating’s unconventional leadership. I’ve had many great teachers, but no one with quite that much inspirational vision and encouragement. I suppose teachers like Mr. Keating are only in movies and books? Whenever I watch this, I’m reminded to “seize the day” and start making my dreams a reality no matter anyone else’s opinion. This is an appropriate movie to watch right now since it’s National Poetry Month!

Image found here.
Beauty and the Beast (1991). Oh, that library scene!!! It takes my breath away every time. If someone told me to choose between my husband and having my own library filled with books from floor to 50 foot ceiling...I’d definitely choose the library hubby! I’d choose my hubby, of course. ;) 
The Sandlot (1993). I want to write children’s books, and this movie inspires me to create characters with vitality, humor, and emotion like these amazing kids. How they interact with each other during their crazy summer adventures reminds me to always keep in touch with my inner child. (The Goonies is another great kid movie that inspires me in this way).
Two other movies about writers, Finding Neverland and Miss Potter, are really enjoyable. I’ve only seen them once, so they’re not clear in my memory. But I remember feeling inspired by the story. I love movies that show an author’s struggles to success!
“A film is never really good unless the camera is an eye in the head of a poet.” ~Orson Welles

“Every great film should seem new every time you see it.” ~Roger Ebert
Share with me!
What are your favorite writing movies? Which movies, whether about writing or not, inspire you to write? Do you wear any special accessories while writing like Jo March did? Have you ever had a teacher like Mr. Keating? Do you think Shakespeare really suffered from writer’s block?


Jayne said...

Oh what a good idea for a post, and what a good list of movies – I agree about the ending of Dead Poets Society. I don’t think I do have any special writing movies, but I always liked the image of Roger from 101 Dalmatians, sat at his piano surrounded by discarded paper as he tried to write the perfect song. As for accessories, not so much now I am redrafting, but I did like to dress in clothes from the era I was writing about - I seem to be a method writer. I never had a teacher exactly like Mr Keating, but I did have a groovy junior school teacher who tried to make lessons fun by bringing his dog into the classroom. Can’t remember anything about the lessons, but the dog’s name was Minstrel!

Shelley Sly said...

Oh my gosh, I LOVE the library from Beauty & The Beast. I have ALWAYS wanted it. (And that is hilarious that you'd choose... your husband. Yeah. Hehe.) Great post!

Bluestocking said...

I too love the library scene from Beauty and the Beast and the song Belle:

Look there she goes that girl is so peculiar/I wonder if she's feeling well/With a dreamy far-off look/And her nose stuck in a book/What a puzzle to the rest of us is Belle

I would also say 'Stand By Me' because of Richard Dreyfuss's writer character narrating the story and 'The Princess Bride' because of the way Peter Falk and Fred Savage depict the way a story can come to life through reading and listening.

JHara said...

My carrimac cap, as you may remember Laura, tends to find my head when my head can't find the right words.

As for movies, the ones that stimulate my eye and mind always get my pen moving.

Creepy Query Girl said...

I love movies that are themed along with what's going on in my life too! Actually I start collecting them. When I got our first dog, I started a 'dog movie' collection. When I got pregnant the first time, it was a 'pregnancy movie' collection. Don't get me started on holidays.... In any case, I love your list!

Elana Johnson said...

I don't know the names of them, but I like that one with Jody something-or-other about how she never leaves her house except to go meet one of the characters from her book.

And the one with Will Farrell about how the writer kills him, and it's like his life.

Yeah, I'm lame. You probably can't tell which movies those are. Le sigh.

Theo Blanton said...

Elana- The Will Farrell movie is called Stranger Than Fiction...a good flick!

Saumya said...

I heard Stranger Than Fiction is a great movie!! This is such a cute post. Little Women, Dead Poets Society, and Beauty and the Beast are true loves of mine. Have fun with your Netflix picks!!

KarenG said...

Good movie list, I've seen most of them, although not Dead Poets Society, and I want to. Maybe I'll go rent it this weekend. I love movies with writing as a theme. Another one I want to see is Miss Potter.

Laura Marcella said...

Jayne- What a cool teacher! My grade school music teacher used to bring her pet goat to the school sometimes. I remember it peed on some boy's shoe, haha. I know exactly what scene from 101 Dalmations you're talking about! Now that's a great Disney movie I haven't seen in a while. An that's a good idea being a method writer. Hmm, maybe I should wear something other than sweatpants and t-shirt when I'm writing...

Shelley- I know!!! I want that library so much!

Bluestocking- I love that song! The little village library is cute, too. Stand by Me is a good one! I think that's based on a Stephen King short story. The Princess Bride is one of my all-time favorite movies. (The book is great, too.)

J.Hara- Aww, your carrimac cap! Maybe I should start wearing my zebra-striped cowgirl hat when I'm writing?

Query Girl- That's great! I bet you have a lot of collections. I think I may start a writing movie collection...only for professional reasons, of course! ;o)

Elana- I think the Jody Foster one is Nim's Island I'v never see that; thanks for the suggestion!

Theo & Saumya- I've never seen Stranger Than Fiction. I'll definitely add it to my queue! Thanks for suggesting.

Karen- Dead Poets Society is great. I've only seen Miss Potter once, but I remember I liked it a lot. Hope you enjoy them!

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Yay! I found you! Thanks for following my blog :) I clicked your profile pic on my blog, but there was no link-trail to yours. Luckily, Lola passed you an award today at Sharp Pen/Dull Sword and I clicked that link to arrive here. It's so nice to meet you!

My two all-time favorite movies are Breakfast at Tiffany's (the novella by Truman Capote is in my top five favorite book too!), and St. Elmos Fire. I know every line of that one, which quickly becomes annoying to everyone in the room watching with me :P

Thanks again for connecting with me! Have a great weekend :)

Lola Sharp said...

You're killin' me Smalls!
(we say that line all the time, from the Sandlot)

My daughter and I always say that our favorite princess is Belle, because she loves to read, she is intelligent...and that library!

I adore Finding Neverland and Miss Potter (we watch the latter every year for Easter...the bunnies. it's magical and lovely.)

I also love Stranger than Fiction.

Happy Weekend, Laura!

Alyson said...

I think my love for smores came from The Sandlot. What a classic! Little Women and Finding Neverland are a couple of my favorites, too.

Although the book was way better, The Shining as a movie demonstrates what happens if you take writing too seriously. And not to write in an isolated, haunted place. ;D

T. Anne said...

Gosh I guess I don't have one. But I too am a recent convert to Netflix and am loving it!!! I especially love the fact I get to watch movies based on books I've read. That's always fun.

AchingHope said...

Oooooh! I love Beauty and the Beast as well. I don't know... I tend to be more inspired by books. I cannot get through Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell, because every time I start reading it I have to go and start writing right away.

I have had some strange teachers, but not necessarily in conjunction with writing. And yes. I hope Shakespeare had writer's block. It's only fair that every writer suffer at some point. It's good for the imagination.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I've seen most of these...great movies! And a good reminder for me to check them out again.


Mystery Writing is Murder

Laura Marcella said...

Nicole- That's odd, I wonder why there was no link? I'll check my settings. Thanks for following me! Love Breakfast at Tiffany's! I haven't seen it in awhile, though. And I've never seen St. Elmo's Fire. Thanks for suggesting!

Lola- Ah, classic line! I put Stranger Than Fiction on my queue. Everyone seems to really like it so I can't wait to see it!

Alyson- Oooh, I've never seen The Shining or even read the book. I've only read two of Stephen King's (The Eyes of the Dragon and The Green Mile). I'm a big baby and don't want to read the scary ones, lol!

T.Anne- I'm loving Netflix, too! There are so many great movies that I've wanted to see and forgot about. Now I finally get to see them!

AchingHope- I know what you mean. Sometimes I'm really inspired by books, too. That would make another fun post. And you're right- it wouldn't be fair if Shakespeare didn't have writer's block so I hope he suffered from it a lot, haha. Of course if he did, it didn't matter much considering how many brilliant plays and sonnets he wrote!

Elizabeth- I hope you find time in your busy schedule to watch a couple of these again. :) Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

Talli Roland said...

I really liked Shakespeare in Love. Romance, writing... what more can you aks for? The Hours was also good. Can't think of more now but I probably will once I hit the comment button.

Have a great weekend!

Lisa and Laura said...

Great list! And...I'm totally coming up lame in the movie department--probably because I need to get out more. But I do watch TV shows that inspire me. Like Lost--whenever I'm watching I always wonder how it was written! Like, I wonder if it's somebody's job just to keep track of what day it is??? That show blows my mind!

Laura Marcella said...

Talli- Haha, I know how that is. I haven't seen The Hours yet. It's in my queue, though! Have a good weekend!

LiLa- I've never seen Lost, can you believe that?? I know, I know, I'm so lame. But I have seen the episode previews (so I guess I'm not totally lame-o) and it seems like a complicated script!

kimberlyloomis said...

Great post and great movies! The Hours, Finding Neverland and Dead Poets Society are amongst my all time favorites. I can't readily recall any other films about writing to even begin sharing such a list with you, but movies that inspire me to write are almost always ones that include philosophical notions of freedom and the struggle to have it or impart it upon people. I just added your lovely blog to my blog roll. :)

T.J. Carson said...

Love the movie Little Ashes. It's the romance of the famous poet Federico Garcia Lorca and the famous artist Salvador Dali. Amazing love story and inspires me to be me in my writing.

Accessories? Ha. no. Sweatpants and a T&F shirt from 1-2 years ago... no socks. hair up.

Never had a teacher like the one Robin Williams portrayed (that movie was filmed in Middletown, DE. I LIVE HERE!!! AH!) haha. the only thing M-town can be proud of lol. I had a teacher who had a crappy personality but was persistent and tough when it came to writing and he was actually the one who got me to LOVE writing.

I think EVERYONE suffers from writers block at least once.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Oh ,tehse are all such terrific movies!! I loved Miss Potter. AND I actually visited Hilltop, Beatrix's house. I told my little one to keep an eye out for Peter Rabbit in the garden ;)

I can't for the life of me think of any other writing movies right now, though I know I've seen a ton. And I'm pretty sure I saw one recently, actually. Well, isn't that frustrating? Ha. Well, your list is a good one anyway ;)

Jen said...

I love your blog it's fantastic and what a fun blog post!!!

You chose awesome movies to inspire you!! I started blogging when I watched Julie & Julia it was inspiring, another movie that has really inspired me was Alice in Wonderland (Tim Burtons) it was amazing and my muse was in full force until my novel was finished!!!

Laura Marcella said...

Kimberly- Thank you for stopping by and following! I haven't seen The Hours yet, but it's in my queue. I can't wait to see it. Thanks for the comment!

T.J.- I've never seen Little Ashes. It sounds really good; I'm adding it to my queue. Thanks for suggesting!

Carolina- That's so cool! If I ever visit Hilltop, I'll be sure to look out for Peter Rabbit. ;)

Laura Marcella said...

Jen- Thanks for the comment! I recently saw Julie and Julia. It was so good- blogging and food, a perfect combination! I haven't seen Burton's Alice in Wonderland yet. I bought the Almost Alice soundtrack, though, and it's awesome! I can't wait to see the movie. Thanks for stopping by and following!