From The Journal Of Screenwriting V1 Issue 2: Zen and the art of film narrative: towards a transcendental realism in film by Erik Knudsen

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


Zen and the art of film narrative: towards a transcendental realism in film by Erik Knudsen
 
Nations and peoples are largely the stories they feed themselves. If they tell themselves stories that are lies, they will suffer the consequences of those lies. If they tell themselves stories that face their own truths, they will free their histories for future flowerings. (Okri 1995: 21) What defines the classic narrative is also at the root of its limitations; an epistemology that ties it to a material and psychological paradigm governed by largely explicable laws of cause and effect. Such notions as character motivation, narrative aims, obstacles, climax and so on have evolved to become as overwhelmingly dominant in cinema as the dogma of reason which subsequently the industrial age solidified. It is from this that the moving-image medium emerged: empirical evidence of motivations, mechanistic notions of causes and effects and scientifically based including the pseudosciences of psychology and sociology that provide justifications for events and actions all serve to reinforce the dominance of the classic narrative’s role in the storytelling of the developed world.In this article, I shall call for a different perspective on cinematic narrative form; not with a view to discussing what film generally is, but to make some general suggestions of what it could be, particularly from the perspective of a film-maker trying to transcend the limitations of the classic narrative. The motive is to try and understand how, in practice, one may evolve narrative forms in such a way as to deal with experiences not sufficiently touched by the classic form, as it is currently generally practised in cinema. I shall, in particular, look at the relationship between emotions and feelings and their relationship to narrative structure and bring into this examination some notions and ideas from Zen Buddhism to re-evaluate that relationship. The issues I hope to raise are about paradigms and I shall therefore deliberately base my discussion on general assertions and eclectic contextualization.


The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

Get your copy and subscription to the Journal of Screenwriting Today!



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V1 Issue 2: First of all, the screenplay problem has to be solved: the public debate on screenwriting in 1930s Finland by Raija Talvio

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


First of all, the screenplay problem has to be solved: the public debate on screenwriting in 1930s Finland by Raija Talvio

In 1930s Finland the new medium of the sound film was regarded as an essential part of modern culture. After the advent of sound, the domestic film industry flourished and the development of the national cinema became the subject of a lively debate in popular film magazines. A large part of this discussion was centred on the screenplay. The choice of suitable subject matter and important themes were investigated, as were the special requirements of the craft for the writer. In this article I explore how screenwriting and the screenwriter were constantly defined and redefined in public discussion in film magazines during the decade and how this discussion influenced the formation of the identity of the screenwriting profession.


The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

Get your copy and subscription to the Journal of Screenwriting Today!



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V1 Issue 2: The hero and heroine’s journey and the writing of Loy by Helen Jacey

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


The hero and heroine’s journey and the writing of Loy by Helen Jacey

Christopher Vogler suggests an essential humanity beyond gender and sexual difference lies at the heart of the Hero’s Journey archetypal paradigm which he presents in The Writers Journey (2007), yet he still advises readers to go elsewhere for alternative theories on the woman’s journey, recommending key Jungian feminist theories including Maureen Murdock’s The Heroine’s Journey (1990), and Clarissa Pinkola Estes’s Women Who Run With The Wolves (1992). Through the practice of writing a screenplay Loy, a biopic based on the life of modernist poet and artist Mina Loy (18821966), I questioned to what extent is the Hero’s Journey useful as a metaphoric aid in supporting the development of a screenplay with two female protagonists, and to what extent does the paradigm have a masculine bias? This article first sets out the principles of Vogler’s Hero’s Journey and Murdock’s Heroine’s Journey cycle. I then explore the strengths and weaknesses of both models as creative aids during the development of my screenplay, with particular reference to the development of character, structure and theme. Turning to the notion of archetypes as a creative system for characterization, I discuss how I used archetypes in the development of Loy’s protagonists. Finally, I draw on Clarissa Pinkola Estes’s myth of the Skeleton Woman as an effective metaphoric aid for the development of narratives where relationships are central. I conclude that while the Hero’s Journey has key strengths, models from Jungian feminism are particularly rich for screenwriters developing female-led stories.


The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

Get your copy and subscription to the Journal of Screenwriting Today!



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V1 Issue 2: The physical and emotional threads of the archetypal hero’s journey: proposing common terminology and re-examining the narrative model by Craig Batty

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


The physical and emotional threads of the archetypal hero’s journey: proposing common terminology and re-examining the narrative model by Craig Batty

This article will discuss how, in mainstream film screenplays, the protagonist undergoes both an actual, physical journey and an internal, emotional journey, pulled together by the invisible hand of the screenwriter in order to create the complete narrative experience. Central to the article is an evaluation of how character transformation (arc) is positioned against physical action (plot), arguing that the two can be mapped out as individual yet symbiotic threads of a narrative: the physical and the emotional journeys.After mapping the territory of what is already written on this subject, the works of Joseph Campbell and his protg Christopher Vogler (Clayton 2007: 210) will be drawn together to offer a re-examination of the model of the Hero’s Journey. Assessing these two narrative threads (physical and emotional) as both distinct and symbiotic, it will be clear that a special relationship exists between plot and character, where character transformation is encouraged to take place within the frame of the physical action of the plot. The substance of such a transformation, the emotional core of the narrative experience, is what lives on in the audience, post-text; the physical action of a film story may frame emotion, but emotion has the power to break the frame and take on a life of its own.


The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

Get your copy and subscription to the Journal of Screenwriting Today!



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V1 Issue 2: The constructive use of film genre for the screenwriter: mental space of film genre first exploration by Jule Selbo

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


The constructive use of film genre for the screenwriter: mental space of film genre first exploration by Jule Selbo

This article aims to examine components of film genre that may be of practical use to the screenwriter in the creative ideation process as well as in the construction of a screenplay. The varying uses of the term genre has led to a misunderstanding of its efficacious place in the screenwriter’s toolbox and it is my intent to forge beyond genre studies of historical, marketing, iconographic and thematic perspectives and focus on the implications of film genre in the development of a screenplay. To achieve this objective, film genre will be explored in relation to the philosophical constructs proposed by Gilles Fauconnier and George Lakoff, specifically the idea of mental space as it relates to the building of a film narrative into an idealized cognitive model that appeals to and attracts a specific audience.


The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

Get your copy and subscription to the Journal of Screenwriting Today!



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V1 Issue 2: Collaboration and control in the development of Janet Green’s screenplay Victim by Jill Nelmes

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


Collaboration and control in the development of Janet Green’s screenplay Victim by Jill Nelmes

This article discusses the draft screenplays and correspondence held in the Janet Green collection concerned with the writing of Victim (1961), one of three social issue films that Green wrote for producer Michael Relph and director Basil Dearden. Victim was the first film to openly depict homosexuality in Britain and went through a long and difficult development process. From the letters we find out about the complex relationship between those developing the film and the tensions during the writing of the different drafts. The collection is especially interesting because the correspondence not only allows a study of the writer and the producer/director/writer relationship but also, in the case of Victim, the role of the British Board of Film Censors as well as the participation of Green’s husband, John McCormick and lead actor Dirk Bogarde. The complex mix of argument, negotiation and collaboration suggests a struggle for control of ideas in the development process between the players involved. How decisions are made as to the content of each draft is recorded in the letters, allowing a fascinating picture to build up about the creation of the screenplay, which, as Janet Green explains, was written with the shadow of the censor’s axe (JG 10/6: 25/10/60).


The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

Get your copy and subscription to the Journal of Screenwriting Today!



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V1 Issue 2: The early screenwriting practice of Ernest Lehman by Ted Nannicelli

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


The early screenwriting practice of Ernest Lehman by Ted Nannicelli

This article analyses Ernest Lehman’s early screenwriting practice and argues that there are essential commonalities between it and his prose fiction writing practice. In the first section, I highlight the similarities between Lehman’s working notes for his abandoned novel, You Scratch My Back , and his unfinished screenplay for the MGM project, Labor Story. In the second section, I look at the ways in which Lehman’s prose fiction writing practice influences the composition of his first screenplay, for Executive Suite, as well as the composition of his screenplay for Sweet Smell of Success, and argue that in his prose fiction writing and screenwriting, Lehman uses language in the same aesthetically relevant ways.


The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

Get your copy and subscription to the Journal of Screenwriting Today!



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V1 Issue 2: Time, space and movement: screenplay as oral narrative by Adam Ganz

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


Time, space and movement: screenplay as oral narrative by Adam Ganz

Paul Schrader contends that the screenplay is an oral medium. This article explores the validity of this contention by analysing the ballad Janet or Lady Maisry (Child 65) and its use of what are generally thought of as screenwriting techniques to tell its story, in particular looking at the way it makes use of montage, multiple narratives and different timescales to create suspense and involve the audience. It looks at the role of visualization in oral narrative and suggests that screenwriters and analyses have much to gain by looking at films as oral narratives, which like ballads are told rhythmically in real time in front of an audience. It suggests that screenwriters and academics studying the screenplay could benefit from looking at song and music as a helpful paradigm for understanding screenplay techniques and developing screenplay notation.


The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

Get your copy and subscription to the Journal of Screenwriting Today!



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V1 Issue 1: No room for the fun stuff: the question of the screenplay in American indie cinema by J. J Murphy

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


No room for the fun stuff: the question of the screenplay in American indie cinema by J. J Murphy
 
One of the most interesting trends in recent independent cinema has been for film-makers to avoid using traditional screenplays in making their films. Not only have emerging film-makers associated with the so-called mumblecore movement, such as Joe Swanberg, Aaron Katz and Ronald Bronstein, veered away from depending on conventionally written screenplays, but other critically acclaimed films, including The Pool (Smith, 2008) and Ballast (Hammer, 2008), have as well. Indeed, some of the most notable American indie film-makers Gus Van Sant, David Lynch and Jim Jarmusch have employed alternative strategies to the screenplay in such recent films as Elephant (2003), Inland Empire (2006), and The Limits of Control (2009). What is behind these developments and why has the conventional screenplay been under attack? What are the aesthetic benefits of choosing not to rely on a traditional script? Is this a completely new phenomenon or has the industrial screenplay always been an obstacle? I explore these issues by looking at three major strategies that indie film-makers have used in place of the traditional screenplay: improvisation, psychodrama and visual storytelling. Finally, I argue that for current independent film-makers in the United States of America these methods provide an appropriate model for a practice that is attempting to create a truly viable alternative to Hollywood cinema.


The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

Get your copy and subscription to the Journal of Screenwriting Today!



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V1 Issue 1: Screenwriting strategies in Marguerite Duras’s script for Hiroshima, Mon Amour (1960) by Rosamund Davies

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


Screenwriting strategies in Marguerite Duras’s script for Hiroshima, Mon Amour (1960) by Rosamund Davies

The published scnario et dialogues (Duras 1960) (Figure 1) of the film Hiroshima, Mon Amour (1959) feature precise technical specifications of sound and image and more novelistic passages, all of which create an emotional resonance that has been left to the director to translate into images. This article explores Marguerite Duras’s text as a particular example of how the written component of the screen idea (Macdonald 2004a) might function on the page and as part of a dialogue with the director. It also examines the way that the script’s concern with problematizing and drawing attention to the process of representation makes it a palpable and controlling presence in the resulting film.


The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

Get your copy and subscription to the Journal of Screenwriting Today!



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!