Thursday, April 07, 2011

Steeping, Composting, What-Have-You

I've been scrambling after loose threads lately, hoping to pull them together for one of my rare Unified Field Theory posts. One thread that keeps showing up is movie-biz guru Robert McKee, whose reiterations of Aristotle's Poetics continue to surface in some of the most unexpected venues. This surprises me, because I wondered if Charlie Kaufman hadn't pulled a George Lucas with the popular lecture-man. When someone takes hold of a teacher so boldly (and, one could argue in both cases, so badly) as Lucas did with Joseph Campbell and Kaufman did with McKee, other disciples of the ubiquitous lecture-man suddenly go into hiding, and claim other influences. At the moment, however, McKee remains very much in the various iterations of the written word.

Here's a link to an interesting mull-over the art and business of story telling, which touches on McKee, by the once-prolific Michael Blowhard. Philip Lopate eruditely tackles the thorny issue of adaptation here. Reading Lopate's thoughts, it struck me that such a subtle cross-pollination has been occurring, not just between the genres of novels and movies, but between many other platforms as well, including . . . video games. Here is some excellent pondering by Michael Mirasol (one of Ebert's "far-flung correspondents") on the worthy influence of video game artistry.

And, finally, author Steven Pressfield is an outspoken fan of McKee. The two have reciprocated blurbage -- McKee wrote the forward for Pressfield's War Of Art, a book which underwhelmed me five years ago, but has stuck in my craw discomfitingly enough to force me to rethink my original opinion. I still have difficulties with reading it, but Sunni Brown's visual summaries of the book cut through a heap of that. They're well worth a closer look -- go here, and give it some thought of your own. If you feel like posting your reactions, hit the "comments" below.

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