The Five Obstructions / Det Perfekte Menneske

‘The Five Obstructions’ is one of those movies I go back to when I need a pick me up. I highly recommend it. Lars von Trier pushing Jørgen Leth out of his comfort zone? Priceless.

The Trailer:

The original:

Det Perfekte Menneske (Sadly, I can’t find one with the original audio)

Obstruction #1

Obstruction #2

Obstruction #4

Not all obstructions have been uploaded to YouTube, so there you have the ones that are there/are in the original language.

Random bits of inspiration for Book 2

I’ve said before that I take a lot of inspiration from movies. Then I read this post at the Park Theatre blog and thought ‘yes, exactly, we can get inspiration from odd places/things/people/whatever and it doesn’t mean we’re copying or using them as they came.’

In order to celebrate those random bits of inspiration, I’ve decided to share with you some of the many clips that have been in my mind while writing book 2 of The Caregiver.

All of these movies/series are awesome and you should watch them if you haven’t already.

From Wild Bill

From Love, Honour and Obey

From The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

From The Bourne Ultimatum

From The Night Porter

From Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead (the whole movie, but mostly Lucinda and Jimmy during the first 4 minutes of this clip)

From Alphas

From Layer Cake (no, I never get tired of this one!)

‘Ave Maria’ Montage (from Modigliani movie) and the Process of Writing

 “Do you know that moment when you paint a landscape as a child and, when you’re maybe under seven or something, the sky is just a blue stripe across the top of the paper? And then there’s that somewhat disappointing moment when the teacher tells you that the sky actually comes down in amongst all the branches. And it’s like life changes at that moment and becomes much more complicated and a little bit more boring, as it’s rather tedious to fill in the branches…” – Alan Rickman

There was a time in my life when I took painting lessons. I remember the first time I walked into the studio of a local painter, wanting to take classes. I can’t remember what age I was exactly (if you ask me how old I am right now you’ll see me doing the math in my head before answering, I think it’s a glitch in my brain), what I do recall is that he sat me at the corner of a long table –where all the other students were drawing–, gave me a piece of paper and a pencil and told me to draw whatever came to my mind.

So I did. I drew a horse, and a cat, and a dog, I think some birds, a mountain (come on, what is a picture without a background?), and I don’t know what else. Thing was, when he came back and looked at the picture, his eyes bulged. He turned to me, an expression of astonishment in his face, and asked me if I had really produced that from my head. I answered with a simple ‘yes’ and he gave me a contented smile. ‘That’s impressive,’ he said. I had no clue what he saw in what, for me, was another stupid drawing that would go into the rubbish bin. He was a great teacher. He loved my paintings, even framing them before my mother came to pick me up because he couldn’t contain himself.

Maybe that was what scared me away from it, and I quit the classes without any real explanation.

Painting has been something I’ve left in the back burner to focus on other things.

Things like writing.

I’m currently working on the second book of my series and, as always, I’m finding myself tangled in this alternate universe I’ve created. Writing a manuscript, to me, is feeling my chest tight all the time. Like living with a straightjacket on me 24/7. I can’t breathe, I can’t think. Everything revolves around this story I’m making up. Every character is so real I can sit down and talk to them, shout at them, fight with them.

Crazy, I know.

I also cry a lot while writing. It always happens. Sometimes I have to pull myself away from the computer screen and just let it flow. Open the shower and cry my eyes out because the weight of it all is pushing me down with incredible force.

What I’m writing may not be a masterpiece, but it takes every cell of my being to make it.

It was easier to write when I was a kid. I’d just do that: write. Now it has all become this humongous process. The sky isn’t just a blue stripe across the top of the paper anymore, it’s far more serious.

It’s cyan. Not blue. It has depth. It has shades. It has movement. It has a life of its own.

Today I watched the movie ‘Modigliani’ and loved it. It’s about the painter Amedeo Modigliani and his rivalry with Picasso. However, it was this scene that blew me away since it shows all the painters depicted in the movie making the one work that will be featured in a competition. It struck home with me and I know that any creative artist will see their own creation process in it.

I often wonder if all this will actually destroy me in the end. Make me fill my pockets with stones and walk into the ocean. What I do know is that it’s the air that I breathe. And even if it, one day, decides to kill me, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

On Inspiration… Books and Movies Edition

First, some words of wisdom from someone I admire and take inspiration from:

“I think anything involved in telling stories is not just worthy, it’s crucial. Otherwise, how the hell do we find out who we are unless we explain ourselves to each other via books, or cinema, or theatre, or journalism, or documentary, or whatever? If we’re just parading egos around, or acquiring stuff, and we measure ourselves by that, then we’re lost.”

– Alan Rickman in an anterview aired 1/21/12 on NY1 network

Ah, soak on that for a bit.

I’ve been writing all my life, blah blah yadda yadda, stories archived somewhere in my parents’ house, why the hell would you like the smell of gasoline?, papers with fragments of stories scattered all over my room, put the knife down, missy!, never enough notebooks and pens, more blah blah, fast forward to now.

I wrote a book about a young woman named Scarlett who is an Interpol agent and then she gets hired as a caregiver for London’s biggest drug lord and she’s like tough and handy with guns and knives and all that awesome stuff you don’t want to miss.

However, this post isn’t to talk about what goes on in the book, but about what inspired me to write it.

I use a lot of movies for inspiration (bad writer! I blame @mikecane for most of the recommendations) because I come from an audiovisual background and believe they help a lot with rhythm when it comes to action scenes. So, here’s a little list I made for y’all:

Layer Cake, book by J. J. Connolly:

(Click on the image to go to Amazon’s Kindle Store)

I must say I really liked this book even though it took me some time to read it. The cockney accents, the action, the twists. There wasn’t a moment I didn’t like.

How did I get my hands on the book? I saw the movie, got the book, read it, and I don’t regret doing it (they work well as standalones). I recommend them both, separately.

Layer Cake movie

The trailer:

It’s a great movie, and these scenes deserve a special mention:

The opening monologue (NSFW):

The audio isn’t very good, but it’s worth it if you haven’t seen it.

And the awesome song + action mashup scene:

London Boulevard, book by Ken Bruen

(Click on the image to go to Amazon’s Kindle Store)

Ah, this book. I also read it after watching the movie and was pleasantly surprised because it has almost nothing to do with the film. They have so little resemblance, but not in a bad way. They both have their merits.

I loved Ken Bruen’s style, got sucked into the story and came out another person. Yeah, I did. My head was so full of ideas I had to sit down and write or I’d die of an idea stroke.

Check out the movie trailer:

Gangster No. 1 movie

I have lost count of how many times I’ve seen this movie, it’s that good.

And, oh yes, the Mr. Nice movie

Goodness gracious that movie! I was loving every minute of it, then it got all dark and scary, then it went back to being likable. A must see.

I think the vids speak by themselves. They can also give you an idea on what to expect of Book 1 and what will come in Book 2. *wink wink*

Also, that’s a triple dose of David Thewlis for you right there!

A Girl Cut in Two movie

This is one of my favorite movies. It gets into the more psychological stuff. The theme of a May December romance takes a dark twist in it, which I like, even though I wouldn’t go there in my own stories (or would I?). If you’ve seen this movie and read my book, you’ll know where the reference is.

And last, but not least, a song that was on repeat all the effing time (with an excellent mash-up to Casino Royale’s opening credits). I’ll make a post about my playlist later on, but I’ll leave you with this one for now: