Friday, July 14, 2006

Another Friend Has Hit The Road

It seems like one by one all my friends from my first years in Hollywood are packing it in and heading out of town. Though the story with this one is a little different in that he's kept a job here that he's going to try to wrangle long-distance, the song remains, essentially the same. Worked at it for years, struggling, trying, making an OK living and striving for something greater only to sit back and realize you're getting to that point where you start to worry that if you haven't made it yet, you're never going to make it.

I kind of reel like the old man in "Ran" watching his sons, get swept up in their own ambitions and leave him in that burning tower in the fortress. All right, fine, it's not a perfect parallel, in fact it's a pretty weak one at best, BUT it just shows where my mind is at. Here I am thinking about, pondering about the great beyond (so to speak) and I'm seeing Japanese Films in my head.

Speaking of what a film geek I am, I watched "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe" and could help feeling that it was a rip off of "Star Wars" (which of course got me thinking about "Hidden Fortress " which is the Akira Kurosawa (who also directed Ran, which is why I thought of this now) movie they say Lucas ripped off for Star Wars, though I've seen it and DON'T know what the fuck THEY are talking about) Harry Potter and the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy. The irony of course is that the Chronicles of Narnia predate all of those, except for Lord of the Rings which was actually contemporary (CS and JRR were amigos) to it. And really what that got me thinking about was Joseph Campbell (who I was introduced to by another friend who hit the road (and is doing rather well, actually)) and "The Hero With A Thousand Faces," (also another alleged inspiration for Star Wars, though I think this one actually makes a lot of sense.) Which I've decided, given my current script writing pains, I need to read again.

Also - I found out that the Maltese Falcon was a REMAKE. Apparently nothing was ever sacred.


Rick m said...

I've never heard of "Hero With A Thousand Faces," I can't even find it on imdb. More info, please?

I always thought that Star Wars owed a lot to Lord of the Rings. The innocent boy swept into Big Things (Frodo & Luke), the wise old codger looking over him (Gandalf & Obi Wan), the swashbuckler who leads the journey (Aragorn & Han Solo), the evil force (Sauron & the Emperor) and his handy hatchet man (Saruman and Darth Vader), the bumbling sidekicks (Merry and Pippin & R2D2 and C3PO), etc. I agree with you on Hidden Fortress, it's hard to see any parallels outside of telling the story from the minor character's perspective.

Sorry to hear that you're seeing so many contemporaries falling away, keep up the good fight!

RJ said...

Rick - "Hero" is a book about storytelling by Joseph Campbell. It lays out a basic structure of the hero's quest and how that structure reappears time and time again throughout human history. It's generally about mythology but really about storytelling. I think Lucas has said it was a big inspiration for him in writting Star Wars. Consequently it's listed quite frequently on a lot of screewriting sites. Read it - it's great!

RJ said...

Here's the book:

rick m said...

Thanks, now I know what you're talking about. In the Star Wars bonus material, Lucas talks about mythology & archetypes and how he tried to incorporate traditional themes into the story.