Advice

Focusing on the Use of Symbols in Film: Why 'American Beauty' Works

Posted by David Freeman on

There are many ways symbols that can be used in a movie. Today I will examine one of them.Alan Ball, the screenwriter of 'American Beauty,' makes riveting use of the color red throughout the film. The first time we see Annette Bening, she's cutting bright red roses.What does the color red mean in this movie?The way Ball uses it, it refers to a concept: the life force, which, by nature, tries to defy the suppressiveness of suburban life. That's why, the first time we meet Annette Bening, she's cutting red roses. She's cutting the life force. Shortly thereafter, we see...

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Writing Blockbuster Love Story Movies

Posted by John Truby on

Everyone loves a love story. But this apparently simple tale may be the most difficult form to write well, for a number of reasons. First, love is the only genre where you need not one, but two equally well-defined main characters. You know how hard it is to give depth to one character.With two, you not only have to detail their weaknesses and needs, you have to track a goal for each character that won't kill the story drive.Second, the love story has a plot where surprise must come out of intimacy. This is different from almost every other major...

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