Too Much Dialogue?
|lisa gornick new script|
And I'm distracted by a surprising amount of email feedback about the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) statistical update I did for WIFTNZ and also added to the Development Facebook notes, where some overseas correspondents picked it up. The feedback came from women who feel they’ve experienced a (negative) change in attitude towards women’s projects at the NZFC. From women concerned that their feedback from the NZFC (and elsewhere) names “too much dialogue” as a problem. From women all over, who decide to write screenplays about men, not because they feel they should be able to write about anything (of course) but because they’ve learned that those projects are more likely to move forward.
This week, I’m especially interested in “too much dialogue”, because I saw Social Network. And had a useful conversation with the Kid in the Front Row about our different perceptions of the film; always enjoy a chat with him because our responses to movies and other stuff are often very different.
I’d expected to be irritated by Social Network's portrayal of women, but wasn’t really, partly because so much else drew my attention. Including LOTS of dialogue. And I also thought it was more of a television drama, not because of all the dialogue (which might persuade others that it's more television than film) or because most of the (male) secondary characters were very strongly written (and I thought that even the characters played by Rooney Mara and Rashida Jones were very sharp), but because I found Social Network so dull visually, geared to a small screen but not to cinema for the small screen (unlike Sally Potter's RAGE, for example). The Kid doesn’t agree that Social Network is visually dull, and that made me think (again) about about what’s cinematic and what isn’t. But what really really got to me was how Social Network combined what I perceived as television characteristics with extraordinary brand exposure, for beer, for various computers and one notebook particularly, and for GAP. I wished I’d timed Mark Zuckerberg’s long GAP hoodie run and have asked on Twitter if anyone knows about GAP's relationship with the movie; no response. Interestingly, the Kid in the Front Row didn’t notice the brand exposure because he was so caught up in the story.
So I’m thinking today, as these emails come in about the stats, that Social Network is a fantastic example of media convergence: television, film, advertising (and because it’s about Facebook there’s that element, too). And reflecting on the relationships between media convergence and transmedia. And I’m hoping that people at the NZFC will think about Social Network and explore whether “too much” dialogue in a film is a real issue any more. I'd love to know what others think about all this.
Meanwhile, mother nature does her summer thing outside and I join in when I can. Baby basils growing fast. Beans and courgettes maturing for festive barbie. Roses, daisies, cornflowers, carnations & poppies going for it. When I saw Lisa Gornick's latest drawing, I wanted to gather everything beautiful into a large basket and deliver it to her, far far away. The drawing reminds me to ENJOY.
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