Thursday, October 13, 2005

No more pauses for Pinter

I am both deeply engaged in art and deeply engaged in politics and sometimes those two meet and sometimes they don't.
--playwright, screenwriter and poet Harold Pinter
I was psyched to see that one of my favorite playwrights, Harold Pinter, just won the Nobel Prize for Literature. My senior year at Villanova I took a course on Modern British Drama, and The Homecoming was one of the best things I'd ever read. Back then I hated reading novels (the kinds of novels English majors have to read, at least) and could take or leave poetry, but adored reading plays.

Which is odd, considering they're not written to be read. Perhaps my penchant for plays explains my knack for dialogue and frustration with inner monologues and long descriptive passages. I haaaaate having to explain how a character feels. It feels so artificial. I prefer to show it through action or dialogue. In all of Requiem I had only one paragraph where Lucifer stood still and ruminated on a problem. One paragraph, and I tried so hard to take it out.

That's one reason why I love screenwriting. What does the character feel? Let the actor decide! What does the setting look like? Let the production designer decide! And in a screenplay, I never ever have to describe what something smells like.

Where was I? Oh, Harold Pinter. He's cool.


That's one of the attractions comic scriptwring has for me. I do have to say how the characters feel, or what a room looks like, but I can say it plainly to the artist, rather than having to retain the tone of the scene for the reader. Scripts, to me, are a conversation between the person who has the idea and the people he needs to execute it. Well, a one-sided conversation, anyway.

Posted by: Blogger Rob S. at 10/20/2005 3:19 PM

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