The Movie Series

I’m a film enthusiast. Not a nerd – I can’t readily name the directors of my favourites or list all the Oscar-winners since WW2 – but I love the shared experience of cinema and the sensory comfort-food of a solitary viewing of a well-made movie. I’m discovering that the films I admire most offer a rich seam of inspiration for characters and plots. So much so that all my novels after No Mean Affair are linked under the heading The Movie Series.

The only other novel that I know of that was directly inspired by a film is Jonathan Coe’s second novel What a Carve Up!

Final_1407In my second novel Out of Such Darkness (published by Patrician Press in March 2015) the plot was inspired by and echoes themes in the film Cabaret, directed by Bob Fosse. This interplay between life and art gives my work a characteristic that in my marketing days I would have called its ‘brand’.

While this technique may be new to fiction, it was used with brilliant effect in a film that I remember fondly – Woody Allen’s Play It Again, Sam (1972).

Few who have seen it will forget the climactic scene in Allen’s movie where the plot has come to a point so that his character’s only possible action is to repeat verbatim the speech at the end of Casablanca when Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine tells Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa that despite their love for each other she should join her husband ‘on that plane’ and fly out of his life.

In a forty-five minute talk, I introduce the movie influences that led me to develop the plot and structure of Out of Such Darkness and how I’m continuing this with Once Upon a Time in Chinatown linked to the Hollywood classic Chinatown (Roman Polanski). I also give a mention to my WIP, provisionally titled I Got You, which was inspired by Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis 1993).

There are many more classic movies I admire. Others that have had a profound effect on me and could possibly feature in future novels are: Bonnie and Clyde (Arthur Penn 1967) and Body Heat (Lawrence Kasdan 1981).

If you would like to invite me to talk about The Movie Series please click on the ‘Contact me’ tab above and leave a message. The talk lasts for about forty-five minutes with a further ten minutes or so for questions.

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