We’ve talked before about how books and music influence my writing, but inspired by today’s post over at Mythic Scribes, I thought I’d talk about what Antonio del Drago describes as “which fantasy movies have had the greatest impact on my writing, and why they are so meaningful.”
These aren’t in any particular order.
Labyrinth. The music, the book reflecting the real world, the music, Jim Henson’s puppets, the music, the story about being yourself, did I mention the music? Labyrinth probably helped define my love of the fantasy genre as both escapism and transformation. It is one of those movies where the heroine realizes it’s okay to grow up and okay to still want for “childish” things. Somewhere in my house I have a bumper sticker that reads…”I break for Unicorns.” I’ve had it for more years than I can count, but it, like Labyrinth for me, is symbolic of it being okay to dream/to believe in the impossible. And, yes, I had the biggest crush on David Bowie in that movie. And the music!!!
Star Wars. Now, obviously, Star Wars is a space opera, not a fantasy, but for the purposes of impact on writing…I have to keep it on the list. Star Wars is all about the Hero’s Journey. At the same time, it tells the story of someone accepting responsibility for “something greater than self.” I find that a lot of my short stories and novel work focus on transformation. I think a lot of that came out of Star Wars. I think it’s one reason Han is one of my favorite characters. He really moves from something of a mercenary pain in the @$$ to someone who believes in helping others and the cause, even if he is going to be grumpy about it.
The Princess Bride. This is another one where the book and movie intersect. For me, this is a love story. It has Kisses! It is about overcoming adversity to be with the one you love. I’ve read the novel and interestingly enough, I still find the movie to be more impactful. I don’t know if it’s the cast or what… but the movie is one of those that I can stop and watch any time it is on. It has a great ensemble cast. While most of my stories center around one or two people, the paranormal fantasy I’m writing is leaning more toward an ensemble cast and I want that sense of reality and connection to appear in the work. And lines… I want to write a book that when it’s made into a movie gets quoted everywhere… “Hello! My name is Inigo Montoyo,” “As you wish,” “I do not think it means what you think it means.” “Have fun stormin’ the castle!”
Sleeping Beauty/Beauty and the Beast: I put these together as the “Disney Films.” While they tell two different stories, what appeals to me in both movies is Disney’s ability to capture the essence of dreams. Sleeping Beauty is my favorite of the Disney Princess’s – a girl meets the love of her life only to be pulled away and sent into a magical sleep. The love of her life turns out to be a prince who defeats the dragon and rescues the girl. (Maleficent is the perfect Evil. I want my BBEG to be like her. No regrets just Evil.) Beauty and the Beast takes a “bookish” girl and an “ugly” boy and they fall in love, seeing the beauty beneath each other. I don’t know how many girls loved Beast more for his Library than himself… but I was one of them. Both are completely different stories written in different times. In reality, it is Belle who rescues the Beast unlike Prince Phillip who rescues Aurora. But something about both stories is incredibly enchanting to me.
Lord of the Rings/Harry Potter/PoTC: These are all epic stories told with Epic descriptions and amazing visuals. I want my stories to reflect that… but I have found it very challenging to write those kinds of descriptions.
Stardust/Enchanted: This is another set of Love Stories where what you expect to “love” isn’t really what you want/need/end up with. I like the twist.
While I am sure there are a ton of other great movies out there, these are the ones that I think have had the most influence on my writing style.
When I think about the connection between my favorite movies and my stories, it seems that I like to write stories about transformations. My heroes are people who either change through the course of their actions or as a result of the actions of others around them.
Clearly though…I need to write a love story. J
We don’t have to talk/We don’t even have to touch
I can feel your presence/ In the silence that we share
Got to keep moving/At the speed of love
Nothing changes faster/Than the speed of love
Got to keep on shining/at the speed of love
Nothing changes faster/than the speed of love
~Rush, Speed of Love