Man-Size (man_size) wrote,

Egg Shells

Recent email parlay with Chilean born artist, Marcela Trujillo (who I'm going to finally meet in person at Abel/Madden's house-warming party this coming Saturday), got us talking comix shoppe and the importance of narrative structure. She claims that her writing is weaker than her drawing skills and so the visual aspects of the form takes the front seat when she creates her comix. Marcela thinks her work is more experimental and avant garde, because of this. Made me think about what labels something an experiment rather than fiction or non-fiction [w/all it's sub-levels: Suspense vs. Thriller. Comedy vs. Drama. Horror vs. Musical. Etc.].

Experimental narratives often celebrate stream of consciousness and purport deliberate accidents rather than manifest and adhere to plot driven devices. The Avant Garde hopes to expose and reveal the failure of narrative structure but never seems to yield satisfying alternatives. I'm a cheap date for linear narrative structure, even when the experience flips the script and employs time shifts (i.e. PULP FICTION, MEMENTO, THE KILLING, etc.), so, for my buck-fifty, it's all about the clever plot twist/s. Set me up, make me love the protagonist/s, create compelling conflicts, and then knock me down in coolio fashion. Ultimately, it's how you reveal/deliver the key elements that makes an entertaining story. My favorite narrative trick is to witness the verisimilitude of a critical decision being made.

For example, that excruciating minute in BOOGIE NIGHTS, when Mark Wahlberg is sitting on the couch during the drug deal going bad, while the cocaine psycho prances in his robe to a Jefferson Airplane tune and his Asian waif sidekick randomly tosses lit fire crackers into the living room. The explosions add more tension while the big black gangster with the gun tests the product in the corner. The camera slowly dollies away from his two fuck-up wannabe drug dealer pals and into Wahlberg's face as we WATCH him make a grueling decision. It takes forever. All this havoc and mayhem shapes his frame as he decides - WHAT TO DO NEXT? The movie stops editing and puts us on a hyper-aware watch clock.

Tick, tick, tick...

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