The illusion of life (by cento lodigiani)

Photographs of a 90 year old’s larder clear out - I seem to remember very much enjoying cucumber spread

Las Vegas 1962 (by Jeff Altman)

The BBC series The Reel History of Britain explores life in 20th century Britain, using fascinating films preserved by the BFI National Archive and other public film archives around the UK.

And here’s more screenwriting voodoo - introducing your main character the Hollywood way

So I know I ought to steer clear of these things, but let’s think of it as my little weakness: an analysis of structural approaches to storytelling, from Aristotle onwards. Yikes.


"The Search for “Z”
Tenacious and eccentric, the British archaeologist and explorer Percy Fawcett devoted years of his life to mapping the hostile jungle territories of South America. He seemed impervious to the numerous perils of the region, which included rough terrain, malaria, dangerous animals, poisonous snakes, vampire bats and unfriendly native populations. After hearing oral legends and reading manuscripts during his early expeditions, Fawcett became convinced that a lost city built by Europeans and brimming with gold was awaiting discovery in western Brazil; he referred to the hypothetical metropolis, which he thought might hold clues about the origins of human civilization, as “Z.” In 1925, Fawcett traveled to Brazil with his oldest son Jack and Jack’s friend Raleigh Rimell. On May 29, he telegraphed his wife to report that the three men were leaving behind their Brazilian guides and forging ahead into uncharted territory to uncover the wonders of Z. They were never seen or heard from again. Although Fawcett had specifically asked that nobody be sent after him, various search parties attempted to rescue the missing explorers or at least glean information about their whereabouts. Their disappearance remains a mystery to this day, though it has been speculated that they were killed by indigenous tribes or perished in the treacherous jungle. Some theories about Fawcett’s fate seem less likely, such as the rumor that he lost his memory and became a cannibal chief."
"You - Who are we? A squir­rel? The sun? A red blood cell? Amer­ica? By the end of the first 37 sec­onds, we’d really like to know.
Need - some­thing is wrong, the world is out of bal­ance. This is the rea­son why a story is going to take place. The “you” from (1) is an alco­holic. There’s a dead body on the floor. A motor­cy­cle gang rolls into town. Camp­bell phrases: Call to Adven­ture, Refusal of the Call, Super­nat­ural Aid.
Go — For (1) and (2), the “you” was in a cer­tain sit­u­a­tion, and now that sit­u­a­tion changes. A hiker heads into the woods. Pearl Harbor’s been bombed. A mafia boss enters ther­apy. Camp­bell phrase: Cross­ing of the Thresh­old. Syd Field phrase: Plot Point 1.
Search - adapt­ing, exper­i­ment­ing, get­ting shit together, being bro­ken down. A detec­tive ques­tions sus­pects. A cow­boy gath­ers his posse. A cheer­leader takes a nerd shop­ping. Camp­bell phrases: Belly of the Whale, Road of Tri­als. Christo­pher Vogler phrase: Friends, Ene­mies and Allies.
Find — whether it was the direct, con­scious goal or not, the “need” from (2) is ful­filled. We found the princess. The sus­pect gives the loca­tion of the meth lab. A nerd achieves pop­u­lar­ity. Camp­bell phrase: Meet­ing with the God­dess. Syd Field phrase: mid-point. Vogler phrase: Approach to the Inner­most Cave.
Take - The hard­est part (both for the char­ac­ters and for any­one try­ing to describe it). On one hand, the price of the jour­ney. The shark eats the boat. Jesus is cru­ci­fied. The nice old man has a stroke. On the other hand, a goal achieved that we never even knew we had. The shark now has an oxy­gen tank in his mouth. Jesus is dead– oh, I get it, flesh doesn’t mat­ter. The nice old man had a stroke, but before he died, he wanted you to take this belt buckle. Now go win that rodeo. Camp­bell phrases: Atone­ment with the Father, Death and Res­ur­rec­tion, Apoth­e­o­sis. Syd Field phrase: plot point 2
Return - It’s not a jour­ney if you never come back. The car chase. The big res­cue. Com­ing home to your girl­friend with a rose. Leap­ing off the roof as the sky­scraper explodes. Camp­bell phrases: Magic Flight, Res­cue from With­out, Cross­ing of the Return Threshold.
Change - The “you” from (1) is in charge of their sit­u­a­tion again, but has now become a situation-changer. Life will never be the same. The Death Star is blown up. The cou­ple is in love. Dr. Bloom’s Time Belt is com­pleted. Lor­raine Bracco heads into the jun­gle with Sean Con­nery to “find some of those ants.” Camp­bell phrases: Mas­ter of Both Worlds, Free­dom to Live."