Photographs of a 90 year old’s larder clear out - I seem to remember very much enjoying cucumber spread
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."
A great little essay about the scientific fact behind Peter Carter’s experiences in AMOLAD