Monday Starters #15

A collection of links, fun and serious, on film and culture, to start the week, with a special focus on what writers are posting in the blogosphere.


Intensifying Affect, by Marco Abel

Marco Abel reads recent affect theory and suggests how literature can cultivate the reader’s receptivity to these pre-subjective bodily forces.

“…but affect is always there, even in the works of, say, Andy Warhol, Bret Easton Ellis, or A. M. Homes, to name but a few artists whose work is often characterized as affectless. Affect is not something that can be quantified, but it has, so I would suggest in contrast to Massumi, different qualities: it can be more or less flat, cold, hot, stimulating, paralyzing, sped up, slowed down, etc. In this sense, affect is indeed a matter of intensity, but what this means is that a flat, Warholian affect is as affective as a baroque Baconian one – just differently so.”


Blog link: No one will ever love your script (as much as you do), by Lee Jessup

“They liked the material, and wanted to see how they could get involved in trying to get the show on the air. The high could not have been higher. The writing team was just about ready to crack open the champaign. 

But as months went on, the show-runner’s interest seemed to dissipate…”


10 Most Infamous Banned Movies, by Toby Neilson (WhatCulture!)

“…the number of films that have been banned in the cinema’s history represent a fascinating barometer of history’s diverse cultural and ideological limits. Ranging from the hideously depraved, the politically subversive to the tragically misunderstood, cinema’s most infamous banned movies foreground a superb range of what the general public/”The Man” find – or indeed found – unacceptable.”



Driving Hope, via Indiegogo

A documentary about a group of at-risk high school students and mentors who built a fully electric Lotus Esprit and drove it across America in 2012.


Blog link: Jealousy redux, by Phill Barron

“Writers do tend to get inordinately jealous and dispirited by other writers’ success. This is silly.”


Henri Cartier-Bresson and the Decisive Moment, by Mike Springer (Open Culture)

“In photography,” wrote Cartier-Bresson, “there is a new kind of plasticity, the product of instantaneous lines made by movements of the subject. We work in unison with movement as though it were a presentiment of the way in which life itself unfolds. But inside movement there is one moment at which the elements in motion are in balance. Photography must seize upon this moment and hold immobile the equilibrium of it.”



University of Houston researcher and educator Brené Brown discusses shame and empathy.

If you think about connection – connection is our ability to form meaningful, authentic relationships with other people. I believe that connection is the essence of the human experience. /…/ If you think about connection on a continuum, what I have learned is that anchoring this end of the continuum is empathy – it is what moves us toward deep, meaningful relationships; on the other side of the continuum connection is shame – it absolutely unravels our relationships and our connections with other people.


Blog link: Stagnant Scenes, by Dominic Carver

“One of the biggest traps writers fall into, new writers especially, is writing scenes with just two people sitting, or standing, and talking their way through large chunks of exposition. In other words stagnant scenes. They are not visually appealing, slow and heavy to watch, and in most cases very boring. So how do you make scenes like these more visually interesting?…”

Selling out?

Blog link: Selling out, and writing for yourself, by James Moran

“Sometimes I have to take jobs for the money. I try to pick ones that will be creatively satisfying as well, and always do the best I can. Am I a sellout because of that?”

TV: writing for teens

Ask Lara – writing for tweens (from the Writers’ Guild)

Rachel Murrell on writing for an animated series about the everyday issues facing 9-to-14-year-olds


Blog link: The Waiting Game, by Claire Duffy

What do you do while waiting for a response or feedback from producers?


Film for Action

“Films For Action uses the power of film to raise awareness of important social, environmental, and media-related issues not covered by the mainstream news. Our goal is to provide citizens with the information and perspectives essential to creating a more just, sustainable, and democratic society.

Our website has cataloged over 900 of the best films and videos that can be watched free online.”


 What we learned from 5 million books

“Have you played with Google Labs’ Ngram Viewer? It’s an addicting tool that lets you search for words and ideas in a database of 5 million books from across centuries. Erez Lieberman Aiden and Jean-Baptiste Michel show us how it works, and a few of the surprising things we can learn from 500 billion words.”


Blog link: Applying Screenplay Logic to Writing Novels, by Brian M Logan

“Novels and screenplays differ from each other in many ways of course, but I suspect that 99% of all novels (especially genre novels) would be better if they just imagined their story ‘as a movie’, and edited accordingly.”


“We are the voices of the deeper, unspoken dramas in other people’s hearts”
– Dorothy Bryant

One comment

  1. Claire Duffy

    Thanks for the link!


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