Thursday, June 3, 2010

TODAY'S NUGGET: I Am Afraid of Virginia Woolf

Furious Love was just released yesterday.  It's a book of love letters between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, written with the cooperation of Miss White Diamonds herself.

Why do we still care about the Taylor-Burton relationship?

1) They lived on a really grand scale when stars were STARS;
2) They were two very talented people from very different backgrounds; and
3) The love-hate, can't-live-with-you-can't-live-without-you, let's-get-married-divorced-married-divorced dynamic.  In other words, conflict.

Conflict kept them together, but drove them apart.

And their movie roles were similarly at odds.

I confess I could barely stand watching Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? because the conflict made me sweat bullets.  But I couldn't but help watch Taylor go off the deep end.  I really wanted Burton's facade to crack and slap her. 

I realize that a lot of scripts don't keep up that level of conflict & driving need to win.  Smart writers know that even the lulls aren't really lulls.  Conflict must be there all the time. 

It's exhausting.  Which is why movies aren't exactly real life.

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: After the movie ended, I saw why this couple mesmerized the public both on screen and off.

CONFLICT.   (And that level of hostility is why Virginia Woolf was darn scary.)

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