Monday, September 1, 2014

TODAY'S NUGGET: The Last Picture Show (1971) - A Complex Female Character

[Quick Summary: A group of teens come of age in a dying Texas town.]

Once upon a time, I tried reading one of Bogdanovich's books.

I admired the extremely detailed, encyclopedic discussion of film...but the denseness exhausted me.  I never finished the book.
  
I did finish this script.  Fair warning: It is also very detailed and dense.

On the plus side, the script doesn't shy away from a complex female character.

Watch:

1) How others react to Jacy
2) How Jacy doesn't let their opinions deter her from what she wants

ex. "INT. POOLHALL - DAY

Billy brings Sonny a peanut pattie as Jacy comes in, looking sorrowful.

JACY: Sonny?

SONNY: Come on in.

She comes over, gives him a big kiss...she looks at Billy, who moves away warily; Jacy clearly doesn't like him.

JACY: Oh, I was so worried I just had to see you --

SONNY: I been missin' you -- I'm a lot better'n I was.

JACY: You can't believe how famous we are -- we're all anybody talks about in this town now --

SONNY (unhappily): I guess so.

JACY: I want us to get married.

SONNY: What?!"

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: This reminds me that I don't need to like a character. I only need to understand what she wants.

P.S.  Have you heard of Bogdanovich's Index Card File?

The Last Picture Show (1971)(10/2/70 final draft)
by Larry McMurtry & Peter Bogdanovich
Based on the novel by Larry McMurtry

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