Monday, August 31, 2015

TODAY'S NUGGET: Barton Fink (1991) - Transitions = A Gradual Awareness

[Quick Summary: A budding NY playwright goes to Hollywood in the 1930s, and descends into a hellish nightmare.]

I understood this script, but I just didn't get it what it means. *

Is this story a dark comedy? Or horror? A dream? All? None?

I have no idea.

However, I did think there was an accurate portrayal of writer's block.

I particularly liked the segue from block to interaction with another person.

It's not a sudden transition, but a gradual awareness for Barton.

ex. "BACK TO BARTON

Looking down at the page.

CLOSE ON BARTON'S FEET

Swinging in the legwell.

One foot idly swings over to nudge a pair of nicely shined shoes from where they rest, under the secretary, into the legwell. [Transition starting here.]

We hear typing start.

THE PAGE

A new paragraph being started: "A large man..."

BARTON'S FEET

As he slides them into the shoes. [Second hint.]

THE PAGE

"A large man in tights..."

The typing stops.

BARTON

Looking quizzically at the page. What's wrong?

HIS FEET

Sliding back and forth - swimming - in his shoes, which are several sizes too large. [Third hint.]

We hear a knock at the door.

BARTON

He rises and answers the door.

Charlie stands smiling in the doorway, holding a pair of nicely shined shoes.

CHARLIE: I hope these are your shoes." [Full transition to next beat.]

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: Transitioning the reader from one beat to the next starts much further back than you might realize.

Barton Fink (1991)
by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

* Some people hate the ambiguity; others like it.

No comments: