All entries for Tuesday 01 November 2005

November 01, 2005

Gout Regout

Gout returns.

That's a sentence structure that's usually reserved for super-hero types. Well, gout isn't. It's a pain in the arse. No, a pain in the joints – the heels. I can't walk – completely incapacitated. This after a few days of trying to suppress a chesty cough and on the verge of falling into flu (which I managed to avoid, yay! … oh …).

I must be the only person in Warwick who has gout. Okay, leave out people above 25 … i.e. the lecturers, staff and so on … yeah, okay, there might be students above 25 …

Point is, gout usually affects older people. And as much as I used to take pride at being perceived as older (in Malaysia that's how we say more matured … like, you guys say bowler hats, cap, and so on, we just say hat for all of those), gout almost NEVER happens to people below 30. I'm the freaking outlier.

So anyway, when I tell people who are familiar with gout – mostly my medic friends – that I'm having to deal with it, they always seem to come up with a sentence that includes these five words, "... so young already got gout ah …" (that last one doesn't count, it's a phatic utterance in Malaysian English). For my medic friends, the next thing they say is exactly the same as well, except I can't reproduce it … they give me a list of symptoms, treatment, prevention, diet information about it, and it's all the same information. I'm always surprised by that, because they all give the information in the same order. But on the other hand, I guess it's comforting that the doctors of the future are all agreeing with each other. (Except when they happen to be wrong.)

As for the script, yet another idea.

Make it like A Beautiful Mind. In that film, the audience is led to believe one thing, then the story twists inside out. That is not done because Ron Howard and co. are being coy. It's done because it's the best way to represent the disease of schizophrenia to the audience – we are being led to experience exactly what it is like to be told that your best friend, career, etc doesn't actually exist.

So, what I think would be interesting, is to present the story first not through Jeremy's POV. We present it through the eyes and thoughts of those he meets when his lives start changing. So yeah, the audience wouldn't know what is going on at first. Maybe we play out three different days – some will have gotten the hint by then. Then, halfway through the film, we switch to Jeremy's POV - and he begins telling the story from before everything happened.

This is a radical departure from the story I first had in my head, and also quite a radical departure from my storytelling principles. You see, making the story like that, I'll have to utilise techniques that give the film a Chris Nolan feel. Nolan's latest film is Batman Begins (lucky bastard) … but that's not the point. In his first movie, Following, he jumps the story back and forth seemingly without any reason. Basically it makes the audience think harder, because they have to spend some minutes figuring out where the scene lies chronologically. And I guess that works because if he hadn't done that, the story would have been real boring. (It already is, even at 70 mins.) Then he does Memento, the much-loved Memento (freaking no. 22 at IMDb.com), which you probably know, goes backwards. And how does he do transitions for such chronologically screwed up movies?

He straight cuts to black for a few seconds, then straight cuts to the next scene. I didn't exactly like that. I mean, it works, but it rings pretentious to me.

But then, the guy got to direct a multi-millon dollar film in Hollywood. For his fourth film. Maybe I should take the hint.

So yeah, I would have to mess up the storyline a little. Just to make it more interesting. And after all I said about Nolan, no it isn't exactly like what Nolan was doing.

But then, maybe after I've made it, I won't be loved. Critics will call me a hack – that technique's overdone, they say.

You can't please everyone.


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