Friday, December 11, 2009

On Writing and Korean Movies

I kind of figured that if nothing else, the title would catch Natalie's attention...

It's hard to believe that it's been almost a week since I last posted a blog. I guess that it's a combination of the push to stay on track with work and a certain amount of apathy towards writing since the NaNo ended 11 days ago. I have spent evenings either moving snow or watching episodes of Criminal Minds or CSI that were taped for me the past month.

I have also been reading Stephen King's 'On Writing' that was strongly recommended by some of you. I must say that I haven't been disappointed. He speaks with such honesty and candor that you can't help but think that it's directed right at you. His analogy of a writer honing their skills and keeping them handy as a carpenter keeps and maintains his toolbox in working order is bang on.

I really enjoy how he bluntly gets his point across with humour and a certain homey vulgarity. For example, this passage both made an important point and made me laugh...

Make yourself a solemn promise right now that you'll never use "emolument" when you mean "tip" and you'll never say John stopped long enough to perform an act of excretion when you mean John stopped long enough to take a shit.

I was flipping through the channels earlier this evening when I caught a bit of a couple of Canadian film reviewers talking about a movie that was released a couple of years ago. The movie is called 'The Host' (aka Gwoemul) and is a horror feature from South Korea. I looked it up at IMDB and at Rotten Tomatoes, where it had an impressive 92% approval rate. Sadly, it didn't get much play in North America and had only 2 million at the box office.
It's apparently a great mix of horror, drama and comedy and set records as South Korea's all-time box office leader. It is about a mutant creature living in the Han River that was apparently created by an intentional formaldehyde spill. The creature begins hunting humans along the banks of the river and abducts a young girl. The full plot can be found at the Wikipedia article here. I know that I'll be looking for this one at the video store soon.

12 comments:

abrokenlaptop said...

I ought to reread "On Writing". My favorite writing book ever is probably "Escaping into the Open". It's incredibly lovely.

-Mercedes

Natalie L. Sin said...

You know, I was too tired to read blogs until I saw that title. True story.
And "The Host" is one of my favorite movies EVER.

Jameson T. Caine said...

I own The Host and agree that it kicks ass. Lots of monster action as well as humor.

Anton Gully said...

Al, as you know, I love "On Writing". It's my bible.

I've seen the host (apparently, who hasn't?) and it's a good flick, the last third drags but the ending was a real face-slapper for me.

Cate Gardner said...

I want to reread On Writing now. I want to reread it this weekend.

Laurita said...

Great post today! I picked up my copy of "On Writing" last night to re-read so imagine my surprise when I saw it on your blog. In my opinion it is, hands down, the best book on writing.

I would also recommend The Host. Lots of monster type action without the Hollywoodization. Will you post a your opinion when you see it?

Alan W. Davidson said...

Mercedes- I hadn't heard of that one. Must look into it...

Nat- I try to draw in readers with savvy marketing ;)

I will be looking to rent it soon.

Jameson- I should have known that a foreign horror film would have gotten your attention. I like the mix of horror and comedy.

Anton- I think it, and the Elements of Style, will co-bible around here. I have apparently been living in a bubble as I seem to be the only person who hasn't heard of or seen the film.

Cate- You sound like a fast reader. It would take me two or three weekends to read it...

Laurita- Thanks! I ordered 'On Writing' from Amazon 3 weeks ago along with the first volume of 52 Stitches (shameless plug for Aaron Polson).

Sure, I'll post my opinion about it after I watch the movie.

Laura Eno said...

*raises hand timidly when asked who hasn't heard of The Host*
Thanks for the remedial education on movies I should watch. :)

Debbie said...

I love 'on writing' and in fact have had a copy long enough that the pages have begun to yellow. I have read it a few times, but now, thankyou very much, have to read it again!

Danielle Ferries said...

On Writing is one of the few How To books that I've read.

Alan W. Davidson said...

Laura, Glad to see that I'm not alone in this bubble!

Debbie, I wish that I had heard about it sooner.
(Hey, Ed didn't mention it in his classes...)

Danielle, There's lots of good stuff to be had within its pages.

katey said...

Mmm that does sound like a good movie-- thanks for the rec, I'll put it in the queue. (Please have it, Netflix, please!!)

Like Danielle, "On Writing" is one of like three "write like this" books I've managed to read cover to cover. Most books I kind of flip through and look for the bits I want, but that one is just stellar. Glad it's working for you, too!