AK and I finally rented Easte
I went back and watched the middle last night, thinking the super fascinating stuff about tattoos and human trafficking would be in there, but it wasn’t. The movie was well written and acted—it just always seemed on the verge of becoming more interesting but never did.
I had a similar experience with
I know it sounds like I’m wishing for more plot—which my former writing group would no doubt find refreshing—but I’m actually wishing for more tone. It’s an intangible trait that transcends genre, medium and even quality. It’s a brush with the sublime—the sense that you’re peeking into another world that’s full of light and shadow and history.
Song of Solomon has it, as do John Henry Days by Colson Whitehead; the photographs of Graciela Iturbide and Jacob Riis; a book I read as a kid about a family that lives in a house built beneath a waterfall; and most ghost towns. So do Pirates of the Caribbean (the movie and the ride) and the first National Treasure.
It’s the thing that I would love, more than almost anything, to achieve with my own writing: I would like this Itchy Mystery Tone to be contagious to readers. But it’s so easy to get bogged down with things like character and plot. If David Cronenberg can’t pull it off, what makes me think I can? Then again, writing itself is an act of brushing against the sublime—of trying to translate the fire in your imagination into mundane and earthly words, as Michael Cunningham has put it—which is probably why I enjoy it so much.