Wednesday, September 1, 2010

"The Movie Lover"...An Idea for a Work of Fiction

It is early, early morning on September 1, and I have to be up and out of the house in a few hours.  I'm meditating, in a creative zone, about a work of fiction I have begun.

An extended monologue, it is a first-person narrative told by an adolescent who is alone in the madhouse of his suburban schools.  He's too smart for his own safety, obsessed with creating his own little super-8 epics, and always anxious.

He lives in a small and over-protected household with tightly-wound parents and a series of dogs who are adopted and then casually given away.

In his energetic stream-of-consciousness narrative, he frames the world in terms of his favorite movies, or those he longs to see if he were old enough.  The story moves him through the terrifying years of his youth, in which he retreats into (and finds strength from) a mosaic of images, daydreams, original stories, fantasies about the boys he admires, his hilariously feverish sexual awakening (alone), and his fear of never being "normal". He memorizes the nuances of Beethoven in the music from "A Clockwork Orange", dreams he can fall in love with a girl like Sally Bowles, and gets a heated aesthetic thrill from watching the coming attractions for "Easy Rider" and "The Wild Bunch".

In college he continues his monologues which are peppered with references to hundreds of the back of the book, each film mentioned gets a capsule review AS WRITTEN BY THE NARRATOR. 

It is at this point in the story that he "falls in love" with a lesbian who breaks his heart, forms a lifelong bond with a kind and athletic dorm-mate, and finds recognition through his own filmmaking, inspired by heroes named Fosse and Bergman and Kubrick.

It's all about education in America, finding life's meaning in the movies of the '60's and '70's, the fascination and ultimate disillusion with pop culture, curing depression by keeping a dog illegally in your dorm room,  the outlandish ways a closeted gay boy navigated the demands of his body, heart and mind in the disco-drenched sex-soaked culture of "Goodbar" and "Cruising",   and how an eccentric like Annie Hall can mend a broken heart.

He will thrill to how all is connected in life, if he can just observe it as carefully as Altman observed Nashville.

And it will be funny.  And romantic.  And it will be a revel for lovers of movies.

So I must sleep work is laid out for me.


  1. My interest is piqued. Get to work! I eagerly await this!

  2. This sounds like a very nice premise. Good luck.

  3. Great idea, Tom! As Twain said, "Write what you know." How can you lose? Is it too early to consider who will be portraying your part in the movie? Carpe Diem, buddy!