The Sound of the Crowd

Hate And Inanimate People

So I saw this film called Love and Human Remains because someone who read my screenplay said it was “A little like that.” I probably shouldn’t have done that. First of all because I hated the movie and I hated the writing; dreary and dark and the people in it just aren’t funny. No, it’s not just that they’re not funny–they’re not witty. And one or two of them clearly are people who think they are, and worse–we’re meant to think so too.

It’s everything I don’t want my film, and Keitha and Annabel and Colley, to be. Even the editing pissed me off–it had so many characters that on the rare occasions when a scene did arouse my interest, they had to cut away before it could grow into anything. Maybe I’m still writing/thinking like a playwright, but I like completed scenes. I like completed sentences. I like completed thoughts.

And speaking of completed thoughts, these will continue below…

It’s the sort of movie where the characters are so annoying you want to yell at the screen (and if you’re me, you do): Joyless, bitter people living on irony and cigarettes who don’t do anything; they just don’t do anything.

I try to remember that this film came out in 1993, just past the peak of AIDS paranoia, that a lot of it was probably intended as metaphor, and that it has dated badly. But that doesn’t excuse most of the performances, which are only slightly better than the writing.

On the other hand, it was a good warning sign, or reminder, not to lumber my characters with unneccesary “plot points,” like this movie which tosses a serial killer into the mix because…I dunno, somebody must have thought it was a good idea.

Looking at the IMDB user comments for the film reminds me of what a litmus test our reactions to films are, there are people who saw things in it that I know aren’t there.

And yet, he said with venomous self-loathing, I could see why my would-be movie reminded her of it. In the end, it (Love & Human Remains) is trying to be about love existing outside boundaries, and that’s what I think mine’s about too.

So this has activated all my fears about being inadequate and haunting feelings of unoriginality. Because Brad Fraser, who wrote it, I assume and hope felt about his characters the way I do about mine, they’re people I wish I knew. In some cases, wish I were.

And what if, dear god, I put all my heart into them and the result…is Love and Human Remains?

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