I confess, I’m obsessed…
Strike that. Possessed. With the art of storytelling.
It’s why I’m about to spend four 10-hour days in a NYC workshop led by Robert McKee called simply Story next week. McKee’s taught many of the top screenwriters and novelists in the world how to craft stories that have defined the genres for decades.
Because, storytelling isn’t just entertainment, nor is it just about books and movies. Storytelling is about power. The power to transport, enrapture, uplift, inspire, devastate, surprise, enthrall, destroy, eviscerate, elevate, drive to tears, laughter, love, hysteria, awe and inspire action.
Powerful stories told beautifully wield immense potential.
So, when I was offered a sneak peak at a movie based on the first book in Swedish author Stieg Larsson’s Milennium series, I couldn’t say no.
Partly, because the novels have sold more than 25 million copies (I’m so easily swayed by social proof). Partly, because the trilogy, beginning with The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, has been heralded as a stunning example of dark, moving, deeply engaging storytelling. And, maybe I was even swayed by the mysterious “supposed” heart attack that killed Larsson, an oft-threatened anti-right wing activist, before the books were even published (conspiracy theorists, delight)!
When the dvd arrived, I unwrapped it and popped it.
First surprise…it was in Swedish! Ack! My friend never mentioned that to me.
I’m generally not a foreign film guy, but this became an interesting challenge for me. Could the power of the story, the acting, the cinematography overcome the challenge of having to follow along with subtitles? Two and a half hours later, the answer was…bigtime.
I hadn’t known the story before watching the movie. It was beautifully filmed in the cold Swedish countryside. But, it wasn’t the setting that drew you in, it was the characters, their quest and their struggles.
Raw, flawed, honest, conflicted, constantly bouncing between a sense of justice, service and revenge.
It felt unfiltered. Very un-PC. And, it immediately pulled you in and kept you immersed in the arc, sometimes cringing, other times pondering, still others exalting. It felt complete. Not that it left no questions unanswered. In fact, it set up the second book/movie the way a master copywriter sets up the sale. You’re left simultaneously satisfied and teased. Knowing there’s more to come.
I sometimes wonder if story has become increasingly relegated to the level of second class citizen.
Forced to stand in line behind special effects, glitz and A-list celebs with a proven draw. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is a stunning example of how to bring it back to the center. And, I’ve no doubt, that’s what’s driven the books to such an extraordinary level. I’ll be buying copies of all three.
Which brings us to why I was was given a preview copy of the movie and asked to write anything I wanted about it—The big, bad Dragon Tattoo Blog Hunt!
If you’re one of my regular readers, here’s what it’s all about…
As part of the movie launch, there is a worldwide blog hunt being conducted. You can join the Dragon Tattoo Blog HUNT – an internet wide scavenger hunt tied to the feature film launch of bestselling book The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Win great prizes – freemovie tickets, books, movie soundtrack, posters and more. To join the contest, start at the beginning of the HUNT by visiting www.dragontattoofilm.com/contest for full details and the first clue. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is in theaters near you starting March 19th.
If you’ve landed here by following a clue from another blog, this is what you’ve been searching for…
THE NEXT CLUE:
After fantasizing about her husband’s funeral, this blogger decided she was going to fix her marriage no matter what. Her ‘project’ is to find her fairy-tale ending with humor, raw honest, karma and a lot of rolling around in the hay. See for yourself if she’s living Happily Ever After.
Now, go forth, hunt, read, watch, and, above all craft a great story…
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