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Mark McIlrath's Blog (129)

Hirst in Venice

Hirst has gone. The mega-exhibition. The greatest hits of the Ancient and the pre-modern worlds. Almost like he'd got a researcher to buy the book and decided to copy them. In Venice, sponsored by billionaire kitsch-addict Francois Pinault.

Venice. Culture deracinated from the power + fear of its roots, its rituals, its crimes + punishments. Disneyfied. Emptied of its original meaning - of all meaning, save that of a selling the the corpse as a commodity.

Mayan. Greek. Roman.…


Added by Mark McIlrath on December 19, 2017 at 16:08 — No Comments

Decisions Decisions.

Added by Mark McIlrath on June 17, 2017 at 17:29 — No Comments

Beau Laid


If drama is no more than character revelation through the force of a pressing/ unavoidable plot - then sequencing (SQ) must surely be focused on the conflicts, contradictions and consequences of the character, each SQ revealing his/ her changing view of herself?  The self-revelation, often painful, that she is - or is…


Added by Mark McIlrath on February 11, 2017 at 17:17 — No Comments

The Sincerity of Fools

Careers' Advice for Screenwriters:

The only way you'll find yourself working in a bank will be with a balaclava on.  The only way you'll make money writing is with ransom notes.

The Optimist's Guide to Screenplay…


Added by Mark McIlrath on January 22, 2017 at 17:30 — No Comments

Une oasis d'horreur dans un désert d'ennui

Give a Fool a Cross + he'll Mistake Himself for a Messiah.

Script Editor/ Screenwriter seeking salvation.

So you've read Vogler.  Then Campbell.  Then Fuch's The Death of…


Added by Mark McIlrath on January 11, 2017 at 15:30 — No Comments

All Roads Lead to Hell

'Nichts gibt so sehr das Gefulh der Unendlichkeit als wie die Dummheit'

Ex 1.  Day 1.


Get the group to form a circle -…


Added by Mark McIlrath on September 27, 2016 at 19:00 — No Comments

The Dialectics of Failure


Why are screenwriters so precious about defining what their work means? We avoid talk of meaning with an almost superstitious reverence - that by exposing it it will destroy the writer's muse.  Is this not ridiculous?

Let's put 1…


Added by Mark McIlrath on June 27, 2016 at 16:00 — No Comments

Friends of Script Editors.

Yes - the film script editor has many friends - particularly those you hardly know.

People you met - briefly - at film festivals, at scriptwriting conferences, at film workshops - in those days when you were so avid to network, so impressed by the American tutors and their proselytising of the sub-80 IQ 'Frank Daniel' method of Want…


Added by Mark McIlrath on May 26, 2016 at 15:30 — No Comments

Towards a Dramaturgy of Solipsism

Is there any other?

What would you rather watch - an action-heavy genre piece with paper-thin stereotypes or Fellini's 8½, Antonioni's Red Desert, and Has' Hourglass Sanitorium?  Not that I'm loading the dice.…


Added by Mark McIlrath on May 19, 2016 at 15:00 — No Comments

Buddha With Psychosis

Mystery Play.

If you want to write a screenplay - if you have a story - then structuring it like a Mystery Play - but doing so without drawing any overt attention to that fact - is a more interesting way of shaping both it and the audience's experience, drawing on more than 1 level of the conscious/ unconscious narrative story trove…


Added by Mark McIlrath on March 20, 2016 at 15:30 — No Comments

Serial Killer in Arcadia


High Art.…


Added by Mark McIlrath on February 22, 2016 at 16:00 — No Comments

Hochschule für Ketzer

                                               'All great Truths begin as blasphemies'.


Copyists - plagiarists - mannerists of…


Added by Mark McIlrath on February 14, 2016 at 18:00 — No Comments

Hitchhiking In Hell

'Artistic discipline is a way of refusal.  Technique in theatre and the attitude that it presupposes is a continual exercise in revolt, above all against oneself, against one's own ideas, one's own resolutions and plans, against the comforting assurance of one's own intelligence, knowledge, and sensibility.  It is the practice of a voluntary and lucid disorientation in the search for new points of orientation...To…


Added by Mark McIlrath on December 31, 2015 at 19:30 — No Comments

Theatre of Hatred

Love theatre.  Hate theatres.

Is there anything which is not theatre - which is not the manipulation of narratives?  Was the News ever not a way to turn tragedy into entertainment, information into propaganda?  Are ISIS or ISIL or IS more than delinquents on a personal fantasy where murder confers status and…


Added by Mark McIlrath on December 9, 2015 at 18:30 — No Comments

10,000 Cul de Sacs

- A Solipsist's Guide to Empathy, Intimacy + the Madness of Others.

Tropes & Anti-Tropes.

Is recognising the cliches in your writing/ art - and simply thinking of the opposite - in any way adequate?  Is your solution any less of a trope…


Added by Mark McIlrath on October 11, 2015 at 16:30 — No Comments

Уголовное как герой

- oder: Der Mörder als Helden ?

Who is the hero of Lang's M?

Of Murnau's Nosferatu?  Of Coppola's Dracula? …


Added by Mark McIlrath on September 23, 2015 at 15:30 — No Comments

Hoorah for Hollywood

'We have commercialised art, which is simply affective massage...Hence wish-fulfillment novels and films, even jazz.  The bourgeois floods the world with art products of a baseness hitherto unimaginable.  Then, reacting against such an evident degradation of the artist's task, art withdraws from the market and becomes non-social, that is personal.  It becomes 'highbrow' art, culminating in personal fantasy.  The…


Added by Mark McIlrath on August 19, 2015 at 16:00 — No Comments

Bach, Xanax, & Caffeine...

...the survivor's guide to a life in art.

Added by Mark McIlrath on July 29, 2015 at 14:43 — No Comments

Ecole des Bouffons - 6

Ex 1.  Road Movie.

Write a 2 page Treatment - the story of a child (8) who goes in search of his dead mother - thinking that s/he will be able to find her.

   - must the Climax be the Child's finally recognition/…


Added by Mark McIlrath on July 29, 2015 at 14:30 — No Comments

Selbstmord, Hoffnung des Menschen

The best work you produce will probably fail.

Don't bother trying to explain.  Why would you?  Look at the spectator reactions - is there a way to invite them in?  Should we forget about script development - and concentrate on audience development? …


Added by Mark McIlrath on July 17, 2015 at 14:00 — No Comments


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