Monday, 15 September 2008

Inspirations 2: Square-Eyed Boy

Today's Inspiration: The Ladykillers

Continuing my attempt to catalogue some of the key films or shows that have collided with me autobiographically, and inspired me to do such a crazy thing as write. Raymond Carver called these his 'Fires' although in the same essay he claimed that his only real 'fires' were his children - he had to keep writing to feed and clothe them. I sensed a hint of bitterness, reading between his lines, and anyone who's ever read his short story "Elephant" - and if not, why not? Go! Go read it now! - will know, he could certainly access that feeling in his subconscious and use it as a motivation for one of his protagonists.

I am lucky enough (in some ways) to only write for love (for the most part) and not to feed my son. There's always a silver lining, and the day job's is that I am freed from the curse of the freelancer; not, mind, that I wouldn't like the opportunity to give it a try sometime soon-ish. I wonder what my son, once he's old enough to appreciate it, will make of a Dad who has this burning desire to write.

My own Dad, rest his soul, did try to reach out to his square-eyed boy, but as Dad's main viewing habits involved football and athletics, there wasn't much common ground. One wonderful gift that he gave me, though, was The Ladykillers (the original, obviously). It was on BBC2 one Saturday, and he said 'Sit down and watch this, it's great' and he was right. It was. It is.

Should I do the same for my son when the time comes? Yeah. One day, I'll stick the DVD on (there's no chance, I guess, of BBC2 showing it any more) and see what he thinks. If he hates it, at least that will save him from the curse: my Dad was responsible for instilling the preconception in me that all British films I saw from that day on would be five-star works of fabtastic genius. Obviously, a lifetime of slight disappointment ensued.

Next: Doctor Who

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