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OrganizedKhaos's picture

After watching this film Adaptation which starring Nicholas Cage and Meryl Streep, a certain line resonated with me and really helped me connect it to our class, along with the Darwin references and one liners about adaptation and evolution of course. Charlie explains writing in one scene of the film and I thought it made so much sense  in terms of what we have talked about in our own writing experiences as well as when talking about Power's Generosity. In this scene Charlie explains to his brother Donald, an aspiring screen writer who is taking a "how to" class, what it means to write. He says (not word for word), 

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"…those teachers are dangerous if your goal is to do something new. And a writer should always have that goal. Writing is a journey into the unknown, not building a model airplane."


To me, this suggests that there isn't an algorithmic process to writing a novel or screen play. That  all the books we read and films we watch are an attempt for a writer to create something new. This brings me back to our discussion on the library of Babel and whether what is produced is really new at all? Though they may search to create something new like Charlie Kaufman with this movie on flowers do we all just fall into the trap of pleasing the audience and replicating what already exists? I want to think differently because its sad to think that my original thoughts are nothing but a melange of affected, influenced and replicated thought processes.

Do the characters change or adapt?

I do believe that Susan Orleans character does change, matter of fact I think that the characters do adapt. Susan says in the film, "What I came to understand is that change is not a choice. Not for species of plant and not for me." After going meeting LaRouche and going to Miami, Orleans experienced something new. We cannot say for sure whether what occurred in the movie is what happened in actuality but we can assume that she left knowing something she didnt know before going. With every second that passes in our life we become a new person. The me writing this sentence now is a different me than when I started this post, thus I find it safe to assume that the characters in the film did in fact adapt and evolve. Whether it was learning how to write a new genre, seeing your novel made into a film and a different you represented they all learned some new point of information that will help them survive in the world. We all do everyday.

Are we saying that film only leaves room for one interpretation?

Today in class a few people talked about the freedom that is taken away form someone when watching a film. The inability to wander and create images in the mind, but does that extend to interpretations of the film or the "meaning" or "message" one chooses to leave a film with. I don't agree that film limits people's imagination. For me film extends beyond the screen and often times into the real world. I can understand how it may inhibits or reduce the amount the mind works to create its own world for some people but for me, I guess I don't get a sense of limitations but more of an expansion of is already real for me. Real people, real buildings, a familiar city... it can all happen to me.


elly's picture


See Page 20 I think, you can search within the script for certain words. That is if you're just curious to look back at the quote and the surrounding passages now.

OrganizedKhaos's picture

thanks, got it.

thanks, got it.

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