Friday, April 27, 2012

Some thoughts on the movie Megamind

Shanna Swendson wrote a wonderful article here about perception verses reality of characters.  What really struck me -well, I'll quote.  (I tried paraphrasing, and it didn't come out right, so here's how Ms. Swendson put it).

"Michael Hauge talks about in his screenwriting theory, where the "true love" character in a romantic plot is the one who recognizes the true essence of the person that's hiding behind the identity. They have conflict when the other person insists on relating to the essence while the character is still trying to be the identity, even as the character can't help but respond to someone dealing with them on that level of fundamental truth."

  I just saw the movie Megamind, and this quote is totally spot on for that movie.  (If you haven't seen it yet, you might want to stop reading now.)  

Megamind insists that he's evil incarnate but from the very start Roxanne refuses to relate to him that way.  She recognizes that he's not dangerous and just rolls her eyes at his death traps and posturing.  Later, when she gives her "are you happy" speech she's still relating to him as a person.  No one else calls him on killing Metro Man because a) they're too busy cowering in fear and b) they really do think he's evil incarnate.  

The big thing the Bernard disguise does is allow Megamind to drop his `I'm one bad dude' persona and relate to Roxanne as himself.  Two things I find really interesting: one is that Megamind thinks Roxanne is impressed with him because of Bernard's "battle" with Megamind, but Roxanne phoned `Bernard' before the raiding of the lair.  She was initially drawn by his shared grief for Metro Man, not a show of heroics.  The other really interesting thing is that Bernard claimed to have lost his fight.  He was still trying to impress Roxanne with his `evil' persona ("I tried, but he was just too fabulous.")  Roxanne treated Bernard as a hero because he was willing to take on a fight that was so far out of his liege.  Once again she reacted to the truth behind the mask; Megamind fights battles that are beyond him and that itself is a form of winning

Roxanne doesn't change Megamind.  He's still impulsive and doesn't think things through.  (Cleaning up the city with his dehydration gun then leaving the cubes lie around?  Yeah... didn't think it through.)  What R does is give him positive feedback.  Megamind isn't pretending that `Bernard' somehow wrestled the paintings back into the museum or single handed cleaned up the city, but seeing Roxanne's approval gives him incentive to act in a positive way.  Roxanne does not change Megamind -she just shows him what he was all along.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


The world here is filled with flowers.  Everywhere I drive I see dogwood flowers.  Blossoms cover the apple tree in our yard.  My columbine is starting to open, the bleeding-hearts are in full flower, and my lilly-of-the-valley actually survived another year.  (I'm in shock.  They've been doing their best to die off for several years now.)  It's beautiful and amazing, and it's driving everyone with allergies crazy.  

I told a friend recently that books have different seasons.  Tom Sawyer is a summer book.  I first read it in the summer, so reading it now makes me think of the smell of sun-warmed earth and dried out grass, the feel of dirt under my feet.  Mariel of Redwall is an Autumn book, filled with thunderstorms, the decay of fallen leaves, the fierce sunsets coming too soon as the days shorten.  

When I was about fourteen and first playing with the idea of writing stories, I was convinced a book could only be written during the season the story took place in -that a piece of that season would seep into what I wrote, just as it did when I read.  I had a winter book and a summer book, and I'd alternate, putting away the winter writing when spring came around, then dragging it back out in the Autumn.  

That's... not actually smart.  You don't get very far in a novel if you put it away every time the season changes.  I still think the changing season affect what I write, though, and I still hope bits season get caught in the pages.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter!

For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventuer for a good man some would even dare to die.  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Romans 5:7-10