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22 January 2015
Like many, I'm spending some time trying to catch all the Oscar nominees for best picture.
Over many years, I've only been peripherally interested in the Oscars. But, in 2014 I found myself amazed at the quality of that year's nominees. Remembering Dallas Buyers Club, 12 Years a Slave, Philomena, Nebraska, Captain Phillips, The Wolf of Wall Street, and others, I found the quality of storytelling quite impressive.
A clarification. The rubric behind this blog post is intentionally focused upon the single criteria of "effective storytelling." In film as in print, I feel comfortable with screenwriters and authors who incorporate "poetic license" in their attempts to create a great storyline.
My point here being there's some pretty darned good storytelling going on in film these days.
However, unlike 2014, I've not had the opportunity to see most of this year's nominated films. Counting The Imitation Game which I saw yesterday, I've only seen two of the nominated films; the other being The Grand Budapest Hotel. I have several hours of catching up to do to see the rest before the Oscars.
And as an aside to this aside, the same is true in television. I've become quite the Binge Watcher for extremely well-written television series that are finding ways to reach the depths of great novels over the course of a single season.
SO WHAT'S MY POINT?
Whether you pride yourself upon the fact that you have seen them all and are ready for the big night and the current and subsequent conversations regarding those films, OR If you're like me and need to catch up on several hours of theatre time in the short time remaining before the big night, I want to suggest ten videos to add to your viewing experience.
Yes TEN more videos. But, before you even think (probably too late already) that I must be some sort of nut case, you might be encouraged to keep reading when I tell you that you can watch all ten videos in less time than it takes to watch two of the nominated films.
These TED talks by authors are as riveting as the nominated films, at least to those of us who adore "the word." There is only one over 20
Four are under 15 minutes.
Yes these are videos not text. But they are "original sources" as they come directly from the minds of authors. It's a college course in just a couple of hours.
There won't be a test, but my guess is that the first video by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a good place to start. Absolutely one of the best 19 minutes of my professional career.
Okay, I said that there would not be a test. But, I do have one question. If these ten talks were only available in text format, would you have bothered to read them all?
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