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Other People’s Genius: Rad Resources on Screenwriting, Storytelling, and Some Beautiful Tales to Inspire

+ I know my friend James from film school; he’s a lovely human and a great writer, and one of the most truly creative, original people I know! If you’re at all interested in storytelling, making films or just the creative process in general, you really NEED to check out their site on microbudget filmmaking. Sure, it will teach you to make a film for very little money, but it is so much deeper than that. Most film sites go on and on and on about cameras, lenses, etc. in such a bollocks-y way; James and Todd (also a very cool, creative dude!) engage much more deeply in the creative process, and if you’re at all interested in craft, stories and narrative as well as new forms of filmmaking, there is some deep, beautiful stuff for you to learn from. This is a great lesson on the “mirror moment” — sort of the fulcrum of a story where a character reaches a certain awareness and then chooses to act on it, and how it can shape the rest of your narrative. It is an excellent lesson, and super-applicable to stories beyond film.

Be sure to check out their whole website for more, and subscribe to get the rest of their lessons!

+ Francesca Lia Block! She wrote a story for Wildfox Couture, it is here and it is beautiful!

+ I have always loved, loved, loved Terry Gilliam’s films — Brazil, 12 Monkeys, Time Bandits, they’re all so imaginative and audacious in how far they go to detail their peculiar, even baroque vision. This is a great interview with the filmmaker on his process, his beliefs, his reflections on film and the vocation of the artist, and being in it for the long haul.

+ Keeping on the filmmaker tip, here is another interview at The 99 Percent by the Dardenne brothers, Belgian filmmakers known for their observant, nonsentimental naturalistic filmmaking. If you’ve ever see L’Enfant, you know how amazingly moving and devastating their films can be, and they’ve carved out a rich place for themselves in world filmmaking. I have been more and more interested in artists and how they cultivate tenacity, patience and the ability to do their work for work’s sake, for learning, for growth, outside of acclaim, achievement, honors, fame. They have earned some of the highest respect and integrity in the field, not just for their films but how they work, so I’m truly interested in what they have to say.

+ I have been reading more poems lately. Poetry and I go way back: my first creative writing forays were in poetry, starting from high school onward, and in college I even won some fancy awards for my poems. I love the compression and intuition that writing and reading poems demands, and the sheer pleasure of images, movement, and words you can indulge in. I like reading poems off the Poetry Foundation’s iPhone app: I love how you just “spin” it and lo and behold, poem! The app is free, and is a true literary pleasure.

+ Ok, this isn’t genius but I still like my “best of 2011″ mix on 8tracks.com! It has: Zoo Kid/King Krule, Azealia Banks, TV on the Radio, Class Actress, Lykke Li, PJ Harvey, Crystal Stilts, Iceage, Fever Ray, Charlotte Gainsbourg, The Konki Duet, and Nicki Minaj.

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All Things Glorious and True: Love Letters to Pop Culture, New York, Fashion and Other Objects of Affection is a collection of essays exploring how my crushes on music, dive bars, books, outfits and so much else gave me a braver soul, more open heart and even love. All Things is like a great, stylish mixtape: surprising, kind of punky, fun and often heartfelt.

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