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Entering & Exiting the Story Pt. 9: Cheap Trick Endings - Part 1 - Lesson Now Playing


Entering & Exiting the Story Pt. 9: Cheap Trick Endings - Part 1

May 22, 2010

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Entering & Exiting the Story Pt. 9: Cheap Trick Endings - Part 1 - Lesson Lesson Discussion


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librich: yes, but
at Dec 26, 2013 - 9:39 PM
While there may be plenty of examples of a dream or death dream being used as a cheap trick to close a poorly told story, it is too sweeping a generalization to cast aside a work like Pincher Martin because it employs a death dream. I would give that novel the same compliments McKee gives Bierce's short story. It's the kind of powerful self-analysis that might only occur at the end of life, especially for someone like Martin. And there's a reasonable rationale for Martin's delirium, because he dies slowly, floating around in the sea. I accept the potential pitfalls of this kind of ending, but I can imagine interesting and valuable perspectives emerging from additional employments of the convention. The power of the idea didn't begin and end with Bierce.
SCSaunders: Hilarious!
at Jul 18, 2010 - 9:29 AM
"Bald toothless rabbit out of a hat."  The "Common man!" one-liners to A.I.'s ending. 

I've heard that occasionally the "machina" gears got stuck.  It then became open tomato season for the peanut gallery on whichever "Deus" was locked in suspension between heaven and earth.   
PennyJM: A I
at May 27, 2010 - 5:29 PM
I remember the film in a different way. This artificial boy who could see the difference in how he was treated from their real child went to the inth degree for love. Yes, he pulled at my heart strings. And as for having his mother for only a day, well, that was frosting on the cake. Cram in all that love so briefly. I don't even remember how it ended! I just remember love.
paolomonico: We, Don Quixotes of scriptwriting...
at May 24, 2010 - 11:43 AM
He did it again... Yesterday night, in Lost Season Finale, another fine example of cheap trick ending from our contemporary deus-ex-machina screenwriting "master", Mr. J.J.
Now I know: he can't help it... It's in his nature, in his DNA (he does it every week in "Fringe" with his fellow deus-ex-machina writers Orci & Kurtzman. And every week, guess what?, it hardly makes sense!). That's probably why JJ gets along pretty well with Spielberg, mentor of all deus-ex-machina creators...
I don't grudge them their moment of triumph. I just can't understand why these guys are so successful... They always end up writing stories with great premises and cheap endings and people seem to be pretty fine with that! (at least, judging from box office results and users ratings on imdb). Why? I don't know the answer. I might post it to Bob for a DAILY Q&A later on.
What I know is that I might be the last dinosaur (I'm still using a cork-board, can you believe that?!), but I'll keep on following the principles I learned in Bob's classes. I'll do it because I deeply believe that the world is starving for "good stories well told". It's extremely hard and it could take years from now, but at least I'm sure I'll end up with something that "makes sense".
Nonetheless, I can't help but thinking how fortunate the world would have been if Spielberg would have taken Bob's class. At least once!
(btw: did J.J. ever take it?)
Mackbel Films: Choice! =)
at May 22, 2010 - 9:52 PM
That's Great Bob.
I remember I couldn't watch A.I. all the way through because it was such a turn off. I could never understand why I couldn't sit through it, and put it down to just being a false and labelled it as a crummy premise for a story. Now I understand that the character didn't have any choices, which makes a mountain of sense for my inability to put up with the film.  Great insight!

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