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Mini-Lesson #3: Reversed Expectations and Cliches - Lesson Now Playing


Mini-Lesson #3: Reversed Expectations and Cliches

May 07, 2011

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Mini-Lesson #3: Reversed Expectations and Cliches - Lesson Lesson Discussion


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robertofrancacine: Avoid cliche in every beat and in every image
at Apr 04, 2014 - 4:42 PM
I think the writer need to ALLWAYS, EVERY SECOND, avoid cliché. Avoid the expected. I think alot of movies do this well. The good movies doo. Examples: American Beauty and Amour.

Amour: the first scene has a door breaking in. Police guys enter. They smell something. They enter in a room. A women is death.

Every beat of this scene have something unusual. A door breaking by a allmost swatt team. VIOLENT aprroach. Then, the smelling. After that a body well placed.

After that scene we have teather. But we can't see the play. Only the AUDIENCE. wow.

Beat after beat, scene after scene, image after image we are surprised.
Bass wrote
at May 31, 2011 - 10:15 AM
This is a big can of worms!

The context for some who may be confused is a question I asked where I pointed out that until THE STING, heist movies ended down, with the criminals being punished. THE STING used the double-bluff twist to get an up-ending and it has since become a big cliche. In OCEAN'S ELEVEN, it feels fresh, however, while in the other two Ocean's movies, it feels stale.
A. B. Curtiss: Maybe we're also losing cliches as the culture changes and interests change
at May 29, 2011 - 2:41 PM
I thought "murder cannot be hid long" was a cliche (Shakespeare) but then an editor (who professed a dislike for the Bard) "corrected it" to "murder cannot be hidden long."
StevenG: Cliche
at May 28, 2011 - 8:37 PM
"Everything was a cliche" I was waiting for him to say that.
at May 24, 2011 - 8:07 PM
Well, when I say cliche, I mean either a phrase that is overused, like "peaches and cream complexion," or a story line that is also overused, such as "idealistic young teacher takes on ghetto class and, after many setbacks, leads them to academic excellence." It's versions of this basic plot (overcoming some kind of adversity, like Tourette's Syndrome or not  having the money to go to Julliard) that I've been seeing in many of the films I've watched lately. But these films aren't necessarily bad; what saves the good ones is great acting and superb scriptwriting. I don't so much mind knowing the outcome (triumph in the last act) if I'm watching original relationships and situations.
at May 24, 2011 - 7:45 PM
I wish Mckee would talk more about this issue. It's definately a tense one. Notice he twists the wedding ring when he says "the world is more story saturated than ever." It really is an anxiety filled issue.

Cliches drive me nuts- but truth be told, I've never really even understood what they are nor could I go through and say "ahhh that's a cliche."
henrymann: American Cliche
at May 24, 2011 - 3:41 PM
sometimes cliche works, e.g. American Beauty was a boxfull of cliches but that box won an Academy Award for best original screenplay
at May 21, 2011 - 2:46 PM
This lesson was especially helpful to me, as I have been seeing cliches of plot everywhere lately. I had worked my way up to where I got that only original characters would save a movie from cliche...and I think that is essentially what Bob is saying here. Thanks for another very helpful validation.
sunbird1942: Sorry Bob...
at May 07, 2011 - 12:43 PM
I own that bridge and its not yours to sell. However, I do have a tunnel from Brooklyn to Manhattan for sale. ;-)

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