"The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible." -Vladimir Nobokov

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Inspiration: Jane Eyre

Something unusual happened to me last weekend. I was inspired...by a movie. In our household this should not be an uncommon occurrence. My parents are documentary filmmakers. Our DVD collection takes up two shelves in our bookcase, stacked. I doubt we could survive for long without Netflix. And yet, few movies have affected me in the way that the 2011 version of Jane Eyre did. I can list my favorite films (that's for another post), but its harder to think of films that have actually inspired me to go out and make something. I think I can say that Jane Eyre was one of these films.

(Note: This post is not a movie review. I will not be evaluating the casting, storyline, or the adaptation of the book. I should also say that I haven't seen any other adaptations of Jane Eyre-to date-and I am only part way through the book, which I am enjoying.)


Basically every scene in this movie has the same effect on the viewer as a Vermeer painting. The lighting is so beautiful, especially natural light that comes in through the large windows. The whole time I was watching, I kept thinking: "If only I could capture this atmosphere in words." Story aside, just the feel of this movie is enough to make me love it.

As you probably know by now, I've always been a lover of movie music. I have a whole playlist dedicated to it on my ipod. But until now I never thought I could write with a movie soundtrack in the background. In the past when I've done so, the music is too engrained in the film, and I can't separate them. I'll start immediately visualizing scenes from the film in my head, or worse, writing them down. The music becomes the words, not the guiding force behind them. 

Unlike some of my favorite soundtracks, I did not consciously notice the music while watching the film, which often happens if a score is particularly beautiful. However when I listened to the Jane Eyre soundtrack on its own I realized just how emotional, raw, and eerie the music is. Even better, my mind's eye was not overrun with scenes from the film. All that was left was the feel of the film, which was what drew me to it in the first place. I still have some experimenting to do, but I think this is one soundtrack that I will be able to write to.

If you would like to hear a sample, click here.

Other Notes
It's hard to pin down why we are inspired by some things and not by others. Something just has to speak to us at the core of our being, like a silent understanding. The list above talks about two main reasons I love this film, and as for the third, it's hard to say. There is just a feeling, an atmosphere, to this film that I can't quite put my finger on, but I know that I love the vibe that it gives off. Jane Eyre made me want to write. It made me want to travel to England and wander the moors. It made me see light differently.

I encourage you to see this movie if you haven't already, and if you have, I'd love to hear your thoughts. What other films have you been inspired by recently? 

Also, expect a review of Jane Eyre (the book) soon!

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