Thursday, October 25, 2007

Nicolosi on the Hero, Nicolosi on Bella

Barb Nicolosi makes a nice examination of heroism in story, film, and real life and the qualities of the hero. Though it is only in note form, her advice seems more practical and substantive than what I've seen of Joseph Campbell's writings.

Here's a sample:
Things that are not heroic:

To have an illness. To be a victim. To have a bad hand dealt to you. HEROISM is in still serving others with an illness or bad thing.

To survive your own iniquity. (In the Bill Clinton sense. I heard a lady on TV say that she admired Clinton because he was "a survivor." Well, by that standard, you could admire roaches.)

It isn’t heroic to have a great talent or skill. To be able to run fast or sing well.

Nicolosi, a professional screenwriter, also isn't impressed by Bella, the new movie some pro-lifers are rallying around. I worry Nicolosi's standards can be too artistic and elite-oriented. Surely there is a craft to making popular mediocrities. I suspect the aspiring artist must first know mediocrity before he can know excellence.

Then again, I haven't seen the movie and don't plan to. When the film's own publicity highlights the fact it is made by "first-time filmmakers," I'm not inspired to open my wallet.


TS said...

Does Nicolosi like anything? After her bashing of Stranger than Fiction I opined that it could be if you're too familiar with film-making, most films are ruined for you. It's not dissimilar to how most Scripture scholars find no joy in Scripture, getting hung-up on technical details while missing the whole point.

I think she's a natural contrarian who hates "the herd". But, as I told anotehr herd-hater recently, sometimes the herd is right.

Kevin Jones said...

Nicolosi recently praised The Assassination of Jesse James, and I remember she liked Gibson's The Passion.

I thought Stranger than Fiction was lacking, but I was constantly comparing it to Muriel Spark's The Comforters.

TS said...

Point well-taken concerning The Passion, although my corrosively cynical side wonders whether it mattered that she was given a pre-screening with Gibson and got to talk to him for an hour. Must. stop. being. so. cynical.