14 Lessons for Writers from 3 Classic Foreign Films

Photo credit: popturfdotcom via VisualHunt / CC BY

Film is a universal art form. Those of us who write novels can learn a lot from the storytelling techniques of filmmakers, especially masters like Federico Fellini, Akira Kurosawa, and François Truffaut. Their films defied Hollywood norms and yet found a global audience.

In particular, these three films are a rich resource for novelists:  “La Dolce Vita,”  “Rashomon,” and “The 400 Blows.”

5 Reasons Why Writers Should Watch Federico Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita”

A quick Google search will show you that “La Dolce Vita,” which means “the sweet life,” is a popular name for Italian restaurants, bakeries, and coffee shops. The term has taken on a life of its own ever since Federico Fellini’s film of the same title was released in 1960. If you’re a writer and you haven’t seen “La Dolce Vita,” you should watch it. Why?  There are five reasons. Read more.

4 Lessons for Writers from Akira Kurosawa’s “Rashomon”

In “Rashomon,” the 1950 classic film by Akira Kurosawa, viewers can be certain of three things: A samurai is dead, his wife has been sexually assaulted, and a bandit is the main suspect. Everything else about the film is open to discussion. Every viewer is entitled to his or her own conclusion. The film offers four lessons for writers. Read more.

5 Lessons for Writers from François Truffaut’s “The 400 Blows”

François Truffaut’s “The 400 Blows” is a staple of film courses, the frontrunner in the French New Wave Cinema. Not surprisingly, I watched it in class when I was in college. The 12-year-old protagonist, Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud), is one of the most unforgettable characters ever created in film. He has stayed with me for decades. I watched it again recently and I couldn’t help but pick a few lessons that apply to writing. Read more.

Photo credit: popturfdotcom via VisualHunt /  CC BY

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