Posts Tagged ‘books’


Wednesday, March 18th, 2015


  • 陈世骧《中国文学的抒情传统》
  • [美]宇文所安《追忆》
  • 邢军纪《让细节放大我们的感觉–文学创作学基础训练》
  • 钟鸣《文学写作基础教程》
  • [英]弗兰克·克蒙德《莎士比亚:时代的灵魂》


  • 李香兰《此生名为李香兰》
  • 季羡林《季羡林谈翻译》

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Life on the hard shoulder: Simon Beaufoy’s inspiration for Slumdog Millionaire | Film | The Guardian

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Life on the hard shoulder: Simon Beaufoy's inspiration for Slumdog Millionaire | Film | The Guardian.

The essence of this article.

There was no single, unwavering arrow of narrative to take an audience all the way through apart from the game show. And somehow, a game show just wasn’t enough for me.

I just can’t get excited about money as a motivation in a film. It leaves me cold. My heart does not sing if the final shot of the film is a slum kid snapping on a Rolex, getting in his Porsche and driving off into the sunset. In fact, my heart sinks. So, how to make a rags to riches story that doesn’t revolve around money? There was only one way to find out: go to Mumbai.

This film just has to be a love story.

Whereas screenwriters are always being told “write about what you know”, documentary makers prefer to dig, investigate, deliberately court exactly what they don’t know. For me, it is the best way to work. Where’s the fun in writing about what you know, when you can instead dive headlong into the new, the exotic, the utterly unknown?

The structure of the book defeats me for weeks as I try to transform it into a script. The story constantly moves backwards and forwards in time. Three different timeframes: Jamal’s recent past on the game show, Jamal’s distant past and Jamal’s present as he recounts the story of his life to the police inspector after his arrest. This jigsaw leaves me puzzled for weeks. I set myself the task to avoid any sense of flashbacks. No “10 years earlier” captions, no sepia tones. The past must be as real and as urgent as the present. All the time, I have director Danny Boyle’s laconic advice hanging over me. “It’s got to be Romeo and Juliet, otherwise, what’s the point?”

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