August 30th, 2007

parfumerie

See? We even call Marie Antoinette by her first name(s).

If I ever get a novel published, and it gets turned into a movie, I hope Sofia Coppola is on the short list of directors. I just watched Marie Antoinette and loved it. I gather it really didn't work for some people, putting '80s music to the glitz of the Versailles court, but to me it was something new, thank God, and anyway I loved the music, so I couldn't complain. The Cure's "Plainsong," finally in a film! And how can I not love a director who intentionally had a rakish character costumed to look like Adam Ant? (He did, too. Yum yum.) Also, refreshingly, no beheadings. It's enough to know they're on the horizon, really. No need to splash blood all over the gorgeous costumes. I say "refreshingly" because I also lately watched and enjoyed Elizabeth I, which again I was destined to love because of my softness for both Jeremy Irons and Hugh Dancy. But jeez, beheadings and drawn-and-quarterings much?

Anyway, well done, young Coppola. She seems to have taken the writing advice "Write the book you want to read," translated here to "the movie you want to see."

Speaking of writing--I'm going to veer off and rant a little about character naming conventions. My feminist streak may emerge. You may want to look away.

I read some writing advice somewhere (I wish I remembered where) that suggested giving your characters names that were easy to say, with no more than two or three total syllables for the men and four or five for the women. Neato, we get more syllables! Uh...why? Wait a sec, are multiple syllables "girly"? "Dirk Pitt" is an awfully manly and curt name, after all, while "Scarlett O'Hara" takes its pretty time to roll off the tongue. Hmmm.

Also, have you noticed that in certain types of novels--usually adventure novels, like Dan Brown's or Michael Crichton's among others--the men are always referred to by their last names, and the women by their first names? Why in the world is this the established style? When we have Dr. Jad Forke (you know, the ex-Navy SEAL who now teaches antiquities) and Dr. Tiffani Engelbright (you know, the 23-year-old nuclear physicist), why do we get usage like "Forke tossed the AK-47 to Tiffani"? (You know, I'm never gonna write adventure novels unless as farce or parody.)

Darn...I wish I had thought of these issues for my Linguistics thesis. Oh well. Someone else can take it and run with it.