Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Is originality dead?

Every time I see something different I absolutely love it. I saw Despicable Me yesterday (I absolutely adore animations) and I thought it was rather different than what the majority of movies are about.

Most of the movies being made these days are adaptations, remakes, reimaginings or revolves around the same plot elements that so many stories before had used. Even the majority of novels can be seen doing this, using the same formula of successful stories, just with a new twist (either to the plot or to the characters).

But, I can see this is a good thing, because it allows the story to be easily classified (especially for movies). Two movies that I absolutely loved at the cinema was Kick Ass and Scott Pilgrim vs The World. The problem with these two movies was that they were hard to classify because they were unlike most other stories out at the moment.

So, my question is, can anything be original or what makes something original? Also, is it dangerous to be too original because the agent/publisher/audience won't know how to react or relate to it?


Anonymous said...

I'm such a sucker for the animated movies. I just love them! As to originality - who knows. You just write what comes...

Jason Henderson said...

For what it's worth, I don't think originality is dead. I actually think this is how books work-- one of my favorite books, Rebecca, was written in 1948 and was clearly heavily patterned after books like Jane Eyre. Edgar Allan Poe's Ligeia and Fall of the House of Usher are very similar, almost variations on the same story. So I think it's not a new issue. The only test, every time, is whether you're intrigued by the result-- or if you're bored and can't bear to read on.

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