Two for the Road, Movie and Storytelling

Ah, that explains it!

Monday night I watched Robert Osborne's interview with movie director, Stanley Donen, enjoying all their talk of Donen's wonderful films like Singing in the Rain, and Royal Wedding. When their conversation turned to his 1967 film Two for the Road I sat up bit.

Donen said, "Its one of my favorite films but people really did not understand it." Osborne continued, "well, the linear structure was ahead of its time."

Yes. That's it.

I had never seen the 42 year old film with stars Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney until it played on TCM one rainy afternoon a few months ago. Audrey Hepburn was young and lovely. The French scenery was beautiful. Finney was blond and handsome. It was definitely the sixties. They were on a trip, driving on a road they had traveled several times before and their story flowed with no particular plan prompted by related memories. I was fascinated even when I was completely lost in where the story was going.

Here Donen explained that his plan was to have the story emerge just as we live in our story. All of our story is present in us all the time - and we don't re-live it chronologically - we re-live it as it emerges in response to the prompts, thoughts, or people of the moment.

The pieces fell into place.

I got it.

I do it.

Don't you?

Prompts are important for my storytelling - I recover memories and then I craft them into a story.

Two on the Road was Donen's experiment with letting the memories flow just as the characters lived with them - without teasing them into a crafted structure. In other words Donen violated the sacred rule - a story has a beginning, middle and an end.

I am ordering Two for the Road from Netflix to see it again with more understanding of what Donen was doing.

Reminds me of how I write this blog - whatever comes up is what I write about. My story is in those pieces.