‘Big Trouble In Little China’ is a favourite movie of mine.
Directed by John Carpenter, written by Goldman, Weinstein and Richter, it is a fantastic example of a tightly written and directed movie, where everyone in it just seems to ‘get it’. The tone of comedy is perfect for the action and the story. The characters sit perfectly in the story and bring it to life in a really natural way.
It’s funny and when you’re watching it, flies by at a hell of a pace.
It’s the sort of movie some people love and some people just don’t think is either funny enough to be a comedy, or action filled enough to be an action movie. Some get it and some don’t.
If people don’t like the genre of the movie, then they are less likely to love it.
Those that find its 50s adventure style and tongue in cheek one liners endearing, always refer to it as a classic.
What draws me to it is its simplicity.
I like all the things that other people like about it, and I definitely feel like I ‘get it’.
But I feel drawn to it for its directness, its simplicity, its accessibility in every aspect: character, action, plot, dialogue.
Sometimes I feel myself getting a bit convoluted when I’m planning a story, laying out a structure, and when I feel that niggling doubt encroaching on my process, I think about some of the things I love for their simplicity, and ‘Big Trouble…’ always springs to mind.
I guess we each have things we like, and we don’t have to recognise why we like them for them to have an influence on us.
What movies, books, plays, poems or piece of work keeps popping in to your mind when you think of things that make you smile and remind you of how good a genre can be?
Are they at their core, simple ideas directly realised?
An old saying that used to crop up a in conversation with a friend of mine that used to paint, draw and sculpt a lot, was, “something isn’t perfect when you can’t put anymore in, it’s perfect when you can’t take anymore out.”
I’d argue that they were both the same thing, and he’d say it’s about perspective and that I didn’t yet get the beauty of taking stuff out.
I was much younger, he was right.
There’s a scene from ‘Big Trouble…’ when they are escaping Lo Pan’s lair and they are looking for a way out, Jack Burton looks up to see Egg Shen grinning down at him from a hole in the roof that leads to an escape tunnel and Jack says, “how’d you get up there!?”
Egg Shen replies, “wasn’t easy!”
And that’s it… the action moves on… simple.
I try to keep things simple now…