Re: RARA-AVIS: Movies/ Kent answers Mr. Dussolier's question about movies

From: Kukana Fields (
Date: 13 Sep 2005

Mr. Dussolier,


"Are you a movie buff, and did it ever influence your writing ?"


This question is very interesting to me. I'll try and explain why. I don't think any novelist born after, say 1930, really could escape their influence. I didn't.


Yes, I am a movie buff. In fact, I love movies as I guess most people do. But what is really interesting is that movies, I'm sure were very important in my development as a writer, something I didn't realize until recently.


The other night I went and saw "Elevator To The Gallows" a new print. I thought I was seeing it for the first time. In fact, It turns out I'd seen it as a kid when I was home from school for vacation! It all came back to me.


I used to watch -- here in the Bay Area-- channel 2, which played old movies (It was the channel and program Janis Joplin referred to in her lyric "Dialing For Dollars is trying to find me." That was the name of the show.) They played a lot of the classic crime films of the 40's and 50's, war movies, screw ball comedies. Everything from "Treasure of Sierra Madre" to "Bringing Up Baby"! This was maybe when I was 9 or 10. And of course, I was seeing movies like "Bonnie and Clyde" and "Bridge On The River Kwai" etc. on TV too. (I think "Bridge on the River Kwai" had a profound effect on me. The ending, I still can't believe it!)


Now, when I decided I was going to be a novelist, I was about twenty two or so, I had no interest in movies at all because I believed-- wrongly-- that I had to concentrate on the novel form. It was like a religion to me. Movies I saw as the other; I just wasn't interested. I was determined to immerse myself in the novel, I had a real fire in the belly. Now I understand that those wonderful and talented screen writers who's dialog I heard when I was a child I internalized. I'm sure of it. And thank god I saw/heard their work! I am sure that without those men and women, I wouldn't have gotten very far in my struggle as a writer. I internalized what I heard/saw, in the same way I internalized Ernest Hemingway's sentences when I was 16.


Later, I rediscover the movies and, as I'm prone to do, got very passionate about them. I wanted to write them! I learned the screenplay form and I have adapted my own novels. I love it. (They are a wonderful break from the novel too.)


And yes, "Tattooed Muse" was heavily influenced by Hitchcock specifically "Vertigo" which I love.





andr頤ussolier <> wrote:Mr Harrington

you spoke of litterary's influence, but reading The Tattoed muse and American Boys, I was more thinking about films American boys remind me of Pollack's Condor (beside the Ross Thomas' flavour) The Tattoed Muse was for me something of an Hitchcockian thriller.

Are you a movie buff, and did it ever influence your writing ?


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