Tuesday, March 29, 2011

If I say "Don't think about elephants". . .

If I Wrote the Sailor Moon Movie #22: Oh, that? That's my pet elephant, Fukushima. Yeah, he craves attention. Just ignore him and he'll go away.

Christ, I'm already regretting this.

It's been less than three weeks since the earthquake off of Japan's coast. I discussed it here already, but it's becoming ever more clear that this event is going to have consequences far beyond anything a single blog post could deal with. In many ways, the Japan that existed before the earthquake-- the Japan where I lived for three months-- has vanished.

It's the height of selfishness to look at a tragedy like this and ask, "how does this affect me?" In no sane, meaningful does this affect me. Or rather, the ways in which it DOES meaningfully affect me are either so abstract that they don't hold any emotional meaning-- Canada's economy will have to readjust as Japan invests in cleanup and reconstruction efforts! Leaders will have to reconsider future energy plans following increased concerns over nuclear power!-- or are so separated from me, in the Kevin Bacon sense, that any emotional connection seems shallow and somehow. . . insufficient: my teacher had family members in Tokyo during the quake. . . my friends have family somewhere. . . a distant acquaintance was teaching English in Kansai. . .

The biggest and most immediate effect that this earthquake has had, on me, is to inconvenience a hobby, to complicate an overambitious creative writing exercise. And that is nothing. I know that.

That having been said. . . any story that takes place in Japan after March of 2011 will have to deal with the earthquake in one way or the other. It's just too damn pervasive to ignore. Everyone in Japan, literally or not, felt that quake. The people of Tokyo definitely did. Even if it's never mentioned, the earthquake will hang in the air for years to come.

So how will it affect the screenplay? I don't know yet, except to say "as little as possible". It will never (or almost never) be spoken of in the story; to mention it explicitly would not only be exploitative, but would ring false-- even after a disaster, people have their own lives to focus on, and THAT'S what they'll be talking about on a day to day basis. At the same time, it would be just as wrong to ignore the quake outright. People may not speak of it, but they will remember it. It will live on in daily rituals, in the economic and political fallout. It will live on in the memories of the characters, and to one degree or the other it will affect their behaviour. For one, it may even become an unspoken turning point, one that affects her up until the beginning of the film, in ways that even she doesn't understand. . . or doesn't want to accept. I'm gonna keep that to myself for now, partly because it dovetails with another plot thread I was already developing before the earthquake (and thus don't want to spoil) and partly because of how much I still have to figure out.

More is coming, though. I've been at this too long to give up now. I considered not posting any new screenplay snippets, but a talk with my sister has convinced me to keep going with the first draft. Expect the next part of the screenplay. . . sometime.

Oh, and bonus points for people who get the joke about the picture.


Naomi said...

Is the joke that you haven't mentioned the pink haired girl at all?

Jeremy K. said...

No. Click on the link below, and watch from about 4:50 to 5:50.


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