Re: Michael Crichton on science & the media

From: Spike Jones (
Date: Wed Apr 18 2001 - 20:58:28 MDT

John Marlow wrote:

> You should pass this along to him; it might have a profound effect.
> You must remember that he was not in control of the films,

So Ive been told, regarding the ER debacle.

> As to characters, I thought Ian was very cool. Very very cool, okay?

Ian was my favorite too, but do rent a movie that really does
a terrific job at developing *real* human characters: As Good
As It Gets. Now, this might be out of your genre, for it is not
sci-fi at all, but do make an exception for this shining jewel of
a film. Note especially the skilled character development by
the three leads, Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt and Greg Kinnear,
who form the odd trio.

Consider especially one scene which *defines* the actor's task of
good character development. Hunt's character (Carol) has been
bitchy to Jack's character (Udall, who richly deserved the poor
treatment). Udall arranges to get a doctor to heal Carol's child,
the most precious thing in her life. Jack honestly expects
*nothing* in return, he just wants Carol to do her job (a waitress).
All he wants is for her to bring his breakfast, thats all! Carol
pens a 30 page letter expressing her gratitude and apology, etc.
Jack hates people, hates emotion, doesnt want anything like this.

Note the scene in the restaurant where Carol is pouring
herself on the floor for this wretch, and he honestly cannot handle
the emotional display. Udall loves this young woman, but he
just isnt ready for a normal human relationship. That scene
describes life as it is, or humanity as I know it. People are a
curious bag of intellect and emotion, interacting with each other
in strange and wonderful ways. Both Nicholson and Hunt won
academy awards for that performance.

Sci-fi has nothing really analogous to this in character
development. The closest I can think of is Jodie Foster
in Contact, who does a fine job, but the slightly flawed
story cannot contain her soaring talent.

What say ye? spike

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