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This earnest how-to puts a new spin on Aristotle as the master of philosophy, calling him not only the "greatest mind in western civilization," but also the "world's first movie story analyst." Asserting that Aristotle's Poetics has become a standard for constructing movies that reach audiences (and studio heads), Tierno, a director and Miramax story analyst, shows how to apply the basics of the great work to one's own screenplay. He introduces the "Action-Idea" as the way to understand the demands of the story, and debunks the belief that, in Poetics, Aristotle mandates a three-act structure. He also lays bare how people misread Aristotle's advice to employ the "imitation of a serious action." Tierno stresses the importance of ditching subplots for a story featuring "one complete action" and constantly supports his points with examples of successful films, such as Titanic and Rosemary's Baby. The frequent capsule plot summaries of favorites including The Godfather and Gladiator make Aristotle's instructions concrete, and Tierno helpfully breaks the movies down into plot essentials. Throughout, he is respectful but informal toward Aristotle. Tierno praises Aristotle for representing "beautiful truth," although the breeziness and the eager tone he takes may, at times, put off more serious readers. Still, screenwriters looking beyond the "three-act structure" mantra will find applicable strategies, and those who dismiss Aristotle as old hat will find their perceptions set straight with Tierno's modern movie examples.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
"A clever approach to screenwriting." -- Library Journal
"Makes the precepts accessible with easy comparisons to contemporary hits." -- Variety.com
I loved it, short and sweet a lot of good ideas, looks at the subject of screenwriting from a perspective a historian like myself will find enlightening. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Anthony R. Kassel
When the teacher said Poetics of Screenwriters I nearly fell asleep in my chair but this book was a big help.Published 20 months ago by Jonathan Kerns
Though this makes some interesting points it is not organized well enough to be great. Wish I had put my money elsewhere. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Jack Bert
This little book was a pleasant surprise in that it was immediately helpful in enabling this writer to better understand the writing process and improve his stories. Read morePublished on August 18, 2013 by Vance
on film making by alexander mackendrick has i though more useful insights as did howard suber on aristotle. but is is a good useful readPublished on May 27, 2013 by unnamed
This an old reference and a need if
You ever wish to write a novel, play or essay.
There is an interesting content, but it's not so transforming as other books, a little bit for specialized, as the ones written by Linda Seger or "Story".Published on April 16, 2013 by Pedro Santos