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Aristotle's Poetics for Screenwriters: Storytelling Secrets From the Greatest Mind in Western Civilization Paperback – August 21, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
"Makes the precepts accessible with easy comparisons to contemporary hits." -- Variety.com
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Top Customer Reviews
Tierno relates how the parts of a modern script evaluation (Log Line, Brief, Plot Summary, Comments, Idea, Story, Character, Dialogue, and Production Values) mirror Aristotle's examination of the same elements. I especially liked how the film "Gladiator" was used for the example of "the mistake in a hero's reasoning, leading to the hero's subsequent related misfortunes."
The short length makes the book a fast but powerful read.
The good thing about Mr. Tierno's book is that it goes back to the one fundamental text who, 2300 years before the birth of Cinema, already thought about many of the things all other screenwriting authors still talk about - what do we do in order to achieve higher drama?
And it is surprising how fresh Aristotle still sounds today, according to Mr Tierno's reading. Even if we consider that the object of Aristotle's thought was not the Cinema, but the Classical Greek Theatre - or the mimetic form of representation.
In fact, there is nothing new about Aristotle (or Cinema, or narrative, or screenwriting) here besides the fact that Mr. Tierno does an accurate reading of the great greek thinker and explains many of his key concepts.
In a nutshell, this book is an excelent reminder of how important, necessary and universal, good drama can be. Also it is a great reminder that screenwriting is a natural heir of most of storytelling's past traditions.
It is also a proof that screenwriting is an art form by itself.
-Ancient Greek Classics Professor
And did you know that Aristotle talked about 'the three unities of dramatic action: time, place, and action'?
Neither did I!
Poor Aristotle, and poor us! Crumpling under this veritable barrage of howlingly wrong interpretations of an ancient fragment of literary criticism by a terrific guy who was writing a work-in-progress, always looking out for new ideas, testing out his theories and modifying them as he went along.
To treat his 'Poetics' as a completed and revised treatise of the art and craft of drama is an insult to a great mind. Only one quarter of his works survive. He wasn't interested in setting the Ten Commandments on How To Write a Play in stone. And, my God, he'd be furious if he could see how perversely his work has been misinterpreted, mangled and torn and chewed over (and spat out on poor aspiring screenwriters' scripts by self-proclaimed experts).
Let's for once give this man the courtesy and respect of reading what he actually wrote, and put a stop, once and for all, to putting words into his mouth.
The Big One:
'A whole is that which has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
A beginning is that which does not itself follow anything by causal necessity, but after which something naturally is or comes to be.
An end, on the contrary, is that which itself naturally follows some other thing, either by necessaity, or as a rule, but has nothing following it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book will help a writer take her screenplay to the next level or two. I used it as one of three textbooks when teaching screenwriting at a top 20 American university. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Brian McLaughlin
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 16 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 on December 31, 2013 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 on September 16, 2013 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