04 April 2007

Writing group at the movies!

Every Wednesday, my writing group, Western Women Writers meets. Generally, we alternate what we do: one week it's writing and the next workshopping. Occasionally, we have Poetrix editorial meetings or other "business" type activities. Very occasionally we do something different. Today, being school holidays and all, we went to the movies to see Becoming Jane, a movie about Jane Austen's life and a possible romance that she had.

I love the movies at the best of times. I'll go at the drop of a hat -- pardon the cliche -- if time allows it. Often it doesn't. I'm too busy marking or caught up with kids' stuff or whatever. But movies about writing are a double bonus. And there seems to be a few of them out at the moment. Last week, Sherryl and I saw Freedom Writers, which I loved and would like to take my kids to. And there's Miss Potter, which I haven't made it to yet. I'd better hurry for that one or I'll miss out.

So, a small group of us went, had lunch, workshopped a story and then went back to Jane Austen's time. I must say I enjoyed this movie, but I'm a bit of a sucker for a historical romance. And for green landscapes, which seem to be a foreign thing in much of drought-stricken Australia. Even when it is green here, it's not that green. The first time I was struck by that was when I went to New Zealand in my early twenties. I couldn't get over the colours. Ditto when I went to England a couple of years later.

My daughter, who tagged along to the movie, thought it was too mushy and boring. I didn't think it was either of these things, but that's teenagers. She just wants the latest violent horror story, and knows I'm going to say no to it. While I don't mind a bit of movie violence myself (like Helm's Deep for example), I try to restrict what they see, which isn't to say that they're not allowed any -- they have seen the Lord of the Rings films for example -- but I am mindful about how much exposure (and whether it's gratuitous or not). I think all parents have lines, but we all draw them in different places, and each of us must decide what's right for our own families.


adam browne said...

Hi Tracey - great blog - very articulate - yeah, I must admit when I go to the movies I love a bit of a billion dollar bloodbath, to use Kingsley Amis's term; but I have come round to the idea that it is bad for you - that there are sensitive bits of the brain, subroutines, that don't understand it's fiction and all in good fun. And when you're talking about exposing kids to that stuff, whose neural architecture is still getting laid down, I'm especially cautious. So I'm with you on that one.

Tracey said...

That's an interesting point about the subroutines not understanding it's fiction -- maybe that's why I'm more lenient about "historical violence" if you like. Whereas real-life type violence, I'm much more loath to expose them to. Anything we do see that bothers me, we discuss. In detail.