Friday, March 16, 2012

The Details of Artistry

I finally was able to see the Oscar Best Picture of the Year last night.  I found "The Artist," well - very artistic.  Because the film did not have words to distract my attention, I was more observant of details.  And that started me thinking how it is the little details that elevate art, writing, music, dance - just about anything - to the level of artistry.

The movie was back to basics -- no special effects a la computer technology.  Instead, there was the feather that gently floated down - and  landed on the ground with a loud thud.  A hanging suit jacket became a caressing lover.  When the word Bang! quickly appeared on the screen, I felt the quick emotional shift from sadness at a man shooting himself to relief that it was instead only a car hitting a tree.

All these years later, why does that image of a woman wrapped in the mysterious hooded cloak looking out to sea remain in my memory from "The French Lieutenant's Woman?"  How can I still see the color of a child's empty coat amidst the black and white of "Schindler's List?"  Why do those haunting, hostile, young woman's green eyes still stare at me from a cover of National Geographic?  Details make the difference.

And so the writer, poet, artist, and musician must continually search for just the right words, strokes, colors, notes, until they can hear the sweet click of it falling into place.  Details are the challenge and the joy of creativity.

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