Matthew Weiner on Screenwriting


The Paris Review —that hipster-ish magazine that must be read with horn-rimmed glasses while smoking a pipe— features a not too frequent series of interviews with screenwriters under the title, “The Art Of Screenwriting.” I have only read their latest one, with Mad Men showrunner and creator Matthew Weiner. A few of his ideas called my attention and gave me interesting material to reflect upon.

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Entertainment Industry

Broken Toys

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Toys are objects of wonder, full of potential, containers of endless possibilities. Kids oftentimes take their new toys and observe them first in awe, taking in every angle and mechanism, before milking infinite worlds and tales out of them. But sometimes, all that wonder ends abruptly when the toy is stepped on by a careless adult; or when its gears —not infrequently flawed by poor manufacturing— get tired and give out.

But other times —most of the times, maybe— toys break because kids put them to the wrong use. Wingless action figures take a shot at flying, RC cars attempt audacious submarine journeys, and all kinds of innocent objects transform into blunt force weapons. 

Yesterday Robin Williams was found dead in his home. Early reports have told us about a possible suicide. We know about his troubles with drug addiction. And we have also heard about his depression. We all mourn his loss, as someone who, through his many memorable performances on the screen, became part of our lives.

But like many other times, this kind of news makes me think. They always make me think there is something wrong with the deaths of so many vibrant, wonder-filled, awe-inspiring, well achieved public figures. They make me think about broken toys.

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