Sunday, May 1, 2016

Papa Deserves Better, But...

I'm not a movie reviewer, but I feel compelled to say something about the new film Papa Hemingway in Cuba. It's directed by Bob Yari who did Crash and The Illusionist. Two pretty good movies.

Papa is not. As much as I want it to be.

But, this is not going to be a bashing. That's too easy. There's plenty that is overwrought about this movie. Like several  reviewers have written, the movie makers should have taken Hemingway's advice and done less to show more. Some of the narration is helplessly obvious, the dialogue heavy handed and cliched. Still, it's pretty impressive that it was filmed in Cuba and at Hemingway's home outside Havana. But it's not enough to save the movie.

Still, what the movie does very well is this: It reminds writers that writing is a blessing, a curse, and to do it well, it has to be the essence of your being. NOT writing is NOT an option. For Hemingway, not being able to write eventually killed him. Certainly, I don't wish that on any writer. But his commitment and his devotion to the art is not only legendary, it's inspiring. 

We can thank this movie for reminding us of this.

And with that, we remember what Hemingway said about his craft.

In one form of another, this is what Ernest Hemingway said or wrote about writing.


WRITE EVERYDAY.
I always try to write on the principle of the iceberg. There is seven-eighths of it underwater for every part that shows. Ernest Hemingway

KEEP A SCHEDULE.
You can write any time people will leave you alone and not interrupt you. Or rather you can if you will be ruthless enough about it. But the best writing is certainly when you are in love. Ernest Hemingway

HAVE A LIFE OUTSIDE OF WRITING.
Live the full life of the mind, exhilarated by new ideas, intoxicated by the Romance of the unusual. Ernest Hemingway
In order to write about life first you must live it. Ernest Hemingway

WRITE IN A PLACE YOU FEEL INSPIRED.
Writing and travel broaden your ass if not your mind and I like to write standing up. – Ernest Hemingway

TAKE THE TIME TO MAKE YOUR WRITING BEAUTIFUL.
All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know. Ernest Hemingway 

 REWARD YOURSELF.
Once writing has become your major vice and greatest pleasure only death can stop it.  Ernest Hemingway



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