A Blog About Ryan Gosling.

Posted May 31st, 2014 by Ben

I’ve been rethinking some thoughts I found scribbled in my own handwriting, one about “the 4 audiences”, the other “the 4 subjects”. The notes run on in an attempt to mesh these two ideas together.

Audience present……………………………………………………
Audience behind……………………………………………………
Audience in……………………………………………………………
Audience historical…………………………………………………
……………………………are all watching:
……………………………………………………The story
……………………………………………………The theme
……………………………………………………The biography
……………………………………………………The impact

And only one of these subjects is what the author is actually trying to convey. Indeed the author is really only trying to convey a theme to an audience. Or are they? What is an author attempting to achieve?

The audiences an author writes for are generally, though not exclusively, the present and historical. An author usually wishes to convey a theme but often actually wants to convey a biography. Theme is part of biography. Sometimes an author is only interested in story.

Is there a difference between an interest in biography and impact? I guess so. But yes it is possible to think of authors who write with each subject as their chief concern and hard to believe in an author who pays no attention at all to any of these.


The first thing that strikes me is the line “theme is part of biography” and the idea that whilst we often claim to be writing about something else we more often create work so that it can express something about ourselves.

Work gains impact when theme and biography come together. I don’t mean “write what you know”, not quite. The way story and theme are understood is related to what is known of the teller and what is known of the teller is coloured by the stories they tell. It is a commonplace that actors are mistaken for the characters they play; it is also the case that the most financially successful actors are generally those happiest to be mistaken.

This was a picture of Ryan Gosling.

“Shit, I’m barely in this blog, it’s like Beyond The Pines all over again”

What’s also interesting is which subjects are the chief interest of audience and creator. What drives you to a movie tends to be the biography of the creative talents (it’s Ryan Gosling doing a thing) or the impact the film has had (critics adore the thing Ryan Gosling’s done). The story and the meaning of the story are almost incidental, even if expressing these was actually the chief aim of everyone making the film (even Ryan Gosling).

Yet, if we accept theme is part of biography then what’s happened is that the author chooses their work to express something about themselves and the audience, interested in that person’s work comes to learn more. We often talk about those engaged in the art of making cinema as being “story tellers” as if the prime interest was the often incoherent mess of conflicting plot points or the idea that love conquers all. If we’re honest aren’t we really mainly biographers?

Tomorrow – Godzilla.

  1. Susi

    Appreciate your theorising, seriously; but sometimes I just watch for the shapes and colours and sounds.
    Just saw ‘Godzilla’, and looking forward to yr forthcoming!

  2. Ben

    Cool Susi, I’m sure you’ll love my film when it’s finished, it is definitely full of shapes and colours and sounds. Your eyes and ears will be full. xx

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