Sunday, November 29, 2015

J.J. Abrams and his mystery box

For Entertainment Sunday, I'm sharing a TED talk by J.J. Abrams,* one of my favorite directors, about the object that represents his philosophy of story telling: The Mystery Box.

J.J. Abrams traces his love for the unseen mystery - a passion thats evident in his films and TV shows, including Cloverfield, Lost and Alias -- back to its magical beginnings.
From his TED page:
Why you should listen

As the Emmy-winning creator of the smart, addictive TV dramas Lost, Alias and Felicity, J.J. Abrams' name looms large on the small screen. As the writer/director behind the blockbuster explode-a-thon Mission: Impossible III, Cloverfield and the new Star Trek movie, these days Abrams also rules the big screen -- bringing his eye for telling detail and emotional connection to larger-than-life stories.

Abrams' enthusiasm -- for the construction of Kleenex boxes, for the quiet moments between shark attacks in Jaws, for today's filmmaking technologies, and above all for the potent mystery of an unopened package -- is incredibly infectious.

What others say

“As a boy, JJ Abrams was fascinated with magic. As a television writer, director, and producer, he has beguiled audiences with a masterful use of suspense, plot reversals, and special effects.” — Wired
Abrams' interest in character explains what I observed in his "Star Trek" movie.
While J.J. Abrams went to great lengths to free his movies from the strictures of Star Trek canon by creating a new timeline that diverged just before Kirk's birth, he also went to great lengths to ensure that the characters would stay as intact as possible.
The characters were important to him, not the events, although the next movie had echoes of what occurred in the TV show and second movie.

So much for J.J. Abrams and Star Trek.  As for how he treats Star Wars, there is already an answer to the question "Will the lens flares on Tatooine be doubled?"  It's no.  Thank goodness!

*I've decided to use a J.J. Abrams label.  Took me long enough.

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