Oceans of Wonder


The sea, once it castes its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever. –Jacques Yves Cousteau

Big fish eat little fish. It is a universal axiom understood by almost everyone without having to experience a documentary film like OCEANS. BUT. If you have a spare  afternoon or evening this week you might go see a real movie. (Wait for the DVD to come out only if you have HD and a home theater.)

It has become a rare experience to see a film that actually evokes a sense of awe or wonder. But this one does it with the aid of some amazing, digital cinematography, brought to you by Disneynature.

Nearly three quarters of the Earth’s surface is covered by water and OCEANS chronicles an assortment of mysteries that lie beneath. Directors Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud (Frenchmen, of course) explore the harsh reality and rare beauty of the amazing creatures that swim, crawl, waddle and soar through 84 minutes of wonderful storytelling and unforgettable images.

So rarely do films inspire me anymore, that when I experience one that does I actually sit through the credits. The names scrolling by never mean much to me. I think it has more to do with wanting to pay homage to a long list of filmmakers who brought something worth while into the world.

In the same way an excellent book inspires, so does a very good film. I’m not sure exactly what takes place in my imagination but watching a shrimp rip the claws off a crab or seeing a giant white shark swim gently beside a scuba diver sends my thoughts whirling into all kinds of fantastic scenarios. I think  of a particular scene I am writing and realize how flat it is compared to real life survival.  And I don’t mean the reality TV kind of survivor, either.

I always find myself in awe of the innocent nobility of wild life, and that includes all of the odd sea creatures of OCEANS as they struggle to survive and still find time for play. Like, do dolphins leap out of the waves to spin and twirl in the air just for the sheer joy of it? Anthropomorphically speaking, I hope so.

And the concept of writing tension into every scene has suddenly become vividly real for me. I realize these saltwater vignettes are, in essence, reminding me to take a look at my work with a more critical eye. The muse returns to wallop me over the head. I swear I will write with more emotional honesty, push scenes further, fresher, higher, darker. Reach for something more–maybe even a little wonder.

I tried to set up a link but WordPress wasn’t cooperating, so you and Google are on your own. Try: Oceans movie trailer

G. Jillian Stone

There are fields in time that burn with desire. Meet me there.

Jillian is a recent Golden Heart finalist for THE YARD MAN, the first story in The Yard Men Series. Set in late Victorian London, Scotland Yard detectives have never been as wickedly sexy or as brilliantly clever. To read more about her latest work in progress, THE SEDUCTION OF PHAETON BLACK, please drop by her website: www.gjillianstone.com

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