Nightspell Week: "Educational" Movies -- for Writing

It's the last day of Nightspell week, and Leah's here to wrap it up with another guest post, this time on her definition of "educational" movies:

Top Five Movies I Watched to “Research” Nightspell

[1] The Man in the Iron Mask

The Guardian, in Nightspell, is a mysterious figure encased in black iron armor. While working on ways to describe his movements and voice, I checked out the 1998 version of The Man in the Iron Mask.  As it turns out, the mask in the movie didn’t look much like the one the Guardian wears -- but a few moves from the fight scene at the end made their way into the book, so it was all worth it.

[2] Ladyhawke

There’s a falconing scene in Nightspell; and even though I both went falconing myself and read a falconing handbook, there’s nothing like a movie for helping you write descriptions. (Well, I guess there’s real life. But the falconing lesson cost over a hundred dollars. It was a one-time kind of thing.)  Unfortunately this movie caused traumatic flashbacks for my husband, whose parents apparently once rented it instead of whatever their two teenage sons had requested. He makes many sacrifices for my art.


[3] Marie Antoinette

I watched this – as well as a number of other “royalty” movies – primarily to steep myself in the atmosphere of a decadent, intrigue-filled court.

[4] Vanity Fair

There’s a scene in Nightspell that takes place in a litter being carried by four men. How to describe the movements of such a litter? I asked the internet (where “the internet” equals my facebook friends and twitter followers), and someone helpfully informed that there is a scene in a litter at the end of Vanity Fair. Indeed, there is.

[5] Casino Royale

This was actually coincidence. I watched it while I was writing Nightspell for no reason other than that both my husband and I both wanted to watch it (a fairly rare occurrence); but the James Bond concept definitely folded itself into Varis’s character. I think of him as looking like a darker-skinned version of Daniel Craig.


A HUGE thank you to Leah for an awesome post (come on, it has Daniel Craig) and a great week! Be sure to mark May 31st on your calendar for Nightspell's release date, and leave a relevant comment for an extra entry into the Nightspell giveaway. Have something to say to Leah? Now's your chance! :D

My personal comments on the above-mentioned movies: I haven't watched Ladyhawke, but I think it would be wicked to learn falconry. As for the movies on the list that I have watched, one of the two is Vanity Fair, which I didn't like much -- but I still bow down to its stunning costumes and props. The other, Casino Royale...

Did you see Daniel Craig dressing as a woman in support of International Women's Day 2011? ;)