Thursday, September 07, 2017

Power of Story: The Man Who Invented Christmas

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What makes a story come alive?

Think about your favorite stories, whether in books or movies. What is it about them that moves you? That intrigues you? That causes you to see the people in them, relate to them, care about them? That affects your heart, your mind, down to the marrow of your bones?

Because without that, there really is no story. There's just a text book.

And truly, how does a writer or director or actor do this? How do we engage the reader, listener, viewer, draw them into the story and make them part of it? Even the most famous writers have had to address this.

Even Charles Dickens.

Dickens' well-loved story The Christmas Carol has been in constant print since 1844. It has made into countless stage plays and movies and even cartoons. It has inspired people all over the world. It part of our culture. A celebration of Christmas isn't complete without it. 

Some might even suggest that Dickens is responsible for the way we celebrate Christmas today. That, in a sense, he invented what we know as Modern Christmas. 

But The Christmas Carol never should have been a world-wide sensation. It was never meant to change anything or anybody. It is a story that was written and published against all the odds, against all advice, against all reason. The "story behind the story" is being told in a new movie coming out in November called The Man Who Invented Christmas.

The Man Who Invented Christmas tells of the magical journey that led to the creation of Ebenezer Scrooge (Christopher Plummer), Tiny Tim and other classic characters from A Christmas Carol. Directed by Bharat Nalluri (MISS PETTIGREW LIVES FOR A DAY), the film shows how Charles Dickens (Dan Stevens) mixed real life inspirations with his vivid imagination to conjure up unforgettable characters and a timeless tale, forever changing the holiday season into the celebration we know today.

The trailer intrigues me as it looks not just at Dickens and his most treasured story, but behind the scenes at the process of writing and creating a story. About how we find inspiration in real life and in our imagination. About how we find an ending... and a beginning.. and usually not in the obvious places. How titles can be elusive, and can make or break a project. How we create characters who then take on lives of their own, talk to us, ignore us, dislike us, elude us, and sometimes even refuse to do what we want. How not everyone will believe in us or in our story.

Most of all, I hope this movie reminds me - and all of us - of the Power of Story. How every story deserves to be told, and told well. How, even when it doesn't make sense to anyone including us, telling the story might make a difference. And have an impact larger than we can imagine. 

Directed by Bharat Nalluri, written by Susan Coyne, and starring Dan Stevens, Christopher Plummer and Jonathan Pryce, THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS will be released in theaters on November 22, 2017 by Bleeker Street Media

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