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Monday, March 4, 2013

Do you really want all the details? by Paty Jager



I started watching the movie “Bernie” with Jack Black a couple weeks ago. It had been recommended by a friend. Well, my husband and I were bored to death it moved so slow and was kind of like a documentary about this guy Bernie’s life. It was based on a true story about a mortician who befriends an older widowed woman.

Which brings us to this month’s topic; Death and Taxes. I’m not going to talk about taxes. It’s like talking politics. Everyone has their point of view and the only thing everyone can agree on is we all pay too much.
Now death… that can be reflected on, talked about, and hit you where it hurts. But what I’m going to talk about are the things I saw and thought I’d learned at the very beginning of the movie “Bernie”.  As I said he is a mortician and the movie opens with him teaching a class at a mortician’s school on how to “present” the deceased.

He showed how to “fix the face”, put make up on, and pose the hands. Things I’d never thought about and have since researched because I couldn’t believe some of the things he did. Were they the truth or added to make the viewer question? From the info I found on the internet(two reliable sources by morticians), I believe the movie used methods to evoke an emotion other than “Ick”. In the movie “Bernie” super glued the eyes and the lips shut. But first he placed a piece of plastic in the corpse’s mouth to make his lips stick out rather than suck in.  

I discovered there is an adhesive used to keep the eyes closed (they don’t shut after someone closes them as they show in the movies and TV)  And they do a whole lot more to the mouth to keep it closed, but I won’t go into that. (Let’s just say, I think I’m going to just be cremated rather than have so much evasion on my person when I die.)

The moral or reason I’m bringing this up, is, as I researched, I found out a whole lot of information that would make most viewers turn the movie off way before I did. So when writing or reading a book, how much do you want the writer to stick to the truth? Enough to make it interesting without boring you or making you sick, or do you want all the gory or boring details?

Bonus: Starting this month on my blog and website, I’m giving away prizes. At my website it’s a scavenger hunt and on my blog all you have to do is leave comments to win. The prizes are worth $25 so swing on by and try your hand at winning!

5 comments:

Judith Ashley said...

I vote for 'interesting but not boring'...but then I grew up with the couple walking hand-in-hand into the bedroom (you could see a corner of the bed through the open door), gazing lovingly into each other's eyes. The rest was up to my imagination - which didn't include much more than kissing at that time.

Todays movies and many books have way too much information, too many details, too much gore or sex or violence, etc. to entertain me.

Lynn Lovegreen said...

Good question, Paty. I want enough detail to add a little flavor, but I don't really want the reality!

Terri Molina said...

For me, if the writer is doing a good enough job with the story to make me believe he can make dinosaurs with mosquito and frog DNA then I don't need the facts.

Now you have my morbid curiosity up, Paty. I might have to go rent that movie....and hopefully I'll be able to tolerate Jack Black.

Paty Jager said...

HI Judith, I agree. There is too much detail in a lot of the shows and movies.

Hi Lynn! I'm the same way. I might research things to death but I only put in what I think will interest the reader and not make them queasy.

Hi Terri, I agree. I'm not a Jack Black fan either so I only watched the movie because my friend thought it was worthwhile. Now, I'll second guess her idea of a good movie from now on. ;)

Paty Jager said...

Forgot to check the follow-up comments.