Friday, July 11, 2008

On Villains

There was a great piece in the Herald over the weekend about why villains are so crucial to a film's success.
And the reason we tend to relate to the baddies or the villains is that really we're not watching anything that's outside of anything that we know.
In fact, there's a subconscious connection with them because the things that they're doing tend to be things that we understand anyway. We have our own moral structures and society has helped construct us in a way that we tend not to do those things. But we're certainly capable of understanding the actions themselves - up to a certain point [...] We love villains because they tend to be the only person in the story who knows what's going on. They're the ones, he explains, making everything happen, they're proactive and the protagonists are reactive - at least up to about two-thirds of the way through the movie. "If they don't make a move, nothing happens. They're the engine of the story ... and, remember, movie villains tend to be in the movie maybe 10 per cent of the time. There are long stretches where they're nowhere to be seen. The protagonist is mostly wandering through a fog looking for clues and somewhere in the background is this entity who knows everything.

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