June 23, 2008

Aaron Sorkin, Genius

I was watching the extras on A Few Good Men the other day and listened closely to what Aaron Sorkin, the screenwriter, had to say about the creative process. I noticed once again the classic Sorkin trademark--mixing sports with politics/law. It's no surprise that Lt. Kaffee thinks best with a baseball bat in his hand or that he concludes an after hours legal tangle with the prosecutor by calling him a lousy softball player. Sorkin clearly likes to take his characters off the field but keep them in the game mentally, to throw off the audience and add some comedy.

I'm not sure what to take away from this observation other than the writing habit of looking for double meanings and ways to add depth to scenes beyond politics. Sorkin does it again and again in A Few Good Men, The American President, and of course The West Wing. And people watch them over and over.

Sports isn't really a theme in Lawton's life, but faith is, and so is hunting and fishing--and of course, walking. There are plenty of ingredients for a layer cake of meaning.

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