Archive for August, 2014

After hearing so many accolades about the French, international Emmy winning supernatural drama, The Returned (Les Revenants) I was naturally psyched to see it listed on Watchever (Germany’s version of Netflix). Available to watch in either the original French, or dubbed in German, I picked the latter since I know perhaps two words of French. To say I wasn’t disappointed, is an understatement. In three nights, I gobbled up all 8 episodes of the first season. It would have actually been one marathon evening if I wasn’t inclined to liking sleep.

Set in a small French town somewhere, the show poses the question, “What would it truly be like if our loved ones returned from the dead?” Most anyone who has lost someone dear, wishes for such a thing to come true. That soap opera moment of, “it wasn’t really me who was buried ten years ago.” “It was only a dream…” But what really would be the consequences? Should the dead be able to return once they’ve crossed over to the otherside?

The series begins with fifteen year-old Camille walking home. She’s starving, and has a long trek til she finally reaches her house. Helping herself to some food, she has no idea why her mother stops in her tracks upon seeing her. Why her mother follows her upstairs, barely able to speak, while Camille readies her bath. Why does her father look so disturbed when he arrives home from work? And when did he start smoking? It is only later when she knocks on her twin sister’s door that in one horrifying moment she realizes the truth. Her sister, Lena, now looks a lot older. They both release screams from the very depths of their beings. Lena at the sight of seeing her dead sister, and Camille at realizng four years have passed.

the returned- camille and lena

After the initial shock wears off, her parents (Claire and Jerome) set aside any reservations and embrace the miracle of her return. Yet they cannot let the outside world know. Forced to hide inside the house, a house filled with pictures of Lena growing up, Camille grows more and more angry at the years she has lost. All the things that she and Lena were supposed to experience together. Now her sister is a young womman, while she is really still a kid.

While Camille struggles to find a new place for herself in this world, the show turns to depict how the other les Revenants are faring.

A motely crew, there seems to be no rhyme or reason on who has been given a second chance at life.

Amongst others, the main characters include:

Adele, now happily married to Thomas, must deal with the return of Simon, who died on their wedding day. Never having had any closure, it is little wonder that Adele is drawn back to the first man she was going to marry, and the father of her child. Simon must deal with the fact that she later wed another, and that he missed out on watching his daughter grow into adolesence. Thomas, well-aware of his wife’s affair, has to deal with literally competing with a ghost from the past, while fearing losing the girl he has raised and loved as his own.

LES REVENANTS

There is Toni, the bar owner who buried his brother alive several years ago upon discovering he was the serial killer attacking the towns women. Now Serge has returned. Unable to bring himself to kill his brother again, Toni lives in fear that the murders will begin anew…

A former victim of Serge, Julie (perhaps the soul of the show) who survived the attack with deep scars all over her stomach and an even more wounded psyche, lives a mostly isolated existance until a mysterious little boy enters her life. A boy who died 35 years ago and claims she is his “fairy protector”. A boy who is able to drive people into committing suicide by showing them visions of their sins…

returned- julie and victor

While the living try to hide the fact that their dead ones have returned, secrets can never be kept in tiny, remote towns. It is not long after the Returned find out about each other, that the other townsfolks do as well. While some consider it a miracle that confirms their faith in the afterlife, others are filled with fear and resentment. Why are you able to hug your child again, and not me? Why were you so blessed? And as more and more strange incidents occur, it is not long before The Returned are blamed. They’re not supposed to be here, so surely they must be guilty. As they become the scapegoats, the new witches of an unofficial Inquisition, their loved ones must try to protect them from the others who are more than willing to sacrifice them to a mysterious horde forming outside.

 

* The Returned can be viewed in the US and elsewhere on Netflix.  (original French language with English subs)

*not to be confused with the US show, Resurrection, which has a similar premise but is unrelated to the French series)

the returned- the horde

I shuffle the cards to clear the deck. With my eyes closed, concentrating on my brow chakra to activate the inner sight, I ask the Spirits to guide my hand to the card which represents my current state of mind on the creative writing process.
“I will shuffle nine times. Let the card on top be the current answer.”

I shuffle and turn the chosen card.

Six of Swords

bohemian gothic tarot six of wands

“Getting through a hard time calmly and quietly. Making a profound change in your life, which will take some time.” Are some of the sentences the Bohemian Gothic Tarot uses to describe the meaning of this card.

And yes, like most writers, I have gone through some difficult times with my current manuscript. There are the days when the words flow seamlessly and I bounce like an excited child as I type away. Giddy that I am a sorceress creating magic with the touch of my fingertips against the keys. There are the times when my brain is frazzled and I just can’t get the images in my head down onto that screen, and I wonder how I ever wrote two novels when I can’t even now get one damned paragaph down. More often than not, there are the okay days, when the words don’t flow, but with patience and faith, they do eventually come.

As I gaze at the picture above, I see a woman asleep, floating on a boat. The water, so symbolic of dreams. Below, is her double. Awake, and staring up at her twin. The conscious and subconscious.

To create one must go deep, deep within themselves into the forests of their mind. This is where story ideas and characters are found. Yet it is the conscious which enables us to weave tales in a comprehensible fashion. To revise and edit and make all words clear and meaningful.

It is a beautiful mental dance.

And yes, it often takes a lot of time.

And that, is all right.