I've been obsessed with storytelling lately. I realized recently that most of the art that I truly love is rooted in good storytelling. Films, images, songs, books, even advertisements are all ways to tell stories. The ones that captivate us most are the ones that tell the story well.
I saw the last Harry Potter movie last weekend, and I developed a newfound appreciation for JK Rowling's ability to tell a rich story; every one and everything had a life, whether it was central to the plot or not. When Harry and Co. are in the Room of Requirement, some little bat-like creatures scurry from the clutter. Their moment in the movie was brief, but they weren't without purpose. Rowling made the Potter universe so rich that it's not difficult to imagine that the little bats as the central characters of their own novel.
In well-told stories, everything in intentional. I highlight Rowling because, in the Potter universe she could have created dozens of fantastical creatures, just for the fun of it. But she didn't. And that's often the criticism of fantasy and science fiction. The emphasis is usually more on the fantasy and less on the intentions behind it. The audience may be wowed initially by the novelty, but that eventually wears off, and the art is soon forgotten.
So here's to intentional storytelling. The stuff of legend. The stuff that lasts.