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Wednesday
Mar262014

The Temple of Link

Vulture Pharrell on his Oscar loss and Frozen's "Let it Go"
Cinema Blend super depressing think piece about Chris Evans planned retirement after Captain America and why our franchise culture kills an actor's passion
Empire Madonna is not done directing. Next up: Ade: A Love Story based on the novel by Alice Walker's daughter

Guardian wonders when we'll start seeing gay parents in family films from Disney
Variety True Detective will compete in drama rather than in miniseries at the Emmys. Interesting move, right? I still think the Emmys need to start making rulings on this sort of thing just so there's consistency, rather than letting the shows decide. 
The Wire FWIW this is the article that seems to make the most sense as to why HBO is doing that
Film School Rejects Plans for Prometheus 2 move forward. Rumors of multiple Michael Fassbender sound perfect to me. Fill the screen with him.
Salon on Wes Anderson and the art of Twee "It's not easy being twee"
What Culture on 18 screenplays every aspiring writer should read. Some interesting choices / points but it's VERY man's man oriented. Obviously written by a guy who doesn't get into female protagonist cinema because I don't know how you make a screenplay list and don't include All About Eve
St Paul Lutheran Church Get this. Oft employed character actor James Rebhorn (Homeland, The Talented Mr Ripley, Far From Heaven) wrote his own obituary before he died. It's beautiful

From CinemaCon in Vegas
i09 sees and loves footage from Luc Besson's "insane" Lucy starring Scarlett Johansson as a drug mule turned superpowered killer. They liken it to Kick Ass which is unfortunately for me a superpowered deterrent.
In Contention on Angelina Jolie's Unbroken preview - I haven't drawn up my "april foolish" predictions yet but I think I'm probably less bullish on this one than most. I keep thinking Seabiscuit. Not that that film wasn't an Oscar hit but that type of inspirational power of human (or animal) spirit isn't as easy of an Oscar sell as it once was, I'd wager. 

P.S. And in case you haven't heard Jonathan Groff (Looking, Frozen) and Lucy Liu will announce the Tony Award nom this year on April 29th.

P.P.S. I'm not going to link to any of the many articles about the possible reboot of the Indiana Jones franchise (a.k.a. Indiana Jones 5 or 6)  because the only way to end reboot culture and get some actual NEW material up in here is for the media and the public to start ignoring these creatively bankrupt cash-ins that desperately want to keep giving us things we've already had.

What happened to youthful rebellion, I ask? Why do kids today want to see watered down versions of their parents favorite heroes instead of getting their own? Katniss aside, it's ALL their parents heroes over and over again.

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Reader Comments (14)

Poor Jon Hamm.

PS Chris Evans acts?

March 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

"I'm not going to link to any of the many articles about the possible reboot of the Indiana Jones franchise (a.k.a. Indiana Jones 5 or 6) because the only way to end reboot culture and get some actual NEW material up in here is for the media and the public to start ignoring these creatively bankrupt cash-ins that desperately want to keep giving us things we've already had.

What happened to youthful rebellion, I ask? Why do kids today want to see watered down versions of their parents favorite heroes instead of getting their own? Katniss aside, it's ALL their parents heroes over and over again."

My thoughts exactly! I get why Disney is doing it, but I don't get why so many people get excited for this stuff.

March 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrianZ

That Pharrell interview annoys me, yes Let It Go will be around in 10 years time, it's a top 10 hit which is unheard of for a Disney song these days, just because you lost doesn't mean the song that won didn't deserve it.

March 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRami

Yeah, that screenplay list is pretty lacking. I mean, I love action movies as much as the next guy, but I don't think we needed Lethal Weapon AND Die Hard there in place of, say, something by Charlie Kaufman. And the lack of foreign-language screenplays is sort of galling. Because there's really no excuse to not include A Separation, which is one of the most perfectly dramatically constructed films I've seen in any language.

March 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul C.

"Let It Go" will be around ten years from now, kept alive by gay men and karaoke.

March 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRaul

I agree about the Television Academy needing to weigh in on these things (whether or not they make the correct decision). "Shameless," in an attempt to finally get a deserving nomination for Emmy Rossum is submitting in comedy this year rather than drama...for what might possibly be their least comedic seasons to date. This is icky to me, magnificent as Emmy Rossum is on that show. But how do you fairly put that level of acting up against...Amy Poehler or Julia Louis Dreyfuss or Melissa McCarthy, who are all being asked to perform on a completely different register than Emmy? They need a committee. Even if they do happen to decide that say "Desperate Housewives" is a comedy, at least that decision is not coming from the network.

It just seems like mad scrambling and strategizing to get nominations that more often than not won't come anyway. The Emmys just have a blind spot where certain shows are concerned. I don't think "Shameless" will ever click over onto their radar in a major way. You know that's true when William H. Macy can't even get nominated and he's a film actor on a TV series playing a drunk (usually Emmy catnip).

Peggy Sue - I thought the same thing! Poor Jon Hamm, indeed. Maybe the final season will finally clinch it for him, once Breaking Bad is out of the picture and McConaughey won't be a contender. Although the Emmys don't always do the 'it's-the-last-season-just-give-it-to-him-already' win as much as we think they do. Just ask Steve Carrell, Laura Dern and Jane Krakowski.

While I could see how the superhero thing might've killed Chris Evans' passion, a LOT of people switch careers nowadays. Many actors have learned how it's really the director who calls the shots and the actors have very little control, even over their own performances (such as which takes are chosen, for example).

I can definitely see how the grind of pumping out Marvel film after Marvel film (the shoot itself, the training beforehand, the worldwide publicity tours, etc.) would be exhausting and maybe not creatively satisfying, there's a good chance he'd be like many other actors and find his way to directing anyway.

Either way, good for him for taking charge of his career instead of just passively sifting through one mediocre script after another.

March 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

For pure omnipresence, Happy has more than overtaken Let It Go. So Pharrell has nothing to complain about. Ten years on? That might be a tougher nut. IMO, Let It Go is the better song, but I don't make these decisions. And neither does he.

March 26, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Interesting ideas on how franchises end with someone's willingness to continue acting. But in these articles I always miss the figures, not the gross of the movies, but what Evans got for that choice. Is it really the franchise killing your desire to act? or is it that having your entire life financially solved makes you rethink your priorities?

the only way to end reboot culture and get some actual NEW material up in here is for the media and the public to start ignoring these creatively bankrupt cash-ins

Thanks for that. I've been saying it for sooooo long, my throat is so itchy that it feels like my entire social life had consisted in having balls in my nose :)

March 26, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteriggy

Yes ENOUGH with the pointless re-makes and sequels.

March 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

Including older scripts is problematic because screenwriting norms has changed so much over the past 50 or 60 years (scripts used to routinely be 200+ pages), but this is a pretty dubious, bro-centric list. Nothing from James L. Brooks, Billy Wilder, Woody Allen, or Charlie Kaufman? Die Hard and Lethal Weapon are fine, but in place of James Cameron, whose scripts are impeccable examples of action screenwriting? No Bergman, no Farhadi, no Rohmer? No Campion, Ephron or May? And not for nothing, but Lost in Translation was so extensively improvised on set that the screenplay is not all that useful in terms of understanding why and how that movie works.

Rant over. :)

March 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

Here's my attempt at a list of 30 films, three PER COMPLETED DECADE (one primarily male centric, one primarily female centric and one focused on the interplay) from 1920s onward, that every screenwriter should look at:

1920s:

Male: Greed
Female: Pandora's Box
Mixed: Sunrise

1930s:

Male: Duck Soup
Female: Gone With the Wind (It's dated, what with it's more problematic than the book racial politics and badly chosen casting of a 19 year old to play a 12 year old part that isn't even changed that much to disguise that the character is supposed to be 12, but it's still a very well structured script, especially for the time, that's very long and primarily focused around female characters.)
Mixed: The Rules of the Game

1940s:

Male: Kind Hearts and Coronets (Citizen Kane is a master of cinematic form and structure, but KH+C is, on balance, probably THE BEST SCRIPT OF THE DECADE)
Female: Black Narcissus
Mixed: His Girl Friday

1950s:

Male: The Seven Samurai
Female: Imitation of Life
Mixed: Sunset Boulevard

1960s:

Male: Lawrence of Arabia
Female: Darling
Mixed: Breathless

1970s:

Male: Chinatown
Female: Carrie
Mixed: Network

1980s:

Male: Local Hero
Female: Aliens (Yeah, it's action, but the ultimate focus is on Ripley and Newt)
Mixed: Blow Out

1990s:

Male: Ed Wood
Female: The Addiction
Mixed: Three Colours: Red

2000s:

Male: Oldboy
Female: A Very Long Engagement
Mixed: Shaun of the Dead

(There, I solved your list, you moron. A decent cross section of screen writing across history with fair representation for all genres.)

March 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

That Chris Evans thing is bull. My guess is he will take a 6 month to 1 1/2 year break before getting back to acting like so many other acting 'retirees' have done. I don't really feel sorry for him at all - he knew what he was getting into.

Although I think that any up and comer should really consider before signing the dotted line (especially if their star is going to rise regardless - like Lawrence signing up for the x men franchise - did she REALLY need to do that?). Especially for Marvel films because you have the multi-film crossover appearances + promotional duties across the globe + workout routine.

If you are a complete unknown - go for it. But if you are a Lawrence or a Garfield - think real hard before you do because you'll have to pass up some real juicy projects at the peak of your career/fame/appeal due to contract stipulations. Now if you are like a Henry Canvil - sign the dotted line - wouldn't likely be A list anytime soon without it.

March 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnonny

Note: I avoided All About Eve (which is very witty, but more well performed than sterling as a piece of writing) and put Imitation of Life because it kind of also has to navigate some hard to talk about racial waters and do it in a way that was acceptable for the time. (Also: My list adds up to 27, not 30. Where did I learn to count?)

Action: 2 (Seven Samurai (too murky and dirty to really qualify as an epic in my eyes, in spite of it's length and period setting), Aliens)
Straight comedy: 3 (Duck Soup, His Girl Friday, KH&C)
Epic: 2 (Gone with the Wind, Lawrence of Arabia)
Horror: 3 (Greed, Carrie, The Addiction)
English Language Drama: 2 (Sunrise, Imitation of Life)
Horror-Comedy: 1 (Shaun of the Dead)
Thriller: 4 (Black Narcissus, Chinatown, Blow Out, Oldboy)
Bio-pic: 1 (Ed Wood)
Dramedy: 6 (The Rules of the Game, Sunset Boulevard, Darling, Breathless, Network, Local Hero)
Foreign-Language Drama: 3 (Pandora's Box, Three Colours: Red, A Very Long Engagement.)

March 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

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