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Entries in Blueprints (52)

Friday
Mar012019

Blueprints: Standout sequences in Original Screenplay winners

by Jorge Molina

Last Sunday, in a ceremony filled with joyful surprises, heartbreaking disappointments, and Emma Stone’s shocked tearsGreen Book won Best Original Screenplay.  Instead of driving into Peter Farrelly, Brian Currie and Nick Vallelonga’s screenplay, let’s take a look at the last ten years of winners of Best Original Screenplay (2008-2017), and a standout sequence in each. Because somehow Viggo Mortensen folding a pizza in half and Mahershala Ali learning how to eat fried chicken are now among their peers.

The King's Speech, Django Unchained, Her, Birdman and more are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Feb152019

Blueprints: "Can You Ever Forgive Me?"

by Jorge Molina

Marielle Heller’s Can You Ever Forgive Me? is a subtle study of a woman clinging to relevance in a world that not only has forgotten about her, but never took her into consideration in the first place. It’s about isolation, and loneliness, and people that already live at the margins marginalizing themselves even more. But it is also a rare, realistically moving portrayal of queer friendship; of the friendship of a woman with a man that’s just as forgotten and isolated as she is.

The screenplay adaptation of Lee Israel’s memoir by Jeff Whitty (of Avenue Q fame) and Nicole Holofcener (of many great pictures fame) tackles the relationship between Lee and Jack (Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant in career-best performances) with nuance and bite, and never gives in to "likeability". Whitty and Holofcener know that sometimes friends happen to just not like each other...

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Thursday
Jan312019

Blueprints: Memorable scenes from your "Best Adapted Screenplay" nominees

by Jorge Molina

Last week we dove into the nominees for Original Screenplay. Unlike that category, which feels up in the air with a batch of uneven contenders, the adapted nominees reflect a much richer group of screenplays overall. From the pitch-perfect blending of genres and race-commentary in BlackKklansman, to the lyricism and poetry of If Beale Street Could Talk, and from the snark and melancholy in Can You Ever Forgive Me?, to the dark ironies that permeate through all the tales in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, andthe interpersonal relationships against the backdrop of superstardom in A Star Is Born, each nominee says what it needs to say in a way only it could have. Let’s have a look at each of the nominees...

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Thursday
Jan242019

Blueprints: Memorable Scenes from Your "Best Original Screenplay" Nominees

by Jorge Molina

We all rose at the crack of dawn on Tuesday morning to hear Kumail Nanjiani and Tracee Ellis Ross banter in a way that we won’t see anyone do on the actual Oscar stage. While we were all bracing for catastrophe (and yes, Bohemian Rhapsody is a Best Picture nominee), the nods balance between expected precursors and delightful surprises (still high on the Marina de Tavira wave). As for Best Original Screenplay, there were no surprises. Four out of the five nominees were pretty locked from very early on. It was the fifth slot that was the question mark. While I was hoping for Bo Burnham’s distillation on teen angst, Paul Schrader’s distillation on environmental nihilism works just fine as well.

After the jump the writers, their history with Oscar, and what scene we think landed them that nomination...

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Friday
Jan182019

Blueprints: "Mary Poppins Returns"

This week, Jorge explores how a movie reintroduces iconic characters to a new generation.

When a new Mary Poppins movie was greenlit, many sighed a sigh of relief when it was announced that it wouldn’t be a remake of the 1964 classic, but rather a sequel. This new story would bring Mary Poppins back to the Banks children, who are adults now, and would look after their own kids now. Perhaps she would straighten the mess in their lives once again. 

The writers of this continuation faced the challenge of not only finding a new take inside the rest of author P.L. Travers’ series, but also reintroducing a character that has become a staple of cinema. A character who, because of the 60-year gap between movies, would be a completely different person. It turns out their answer was to treat it as if Mary Poppins had never left at all…

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Thursday
Jan032019

Blueprints: Five Expertly Written Scenes of 2018

by Jorge Molina

A screenplay has to accomplish many things to be successful: establish the characters, create and maintain tension, introduce the plotlines and carry them smoothly and compellingly, grasp the audience’s attention and hold it for two plus hours. A good script does it all. A great script makes it all look easy and seamless.

We previously sang the praises of 5 original screenplays and 5 adaptations. This week, we're getting more specific with 5 scenes. While each of the following stories were successfully told overall as one cohesive movie, their writing stood out for making a particular element of screenwriting shine; each unique to the story they were trying to tell.

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