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Entries in Screenplays (160)

Monday
Aug012016

Podcast/Smackdown Pt 1: "Julia" & "The Goodbye Girl"

As a companion piece to yesterday's Smackdown, a two-part podcast. In the first installment Mark Harris, Guy Lodge, Nick Davis, Sara Black McCulloch, and Nathaniel R discuss 1977's Oscar race, Jane Fonda & Vanessa Redgrave's friendship, Neil Simon's quippy writing, and more...

Part One. Index (41 minutes)
00:01 Intros, 1977 Memories, Annie Hall vs Star Wars
05:55 "getting" movies and Oscar-watching before the internet
09:09 Julia and Jane Fonda's curious "supporting" lead
16:23 Gender in Julia, Vanessa Redgrave's politics, and queer subtext
29:45 Child acting and difficult language in The Goodbye Girl
35:45 The influx of divorce/single parenting movies in the 70s
39:14 Nick's family memory of The Goodbye Girl

You can listen to the podcast here or download from iTunes. Continue the conversations in the comments, won't you?  

Smackdown 77. Part One. Julia

Monday
Jul252016

Review: Star Trek Beyond

It’s Eric, an admitted non-Trekker, with some reflections on Star Trek Beyond.  

Is there a better rebooter in the industry than J.J. Abrams?  His last directing effort, a little film called Star Wars: The Force Awakens, expertly combined the franchises’ original charm and simplicity with a new sparkle that made it the best in the series since 1983.  And when Abrams kicked off Star Trek in 2009 for a new generation, he seemed similarly to balance many of the qualities dear to Trekkers’ hearts while introducing a new audience (of which I was one) to the series.   

Abrams also directed the next installment, Into Darkness, but here on Beyond serves as producer only while the director reigns go to Justin Lin.  Lin is an expert action director and has delivered some killer set pieces in volumes three through six of the Fast and the Furious franchise...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jul142016

Oscar Chart Updates: Picture, Director, Screenplay

It's time to overhaul those April Fool's Oscar Predictions. Release dates have shifted around a bit with Miss Sloane (starring Jessica Chastain) and The Founder (starring Michael Keaton) moving to a very crowded December. Same as it ever was. Quite strangely every Oscar hopeful wants to open opposite Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, so those that have firmly planted their flags in October and November like Birth of a Nation, Billy Lynn's Halftime Walk, and Loving are looking extra smart since that's where Best Picture winners come from for a whole decade now. So why do studios keep banking on December? The answer is twofold. IF you don't get buried in the glut (that's the risk) you can make a lot of money during the holidays and get a higher nomination count than you probably could have managed had you opened in October since you're so fresh in the memory. That's what happened to The Big Short, Carol, Star Wars, and The Revenant last year though half of those did not manage Best Picture honors, even with the benefit of being fresh despite a plentiful stack of nominations.

Will the screenplay branch be appreciative of The Lobster's eccentric originality?

Sadly it doesn't look like we have a major summer player this year like we did last year with Mad Max Fury Road. Though we can hold out hope that The Lobster, Love & Friendship, The Witch and some other goodies from the year's first half will get a second wind later in the season. Anyway, the updates!

BEST PICTURE | BEST DIRECTOR
Faith is increasing in Billy Lynn's Halftime Walk and Loving and La La Land (though they were already doing well in our charts). Faith has decreased in Fences -- they sure rushed that one, didn't they, since they're already done filming and The Zookeeper's Wife has moved to 2017. (Surely a few more titles will also exit and wait it out)

BEST SCREENPLAYS
We'll assume Loving is an Original Screenplay for now, though there's a documentary and other writings on that topic. Since Oscar is weird about nominating musicals for Screenplay this is one category where La La Land is not predicted. But we've thrown Miss Sloane onto the chart to see how it feels. In Adapted Screenplay we're banking on Love & Friendship being the early bird that sticks around since it became such an arthouse hit and it's so delightful and so much was made in profiles and reviews and interviews of Whit Stillman's Jane Austen connection. 

More updates to come!

Saturday
Jun252016

Great Moments in Gay - 'This kind of stuff' in Weekend (2011)

In June we're celebrating favorite queer moments in cinema. Here's guest contributor Bill Curran on a pivotal low key scene in Weekend... 


Jamie: "What's going on?"

Russell: "Nothing… nothing's going on."

Pride is hard. We’re in a month filled with delirious rainbow floats, umpteen “Yass Queen” gifs, and appropriately lascivious street dancing down many city streets around the globe, and yet I’d like to pause and consider how pride is not merely happiness or acceptance, but respect. And respect is hard. 

Respect—one’s own worth in relation to others—is the motoring theme behind much of Andrew Haigh’s Weekend (2011). In this sense, if Weekend can be considered a landmark 21st century film (as indeed it should be, by any number of artistic rubrics), then the pivotal scene is this exchange between Russell (Tom Cullen) and his best (straight) mate Jamie (Jonathan Race). It is the sea change climax before the more expected bittersweet one... 

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jun012016

Hump Day Link Night

Vanity Fair Brie Larson reportedly frontrunner to play Captain Marvel. I'll believe that movie when I see it.
Boy Culture 90 things Marilyn Monroe would have done if she'd lived to be 90 today
The Playlist Susanne Bier, the Oscar winning Danish director of Brothers and After the Wedding fame, is rumored to be in the running to direct the next Bond film
Screencraft Do professional readers only read the first ten pages of each screenplay in their stacks? If you're an aspiring screenwriter you should read this.
Variety Jake Gyllenhaal to star in The Division, an adaptation of a video game

 

People Archives Mark Harris pointed us to this amazing profile of Sandy Dennis, Oscar-winner and crazy cat lady from 1989 
Vox has a detailed analysis and cool sortable list of all major TV characters who died this season, As per usual they're still killing off minorities in disproportionate numbers. Out of the 234 characters that died 29 of them were LGBT and 59 were people of color. 
Interview Mag Did you know that Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher are the stars of a new documentary? It'll play on HBO later this year
Towleroad President Obama issues 2016 Pride Month Proclamation. We'll be celebrating here to throughout the month 
Twitter so i played one of those "like this and I will" games and had to reveal 25 crushes from my life. It was fun!  

That Carney/Keira Situation
An update...
Directors and actors came forward to defend Keira Knightley after John Carney's recent remarks about herskill and their time together on Begin Again which we discussed on the most recent  Film Experience Podcast. John Carney has since issued this very self-deprecating public apology.

 

 

 

Monday
May232016

Thelma & Louise, Pt 2: The Venetian Blindside

25th Anniversary Five-Part Mini Series Event 

When we left our heroines in Pt 1 of our 25th anniversary lookback at Thelma & Louise, they were fleeing the scene of their (first) crime but Louise needed a cup of coffee and to collect herself. Anne Marie & Margaret, our own superheroine duo in Los Angeles were grappling with the surprise killing of a would be rapist. Was it rage and pride that motivated Louise to shoot after she had already saved Thelma? It certainly provoked audiences but was there any other way to play the film's themes?

Louise is trying to plot their next move when we return to them, just before they jump back in their '66 Thunderbird - Editor

Pt 2 by Nick Davis

Now's not the time to panic. If we panic now, we're done for."

24:50 You could say this is the moment where Thelma and Louise shifts from a movie about two women fleeing some problems, at least temporarily, to two women solving a problem, probably permanently. Sure, I'll run to any movie where two women let their hair down, but I will fucking jet-propel myself to any movie where two or more women join forces to think their way out of a fix.  Well, not Mad Money.  And not The Boss.  Okay, there are exceptions.  But Thelma & Louise is the glorious rule, and this is where the drama of deduction, cognition, mutual examination, and deep self-reflection really kicks into fifth gear.

I should mention that I saw this film in the theater at 14.  Sheltered and naive about sex and violence, I didn't completely understand what rape was--which is to say, I think I learned it here.  I had never had a drink, much less been drunk, or even seen a margarita.  Ironically, the post-shooting moment when Thelma and Louise start spiraling into unknown territory was  when I started to connect with their world and feel common ground with the heroines.  I didn't know from waitressing jobs, fishing trips, honky tonks, convertibles, freeways, mesas, relationship troubles, shitty husbands, hitchhikers, horny moods, pistols, or structural misogyny, but I absolutely related to relying on wits to think your way out of a problem, and disclosing aspects of yourself in how you did so, and concealing parts of yourself at the same time.

Click to read more ...