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Entries in Screenplays (155)

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 ...

Sunday
May222016

Thelma & Louise Part 1: Girls' Trip, Interrupted

25th Anniversary Five-Part Mini Series Event 

Thelma & Louise
Directed by Ridley Scott
Written by Callie Khouri
Released by MGM on May 24th, 1991
Nominated for Six Oscars

To celebrate the anniversary of this bonafide girls gone wild classic from 1991, Team Experience is revisiting the picture, tag-team style all week long (like we did with Rebecca & Silence of the Lambs, y'all!).

While the film begins in Arkansas, we're taking an alternate route. Grabbing the keys to begin this road trip is our own dazzling female duo over in Los Angeles, Anne Marie and Margaret. - Editor

Pt 1 by Anne Marie and Margaret

Anne Marie: 00:01. Fade in on an opening credit sequence that pulls every single late 80s/early 90s cliche. Heat-baked street? Check. Twanging guitar? Check. Harmonica solo? Check.

Margaret: Based on this alone, I would definitely expect to be watching a serious action-drama about a lovable renegade cop

Anne Marie: I mean, it's in that vein. As Susan Sarandon has pointed out (love this woman, and love how much she talks about this movie), Thelma & Louise basically is an outlaw buddy movie in the vein of Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid.

01:10 But more on that later. Right now let's talk about HANS ZIMMER WROTE THIS SCORE?!?

Margaret: Hans Zimmer contains multitudes.

Anne Marie: As long as those multitudes contain at least one louder-than-necessary instrument solo. In all seriousness, there is a lot of talent behind Thelma & Louise, which you get to see just in the opening credits roll: Besides our two incredible leading ladies, the incomparable Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon, we've got baby Brad Pitt without an ounce of baby fat on him, Harvey Keitel (happy belated birthday!), Michael Madsen, Christopher McDonald, and it's written by Callie Khouri, who would one day give us Nashville. Not the Altman.

Margaret: And never let us forget character actor workhorse Stephen Tobolowsky, who also appears here in compliance with state law. I also often forget that this is a Ridley Scott film. It doesn't have a "Ridley Scott film" kind of place in our cultural discourse, though it's got at least as much pop permanence as Blade Runner. (When was the last time Blade Runner got referenced in a Country radio hit?)

Anne Marie: Definitely.

02:15. Moving on, we introduce Our Fair Heroes. It's actually a great bit of screenwriting, because we learn exactly who each lady is just by this introduction

Click to read more ...

Friday
May202016

Posterized: Writer/Director Shane Black

Shane Black with Ryan Gosling at the Cannes premiere of Nice Guys this weekSince we've already done "Posterized" episodes on both Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling, who co-star together in this weekend's new comedy Nice Guys, let's look at the man behind their bantering bros curtain, Shane Black. The 54 year-old director hit the big time with his very first produced screenplay 29 years ago, the smash hit buddy action flick Lethal Weapon (1987).

He's stuck to the high-concept action/comedy genre like glue thereafter making obscene amounts of cash during the heyday of that genre (the early 90s). If he's not interested in stretching, at least he does them better than most. Eleven years ago he finally moved into the director's chair for the underseen critical darling Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005). Strangely for a successful creator in a lucrative genre that isn't exactly relegated to the arthouse, he's not been that prolific in his 29 year career. (If you're curious about how it all shook out this old piece at Grantland is a must read)

Boy movies, least of all buddy comedies, aren't a thing TFE is known for so it's a little bit of a curveball today in Posterized but we're curious:  How many of his 8 films have you seen? 

Screenplays: Lethal Weapon (1987), The Monster Squad (1987), The Last Boy Scout (1991), The Last Action Hero (1993), The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996); Screenplay & Directing: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005), Iron Man 3 (2013), and Nice Guys (2016).

And which is your favorite?

Friday
Mar042016

Review: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Eric here with a take on the new Tina Fey film Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, an adaptation of journalist Kim Barker’s memoir of her three years as a war reporter in Afghanistan. 

It’s hard to watch WTF and not think of the film’s clear antecedent, Barry Levinson’s Good Morning, Vietnam with Robin Williams:  both films are custom-tailored star vehicles that take a Western audience into a foreign culture, finding a tone between the comedy we expect from the leads, and light drama that allows them to expand their personas a bit...  

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Tuesday
Feb232016

5 Days til Oscar. "5" being the Sacrosanct Number.

OSCAR VOTING CLOSES TODAY! CEREMONY THIS SUNDAY.

The Film Experience had quite a scare earlier this season when it was suggested that the Academy might change the number of nominees per category (ostensibly to promote diversity though it would send a terrible message of "now, you might be worthy with more slots. might not" We still don't know if they'll spring this ghastly proposition on us and whether it will ruin every chart and stat for the future. The varying number of nominees in Best Picture already makes for messy comparisons from year to year which used to be half the fun.

The sacrosanct number is 5 and it should not ever change. Any deviation from 5 feels blasphemous as in those years when Original Song or Short Films kept changing the number or the continued satanic tradition of denying the Makeup and Hairstylist branch two of their deserved nominations each year - the only category with 3.

So here's to five, the best number. Five forever. FIVE BY FIVE. Never change the number, Academy! Never.

Just for fun here are the 5 categories this year with the highest across-the-board quality

 

  1. Best Actress - All wonderful. And from mostly great films, too! 
  2. Original Score - When the worst nominee is __ you've got playlist heaven
  3. Adapted Screenplay - Mostly wonderful and filled with films about women: Brooklyn, Carol, Room. And the two most deserving screenplays are written by women, too: Phyllis Nagy & Emma Donoghue
  4. Cinematography - Don't quite understand what Robert Richardson is doing here again but he's no slouch in general and otherwise this is a list for the all time list of great lists in this particular category. 
  5. Visual Effects - It was a toss up for this fifth slot but it's worth including to point out that for once they didn't go "Most" and actually included two films with very convincing effects (Ex Machina & The Revenant) that would work without those visual effects, too. Worthy Best Supporting Visual Effects is a nice change of pace here.

5 of my favorite Oscar nominee interviews this season in case you missed any: Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl), Deniz Gamze Ergüven (Mustang), Phyllis Nagy (Carol), Sandy Powell (Carol), and Jack Fisk (The Revenant)

 

Tuesday
Feb232016

Oscar Screenplay Records That Could Be Broken

Manuel here to talk Oscar nominated screenplays. We first greeted them by looking at their first lines of dialogue, we crunched the numbers about how 2015 was a good year for female scribes, ranked them by quotability, and this week we’re taking a more playful approach. Think of it as a way to find some levity as we near the Big Day.

Now, we know there are frontrunners (and some dark horses) but I put all of that aside and imagined a world where every screenplay nominee has a shot and offered some records that could be broken Sunday night.

IF Bridge of Spies wins
Joel & Ethan Coen would join the ranks of most awarded screenwriters of all time, tying Woody Allen, Billy Wilder, Charles Brackett, Francis Ford Coppola, and Paddy Chayefsky, all of whom have three wins, though Allen holds the distinction of winning all three for Original screenplays.

IF Ex Machina wins
It would be the first film with a Latin title to win (previous failed bids include Equus and Europa Europa)

IF Inside Out wins
It would be the first animated film to win a screenplay award (previous failed bids include Toy Story, Shrek, Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, WALL-E and Up in the Original Screenplay category and Toy Story 3 in Adapted)

more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Feb212016

More Guild Honors: Make-Up, Sound, and Adapted Scripts

Three sets of awards were handed out yesterday so let's talk MUAHS (Makeup and Hair Stylists), CAS (Cinema Audio Society) and USC Scripters.

USC Scripter
This Adapted Screenplay prize (not a guild prize) is from the University of Southern California but it's built itself up as quite a tradition in awards season. This is its 28th year! The prize goes to both the original source material author and the Screenwriter adapting it. Their winner usually wins the Oscar and they chose (no surprise) The Big Short originally a non-fiction book by Michael Lewis (all three the movies based on his books have been nominated for Best Picture) and adapted by Charles Randolph & Adam McKay. 

ICYMI: Manuel's fun ranking of the most quotable Screenplay nominees

Cinema Audio Society
The Revenant took this prize beating Mad Max, Bridge of Spies, Star Wars, and The Hateful Eight. It's up against the first three again on Oscar night plus The Martian. 

Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists Guild
Period Makeup: Mad Max Fury Road
Period Hair: Cinderella 
Special Makeup Effects: Mad Max Fury Road
Contemporary Makeup: Furious 7
Contemporary Hairstyling: Pitch Perfect 2

Carol keeps losing prizes (sigh). Anyway, solid choices though one can quibble. I never took in Furious 7 so that one is a bit of a headscratcher sight unseen... especially with Sicario in the running. It's also a bit perplexing to think of Pitch Perfect 2's hair work topping Spy's funny and elaborate quick changes (which I favoried in my own awardage) or Ex Machina's sleek style. You can see the complete MUAHS awards here (American Horror Story: Hotel, Game of Thrones and Dancing with the Stars were big in their TV categories).

Do you think Fury Road, The Revenant, and The Big Short will repeat these wins at the Oscars?