Posts tagged Film
Posts tagged Film
Roy Peter Clark for Poynter:
According to traditional standards of newspaper writing, this lead should be a disaster. It is 79 words long, most of them in that first rambling sentence. It begins not with the news but with a subordinate clause. There are no concrete nouns. No strong active verbs. Why, then, do I think it works so well?
In a word, it has voice.
Any experienced writer can master the short snappy sentence. It takes a good writer to master the long sentence, the one that takes the reader on a journey of discovery, the one that leads you to a special place you could not have imagined when you stepped on board the bus.
This is exactly why I loved reading Ebert. And, truth be told, it’s the same style of writing that I’ve tried to put forth. Any success that I’ve had as a writer, I’d attribute directly to that notion: voice. Of course, I’m nowhere near Ebert’s level of expertise — give me 40 years.
A single mother in Massachusetts reads through her son’s notebook and shoots herself. Still grieving, the son ends up working in a Boston homeless shelter, where one day his alcoholic father seeks refuge. The father is a bad drunk, as many are, and after a while the clinic votes to bar his reentry. The father spends his first night on the streets, sleeping on exhaust vents behind a library. During the vote that sent him outside, the son either does or does not raise his hand. Then the son writes an entire book about his mom’s suicide and the booze and the homeless shelter and that vote. The writer later stands onstage with the likes of James Frey, and this man, Nick Flynn, makes Frey’s semi-real book about semi-real addiction pretty much disintegrate into oblivion by comparison. Flynn leaves Boston and marries and has a daughter, and his father eventually makes it into a subsidized apartment and then to a hospice and then gets to meet Robert De Niro, who will be playing him in a movie about his son’s book. It’s all Nick Flynn’s doing and the result is Flynn’s third memoir, The Reenactments, a poetic and probing diary of writing, memory, and filmmaking.
Dirty Harry by Jidé
I must have this. Immédiatement!
This year’s Best Picture Oscar nominees as pie charts.
Possibly the coolest thing I’ve ever come across. The Amazing Jack Kirby sketches for the real Argo film project. Check them all out at BuzzFeed.
Stanley Kubrick while making 2001: A Space Odyssey
Saw the models for these at the Kubrick exhibit at LACMA. Awesome.
Mother Nature needs a salesman.
Project Wild Thing is a documentary with a message: “Go play outside.”
Filmmaker David Bond wants to know what happens if an entire generation of children grows up completely disconnected from the natural world. In an era of proliferating screens, kids are spending less time outdoors than ever before — and the impact could have profound consequences on our societal well-being.
Bond’s mission takes on a sardonic edge when he enlists a team of marketing experts to help him sell nature back to the people, transforming an informative doc into a funny and provocative experience. Now all he needs is the funding to finish editing the film and deliver it to interested distributors.
With a little boost from Kickstarter backers, Bond can complete his transformation from curious filmmaker to nature marketeer. It must be working, because Project Wild Thing is our Project of the Day.
Chinatown- actual script and commentary track from Robert Towne and David Fincher and Polanski masterclass
This is a copy of an actual Chinatown shooting script. The Adobe Acrobat file is somewhat large because it’s an image rather than a text file, so save it to your desktop, read it at your leisure, and if you’d like print it for your script library. This document may be difficult to read in places and it doesn’t reflect correct spec (or reading) script format, but it’s an opportunity for beginning screenwriters to see what an original shooting script looks like.
According to the industry’s most-respected screenwriters, this script reflects some of the best writing in the history of film. —Lex Williford
Roman Polanski gives a masterclass on the making of Chinatown. Hear why he believes it to be his best film, and learn the stories behind his approach to script construction, mise en scene, directing difficult actors, and unhappy endings.
Originally a Kickstarter-funded short film, Vessel has taken off for a major motion picture future directed by project creator Clark Baker. We’re looking forward to being scared silly for a full 90 minutes. Congratulations to the whole team!
STANLEY KUBRICK’S ONE-POINT PERSPECTIVE
If you’re a fan of Kubrick’s, no doubt you’ve seen him really own the use of symmetry in shooting his films. Not only does this style add to Kubrick’s signature aesthetic but it also makes the scenes he incorporates this in that much more striking. This supercut by kogonada highlights the many scenes in Kubrick’s collection that demonstrate this unique approach in full.
In this age of digital cinematography, the concept of composing a frame is vanishing art.
SHOOTOUT AT THE HEAVENS GATE CORRAL
A big showdown is coming in one of the longest simmering battles of filmdom? The question of whether Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate is actually an unfairly abused masterpiece, or a properly abused misfire. At next month’s Venice Film Festival, a Cimino supervised restoration of the director’s cut of the film will be shown and the battlelines are already forming. Over at Hollywood Elsewhere, you can read the opening salvos with Jeff Wells’ anti-revisionist line and FX Feeney’s defense of the film.
It is hard to not want the film to be good. The revisionist storyline - that HG was a film whose scope and strive were just too much for Hollywood which had to take the film away from Cimino and destroy it - is irresistible. Anyone who struggles on the side of individual expression over corporate Hollywood mush is almost obliged to believe it.
And yet, and yet….I saw the film again at a screening about seven years ago. It was the first time, I’d seen it on the screen since its original chopped-up release and I came in believing, sight largely unseen the storyline. But…sadly it just wasn’t there.
Heaven’s Gate is about the most frustrating film you’ll ever encounter. It has sequences -like the skating sequence or the entrance into the town of such beauty and enormous technical achievement that they literally take your breath away and hold you spellbound even as the sequences go on 20 -30 minutes longer than they should. It is almost a dream cast - Kris Kristopherson, Sam Waterston, Christopher Walken, Isabelle Huppert. There is sadness, poignancy, and huge conflicts played out on a very intimate scale. And then there are also sequences as bad and clumsy as anything in Showgirls. Moments so miscalculated and badly handled you can’t believe they are in the same film as the ones above. The dialoge is often laugh-out-loud horrible. The final sequence is a confused muddle that just collapses the whole film at its height.
But its a real problem we have to grapple with - would you rather have a film that shoots for enormity and falls short, even stumbles horribly, or a film that aims for the middle and pulls it off? The late 70’s - early 80’s was a period of huge, epic, overreaches by our great director - One From the Heart, New York, New York, 1941 and Heaven’s Gate. They literally don’t make flops like that any more. But those flops came in the context of the best five year period of the post-studio era. (I have in fact quantified that and will be revealing those results shortly.) Alongside those gargantuan flops, each of those directors made masterpieces like nothing made in American cinema today. So I guess that is how I would like to think of Heaven’s Gate. A cinematic tragedy, but the sort of tragedy you need to have room for if you are going to have greatness.
Peter Kafka on a new deal (extension) just signed by Twentieth Century Fox and HBO:
In real-world terms: Previous HBO contracts meant that Fox — or other studios — couldn’t sell or rent their movies electronically while HBO was running them for the first time. Now, Fox will have the ability to sell its stuff — but not rent it — on iTunes, Amazon, etc., at the same time the titles show up on HBO.
Well that’s something, I guess. Now if only that window wasn’t completely shut the other way — meaning HBO content being sold on iTunes, Amazon, etc. It remains about a year. Which blows.
Is Indie Filmmaking now affordable?
The Tabletop Moviemaking Studio is an all-in-one-kit that’s engineered to snap into a real deal, miniature movie theater. It contains LED lights, settings, props, characters, and a stand for your smartphone or tablet, so that you won’t miss a minute of the DIY action. And for all the amateur auteurs out there, creator Brick Maier has devised hours of online tutorials teaching you every tip, trick, light, camera, and action. Cool, huh? It’s also guest starring as our Project of the Day.
“Il n’y a que la present; personne n’a vécu dans le passé; personne ne vivra dans le future.” Alphaville.