My recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 2/5-2/12/16


First, a word from our sponsors: I am now offering a new service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00.  For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you.  I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one. 

 

Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay? Check out my e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year. Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r,

 

And check out my script consultation services http://ow.ly/HPxKE

My recommendations for movie watching this week in L.A. 2/5-2/12/16

ff 1ON NETFLIX: Tucker and Dale vs. Evil is a very amusing trifle that turns all the tropes and formulaic plot twists of movies where city people are at the mercy of psychotic country ones. Written by Eli Craig (who also directed) and Morgan Jurgenson, whatever else the movie is, it’s a lot of fun.

ff 2ON HULU: In Persona, an actress suddenly discovers she’s unable to talk. She is assigned a nurse and the two go to the seashore where the nurse finds her personality being submerged into the actress. One of Ingmar Bergman’s greatest films and the movie that made Liv Ullman popular in the U.S. Also with Bergman stalwart, Bibi Andersson.

ff 4SPECIAL SHOWINGS: The Oscar nominated short subjects (live actions, documentaries and animation) will be shown in various locations and theaters up until the Academy Awards are held

ff 3FIRST RUN and OPENING: Hail, Caesar!, Southbound, 4th Man Out, Rams, Eisenstein in Guanajuato, The Pack, The Finest Hours, In the Land of Women Continue reading

MANLY MEN: The Finest Hours and Mojave


First, a word from our sponsors: I am now offering a new service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00.  For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you.  I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one.
Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay? Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013. Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
Warning: SPOILERS
rev 1The story of The Finest Hours, based on a true one the screen tells us, takes place in 1951, which is probably apropos since whatever else the movie is, it’s certainly good old fashion entertainment.
It’s a movie in which men have to do what men have to do and their strong independent minded women also serve by sitting and waiting. It’s a movie that if it were done in odorama or smellovision, testosterone would be the fragrance of choice. It’s a movie so Howard Hawksian, you can’t help but wonder what that great director might have achieved with state of the art CGI.
But perhaps most important than all of that is that The Finest Hours is rollicking, edge of your seat fun. Yes, it’s formulaic and predictable (you can see the tropes coming a mile, or knot, off), but here it’s so well done, with such sincerity and heart, that the familiarity just makes it more enjoyable. And if that’s not enough, it has enough chills, thrills and nail biting suspense for ten movies. Continue reading

YOU WANT ME TO READ WHAAAAAAT? A Snob’s Guide to Alternative Sources for Structure in Plotting for Screenplay and TV Writing, Part IV: Grindhouse/Exploitation


First, a word from our sponsors: I am now offering a new service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00.  For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you.  I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one. 
 
Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay? Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013. Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r
 
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
Also available for revising, script doctoring and ghost writing.
 
essay 10This is the fourth in a series of essays about alternative sources for structure and plotting for screenplays and television series (for earlier entry in the series, see the bottom of the essay).
By alternative, I mean sources other than the usual tomes written by the usual gurus, sources you might not immediately think about, that can be used as guides in trying to tell your story, sources that you might not have even considered of any use in this area.
The idea of writing these essays originated with the sudden rise of what is now being called a second golden age of television, as well as a paradigm shift in the way movies are made. There are now so many different ways of telling a story on television, while in movies there has been a swing away from the Hollywood/Studio type of filmmaking, that I believe thinking outside the box when it comes to finding ways to tell stories might be a wise move to make at this time.
However, before proceeding any further, I would also like to say one other thing. You may look at many of my lists and recoil at the hoity-toityness of them all and even accuse me of being a snob.
Well, what can I say? I am a snob and I’m proud of it.
But I seriously doubt it would hurt anyone’s ability to write if they let a little more snobbishness in. In fact, it might help. You never know, so give it a try.
Today I will focus on grindhouse/exploitation films and TV series. These are stories that are highly influenced by everything from pre-code films, to midnight movies, to Roger Corman films, to low budget cult films, to Italian giallo films, to soft core porn and sexploitation films, the Ozploitation movement in Australia, the British sex comedies of the 1960’s, Blaxploitation, the list goes on and on.

Continue reading