HEARTS OF DARKNESS: Embrace of the Serpent and A War


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. 

 

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Warning: SPOILERS

rev 2Two movies opened recently that allowed, in a rare instance, the ability for filmgoers (at least if you live in the LA area) to actually see all the foreign language films nominated for an Academy Award before the ceremony. However, taken together, Colombia’s Embrace of the Serpent and Denmark’s A War, are a mixed bag as far as I’m concerned.

Embrace of the Serpent, written by Jacques Toulemonde Vidal and the director Ciro Guerra, is based on the diaries of the two Europeans whose trips up the Amazon are dramatized here: Theodore Koch-Grunberg, who traveled the river at the turn of the 20th century, and Richard Evans Schultes, who did the same about fifty years later.

The conceit is that the same guide, Karamakate, led them both, and both explorers had the same goal, to find a sacred plant that is supposed to be some sort of wonder drug. Continue reading

My recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 2/26-3/4/16


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. 2/26-3/4/16
ff 1ON NETFLIX: Bus Stop, written by George Axelrod (from a play by William Inge) and directed by Joshua Logan, is one of Marilyn Monroe’s greatest performances. In it, she plays Cherie, an absolutely awful singer (her rendition of That Old Black Magic has to be seen to be believed) who finds she has earned the attraction of a somewhat naïve rancher who wants to marry her though he barely knows her. It all resolves itself at the title location. With an excellent supporting cast, Eileen Heckart, Arthur O’Connell, Hope Lange, Hans Conreid and Don Murray in the Oscar nominated role of the rancher.
ff 2ON HULU: Mommy is French Canadian Writer/Director, as well as wunderkind, Xavier Dolan’s best film since his first, I Killed My Mother (yeah, I know, kind of makes you think). A widowed mother has to decide what to do with her mentally troubled son. She sees hope when a neighbor seems to have a calming effect, but things do not quite go as she would like.
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: Eddie the Eagle, Only Yesterday, Deadpool, Where to Invade Next, A War Continue reading

My recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 2/19-2/26/16


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. 2/19-2/26/16
ff 1ON NETFLIX: Writer/director Rick Famuyiwa’s comedy Dope is one of the best films of 2015. It revolves around three “nerds” trying to navigate high school who find themselves caught up in a drug conflict after they try to be cool. A fun film with sharp dialog and characterizations.
ff 2ON HULU: Blow Out is perhaps one of writer/director Brian de Palma’s best films. Starring John Travolta as a sound engineer for movies who one night accidentally records a gun shot that causes a car accident and the near death of a party girl, Nancy Allen. A tribute to both Alfred Hitchcock movies about an average man who finds himself caught up in something bigger than he is, as well as the movie Blow Up, about a photographer who accidentally takes of something he maybe shouldn’t have, it’s taught, fun movie.
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: The Witch, Embrace of the Serpent, Race, Risen, Deadpool, Where to Invade Next, A War Continue reading

My recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 2/12-2/19/16


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. 2/12-2/19/16
ff 1ON NETFLIX: Une Nuit (or Paris at Night) written by Philippe Isard, Simon Michael and the director Philippe Lefbevre, is a slow burn of a movie about a vice officer (Roschdy Zem) who goes about his usual night trying to avoid a trap that has been laid for him with Internal Affairs and trying to keep a lid on Parisian nightlife. I found it a fascinating look at this aspect of Paris after hours, with an almost documentary feel to it.
ff 2ON HULU: Elevator to the Gallows, written by Roger Nimier and Louis Malle (from a book by Noel Calef) is Malle’s first feature, and quite a debut. It’s a film noir about a man who kills his mistress’ husband and then things start going a little wrong when an elevator doesn’t quite work as he might wish. With Jeanne Moreau and Maurice Ronet as the lovers.
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: Deadpool, Where to Invade Next, Boy and the World, Bad Hurt, Glassland, Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom, A War, Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong Continue reading