Artists Who Have Most Influenced My Writing


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Finally, I have published a collection of three of my plays, 3 Plays, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08478DBXF as well as two collections of short stories, The Starving Artists and other stories, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FS91CKJ and The Five Corporations and the One True Church and other stories, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KY5Z3CF.

 

For my next blog entry, I thought I would list and discuss those writers and artists that have influenced my writing. The influences have changed over the years. Some of the authors that influenced my writing when I was younger, in high school and college, say, have been replaced as I grew older and as I encountered other artists who more reflected how my view of the world had changed over the years.

 

I still tend to explore the same themes and issues as I did when I was just starting out. I was always asking the same questions: What is the point to everything? Is there a point? Why are we here? Why do we exist? Is there a God? How we do live life in a world that is both inherently logical and makes sense as well as inherently illogical and absurd and chaotic? Continue reading

NO VACANCY: 78/52 and The Florida Project


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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
Writer/director Alexander O. Philippe’s 78/52 is not only everything you wanted to know about the infamous scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s seminal film Psycho that did for showers what Jaws would later do for Fourth of July swimming in the seas, but everything you didn’t know you wanted to know (the name derives from the set piece requiring 78 camera set ups and 52 shots).
There has always been something perverse, not just about all of Hitchcock’s oeuvre, but especially in Psycho.
It’s not just that the movie is horrifying and scares the shit out of you.
It’s not just that it’s somewhat mean spirited (not just to the audience, but to the characters on screen).
It’s just that you can tell Hitchcock is having fun killing someone in such a way that both terrifies the audience while making them enjoy it and then feel guilty about it. Continue reading

YOU’VE GOT OR YOU HAVEN’T GOT STYLE: De Palma and The Neon Demon


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I am now offering a new consultation 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 1Two movies have opened recently that revolve around style. One is a documentary about a filmmaker who is known for his, the other is a film by a director who has it.
How one reacts to De Palma, the new doc by Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow about the director, first name Brian, who really made his mark in movies with the horror film Carrie, may depend on how you feel about the filmmaker’s films in general. For me, De Palma, who is the only talking head here, it’s his show all the way, is only as interesting as his movies, which means that once we get to Blow Out, it’s all down here from there.
His earliest films tended to be of the independent sort, made on a shoestring budget, if that. They may not have always looked as professional as a Roger Corman production, but they had a fresh hipness to them and gave us such actors as Robert DeNiro and Jill Clayburgh. Continue reading

IMMORTALITY: Hitchcock/Truffaut and He Never Died


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

hitch 1One of the great Woody Allen’s more well-known quotes is his musings on the end of life. He said: “I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work; I want to achieve immortality through not dying”.

Recently, two films have played in which the central characters achieved immortality in one of those ways.

The documentary Hitchcock/Truffaut is based upon a series of interviews that the great New Wave French filmmaker, Francois Truffaut, had with one of his most important influences, the more polished Hollywood filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock.

It was an attempt in a way to save the master of suspense. Up until then, though considered one of the most reliable and successful filmmakers of histime, Hitchcock still really wasn’t taken as seriously as he is now for the simple reason in that he made “thrillers”, a genre that was not considered something that filmmakers who took the art form seriously entered into (back in 1940, Gary Cooper turned down the lead in Foreign Correspondent, a role that went to Joel McCrea, because he felt that this genre of film was unimportant and beneath him—a decision he said later was his greatest mistake). Continue reading