NOSTALGIA AIN’T WHAT IT USE TO BE: Everybody Wants Some!! and Sing Street


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Warning: SPOILERS
rev 1Two movies have opened recently that take place in the recent past (the 1980’s to be more precise).  Each felt pastelled over with a patina of nostalgia, a painful desire for a sweet past.  But the two couldn’t be more different in their approaches.
Everybody Wants Some!! (with two, count ‘em, two exclamation points) is the most recent effort from writer/director Richard Linklater. Like his previous effort, Boyhood, it doesn’t use a hero’s journey or character arc, nor does it use a plot in which a central character must overcome an obstacle or gain a goal, as the basic structure.
No, rather, like such films as Amarcord and Cleo from 5 to 7, it uses a passage of time to hold its story together. Continue reading

THEY’RE EITHER TOO YOUNG OR TOO OLD: My take on the movies of Boyhood and Land Ho


First, a word from our sponsors. 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

Warning: SPOILERS
Two movies have opened recently in which your equal and opposite reaction to them will probably depend on how you feel about the central characters. In both cases, I have to admit that this was the one area where both films came up a bit short for me.
boyhood“You gotta have a gimmick/If you want to get ahead”
                              Stephen Soundheim, Gypsy
In Boyhood, a coming of age drama written and directed by slacker fabulist Richard Linklater, the same cast was filmed over a period of one year less a baker’s dozen in order to make the movie. By doing so, Linklater created his story in such a way that we see the same actor, Ellar Coltrane, grow and change right before our eyes as he plays the lead Mason.
In other words, Boyhood is a movie with a gimmick. Continue reading