NEW YORK, NEW YORK, A HELL OF A TOWN: The Dark Tower and Good Time


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Warning: SPOILERS
The Dark Tower is proof of an observation I’ve made of Hollywood at its worst. They take a filmmaker, often foreign, who has gained attention, often with a body of impressive work. Then, as punishment for this sin, they bring the filmmaker to the U.S. and give him any old crap to film.
The filmmaker referenced here is Denmark’s Nicolaj Arcel, who has either written or directed, or both, such noteworthy fare as the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, A Royal Affair, and the Department Q trilogy.
The crap he’s been entrusted with has already been mentioned.
All right, that’s not exactly accurate. The Dark Tower is not crap. It’s not really anything. It’s just kind of there…like limbo. Continue reading

MINORITY REPORT: Dear White People, The Way He Looks and the “other” in movies


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

 

dwp oneThose who make films that appeal to niche markets in some way (by niche, I mean specific audiences of some sort: gay, black, Hispanic, female, etc.) have a good news/bad news issue in moviedom.
The good news is that they have a preset group of people who are inherently more interested in seeing the movie because it is about them and their lives.
The bad news is that they have a preset group of people who are more inherently interested in seeing the movie because it is about them, but it is very difficult to convince anyone outside of that niche to buy tickets because they assume the movie can’t possibly have anything to say to them since it is about the “other” in their lives.
Which is why blockbuster movies often appeal to young straight white males, and many mainstream films that have a niche component, i.e. concerns in some way the other, either have a non-other central character (Cry Freedom, Glory) or if the central character is an other and can’t be gotten around, they surround him with non-other characters (Gandhi, 12 Years a Slave). Continue reading