POP ART: Episode 43, The Truman Show/Dark City


IS IT REAL OR IS IT MEMOREX-“Good morning, and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!”  Look to your right. What do you see? Are you sure? Look to your left? What do you see there? Look again. Are you sure? Are you really sure? Are you really, really, really sure? Sounds like it’s time for Episode 43 of Pop Art, the podcast where my guest chooses a movie from popular culture and I’ll select a film from the more art/classic side of cinema with a connection to it. This time round, I am happy to welcome back a previous guest, writer, director, producer and actor Michelle Ehlen, who has chosen the Peter Weir directed, Jim Carrey vehicle The Truman Show and I have chosen the cult favorite, sci-fi noir Dark City. And in this episode we answer such questions as: How does Charlie Chaplin fit in? What are the similarities between the two films in plot? What are the similarities in philosophy? What is the Truman Show Delusion? Why are some parts of Dark City reminiscent of The Matrix? How does the Rocky Horror Show fit in? Why did Siskel and Ebert apologize to Jim Carrey? What is Thursdayism? Rockwell or Hopper? Sartre, Schmartre?

Meanwhile, check out Michelle’s IMDB page at https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1615954/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

And her films on Amazon and other streaming platforms: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=michelle+ehlen&i=instant-video&crid=37LYCT29WI1S0&sprefix=michelle+ehlen%2Cinstant-video%2C209&ref=nb_sb_ss_c_3_14_ts-doa-p Continue reading

3 WOMEN: The Unknown Girl, Battle of the Sexes, Mother!


For questions: hcasner@aol.com

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

 

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Warning: SPOILERS

 

There have been many examples of siblings sharing writing, directing and even producing credits from the Maysles to the Tavianis to the Wachowskis. Perhaps the most successful pairs artistically are the Coens and the Dardennes.
However, though the Coen brothers output is often quite breathtaking with wonderful highs (Fargo, True Grit, No Country for Old Men), they are far more erratic in quality of output (Hail, Caesar!, Burn After Reading, The Ladykillers).
Few filmmakers, however, have had the consistency of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardennes, Belgium brothers that first made their name in the U.S. with their Cannes winning film Rosetta, about a young women desperate to get employment, and they cemented their reputation with such triumphs as La Promesse, The Son, L’enfant and most recently Two Days, One Night.
Now we have The Unknown Girl, one of the finer films so far this year. Continue reading

RULES ARE MEANT TO BE BROKEN: Rules Don’t Apply and Allied


For questions: hcasner@aol.com
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-1Rules Don’t Apply, the latest, and from what I understand, the last film from Warren Beatty who wrote, produced and plays famous recluse Howard Hughes here, has some charming moments in the first half.
The story revolves round Frank Forbes (Alden Ehrenreich, who has the looks, charisma, but a lot more talent than B-movie actor Audie Murphy) who is one of Hughes’s many drivers who escort one of the billionaire’s many starlets around Los Angeles. The starlet assigned to Frank is Marla Mabry (Lily Collins).
Both are quite religious (Hughes chose his drivers from church goers as a guard against them trying to bed his starlets). They say grace before meals, watch The Billy Graham Crusade on television, and attend church every Sunday. And not only do they do this unapologetically when others are around and in the streets where they might scare the horses, Beatty himself presents this spiritual side of the characters just as unapologetically.
And Ehrenreich and Collins have a nice chemistry between them. They don’t exactly set the celluloid on fire, but they make a cute and attractive couple. Continue reading

OLD AGE AIN’T NO PLACE FOR SISSIES: Run All Night and Faults


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
 
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
 
Warning: SPOILERS
Two movies have opened recently in which the central character use to be top of his game, but time and their past deeds have caught up to them, leaving a ruin in his place.
run all nightLiam Neeson has recently suggested that he is retiring from the action genre that gave new life to his career with the unexpected, but very effective, success of that modern day version of John Wayne’s The Searchers, Taken. After that, it was movies like The Grey and A Walk Among the Tombstones as well as others whose title seem to suggest just where this through line was going.
Now, he’s playing, Jimmy, aka The Gravedigger, an over the hill hit man, someone who has seen better days but now falls asleep drunk in a bar and farts while out, only to awaken in order to humiliate himself by asking for money from Danny, the son of his old boss and best friend, Shawn. In order to earn the money, he has to play Santa.
Things take a bad turn when Jimmy’s estranged son Mike sees Danny kill someone in a drug deal gone bad. Things take an even worse turn when Jimmy kills Danny in order to stop him from killing Mike. And then things take an even worse turn when Shawn has all his men focused on killing Mike and then killing Jimmy once he knows his son is dead. Continue reading

CUT THE CRAP: Snowpiercer


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
snowpiercerThere is one clever and rather effective scene in Snowpiercer, the new movie about a train containing all the survivors of a global warming apocalyptic event that travels the world and can never stop.
Just as a battle royale is about to erupt, everyone is ordered to stop and wait while some of the participants count down from ten as the train passes over a certain bridge, a bridge the train passes over only once annually, meaning that it’s, wait for it…yes, New Years.
Once the countdown is over, it’s back to the bloodshed.
But outside of that, I’m sorry, but I have to say…no, you know what? I’m not sorry.
Snowpiercer is crap.
  Continue reading