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


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
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

My recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 4/15-22/2016


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. 4/15-22/16
ff 1 ON NETFLIX:  Upstream Color, the second film by writer/director Shane Carruth (after the time travel movie Primer), is a sci-fi film about people who are slipped a drug that make them obedient to any command. When they come out of the trance days later, they can’t remember anything that happened.  They also find themselves cleaned out financially.  But one victim begins to figure out what happened.  One of the best films of 2013, it’s not for everyone because Carruth’s filmmaking style is certainly his own unique vision and the story isn’t always easy to understand.  But I highly recommend it.
ff 2ON HULU:   Zero Focus is a 1961 Japanese film in which the husband of a newlywed suddenly goes missing and the new wife sets about trying to find out what happened. Written by Shinobu Hashimoto from a book by Seicho Matsumoto and directed by Yoshitara Nomura, this is a first rate film noir by a director not often spoken about over here.
Of Special Note:  COLCOA, the French film festival (that has a ton of free screenings) begins 4/18/2016 http://www.colcoa.org/
ff 4Of Special Note: The Noir City: Film Noir Festival begins 4/15/2016 at American Cinematheque at The Egyptian. Not to be missed for any hard boiled fans. http://ow.ly/10qBEm
ff 5Of Special Note: Sci-Fi Weekend at the Laemmle Ahyra Fine Arts 4/15-17, including such classics as Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Thing and The Day The Earth Stood Still. http://ow.ly/10qB6E
ff 6FIRST RUN and OPENING: Jungle Book, Green Room, Sing Street, Neon Bull, 13 Cameras, My Big Night, Wedding Doll, Une Femme Mariee, Hardcore Henry, Midnight Special, The Invitation, Demolition, Everybody Wants Some Continue reading

My recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 4/8-4/15/2016


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. 4/8-4/15/16
ff 1ON NETFLIX:  3 Women is one of Robert Altman’s lesser known films, but is actually much better than that would suggest.  A character study of three women (Shelly Duvall, Sissy Spacek and Janie Rule) and their odd, almost dreamlike interaction.  Quite intriguing.
ff 2ON HULU:   It’s not quite Hitchcock, but Masques, written by Odile Barski and the director Claude Chabrol, this is a fluffy, somewhat light, but still rather entertaining mystery.  A mystery author talks a big TV star into doing his biography.  The star invites the man to his country house not knowing that the man is looking into the disappearance of his sister who was staying at the star’s home as a friend for the star’s ward.  Philippe Noiret at the star is a delight, worth seeing for his performance alone.
ff 3Of Special Note:  COLCOA, the French film festival (that has a ton of free screenings) begins 4/18/2016 http://www.colcoa.org/
ff 4Of Special Note: The Noir City: Film Noir Festival begins 4/15/2016 at American Cinematheque at The Egyptian. Not to be missed for any hard boiled fans. http://ow.ly/10qBEm
ff 5Of Special Note: Sci-Fi Weekend at the Laemmle Ahyra Fine Arts 4/15-17, including such classics as Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Thing and The Day The Earth Stood Still. http://ow.ly/10qB6E
ff 6Of Special Note: The Complete Metropolis at Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theater, 4/9 http://ow.ly/10qCoC

 

ff 7
FIRST RUN and OPENING: Hardcore Henry, Midnight Special, The Boss, Miles Ahead, The Invitation, Demolition, Louder Than Bombs, Born to Be Blue, Fireworks Wednesday, The Mermaid, April and the Extraordinary World, Everybody Wants Some, Krisha, The Dark Horse Continue reading

My recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 4/1-4/8/16


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. 4/1-4/8/16
ff 1ON NETFLIX:  Anchors Aweigh is the movie in which Gene Kelly dances with Jerry, the mouse (it was supposed to be Mickey Mouse, but Disney wouldn’t agree to it).  It’s also the one where Frank Sinatra learned to hoof.  This musical about two sailors on leave, written by Isobel Lennart (who also wrote or worked on such films as Love Me or Leave Me, The Sundowners and Funny Girl) and directed by George Sidney, is a great example of the golden era of Hollywood musicals.  Also with Kathryn Grayson, Dean Stockwell (his screen debut), Grady Sutton and Jose Iturbi (as himself).  Kelly was the choreographer.
ff 2ON HULU:   Séance on a Wet Afternoon is about a psychic who has her husband abduct a child so the psychic can “use” her powers to find her and achieve notice.  A solid and tense little neo-noir from England, written and directed by Bryan Forbes who started out doing some minor classics (Whistle Down the Wind, The L-Shaped Room, King Rat, The Wrong Box, The Whisperers) who eventually ended up doing more mediocre mainstream films later in this career (The Slipper and The Rose, The Stepford Wives). With Richard Attenborough and Kim Stanley (who got an Oscar nomination for her performance).  In an earlier version of the story, both the leads were gay; the movie was offered to Alec Guinness and Tom Courtenay, both of whom turned it down.
ff 3FIRST RUN and OPENING: April and the Extraordinary World, Everybody Wants Some, Krisha, The Dark Horse, Standing Tall Continue reading