My recommendations for movie watching this week in L.A. 4/17/2015-4/24/2015


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My recommendations for movie watching this week in L.A. 4/17-4/24/2015
united 93ON NETFLIX: United 93, my favorite film of 2006. Written and directed by one of the finest filmmakers working today, Paul Greengrass, it’s the story of how the passengers on United Flight 93 tried to stop their hijackers on 9/11. Not an easy movie to sit through due to the intense subject matter, it’s a powerful and emotional film.
earringsON HULU: The Earrings of Madame de, directed by Max Ophuls, is one of the great romantic dramas of all times. When the wife of a general secretly sells a pair of earrings her husband gave her and lies about it, it sets off a series of events that leads to tragedy. Continue reading

My recommendations for movie watching this week in L.A. 4/10/2015-4/17/2015


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 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. 4/10-4/17/2015
boundON NETFLIX: Bound, a superb thriller neo noir, the first film (and probably the best) directed and written by the Wachowski siblings. Jennifer Tilley and Gina Gershon as Violet and Corky start a love affair and conspire to rob Violet’s boyfriend of millions of dollars of mob cash. First rate.

 

hidden fortressON HULU: The Hidden Fortress, one of Akira Kurosawa’s samurai film and one of his most fun. A general and a princess in disguise must make it through enemy lines to some allies, the two carrying gold so they can rebuild their clan. A movie that served as inspiration for Star Wars, especially with a plot revolving around the saving of a princess and two bickering peasants who are obviously models for R2D2 and C3PO. Continue reading

WORKING WOMEN: Three films at AFI–Two Days, One Night, The Clouds of Sils Maria and Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem


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 days oneI have been attending the AFI film festival and have seen three films with female leads and have noticed a major difference between movies from other countries and those made in the U.S. when it comes to how we treat our actresses.
In the U.S., Marion Cottilard is made to play second fiddle to Johnny Depp, Daniel Day Lewis and Leonard DiCaprio, but on her home continent, two of the top European filmmakers actually built a whole movie around her.
In the U.S., Juliet Binoche is relegated to second tier status after a gigantic lizard goes on the rampage and Kristin Stewart is stuck in ridiculous teen angst films and even more ridiculous, over the top Hollywood blockbusters, but in Europe the two are allowed to play opposite each other in roles with depths most American actresses only dream of.
And in the U.S., when it comes to a study of a marriage, we have the misogynistic Gone Girl, with a psychotic wife who will do anything to punish her husband, even set him up for her own murder (while killing herself, no less), while from Israel, we have a film in which a woman desperately tries to get a divorce from a court that is almost determined to keep her in her place and not let her have it.
Prevailing wisdom is that this is one of the weakest years for actresses and the air is filled with panic as voters try to find five females to fill the slots for the Oscar noms for this year.
But prevailing wisdom always seems to leave out the pertinent proviso that this is really only true for the U.S. Continue reading