JUST LIE BACK AND ENJOY IT: Elle, Nocturnal Animals and The Salesman


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First, a word from our sponsors: I wanted to say thank you to everyone who contributed to our Indiegogo campaign for 15 Conversations in 10 Minutes. We did very well due to you folks. For those who weren’t able to give, keep us in your thoughts. And if you are able to contribute in the future, contact me and I’ll tell you how. I will even honor the perks on the original campaign.
I am now offering a new consultation 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?  FosCheck 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-3SPECIAL NOTE: the review of Elle is especially riddled with spoilers, but I don’t know really how else to talk about it.
There has been a lot written of late when it comes to the use of rape as a plot point in movies about women. More and more, for many viewers and critics, the use of such a storyline has turned into a cheap device and exploitive way to get an audience, especially men, to tune in.
It may have even become so polarizing that, to some extent, it has made it difficult to write about a film in which sexual assault is central to the action.
For example, I have seen three movies lately that have employed attacks on women as part of the narrative. Two were explicitly rapes, the other a bit more ambiguous. But in the two that were explicit, I couldn’t tell if the rape felt exploitive because that’s what it was, or that it felt exploitive because the political climate today is such that it doesn’t allow it to be anything but.
Elle, the second film this year starring the great Isabel Huppert (the first is the wonderful Things to Come) opens with the sound of a rape over the titles (or could it be simply rough sex?, it’s difficult to tell). Continue reading

THE FRENCH ARE COMING, THE FRENCH ARE COMING: Lolo, Valley of Love and My Golden Days


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 1COLCOA, the incredible film festival of new French cinema (as well as some classics), will be starting in a couple of weeks.  But while you may be waiting in baited breath for it (well, I am), you don’t have to wait that long to see Gallic cinema.  A few films from the land of Truffaut and Godard have opened in Los Angeles in the last few weeks.
They are opening now between the months of January (where the movies are mainly the leftovers from the Oscar noms and those movies the studios wish to bury) and June (or whatever month is the one where the tentpole films will be thrust upon us).  Translated, this means the time period when strong, introspective and personal films can make their appearance before they are gulped up and spit out by billion dollar movies as if they were a character in Jaws.
Lola, the new French rom com written by Eugenie Grandvil (a first feature) and the director Julie Delpy, has more than a passing resemblance to the Duplass brothers’ American comedy Cyrus, starring John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei and Jonah Hill (in the title role).  In both, the young son of an unattached mother tries to ruin any chance she may have of a relationship.  Continue reading