PERFORMANCE ANXIETY: Green Room and Viva


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 1Green Room, the new thriller from writer/director Jeremy Saulnier (the follow up to his well-received indie film Blue Ruin, but no, he’s not doing a series of titles with color in them), has a marvelous set up. 
A group of head banger musicians take a last minute job to play at a remote white supremacist bar (does it bother anyone else in the audience that neo-Nazis and Washington DC millennials like the same type of music) because, well, their last gig got cancelled and they’re desperate for money (Saulnier does a clever thing here—as the first number the band plays, they assert their artistic integrity by singing an anti-Nazi song; it serves to help give them sympathy from the audience for taking the job in the first place). 
After the show, they accidentally walk in on a murder and are then trapped in the titular location and must figure a way out of the mess they’re now in.
I mean, it’s a really neat little first act.  It’s certainly gets one empathizing with their situation, wondering what you could possibly due in the same situation. 
At the same time, this is also where the movie, for me, stopped fulfilling its initial promise.  Continue reading

LOVE, DEATH and LOVE & DEATH: Fading Gigolo, Blue Ruin and Nymphomaniac: Vol. II


fading gigiloFading Gigolo is about a man, Fioravante, who, without intending to in any way, shape or form, falls into being a gigolo (don’t you just hate it when that happens?).
It’s written by, directed by and stars John Turturro. But it probably should be noted that it co-stars Woody Allen. The reason this is significant is that in many ways, Fading Gigolo is a Woody Allen film that isn’t written by, isn’t directed by, and doesn’t star the famed writer/director himself.
It has the wit of a Woody Allen film. It deals with the Woody Allen themes of love and neuroses. It takes place in New York. Woody Allen is in it.
Hamilton Burger, I rest my case. Continue reading