FRENCH 101: ENNUI BY ANY OTHER NAME: Moka and My Journey Through French Cinema


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
In the new film Moka, a woman’s young boy dies in a hit and run. After much time has passed, the mother Diane grows frustrated at the police making no progress on finding the driver, so she hires a private investigator who, based on a tip as to the type of car involved, leads Diane to a family in a nearby town. She insinuates her way into their lives in an attempt to be sure they are the guilty party and once she is assured, she plans to seek revenge.
It sounds like the beginnings of a tense, riveting thriller. At least it has been advertised as so. However, in spite of the subject matter, the movie’s pacing is far below the speed limit and the tension is almost non-existent. It takes a rather long time for very little to happen and you tend to feel the minutes ticking by. Continue reading

YOU CAN’T GO HOME AGAIN: Manchester By The Sea, It’s Only the End of the World and The Commune


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-2You Can’t Go Home Again is, of course, the title of a posthumously published novel by Thomas Wolfe, and a phrase that has entered common discourse since. I’ve seen three movies lately that are about people returning home or using memories of their early years as the basis for their stories.
The basic premise of writer/director Kenneth Lonergan’s new film Manchester by the Sea revolves around Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck), a janitor living in Boston who is very good at his job, but is a loner with a somewhat self-destructive personality. When he receives word that his older brother Joe (Kyle Chandler) has died, he returns to his home city of Manchester by the Sea, a fishing and tourist town. There he is shocked to discover that his brother in his will has requested Lee to become guardian to Joe’s sixteen year old son, Lucas. Joe has provided for Lucas’ expenses in his will and just needs Lee to return to Manchester to live.
Why Lee can’t return and the conflicts over how to handle this request make up the bulk of the movie and much of the heart breaking suspense is waiting to find out what happened that led to Lee’s present situation-you know it has something to do with his three children since they are only shown in flashback. The waiting is painfully unbearable at times. Continue reading

CRIME DOESN’T PAY; NEITHER DOES CRIMINE: The Connection, L’affaire SK1 and Black Souls.


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
I saw three movies over the past week that dealt with, shall we say, guys of the not so good variety as well as those trying to stop them. Two were shown at COL-COA, the French film festival, and the other, from Italy, had a regular run in local theaters.
All came to the same conclusion, though, which is somewhat reassuring. Crime is a very dicey way to live one’s life. Of course, being the good guys doesn’t always run that smoothly either.
connectionThe Connection (aka La French), the new based on true events crime thriller from France, would be fun to see on a double feature with American’s own The French Connection since the Gallic film is about the efforts of the Marseilles police to take down the villain played by Fernando Rey in the Gene Hackman film and covers events both before and after Popeye Doyle let that wily, bumbershoot totting criminal mastermind slip through his fingers in New York. Continue reading