My recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 12/4-12/11/15


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. 11/27-12/4/15

from here to eternityON NETFLIX: Adapted by Daniel Taradesh from James Jones’ novel and directed by Fred Zinneman, From Here to Eternity was one of the new adult movies (even though it was watered down from the book) that Hollywood started making in response to the new freedom in foreign films and an audience that was looking for more grit in their films after going through World War II. It follows various characters around a naval base in Hawaii in the days leading up to Pearl Harbor, especially the story of a private (Montgomery Clift) who refuses join the boxing team and is persecuted for it. And all start cast including Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr, Ernest Borgnine, Donna Reed (as a bar hostess because she couldn’t be a prostitute), and Frank Sinatra (in the role that supposedly a horse’s head got for him). It showed all these actors in a new light and won Oscars for Sinatra and Reed. Thirteen Oscar nominations (including five for acting) and the winner of eight.

betty blueON HULU: Betty Blue is Jean-Jacques Beineix’s follow up to his breathtaking film debut Diva, coming after the incredibly disappointing misstep of Moon in the Gutter. A study of two young people in love, often sexually frank. Zorg is a handyman who one day finds Betty, a wild and free spirit. But as their relationship goes on, Betty spirals more and more out of control as her mental state becomes more and more unstable; can Zorg’s love for her save her and their relationship. From a novel by Philippe Djian.

chi raqFIRST RUN and OPENING: Chi-Raq, Janis: Little Girl Blues, Night Owls, Theeb, Hitchcock/Truffaut, Youth, Creed, The Good Dinosaur, Brooklyn, Carol, James White, Legend, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 2, Room, Spotlight, Trumbo Continue reading

My recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 11/20-11/27/15


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. 11/20-27/15
piegeonON NETFLIX: A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence is basically Kaurismaki meets Monty Python. Written and directed by Roy Andersson, the movie is basically a series of skits with deadpan actors in often absurd situations. It’s Norwegian, but is Sweden’s entry in the Foreign Language Film Category for the Academy Awards.
american grafittiON HULU: Written by Gloria Katz, Willard Huyck and director George Lucas, American Graffiti was just about an instant classic the way it effected the audience at the time with its knowing nostalgia even though it took place in the year of its release. It follows a group of high school teens as they take one last cruise down their small town memory lane as they make decisions about their future as summer ends.
army of shadowsSPECIAL ENGAGEMENT: A restored print of The Army of Shadows will be playing this week. Adapted from a novel by Joseph Kessel by writer/director Jean-Pierre Melville, it follows a group of resistance fighters during WWII. What makes the film so powerful is the difficult moral questions that the characters must decide on in a distinctly amoral situation. Perhaps Melville’s greatest film and he did Le Cercle Rouge, Bob la Flambeur and Le Samourai. Not to be missed.
carolFIRST RUN and OPENING: The Night Before, Brooklyn, Carol, James White, Legend, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 2, Meditterenea, Room, Spotlight, Trumbo Continue reading

My recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 11/13-11/20/15


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. 11/13-20/16
allenON NETFLIX: Woody Allen: A Documentary is an engrossing and exciting study written and directed by Richard B. Weide, who also produced Curb Your Enthusiasm. It’s one the finest of the documentaries made for the PBS’ series American Masters.
MON HULU: Based on a real person, M, written by Thea von Harbou and Fritz Lang, who also directed, is a powerful and often frightening film about a child molester/murderer. Starring Peter Lorre in one of his greatest performances.
33FIRST RUN and OPENING: The 33, By The Sea, Miss You Already, Room, Spectre, The Peanuts Movie, Brooklyn, Spotlight, Trumbo, The Martian Continue reading

My recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 11/6-11/13/15


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. 11/6-13/16

high noonON NETFLIX: High Noon, written by Carl Foreman and directed by Fred Zinnemann, is one of the greatest westerns ever made with Gary Cooper’s performance one of the best in American film. Playing Marshall Will Kane, he is about to leave on his honeymoon, but instead remains in town to take out a group of gunmen bent on revenge, though no one in town will help him. Tensely directed (the movie takes place within the real time of the events) and just as tensely written, it’s a must see for anyone interested in movies. Often seen as a metaphor for the McCarthy era in Hollywood.

man escapedON HULU: A Man Escaped is one of writer/director Robert Bresson’s best and most accessible film. Tense and fascinating, it is made in the distinct Bresson style, non-actors in the roles and underplaying the emotional aspect of the scenes. During WWII, a French resistance fighter is arrested and put in a Nazi prison. His only hope to escape a death sentence is to escape the prison.

afiSPECIAL NOTE: The AFI Film Festival plays Oct. 5-12. This is a great festival, especially since all the tickets are free.

spotlightFIRST RUN and OPENING: Spectre, The Peanuts Movie, Brooklyn, Spotlight, Trumbo, Welcome to Leith, Miss You Already, Heart of a Dog, Love, Room, The Martian

REVIVAL AND ART HOUSES:

AMERICAN CINEMATEQUE at The Egyptian: AFI Fest

AMERICAN CINEMATEQUE at The Aero: Love, 11/6-8; Billy Liar, The Night Porter, 11/11

LACMA: This Gun for Hire, 11/10

NEW BEVERLY: Mad Max: Fury Road, 11/6-9; Mikey and Nicky, Machine Gun McCain, 11/11-12

UCLA ARCHIVES at the Hammer Museum: Remorques, L’etrange Monsieur Victor, 11/6; Paths of Glory, 11/7

 

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My recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 10/30-11/6/15


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. 10/30-11/6/16
suburraON NETFLIX: Suburra (translated as Samurai) is about an Italian mobster trying to bring together various factions in order to turn a seaside resort into an Atlantic City. To do so requires corruption at all levels of society, from the government to the Vatican. But in the days counting down to an important Senate vote on a new budget Suburra needs and the stepping down of Pope Benedict XVI, a Senator central to the project has an assignation with two prostitutes. When one of them, underaged, dies from a drug overdose, it leads to a series of events that threatens Suburra’s goal. The screenplay by Giancarlo De Cataldo, Carlo Bonini, Sandro Petaglio and the director Stefano Sollima creates a first rate crime thriller of an almost epic nature.
theatre of bloodON HULU: Just in time for Halloween, Theatre of Blood is not a good movie. In fact, it’s probably a pretty terrible one, but it’s one of those terrible ones that is great fun to watch over and over again. A ham Shakespearian actor commits suicide after terrible reviews of his latest season. But when the critics are being killed off one by one in ways parallel to the final sets of plays the actor starred in, one wonders whether he really is dead. With Vincent Price (of course) as the actor, Diana Rigg as his daughter, and a host of familiar British faces as the victims. Directed by Douglas Hickox and written by Anthony Greville-Bell.
afiSPECIAL NOTE: The AFI Film Festival box office opens Monday, October 2. This is a great festival, especially since all the tickets are free.
tab hunterFIRST RUN and OPENING: The Wonders, The Russian Woodpecker, Tab Hunter Confidential, Bridge of Spies, Room, The Final Girls, The Martian Continue reading

My recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 10/23-10/30/2015


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. 10/23-10-/30/2015
on the town
ON NETFLIX: On the Town, the watered down version of Betty Comden and Adolph Green’s music about three sailors on leave, is still exhilarating filled with marvelous moments, especially on the part of Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Betty Garrett and Ann Miller. Directed by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly, it makes marvelous use of New York locations, has a wonderful score and one of those lengthy ballets that dramatizes Gene Kelly getting his heart broken that climaxes the movie.
children of paradiseON HULU: Writer Jacques Prevert and director Marcel Carne’s Children of Paradise is a beautiful ode to the life of actors and actresses in Paris during the 1820’s and ‘30s. Garance, an actress, is loved by four other men, leading to tragedy. Made during the last days of the German occupation in 1945, Children of Paradise is one of the greatest romantic dramas ever made.
we are youngSPECIAL SHOWINGS: The American Cinematheque kicks off New German Cinema on Thursday, the 22nd, and continues through the weekend.
roccoSPECIAL SHOWINGS: Luchino Visconti’s Rocco and His Brothers is often considered a sort of, kind of semi-sequel to his earlier film La Terra Trema. In the first film, a group of brothers try to go independent in the fishing industry, but cannot defeat the powers that be. In Rocco… a group of brothers have to leave their home to try to make their way in Milan, where boxing and a prostitute come between the siblings. Epic and powerful, one of the most important Italian films of all time, this is a newly restored version. With Alain Delon, Annie Giradot and Claudia Cardinale.
FIRST RUN and OPENING: Steve Jobs, Suffragette, Bridge of Spies Crimson Peak, Room, The Assassin, The Final Girls, Goosebumps Continue reading

My recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 10/16-10/23/2015


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. 10/16-10/23/2015
with a friendON NETFLIX: With A Friend Like Harry… is an odd little thriller written by Gilles Marchand (who also worked on Bon Voyage and Lemming) and written and directed by Dominik Moll (who also wrote and directed Lemming). It’s about a family traveling for a vacation who run into a man who claims to be an old school friend of the husband’s, but the husband can’t quite remember him. But the stranger makes himself part of the vacation and things get a little dark after that. With the wonderful Sergi Lopez (Pan’s Labyrinth) as the friend.
bedroom windowON HULU: The Bedroom Window is another thriller, but not as odd. Written and directed by Curtis Hanson (who also wrote the clever Silent Partner, but is probably best known for co-writing and directing L.A. Confidential), it’s about a shlub who brings home the boss’ wife for some hanky panky. While he’s in the bathroom, she sees a mugging outside the window and can identify the perp. But not wanting to let people know she was cheating on her husband, she has the shlub claim to have seen him. It starts Steve Guttenerg (okay, it’s not perfect) as the schlub, Elizabeth McGovern as the victim, Isabelle Huppert as the wife, Wallace Shawn in a great cameo as a defense attorney, and Brad Greenquist who has only one line and delivers it brilliantly.
we are youngSPECIAL SHOWINGS: The American Cinematheque at the Egyptian starts off the win with New Spanish Cinema. Then on Thursday, the 22nd, they kick off New German Cinema with We Are Young, We Are Strong.
taxi tehranFIRST RUN and OPENING: Bridge of Spies Crimson Peak, Room, Truth, Meadowland, The Assassin, Experimenter, The Final Girls, Taxi Tehran, Victoria, The Martian Continue reading