My recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 5/13-20/2016 http://ow.ly/4ntIr8


First, a word from our sponsors: I have just launched the indiegogo campaign for my short film 14 Conversations in 10 Minutes. Check it out http://ow.ly/SblO3005HHu.  Below is a video sample of the short. Think about contributing (the lowest contribution is only $5.00). Please view and share anywhere and everywhere.

 

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?  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
My recommendations for movie watching this week in L.A. 5/13-20/2016
rev 2ON NETFLIX:  In 1845, a group of pioneers take a shortcut at their guide’s behest in order to get over the Cascade Mountains. They get lost as writer Jonathan Raymond and director Kelly Reichart take them all down a road of existentialism. Are they really lost, and if they are, what do they do? An intriguing small western starring Michelle Williams.
ff 1ON HULU:  This time round, I am going to recommend a television series, the anarchic and almost nihilistic, but very darkly funny animated Rick and Morty. The premise is difficult to explain clearly, but it’s about an alcoholic scientist who takes his often clueless nephew on a series of outrageous adventures.
jimmy vestwoodA SPECIAL SHOUT OUT FOR: Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero, written by Amir Ohebsion and its star Maz Jobrani, and directed by Jonathan Kesselman, “A wannabe private investigator wins the Green Card lottery and moves to America to pursue his dream only to find himself embroiled in a conspiracy to start the next world war.”  It plays at the Laemmle Music Hall 3 and the Town Center Five
ff 4OF SPECIAL NOTE: Jean Luc Godard’s great film Band of Outsiders plays at   (It’s the one where our heroes run across the Louvre)

 

rev 1FIRST RUN and OPENING:  The Lobster, Money Monster, Highrise, Last Days in the Desert, Captain America: Civil War, A Bigger Splash, The Dark Horse, Elstree 1976, Sing Street, The Meddler Continue reading

My recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 5/6-13/2016


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. 5/6-13/2016
ff 1ON NETFLIX:  I’m not saying that Robinson Crusoe on Mars, written by John C. Higgins and Ib Melchior and directed by Byron Haskin (loosely adapted from the novel by Daniel Defoe) is a good movie, but it’s a fun one, with all the cheesiness included.  Paul Mantee plays an astronaut stranded on Mars (long before Matt Damon) and Victor Lundin is a slave that escapes from a group of aliens who mine on Mars.  Adam (Batman) West is also around, at least for awhile.
ff 2ON HULU:  Stakeout, written by Shinobu Hashimoto (he worked on a number of Kurosawa films) and directed by Yoshitaro Nomura (Zero Focus, Castle of Sand), is a film noir as if Ozu had directed it.  Two police detectives go to a town in the South of Japan because they believe a man who killed a pawnbroker may visit his old girlfriend.  Methodical with its own pacing, it’s rich in character study with a story that slowly, but certainly, draws you in.  A Japanese filmmaker who isn’t as well known in the U.S. as he should be.
ff 3OF SPECIAL NOTE: Dragon Inn (1967) is playing at the Nuart
ff 4OF SPECIAL NOTE: Jean Luc Godard’s great film Band of Outsiders plays at Cinefamily at The Silent Movie Theater 5/6-8, 10-12 (It’s the one where our heroes run across the Louvre)
rev 5FIRST RUN and OPENING:  Captain America: Civil War, A Bigger Splash, The Family Fang, Dheepan, The Dark Horse, Being Charlie, Elstree 1976, The Invitation, Viva, Sing Street, The Meddler, Hockney, The Wait Continue reading

NOSTALGIA AIN’T WHAT IT USE TO BE: Everybody Wants Some!! and Sing Street


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 1Two movies have opened recently that take place in the recent past (the 1980’s to be more precise).  Each felt pastelled over with a patina of nostalgia, a painful desire for a sweet past.  But the two couldn’t be more different in their approaches.
Everybody Wants Some!! (with two, count ‘em, two exclamation points) is the most recent effort from writer/director Richard Linklater. Like his previous effort, Boyhood, it doesn’t use a hero’s journey or character arc, nor does it use a plot in which a central character must overcome an obstacle or gain a goal, as the basic structure.
No, rather, like such films as Amarcord and Cleo from 5 to 7, it uses a passage of time to hold its story together. Continue reading

My recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 4/29-5/6/2016


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. 4/29-5/6/2016
ff 1ON NETFLIX:  Look Who’s Back is very difficult to describe.  With screenplay by Marco Kreauzpaintner and Johannes Boss and direction by David Wnendt, its basic premise is that Hitler has somehow materialized in modern day Germany.  A TV journalist, trying to get his job back, finds him and promotes him as a kind of joke, not realizing he’s the real thing.  As a result, Hitler becomes a huge TV star.  Part scripted, part Borat, it’s a rather vicious look at modern German attitudes, suggesting that Hitler would not be so out of place in today’s world.
ff 2ON HULU:  As written by Yevgeni Zamyatin, Jacques Companees, Charles Spaak and the director Jean Renoir, Maxim Gorky’s Russian play about the lowest of the low, The Lower Depths, gets a definite Gallic spin, part film noir, part existential romanticism, and not as downbeat as the original source.  It’s not as good as Akira Kurosawa’s adaptation, which is closer to the source material.  But it has its moments, especially in Louis Jouvet as a Baron who loses everything, but accepts it all as his destiny.  
ff 5Of Special Note: The TCM Film Festival begins 4/28/16 www.tcm.com
ff 3Of Special Note: Prince’s Purple Rain will be showing at various locations in the city
ff 4FIRST RUN and OPENING:  Viva, Keanu, Barbershop: The Next Cut, The Invitation, Green Room, The Meddler, Sworn Virgin, Sing Street, Dough, Hockney Continue reading

My recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 4/15-22/2016


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. 4/15-22/16
ff 1 ON NETFLIX:  Upstream Color, the second film by writer/director Shane Carruth (after the time travel movie Primer), is a sci-fi film about people who are slipped a drug that make them obedient to any command. When they come out of the trance days later, they can’t remember anything that happened.  They also find themselves cleaned out financially.  But one victim begins to figure out what happened.  One of the best films of 2013, it’s not for everyone because Carruth’s filmmaking style is certainly his own unique vision and the story isn’t always easy to understand.  But I highly recommend it.
ff 2ON HULU:   Zero Focus is a 1961 Japanese film in which the husband of a newlywed suddenly goes missing and the new wife sets about trying to find out what happened. Written by Shinobu Hashimoto from a book by Seicho Matsumoto and directed by Yoshitara Nomura, this is a first rate film noir by a director not often spoken about over here.
Of Special Note:  COLCOA, the French film festival (that has a ton of free screenings) begins 4/18/2016 http://www.colcoa.org/
ff 4Of Special Note: The Noir City: Film Noir Festival begins 4/15/2016 at American Cinematheque at The Egyptian. Not to be missed for any hard boiled fans. http://ow.ly/10qBEm
ff 5Of Special Note: Sci-Fi Weekend at the Laemmle Ahyra Fine Arts 4/15-17, including such classics as Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Thing and The Day The Earth Stood Still. http://ow.ly/10qB6E
ff 6FIRST RUN and OPENING: Jungle Book, Green Room, Sing Street, Neon Bull, 13 Cameras, My Big Night, Wedding Doll, Une Femme Mariee, Hardcore Henry, Midnight Special, The Invitation, Demolition, Everybody Wants Some Continue reading