NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT and PRAVDA: Steve Jobs and Truth


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Warning: SPOILERS
steve jobsThere’s a moment in Steve Jobs, the new biopic written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by Danny Boyle, when Steve Wozniak (who, it is suggested here, seemed to have done most of, if not all, the work on the Apple Computer which is what brought fame first to Jobs) lists all the things that Jobs cannot and did not do (such as write code). When he finished, Wozniak asks what seems to be one of the most appropriate questions of the entire film: Just what do you do?
In response, Jobs says that he’s the conductor that plays the orchestra.
Fair enough. But then I so wanted Wozniak to ask the obvious follow up question: So why do you get all the credit when you haven’t really done any of the essential work?
Because think about it. Quick, name five conductors off the top of your head. No, don’t google it, just do it. When I did, all I came up with was Bernstein, Toscanini and Stokowski. Now, quick, name ten composers who created the music these conductors, well, conducted? I immediately zipped through Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Copland, Verdi, Liszt and Stravinsky.
This last is especially interesting since at one point Jobs compares himself to Stravinsky, when to really be fully parallel, in this metaphor he’s Serge Koussevitsky. Who is Koussevitsky, you ask? He was the conductor at the premier of the riot inducing The Rite of Spring.
Never heard of him, right?
Exactly. That’s because conductors don’t create art, they interpret it. That is why the composer gets the credit, not the conductor.
If one was of a suspicious nature, one might wonder if sneaky little Aaron Sorkin wasn’t, in these scenes, taking more than a few potshots at film directors. After all, what do they do? Generally speaking, they don’t write the screenplay; they don’t design the costumes and sets; they don’t edit; they don’t create the cinematography; they don’t write the music; they don’t act; they don’t provide the money for it. 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