SCHOOL DAZED: Graduation


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
Romanian writer/director Cristian Mungui seared himself upon the eyes of American moviegoers with the breathtaking and powerful drama 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days, an explosive chronicle of someone helping a friend get an abortion under the ruthless Communist dictatorship of Ceausescu.
That film, along with others like The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, 12:08 East of Bucharest, California Dreaming’ and Police, Adjective, cemented Romania, along with South Korea, as the countries that are making the best films in the world right now.
Mungui’s new film is Graduation, and it’s marvelous. The story revolves around Romeo, a respected doctor known for not breaking the law or rules. But when his daughter is attacked and becomes distracted, he is willing to do anything he can to make sure she finishes her final exams with high enough scores so she can get a scholarship to Cambridge.
Graduation may not be for everyone. The conflict is subtle, if not extremely subtle, the pacing leisurely. But there’s a madness to this method. In Mungui’s world (here, as well as 4 Months…), rarely does one say exactly what they want or what is expected in exchange. They talk around it and around it, constantly circling each other like fighters who never start punching, until the two participants fully understand what was being said between the lines. Continue reading
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POSSESSION IS 9/10ths OF THE LAW: The Wailing and The Conjuring 2


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?  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 5Two movies have opened of late that revolve around children being taken over by supernatural forces beyond their control. I’m sure many of you might ask, “But how can you be sure it’s not just puberty?” Well, see the films and decide for yourself.
In the last number of years, the most interesting movies have been making their way over here from two unlikely sources: the Romanian and South Korean new waves. One might suggest that one is the result of having recently thrown off the cloak of Communism and the other from living under the specter of the same. But that’s little more than speculation.
However, there is a difference in the two. While the movies we get from Romania tend to be more political and social critiques (4 Months, 3Weeks, 2Days, Police: Adjective, The Death of Mr. Lazarescu), the ones from South Korea tend to be more genre focused (The Host, Thirst, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance).
Writer/director Hong-jin Han is one of the more interesting of the new set of Korean filmmakers. He started out with a psychological thriller (The Chaser, about a serial killer targeting prostitutes), and followed it up with a political thriller (Yellow Sea, about a man set up as a fall guy for an assassination, in a style worthy of Alfred Hitchcock).

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