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. 10/16-10/23/2015


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