“Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.” — adapted from the memoirs of Hiram Withington, in The Iron Lady screenplay by Abi Morgan. Continue reading “The Iron Lady – thoughts”
bookmark_borderThe use of Flashback in Amazing Grace
Amazing Grace (dir. Michael Apted, written by Steven Knight) seems to be the first major film to depict the life and activism of Wilfred Wilberforce. I was reluctant to write any review because I’m not sure of the historical accuracy of Wilberforce’s life. However, from a creative point of view, I find the use of flashbacks interesting.
Many biopics, from made-for-tv movies to big-budget blockbusters, use flashbacks as a creative device. At one extreme you have The Iron Lady, where almost every other scene is the elderly Thatcher remembering her rise and fall. Then there’s the TV movie like Coco Chanel, where flashbacks are used intermittently to show a character still in her prime remembering how she got where she was while preparing a show.
The classic, however, is a film like Gandhi (Dir: David Attenborough, writer: John Briley, 1982), where we start at the death of the main character, then tell the story in sequence, introducing the protagonist just before that fateful first decision is made. But, all these devices open a story toward the end of the story, not in the middle. Continue reading “The use of Flashback in Amazing Grace”
bookmark_borderFilmmaker admits awards are political
When The Hollywood Reporter asked producer Janine Jackowski if she was disappointed that Toni Erdmann didn’t win the foreign language Oscar, she said no. She expected it, when she heard the news of “Trump’s travel ban.”
“Two hours later I talked to Maren and we both said, ‘It’s gone.’ We knew the Academy would want to send a signal with the Iranian film. Up to that point, Toni Erdmann was one of the favorites.”
bookmark_border5 Remakes that pass for originals
We’re growing tired of remakes. Some rehashes claim to be better than the original, but we’re not sure “better” is the right word.
Do we need another Karate Kid, another Dr. Doolittle, another Ghostbusters, another Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, or another Steel Magnolias? What was wrong with the first film?
(The second Karate Kid was okay, but “Pick up your coat” is incredibly lazy compared to “wax on, wax off.”)
However, some remakes add something, and in some ways improve upon the original. A few, in fact, are so good that we sometimes think that the remake is the original. Continue reading “5 Remakes that pass for originals”
bookmark_borderThe one reel rule
If you ask us the price of producing a one minute film, sorry, you can’t multiply that by 100 to make a hundred minute film. As the project gets bigger, things get more complicated. It’s like comparing a shed and a skyscraper.
You have to take into account the one reel rule.
So, what is this one reel rule?
bookmark_borderFour films I wish I could see on DVD
INT. VIDEO RENTAL SHOP
VASCO, accompanied by a SMALL CHILD, walks up to the counter looking lost. Two of the CLERKS take a step backward before he says a word, and the third CLERK is transfixed to the television set, watching reruns of “Friends”.
Excuse me, do you have Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure?
One of the clerks rolls her eyes.