Tag Archives: screenplay

70th Annual Cannes Film Festival Celebration Begins Today Through May 28th

cannes-70th

Today kicks off the 70th anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival in France. A number of anticipated entries are included in this year’s competition. Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled with Colin Farrell, Elle Fanning, Nicole Kidman, and Kirsten Dunst is her first indie film since 2013’s The Bling Ring. Andrey Zvyagintsev’s new drama Loveless has high expectations after the director’s last film, Leviathan, earned he and his co-writer Oleg Negin the Best Screenplay award in 2014. Director Hong Sang-soo has two films premiering at this year’s festival, The Day After and Clair’s Camera, but both have been kept well under the radar until their upcoming debut.

Director Lynne Ramsay is also looking to impress with her latest project You Were Never Really Here, a drama about a veteran who attempts to help a young girl involved in a sex trafficking ring. Other anticipated projects being tossed around the web are Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer and Michael Haneke’s Happy End. The festival will open tonight with director Arnaud Desplechin’s Les fantômes d’Ismaël (Ismael’s Ghosts). Another big event at this year’s festival will be a Virtual Reality (VR) film called Carne Y Arena from acclaimed writer/director Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman, The Revenant). The film runs a full hour and twenty minutes and is the first Virtual Reality film to ever appear at Cannes. The festival will run from the 17th to the 28th in Cannes, France. You can see a full list of this year’s entries below. Continue reading

This Week in Film History….

serpico

Director Sydney Lumet‘s 1973 undercover police drama Serpico earned Al Pacino his second Oscar nomination for Best Actor. While it was another in a long-running streak of Oscar nominations for Pacino that resulted in no wins until 1992’s Scent of a Woman, Serpico‘s other Oscar nomination was for Best Adapted Screenplay for screenwriters Waldo Salt (Midnight Cowboy, The Day of the Locust) and Norman Wexler (Saturday Night Fever, Staying Alive). Although Serpico proved to be the last Oscar-worthy project of Wexler’s, Waldo Salt had a much longer, and much darker story in Hollywood screenwriting history.

Waldo Salt was born on October 18, 1914 and grew up in Chicago an accomplished academic. He was so accomplished, in fact, that he graduated from Stanford University at the same time his friends were graduating from high school. Shortly thereafter, Salt was in Hollywood working as a screenwriter for MGM. There he worked on and assisted with various writing projects, but his first solo writing adaptation was with a 1937 film called The Bride Wore Red. The next year, Salt joined the American Communist Party, putting himself on the radar for the House Un-American Activities Committee during the Red Scare/McCarthy era 12 years later. Continue reading

This Week In Movie History…

August 15th is a very significant date in the history of film…for two reasons. We’ll cover them here in order by date, but both are, no doubt, some of the most memorable advances in movies and storytelling.

On August 15, 1934, director Christy Cabanne (The Mummy’s Hand, Scared to Death) released the first audio-visual film adaptation of Charlotte Bronte‘s famous novel Jane Eyre. Excluding the popularity of the novel, the film was part of a series of classic-literary adaptations produced by Monogram Pictures between 1933-1934. Four classic 19th-century novels were all made into big-screen adaptations that featured sound, a new technology for the era. The novels were Oliver Twist, Black Beauty, Jane Eyre, and The Moonstone. Cabanne was well-known at the time as a silent film director, but was also beginning to indulge in sound-projects. For the movie, which only runs a total of 62 minutes, the studio recruited actors Colin Clive, best known for the role of Dr. Frankenstein in the original 1931 James Whales’ classic, and newcomer Virginia Bruce (Born to Dance, The Invisible Woman) to star as Jane Eyre. Oscar-nominated screenwriter Adele Comandini (Beyond Tomorrow, Three Smart Girls) to adapt Bronte’s novel for the film (which admittedly must have been a challenge considering Jane Eyre runs for a total of 38 chapters with 400+ pages in most publications).

Also on August 15th, but in 1979, Oscar-winning director Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather, The Conversation) released his world-renowned masterpiece, Apocalypse Now. The film is famous not only for its cinematic brilliance, but also for its whirlwind of a production Continue reading

This Friday Marks 30th Anniversary Of ‘Back To The Future’

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This Friday, July 3rd, will mark the 30th anniversary of Back to the Future, the time-traveling hit from director Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Flight) that made Michael J. Fox (Family Ties, Casualties of War) an instant superstar and became an instant classic in American cinema. Co-written by Zemeckis and screenwriter Bob Gale (1941, Used Cars), Back to the Future was a huge hit among fans and critics alike, receiving an Academy Award for Best Sound Editing/Effects and another 3 nominations for Best Screenplay, Best Sound, and Best Music (Original Song); Huey Lewis even received a Grammy in 1986 for The Power of Love, which he wrote specifically for the film’s soundtrack. I think many fans would agree that Christopher Lloyd (One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Angels in the Outfield) deserved a nomination for Best Supporting Actor, but that aside Back to the Future proved a great success. Since 1985 the film has been followed by two sequels, and although Zemeckis has said that a remake is definitely not happening, he is currently working to adapt the movie into a new musical due out in the next year or two. Either way, I’m sure there will be no shortage of marathons on TV this weekend, but if you happen to have your own copy be sure to watch Back to the Future this weekend to celebrate the anniversary…and Independence Day too!!

MADE Review: ‘Birdman (Or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)’

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Birdman (Or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance) saw a limited theatrical release back in November 2014, but now you can catch it on the big screen once again as the film is experiencing a special re-release having received 9 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Michael Keaton), Best Supporting Actor (Edward Norton), Best Supporting Actress (Emma Stone), and Best Director (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu). Actors Michael Keaton and Edward Norton both deliver excellent performances, but Emma Stone really deserves a lot of credit for this one; her performance as Keaton’s attention-depraved daughter recovering from time in rehab is easily her best yet, and she definitely makes the jump from pretty-face roles to serious and talented actress, much like Jennifer Lawrence’s performance in American Hustle last year. Director Inarritu’s stylistic approach to the storytelling is also incredibly unique. Rather than cutting from scene to scene to show story progression and time-lapse, he transitions one scene to the next by having characters walk into the current scene or camera view, and then follow that new character into the next scene using the same single camera view, giving the film a sort of real-time flow while covering the course of several days. Birdman has also earned Inarritu and co-writers Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, and Armando Bo an Academy Award-nomination for Best Screenplay and Emmanuel Lubezki a nomination for Best Cinematographer. So if you get a chance try to see this one before it leaves theaters again. It’s definitely worth your time.

Early Draft Of Next Bond Installment ‘S.P.E.C.T.R.E.’ Leaked In Sony Pictures Hack

Bond

Earlier in the month we found out that private files, including film scripts, reels, and documents including emails between company employees and executives, were stolen from Sony Pictures by a group of computer hackers that call themselves the Guardians of Peace. The group has threatened to “ruin” the company if their upcoming James Franco and Seth Rogen comedy, The Interview, is not pulled from release this coming Christmas Day. The G.O.P. has already released a number of documents including emails between executives at the company covering everything from upcoming movie plans, celebrity secrets, medical records, racial slurs, and unbalanced pay between actors and their female counterparts. Sony discovered Monday that an early version of the screenplay for their next James Bond installment with Eon Productions Ltd., S.P.E.C.T.R.E., was among the material stolen and leaked in the cyberattack, and they were quick to give the public a friendly warning about copyright infringement. This statement was posted on the James Bond website Saturday, December 13th, by Eon Productions Ltd:

EON PRODUCTIONS, the producers of the James Bond films, learned this morning that an early version of the screenplay for the new Bond film SPECTRE is amongst the material stolen and illegally made public by hackers who infiltrated the Sony Pictures Entertainment computer system. Eon Productions is concerned that third parties who have received the stolen screenplay may seek to publish it or its contents. The screenplay for SPECTRE is the confidential information of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Danjaq, LLC, and is protected by the laws of copyright in the United Kingdom and around the world. It may not (in whole or in part) be published, reproduced, disseminated or otherwise utilised by anyone who obtains a copy of it. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Danjaq LLC will take all necessary steps to protect their rights against the persons who stole the screenplay, and against anyone who makes infringing uses of it or attempts to take commercial advantage of confidential property it knows to be stolen.”

Pretty serious shit. Principle photography for the new movie began on December 8th with Daniel Craig returning as Bond, and the movie is scheduled for theatrical release this November 6, 2015. We’ll keep you updated on anymore leaked information.

Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ Will See Theatrical Re-Release In UK


In the times before George Lucas created Star Wars, and Star Trek saw it’s theatrical debut, iconic filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, whose genius shines through in projects like The Shining, A Clockwork Orange, and Full Metal Jacket, envisioned a philosophical journey through time and space in a film called 2001: A Space Odyssey. Released in 1968 and blending classical orchestral arrangements to visually stunning effects, the film set a new standard for all science-fiction and space adventure films to come, winning an Oscar in 1969 for Best Visual Effects and receiving three additional Oscar nominations for Best Director (Kubrick), Best Writing/Screenplay (Kubrick and author Arthur C. Clarke), and Best Art Direction (Set Decoration). 2001 begins in the times of pre-history and spans all the way to futuristic colonized space, where astronaut Dave Bowman must embark on an epic journey to Jupiter in the hopes of discovering the origins of humanity and our place in the ever-expanding universe. The story was initially loosely based on a short story of Aurthur C. Clarke‘s titled The Sentinel, which Kubrick and Clarke then expanded upon and simultaneously wrote the film screenplay and the novel that was published shortly after the film was released. While Clarke’s novel speaks in more direct tones to explain the philosophy behind the story, Kubrick’s film is more famously known for it’s enigmatic style of story-telling, relying heavily on visual interpretation and utilizing extremely light amounts of dialogue. Since it’s release, 2001 has become known as a modern cinematic masterpiece, and with director Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar coming to theaters this November (Nolan has referenced 2001 a number of times making Interstellar), audiences in the UK will get to experience Kubrick’s film on the big screen once again. Check out this new trailer for 2001, and if you haven’t seen it and don’t plan on taking a European vacation anytime soon, definitely go out and rent it. You won’t regret it!

Orchestral Celebrations Being Planned For ‘Back To The Future’ 30th Anniversary

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With the 30th Anniversary of director Robert Zemeckis‘s (Forrest Gump, Cast Away) classic time-travel tale Back to the Future coming up next year, plans are starting to be made to mark the celebration. Variety recently reported plans by IMG Artists and the Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency to showcase the film alongside a live orchestra that will play the classic soundtrack by Alan Silvestri as the film progresses. The first performance will be held in Switzerland this coming May with the 21st Century Orchestra, with additional performances pending in worldwide locations. Zemeckis, working with producer Steven Spielberg, released Back to the Future in July 1985 and the film skyrocketed up-and-coming actor Michael J. Fox to movie stardom. It won the 1986 Oscar for Best Sound Effects Editing and was also nominated for Best Screenplay, Best Sound, and Best Original Music. IMG and Gorfaine/Schwartz performed a similar service for the Star Trek anniversary this year, but seeing as Back to the Future will appeal to a much larger audience across the generation gaps, this one is sure to be just as, if not more, popular. Universal Pictures is also most likely preparing some kind of celebration but that has yet to be announced, so we’ll keep looking out for more news.

Comedy Legend Harold Ramis Dies At 69

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Many young people may not be aware of who Harold Ramis is, but they have definitely seen something that he has either appeared in, written, produced, or directed. Generally you would tell someone who wasn’t aware that he was Egon in Ghostbusters (1984), but Ramis was also the writing talent behind Ghostbusters, as well as Animal House (1978), Caddyshack (1980), and Stripes (1981). He also directed several other classic projects, including National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983), Groundhog Day (1993), and Analyze This (1999) and it’s follow-up Analyze That (2002). Ramis has been recognized by the Writers Guild of America, as well as the American Screenwriters Association and he won a BAFTA award in 1994 for Best Original Screenplay (Groundhog Day). He died in Chicago earlier this week from Autoimmune Inflammatory Vasulitis. His work in Hollywood and his contribution to comedy will be missed by many across the country, and around the world. Ramis would have appeared in Columbia Pictures upcoming sequel Ghostbusters 3, which has experienced a lot of delays in production, but now the script will be slightly rewritten since Egon would have appeared in the new movie. No word yet on when the movie will really get off the ground, but we’ll have to see.

John Singleton To Re-Write, Produce, And Direct Tupac Shakur Biopic

tupac

John Singleton came right into the spotlight of Hollywood in 1991 when Boyz N The Hood was released to audiences already enveloped in the turbulent grunge/rave scene of the early ’90s. The filmmaker attended USC immediately after graduating from high school in 1986. During his time at school he wrote the script for Boyz N The Hood which was then picked up by Columbia Pictures, who then financed the film and earned Singleton two Oscar nominations, one for Best Director and the other for Best Screenplay (written directly for the screen). Singleton has done an impressive body of work since then, going on to write/direct Poetic Justice (1993) and Shaft (2000), as well as direct films such as 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) and Four Brothers (2005). Now Deadline Hollywood is reporting that Singleton has signed on to re-write the screenplay and also produce and direct a film about the late rapper Tupac Shakur. A biopic about the artist was in the works a few years ago with Antoine Fuqua heading the project, but the director fell away from the movie, which will now be co-produced/financed by Morgan Creek Films and Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films. Tupac was a highly influential artist in the early 1990s, with his work consisting of themes involving social class systems and the economic hardships and conditions of inner city living to name a few. He also made several appearances as an actor, including a supporting role in John Singleton’s Poetic Justice, making the director’s involvement with this biopic all the more personal. Tupac was wounded in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas in 1996, and died at UMC Southern Nevada six days later at the age of 25. There is no word yet as to who will be taking on the role of Tupac.