It's gonna be fun.
March 18, 2008
March 17, 2008
Since it's St. Patrick's today, the movie Leprechaun is playing on TV. I wonder if Jennifer Aniston fans have ever seen her in this? There's a wonderful charm to it, and serves as a reminder that there is no theme that cannot be exploited for a horror film.
Happy St. Paddy's!
around 11:59 AM
March 15, 2008
The adjective someone recently applied to the dialogue in Deadwood was 'Shakespearean". I guess that comes close. I only recently began watching the show on DVD (aided greatly by my love of Westerns, but more on that later) and have been hooked. Sadly, I won't be able to catch Season 3 for a while for various reasons. I'll experience what everyone who caught it on its original airing on HBO did.
So, it's fictionalized, but sticking closely to many facts. It's constructed around episodes, yet isn't episodic in the least. And there are a few notable characters one could easily mistake for protagonists, but the truth is Deadwood is an ensemble show like no other.
I love that they swear like, well, like cowboys. And I understand the swearing is updated to avoid the pratfalls of stereotypes, thus turning a bad-ass like Al Swearengen into a cartoon. But the twists and turns their hoity-toity low-speak follow as they spit back and forth like zig-zagging streamers is cumbersome and irritating, and yet majestic and beautiful. It's unlike anything I've ever seen. Especially in a Western.
The genre tends to rely on the grunting, monosyllabic checkered men who duke it out in lawless encounters of good versus evil. But in this show, words are never spared, which is not to say that they're ever on the nose.
In Deadwood, lawlessness isn't just part of the milieu, it's the theme, the undercurrent that drives every strand of the plot, and it's effect and affect on each character's motivations and weaknesses is all the more powerful. This is unlike any Western I've ever seen, which is why I 've been recommending it to people who hate Westerns. They're gonna love Deadwood.
around 4:41 PM
March 11, 2008
I just finished reading Scott Smith's The Ruins, which has been burdened with so much praise that it was nearly impossible it would be able to live up to the hype. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it; I found it to be quite fascinating, and in many ways quite original.
I can't claim to love every aspect of it, but I wonder how much of that has to do with the fact that I know there's a movie adaptation coming out in April. I developed a vague sensation that many of the elements I found in the novel were clearly envisioned with a film in mind, while others are clearly only something a book reader would tolerate.
All this works as an advantage to Smith, since he also wrote the screenplay. It's very clear, from the trailer alone, that the film and the book differ in many ways.
I wonder how difficult or easy this was for Smith. On the one hand, it's understandable that writers can get pretty possessive about their material, unwilling to alter plot points or characters to fit the screenplay format. On the other, perhaps it allowed Smith to write alternative scenarios and thus gave him more freedom.
Since the novel conceit is pretty self-contained, I can't imagine the actual process being cumbersome. It's basically changing the order of the Ten Little Indians and the way they bite the bullet.
All this, of course, based on what I've seen in the trailer. I can't wait to see the film.
As for my own work, I've kept busy writing TV and film proposals. They go out today.
around 9:15 AM
March 01, 2008
My writing group responded both very positively and quite surprised at my most recent submission. There was lots of praise for the speed at which I produced a new script, and quite a few positive comments regarding my ability to make a film about a topic that while cinematic, doesn't provide much in the way of plot.
In a way that's exactly the point, I guess. I wanted to try my hand at something more character-driven, given my last few screenplays have focused more or less on the intricacies of plot. It was fun to do something so unabashedly different, but the result confused some.
For one, it's the fact that it's a family movie that is both dark and funny, and it goes into some pretty twisted corners. Thus, it's not necessarily for families. This paradox, and the complexity that I wish the characters could show (and it's very much a work in progress) are challenges I'm working on in the next draft. In the meantime, I've begun notes on a few more scripts, and hope to finish a new draft of the action script this week.
I'm done with the editing project, at least for the time being, so it's all write write write. Plus a few meetings. After that... we'll see.
around 9:37 PM