An amazing dissertation on one of the most important genres of American film, written by the legendary screenwriter of “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull.” Not for everybody, but worth it for those willing to take the time to read it in full.
The Rules of Film Noir (2009) is a must see programme for all film noir connoisseurs:
The Film Noir – Filmex - 1971
by Paul Schrader
Whenever you work with someone who you idolize, you realize … he’s just a person trying to make a movie as best he knows how and that doesn’t look so different from other people trying to do the same thing. And he’s wildly smart and brilliant and funny, but it’s moviemaking and there’s something kind of democratic about how difficult it is because everybody — whether you’re Woody Allen or Noah or P.T. Anderson — it’s hard. Making movies is a hard thing and it’s slow. So you can glorify the product, but the process is difficult no matter who you are.
Attention is what creates value. Artworks are made as well by how people interact with them — and therefore by what quality of interaction they can inspire. So how do we assess an artist who we suspect is dreadful but who manages to inspire the right storm of attention, and whose audience seems to swoon in the appropriate way? We say, ‘Well done.’
The question is: ‘Is the act of getting attention a sufficient act for an artist? Or is that in fact the job description?’
Perhaps the art of the future will be indistinguishable.
1. Raise the Stakes: Make sure that your pilot is one of the most important things you’ve ever done. Jack Black might see it, right? So, don’t fuck around. Don’t have fun. Keep in mind during every stage of production that your goal is to get into the screening so that everyone can finally see how awesome you are.
This is the first and most important rule, because if you can just realize how make-or-break the Channel 101 experience is, the rest of the steps toward a shitty pilot will come naturally.
This philosophy will not only ensure your submission’s suckiness, it will make almost everything you do sucky. Your relationships, your poems, your driving, your sense of humor: If you just focus less on what you’re doing (ex: telling a joke) and more on why you’re doing it (ex: to be funny), the suckiness will take over.
The Master of Suck lives outside the moment at all times, therefore everything he does is horrible.
How To Make Bad Television by Dan Harmon
Ruth and I made a list of the attributes we look for in an Emily Book. A book doesn’t have to have all of these attributes, of course. But all our books have some. We didn’t try to determine why this is what we want from a book. I am okay with not knowing that.
After we made the list we went through it a few times with different books in mind — Inferno, Making Scenes, and Sempre Susan. You can see the initials by the attributes: I, SS, and MS. Inferno has the most.
weird sexual awakening
abused, but not victim-y
drugs in general
sex, described non-erotically
non-redemptive story arc
passes Bechdel test
passes Bechdel test with flying colors
would fail the opposite of the Bechdel test
charged female friendship/mentorship
(bonus: with fucked-up power dynamics)
not giving a fuck
giving a fuck exactly 50% of the time
not giving a fuck about femininity
performative artistic identity
(there are some other ones but they were all trying to mean something similar but hard to define about “impervious to structural conventions”)
The list of countries with servers running FinSpy [to spy on their own citizens] is now Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Britain, Brunei, Canada, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Ethiopia, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Latvia, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, Qatar, Serbia, Singapore, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates, the United States and Vietnam.
— (via seanbonner)
There is very little to be done about all this when space is limited, crowds are large, and humans always — always — put things off until the last minute. But Grand Central, for years now, has relied on a system meant to mitigate, if not prevent, all the crazy. It is this: The times displayed on Grand Central’s departure boards are wrong — by a full minute. This is permanent. It is also purposeful.
The idea is that passengers rushing to catch trains they’re about to miss can actually be dangerous — to themselves, and to each other. So conductors will pull out of the station exactly one minute after their trains’ posted departure times. That minute of extra time won’t be enough to disconcert passengers too much when they compare it to their own watches or smartphones … but it is enough, the thinking goes, to buy late-running train-catchers just that liiiiiitle bit of extra time that will make them calm down a bit. Fast clocks make for slower passengers.
— Fascinating read on why the clocks at Grand Central are permanently, deliberately wrong. (via explore-blog)
Harrison Ford apparently used this script throughout filming. Notes range from single words to complete pages of writing and cover all aspects of the film making process, ranging from dialogue alterations and questions about the plot to suggestions and perspectives used to create the iconic character of “Indiana Jones”. —Daniel M Eckhart
Raiders of the Lost Ark (also known as Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark) is a 1981 American action-adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, produced by George Lucas, and starring Harrison Ford. It is the first film in the Indiana Jones franchise; and it pits Indiana Jones (Ford) against the Nazis, who search for the Ark of the Covenant, because Adolf Hitler believes it will make their army invincible. The film originated with Lucas’ desire to create a modern version of the serials of the 1930s and 1940s. Production was based at Elstree Studios, England; but filming also took place in La Rochelle, Tunisia, Hawaii, and California from June to September 1980.
Released on June 12, 1981, Raiders of the Lost Ark became the top-grossing film of 1981; it remains one of the highest-grossing films ever made. It was nominated for eight Academy Awards in 1982, including Best Picture, and won four (Art Direction, Film Editing, Sound, Visual Effects) as well as winning a fifth Special Achievement Academy Award in Sound Effects Editing. In 1999, the film was included in the United States Library of Congress’ National Film Registry as having been deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
Rolling Stone Interviews 1980-1981:
Flashback 1969: The Wild Bunch
Any script that’s written changes at least thirty percent from the time you begin preproduction: ten percent while you fit your script to what you discover about your locations, ten percent while your ideas are growing as you rehearse your actors who must grow into their parts because the words mean nothing alone, and ten percent while the film is finally being edited. It may change more than this but rarely less. —Sam Peckinpah
Enjoy, read, and learn: “The Wild Bunch” original screenplay by Walon Green and Sam Peckinpah [pdf]. (NOTE: For educational purposes only)
In-Depth Script Analysis by Paul Seydor:
Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch (Cambridge Film Handbooks) available from Amazon.
Sam Peckinpah talks about his career. 1st December 1976.
‘I only have questions,’ Sam Peckinpah tells Barry Norman in this seldom seen interview from December 1976.
‘As a film maker I must look at both sides of the coin, and do my best as a story-teller. I have no absolutes. I have no value judgments,’ Peckinpah goes on to say, before asking, ‘Why does violence have such a point of intoxication with people? Why do people structure their day on killing?’
This is an incredibly honest and brilliant interview with Peckinpah, who doesn’t flinch form any of Norman’s questions - discussing his ignorance, his mistakes - explaining why he was wrong in thinking it could work as catharsis in The Wild Bunch, and why he was ‘a good whore.’ —Paul Gallagher