Hollywood

Neil Landau on the Art of Screenwriting

Christopher Karr

This is the kind of practical, well-articulated knowledge you can find in The Screenwriter's Roadmap. It's organized into 21 chapters that each focus on an essential aspect of the writing and re-writing process. Each chapter also includes a corresponding interview with a screenwriter currently in the business. The guidebook is clear, well-organized, and sometimes painfully academic and overly analytical. This is a common attribute of all screenwriting guidebooks, but Landau's prose is, at times, more readable than Field and McKee. 

A Slice of 'Pi' in India

Sandip Roy

The color and visual spendor of India tends to overwhelm any film that is set in India. And Life of Pi is no exception. Ang Lee pretty much admits as much to DNA when he says “the country overwhelms you, with the warmth, the culture and its beauty”. Even in the hands of a director as astute as him, India feels over saturated, wide-eyed and eye-popping, prone to fortune cookie maxim. It’s a striking contrast to the richly detailed but so much more atmospheric Shanghai he created for Lust, Caution. That felt epic and intimate at the same time. This India feels Amar Chitra Katha – bold colors without much shading.

Paul Thomas Anderson and the Perplexing Genius of ‘The Master’

Christopher Karr

Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest film, “The Master,” is his most consciously esoteric movie to date. As the scenes add up, you have a growing suspicion that you’re missing something. Or that something is missing. I’m still not completely sure which is the case. All I can say is that the movie invokes the same experience as a queasy-strange nightmare that gradually churns to a haunting, perplexing conclusion. 

Why Faulkner, Fitzgerald and Other Literary Luminaries Hated Hollywood

Christopher Karr

Faulkner wasn’t the only literary icon who went to Hollywood to make a bundle writing for the movies. In 1933, Nathanael West moved to California on a contract for Columbia pictures, as did Dorothy Parker the following year. In an interview with The Paris Review in 1956, Parker said she wasn’t capable of talking about her Hollywood experience: “It’s a horror to look back on. When I got away from it, I couldn’t even refer to the place by name….”

Where Have You Gone, Stanley Kubrick?

David Barwinski

The  much-admired (and emulated) Martin Scorsese, for one, is an outstanding auteur and easily one of the best directors  working today, yet he cannot rightly be ranked alongside the titans of the golden years when cinema was emerging as a serious art form: Akira Kurosawa, Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, Ingmar Bergman, Jean Renoir, and the list goes on.  These masters were, and remain, larger-than-life legends.

The Unfortunate Rise of Dumbed-Down Hollywood Comedies

Kurt Thurber

Knock, knock. Who’s there? Lowbrow comedy. Lowbrow comedy who? It’s lowbrow comedy everywhere because it’s easy to write and cheap to produce. The entertainment industry is bigger than ever. Therein lies the problem:  Hollywood has produced lowbrow comedy for every generation,  and it now has the capability to produce dumbed-down movies in every genre tenfold. 

Will the Real Nicolas Cage Please Stand Up?

Sam Chapin

Who is Nicolas Cage? Or perhaps the question should be, what is Nicolas Cage? There are few actors working today who prove harder to define, both on and off-screen. If you read the news reports, the answer to the first question is that Cage is a broke, pagan castle owner who named his son Superman and will star in any movie, if asked. The answer to the second question: a vampire from the Civil War.

It Takes a Village (to Make a Hollywood Hit)

Kat Kambes

Often the glitz and glamour of Hollywood supersedes the real “work” of the movie, and certainly the awards season does nothing to bring recognition to the many people who contribute to the success of a movie.  Many of the fields that are recognized: technological, sound design, set design, etc., are done so in hotel luncheons and dinners far away from the camera, or by taking out a page-sized ad of congratulations in Variety.  In this respect, Hollywood itself contributes to the limited vision that people outside of Los Angeles have of the industry. 

Hollywood and the Fundamentalist

Christopher Karr

With very few exceptions, the fundamentalist doesn’t appear flattering on film. Some are avaricious conmen like Steve Martin in Leap of Faith, some are dogmatically judgmental like Piper Laurie in Carrie, and others are violent savages like Robert Mitchum in Night of the Hunter or, more recently, Michael Parks, who plays a penetrating parody of extremist Fred Phelps in the latest Kevin Smith film, Red State

Golden Globes 2012: Eight Actors Who Should Have Been Nominated

Loren DiBlasi

The nominations for the 2012 Golden Globe awards, airing this January, have been announced. On the film front, there are some familiar names (Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, George Clooney) but also a few unexpected nominations (Rooney Mara, Kristen Wiig, Joseph Gordon-Levitt.) In television, many popular shows that we’ve seen nominated before (“Glee,” “Breaking Bad,” “Rescue Me”) were, for the most part, ignored. Instead, some surprises made the cut (“American Horror Story,” “Boss,” “Necessary Roughness”).

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Hollywood