Escape from Elba
Exiles of the New York Times
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Author Topic: Movies  (Read 33786 times)
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jbottle
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« Reply #1710 on: August 30, 2007, 12:18:40 AM »

I don't get your joke, I piss fairly clean, and am under no legal or medical supervision, other than friends, relatives, and those real, imaginary, or soon to be imagined.  But yeah, Greengrass is pretty amazing to me, he is either a brain or a very bright "eye," and probably both, but it was nice to see the film on cable with all the baggage that I was carrying with it, like the "Turbulence" series, etc., it confounded me in a curious way--how do you basicall make a movie with no stars that takes place in a built set for no money and not be at all exploitative for exaggeratted emotion or dollars.  Paul Greengrass made an airplane movie around the same time "Red Eye" or the Jodie Foster ones were being made, for the reason, you have to pay JF 10M or so for a ten week shoot if that, not bad dough, or the the eight week shoot with RE.  Or, you could shoot a movie in a tube for no dough with no stars and no agenda and nothing but your heart on your sleeve, and with the intelligence to know not to tell the audience that they need to feel anything, and not care really, evidently about commercial success.  I can't imagine a harder sell, in other words, because of subject matter, or an easier sell with a star attached and allegory the thing, you get to shoot in a tube, on a set, no prob.  Paul Greengrass not only saw the opportunity, but he also got to own a piece of history that is actually more digestible because he made the film he made.  I like where kindness and ambition and money sense collide the way he made it do.  It changed and made a sort of nameless and unimaginable dread palpable and easy to believe.  What does it mean?  You don't even know about it?  What does it say?  Nobody talks nobody listens, look inside you can do what you like, it's a nightmare, it's all negative, nothing matters and what if it did you could...no, I just thought that the way the story was told was a powerful return to not spinning information, which, talent that he is, he didn't have to do.  Instead, a gift and a splash of cold water at the same time, as hard as that is to imagine, you need to, but after seeing it you realize some of the things that you take for granted are gifts. 

Again, if you haven't seen "United 93," give it a shot, it's not as scary as you think it might be, and about as scary as it might have been, but I promise that it's better to see it than imagine being on a plane going down, where you have all sorts of defenses to those thoughts, anyway, sorry if I was on a tangent the other night, I think I was on alcohol.
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jbottle
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« Reply #1711 on: August 30, 2007, 12:48:10 AM »

And I think it was dupont that said dialogue is hard to write and I agree, so most of what I've been trying to do has taken the form of bad novel out of a frustration for the form of the screenplay.  The original idea was to write character and then once you figure out what they are thinking and doing it will be no problem to put words in their mouths, etc., but yeah, movie dialogue is hard, mainly because if you aren't making jokes you have to be setting up jokes and the math gets fairly complicated, like why did he look down at that moment in shame, because it's a setup for a joke later, like you had to bring my uncle into it, you bastard, or whatever, whereas prose you can write without thinking ahead so much, not necessarily any punchlines.  But my style is informed the most by "Bottlerocket" the movie, the irrepressible Dignan, and I just feel awful that that sort of optimistic patheticism has had a momentary setback, I was surprised the other day where "Wedding Crashers" has at big moments in the script, guys who are manipulating each other and not communicating at all, especially when VV loses his mind at the bottom of the stairs and Owen is beyond approach in glee and selling.....I like the slow deterioration of VV in WC, very funny stuff, but I feel bad that Owen doesn't have that bounce in his step right now.  It's not like he's a heroin addict, so what gives?  I don't get the pills/cutting behaviour all half-ass, because it seems like anybody who supposedly makes a suicide attempt, is kind of a dumbass if it doesn't work, because then you fall into the area of a "suiciadal gesture," which Owen is smart enough to know about.  So, I'm thinking the guy must've cut himself pretty good, but it doesn't really figure.  Fucking girls, I reckon.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #1712 on: August 30, 2007, 03:13:47 AM »

Dzimas,

Are you absolutely, perfectly sure about that? Namaste, anyway.

Yup!  But, then I'm a Wes Anderson fan.  I even liked Life Aquatic.  Admittedly, The Darjeeling Express looks like Bottle Rocket set in India, but the repartee between Brody, Swartzman and Wilson promises to be quite amusing, judging by the preview.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #1713 on: August 30, 2007, 03:22:51 AM »

One can only speculate at this point, but maybe Wilson was just plain bored?  A promising new move coming out didn't give him the thrill he was looking for?  Maybe, he just needed to go off somewhere like Dave Chappelle did (South Africa wasn't it?) and put everything on hold for awhile.  Expectations run so high that I imagine you reach a point where you no longer feel you can meet them.  I don't think he really wanted to kill himself, otherwise he probably would have succeeded like Freddie Prinze and John Belushi did.
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harrie
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« Reply #1714 on: August 30, 2007, 10:01:37 AM »

...I like the slow deterioration of VV in WC, very funny stuff, but I feel bad that Owen doesn't have that bounce in his step right now.  It's not like he's a heroin addict, so what gives? 

jbottle, here is where I need Cliff Notes.  Did you say this knowing that Wilson has had a heroin addiction in the past, or was it just a brilliant shot in the dark?  I doubt it's girls, and one source said the attempt/gesture/whatever was definitely not about Kate Hudson (with an "Oh, puh-leeze" undertone to their comment). 

I'm kind of more in Dzimas' ballpark about the ennui, the is that all there is-ness kind of depression -- in my humble opinion and limited experience from my death wish stage, the overall lack of meaning in your life becomes much more difficult to handle than a fallout with some chick or some asshole guy.  But who really knows, besides good old OW?  Whom I also wish well, by the way.

Dzimas, Not trying to pick, but if I recall correctly Prinze actually shot himself, but Belushi went sort of accidentally.  So I'm guessing that you see Belushi's general behavior as a multi-year suicide attempt that he finally accomplished with the help of that groupie? (Kathy something, IIRC)  Or is there some dirt I have missed along the way? 
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Dzimas
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« Reply #1715 on: August 30, 2007, 10:12:00 AM »

Harry, from a special I saw on Discovery or some other channel, they pretty much concluded it was suicide.  The saddest part is how Jim Belushi was able to vault to fame so soon after his brother's death.  For the life of me, I see no talent in this guy whatsoever. 

There does seem to be a dark side to comics, and with Wilson it seems that his comedy has a tragic element, particularly in a character like Dignan.  I think it is easy for someone like Wilson to give into despondent moments, especially after having so much success and not knowing what to do next.
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barton
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« Reply #1716 on: August 30, 2007, 10:20:20 AM »

Jbot, what I hear is that you do not have to write a "shooting script" to get your ideas out there.  A barebones script, just dialog and basic setting description is sufficient for most directors, who prefer to work out the shots themselves, and let actors figure out some of their details.  Failing that, you can always write a novel and then see if you can get it optioned after it's published.  Then, whatever happens, you at least published.  Let Barton Fink be the cautionary note, always.

Disclaimer for the post-Larry Craig world:  For the record, my stall stance is wide only in the interests of avoiding backsplash.  And I only tap my feet when I've got a song in my head.  Foot-tapping can also help with mild constipation.

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"Nothing more foolish than a man chasing his hat!"
madupont
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« Reply #1717 on: August 30, 2007, 12:18:56 PM »

Thank goodness, barton(fink) exists. Everyone works a different way.

jbottle, just don't tell anybody what you are scripting, I start by location because I absorb the mood, but if you don't go directly to the owner of the published book that barton mentioned and who bought the book's Movie Option from the publisher, the grapevine zips the newsflash, and you get to watch a tv production that used  the second-best budget idea of an inexpensive location, only to discover that the story changed dramatically to a cheaper idea as well and you could kick yourself in the butt.

Which is probably why flipping around at the furthest end of closet, I couldn't find the slim little book that I wanted to recommend;and that means I have to clean the closet.  But do not go to a class, advertised with slick copy and paper-stock that mentions the instructor's former credits which indicate he is coasting on his laurels and no longer writing for the movies.

I think starting with the Characters is, as you said, the beginning of  hearing them speak (unless, you just use a forum like this and grab the characters and their speaking patterns as they go by; I intensely thought of that previously when the nytimes forums in the Western Europe area got fairly dramatic to say the least; all you had to do was change the names to protect the innocent,yourself included, because the daily interaction was so way out of line while the world went to hell in a  hand-basket. I admit, I kept huge chunks of dialog on file when it was pithy).  I had a teacher who, after her affair with Dylan Thomas, used to say, put all your good ideas in a box, you never know when you will be inspired to use "it".  The computer is a marvelous box. Just don't let anybody else reformat it for you. You can print out copy,if you want to back-up precious dialogue.

Dzimas, I thought that Brody,Swartzman, and Wilson, were three Beatles in India with one recalcitrant fourth hiding out someplace calm.

Which reminds me, there is nothing worse after reading the tentative or polished scripts, than being the actor who made it come to life on the screen and wishing you hadn't been type-cast and asking yourself is there all there is to life? --is this! We lose one or two good actors in every generation(if not half a dozen)because they are not getting reinforcement for the emotional energy they expend, while acutely aware of the motivations of the  people who over-enthusiastically but tritely praise them for existing.
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ponderosa
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« Reply #1718 on: August 30, 2007, 12:57:19 PM »


Which reminds me, there is nothing worse after reading the tentative or polished scripts, than being the actor who made it come to life on the screen and wishing you hadn't been type-cast and asking yourself is there all there is to life? --is this! We lose one or two good actors in every generation(if not half a dozen)because they are not getting reinforcement for the emotional energy they expend, while acutely aware of the motivations of the  people who over-enthusiastically but tritely praise them for existing.

I've tried creating dialogue utilizing some aspects of the Stanislavsky technique that actors use but yeah, it can get confusing dropping in and out of character and then sitting down to write. It seems to work but don't want to rely on it except for those times that I get stuck. Depending on it for the long term creates some schizo episodes.

You have talent, jbottle. Maybe the prose/novel route is best for your style, though. Creating thoughts and ideas as opposed to painting a picture as screenwriters do.
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jbottle
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« Reply #1719 on: August 30, 2007, 01:05:59 PM »

Thanks, but I'm not quitting my day job or anything.

"Did you say this knowing that Wilson has had a heroin addiction in the past, or was it just a brilliant shot in the dark?"

I haven't heard any new news if there is a heroin connection, but it was a shot in the dark, and I guess I was thinking of Cobain and Elliott Smith and others who had reached a level of desperation that has to have had something to do with that drug.
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harrie
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« Reply #1720 on: August 30, 2007, 01:17:54 PM »

...put all your good ideas in a box, you never know when you will be inspired to use "it".  The computer is a marvelous box. Just don't let anybody else reformat it for you. You can print out copy,if you want to back-up precious dialogue.

Wonder if that's the same box World Party talk about......(Put the message in the box/Put the box into the car/
Drive the car around the world/Until you get heard
)

jbottle,
In the glut of ET/Access/EXTRA shows, there was mention that Wilson had kicked heroin seven years ago and people were speculating that he'd picked it up again.  You know, since he asked for privacy and all that, it's imperative to just dissect the poor guy on TV.  It's not like overexposing Britney Spears (ba-dum-bump!), where I feel like I know way too much about her and don't even like her; I like Owen Wilson, but still feel I (now) know way too much about him. 



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oilcanboyd23
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« Reply #1721 on: August 30, 2007, 01:38:24 PM »

Thesuperficial.com ("Because You're Ugly") says they heard that Courtney Love says that it was Stever Coogan who got Owen Wilson hooked on the crank (or the smack or the horse or whatever you call it), or maybe re-hooked or something.  They read it in The Post:

http://www.nypost.com/seven/08292007/news/nationalnews/owens_coke_and_heroin_breakdow.htm
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madupont
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« Reply #1722 on: August 30, 2007, 02:29:08 PM »

Ponderosa   re:#1741

"some aspects of the Stanislavsky technique that actors use"

One has the same problem with prose as screen-writing. There is only one writer around here who doesn't seem to have any trouble from his schizo episodes.

If a writer sits down to write and throws himself into the preparation that an actor does, which actually he or she doesn't, the writer comes up with his own emotions, and when he gets the interactive dialog,he does it again, delving down into his own emotions as if he were that character.

Stanislavsky did not say "get into yourself and remember that emotion from previous experience because it will show up on your face and how you move as your body reacts to that emotion". It was Pavlov said that.

You are right, in so far as it works for one. Think Marlon Brando.  If you have seen him pull that off about up to the time that he does Marc Antoni's funeral oration for Julius Caesar, fine. Brando is a Method actor. Character study is another aspect of this work. When using Stanislavsky method, you are also advised to "people watch", you do it on the bus on your way home, or on your way to class, like Stanislavsky you learn how to change your appearance and pass yourself off as something else to find out how people react to that sort of person or character. This was the practice of a great Italian actor whom Stanislavsky observed;which caused Stanislavsky to change his name to incorporate.  I think that it was a cultural thing. People watching possibly was the result of cafe life but nowadays? You hang out and if you go clubbing,probably you are watching people pretty much like yourself.

When you sit down to write, you will had to have written out some template of  characters that you know well in your interactions over an extensive period of time.  People who do not necessarily have the same psychological set-up so that they can interact and create the tension of the situation that you are writing about.

Stanislavsky got off of the energy of other actors emotions, and the audience doesn't always feed-back.  At the computer, you don't have the grips and lights responding to a piece of  your performance on the set. Because of the short term takes, the actor may not develop responsiveness in himself or  herself to the other actor's performance, and begins to substitute cliche responses from not paying attention to the involvement of the other actor, becomes a johnny-one-note.

You may at that point  need somebody like Lee Strasburg  to develop your technique.  For a writer, concentrate on the surprises you've had in your own life, when you psyched somebody out wrong; and it will give you a clue of one aspect of character-formation.

I'm still going to look for that practical book because obviously we are all coming from different places that motivate us to script.

By the way, I like that logo of yours, looks a little bit like a huge apple squashing a banana in too tight a lunch box but since that seems to be an alley, it could be a back-lot warehouse where they stash the big decorations in scenery.
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jbottle
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« Reply #1723 on: August 30, 2007, 08:20:40 PM »

"Crank" is meth, "Horse" and "Smack" are heroin.

I guess what's most surprising is that he is so wry and funny and jaunty and everything that you wouldn't think of in a heroin addict, but I guess he was ok and then he split from friends and family and started shooting up with Coogan. 

But going to Hawaii, the birthplace of illegal meth distribution (65% of persons arrested for anything in Hawaii have meth in their blood, blood tests for all incarcerated are mandatory there, and meth gets out of your system in 48-72 hrs., so that means that 2/3's of all people who commit even the most minimal of criminal offenses have used that specific drug in the past couple of days), doesn't seem like the remedy, but if I ever had anything close to that kind of addiction I would simply drink vodka and whatever other than meth that Woody Harrelson could provide until I could eat mushroom soup or whatever like "Trainspotting."

Damn shame that he will never be viewed in the same carefree light again, though Downey seems to have maintained his sobriety and sense of humor intermittently enough to maintain a career.  Waking up in the bunkbed of some house where you don't know the family, odd as that may be (Downey), is actually funny and sure sad, but someone cutting himself is just sad, sad, sad type sad.

I'm happy he's survived, wow.  The Post link from oil says Luke found him but the IMDB said it was his older brother Andrew, that was the only discrepancy. 

If you ever listen to any Elliott Smith, songs like "Speed Trials," and another song called "Coming up Roses":

I'm a junkyard
full of false starts
and I don't need your permission
to bury my love
under this spare light bulb

Yeah, heroin evidently sucks.
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madupont
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« Reply #1724 on: August 30, 2007, 08:25:22 PM »

"Making love on it
  Is like the crescendo on an instrument without sound."
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