Cayetana de los Heros, the eight-year-old protagonist of The Bad Intentions, is precociously preoccupied with death. She idolizes her nation’s independence heroes, imagining the many exotic ways in which they have been executed for their valor. “Massacre, massacre,” she whispers into the ears of her sleeping cousin. Beautifully shot in steely gray and blue hues that look cold to the touch, The Bad Intentions moves away from the conventional pastel-hued whimsy often used to depict childhood. Death — the fear and the fact of it — quietly pervades the entire film. Cayetana’s divorced parents mean well but have too many […]
Sundance Institute has selected 12 projects for its 2013 January Screenwriters Lab, an immersive, five-day (January 11-16) writers’ workshop at the Sundance Resort in Utah. Participating independent screenwriters will have the opportunity to work intensely on their feature film scripts with the support of established writers including Marcos Bernstein, D.V. DeVincentis, Michael Goldenberg and Erin Cressida Wilson. The 2013 Lab is dedicated to the memory of Frank Pierson (1925-2012), a founding creative advisor of the Feature Film Program. Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute, said, “Across all Sundance Institute Labs, which include offerings for various forms of artistic expression, […]
Editor’s Note: This essay on ambiguous film endings contains spoilers for the film Oslo, August 31. Joachim Trier’s latest feature, the formally inventive and genuinely moving Oslo, August 31, really had me in its grip by the end. The film, which is about one day in the life of a recovering heroin addict, finishes with the protagonist returning to his childhood home, which is empty. Earlier in the film, we’ve seen him buy a whole bunch of heroin, and a relapse – or worse – may be imminent. In the opening of the film, the addict, Anders, attempts to kill […]
At a recent panel at the Boston Book Festival, five authors debated the pros and cons of having your book adapted to the big screen. Moderated by Boston Globe film critic Wesley Morris, the event featured Nick Flynn (Another Bullshit Night in Suck City/Being Flynn), Daniel Handler (A Series of Unfortunate Events), Buzz Bissinger (Friday Night Lights), Rachel Cohn (Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist), and Andre Dubus III (The House of Sand and Fog). The conversation ranged over a variety of topics and it was clear that there was a wide range of experiences, from the ‘Pollyanna’ experience of Rachel […]
Dree Hemingway is a sweet porn star and Besedka Johnson — Best Actress winner at the 2012 SXSW Film Festival — is the mysteriously bitter older woman she befriends in Sean Baker’s sun-streaked relationship drama, Starlet. Interview by Scott Macaulay.
Remember “When Should You Give Up?” It was one of our most commented upon posts here at Filmmaker, an extended conversation about the practicalities as well as psychological ramifications of quitting. Quitting a specific project, that is, not filmmaking in general. The post was inspired by a post by author Edan Lepucki over at the Millions titled “Shutting the Drawer: What Happens When a Book Doesn’t Sell?” Lepucki wrote about how, when the novel she had been working on for so long didn’t sell, she simply packed it in and started working on another. No flogging it for years, exploring […]
“You’re young, you haven’t done anything, and no one wants to work with you,” our first agent said to us after we graduated film school. He was absolutely right. We were trying to write what we thought were mainstream Hollywood comedies but to our shock, it was hard to get the second screenplay we’d ever written to the biggest comedy stars on the planet. That’s when we decided to write something smaller for two local New York comedians who we thought were hilarious and, more importantly, we thought we could get. Six months later, we had a screenplay about two […]
“Fuck you.” With those opening words of Savages, author Don Winslow delivered a kick to the teeth of the literary world. The jarring and unorthodox novel — about a trio of beach bum lovers-turned-drug kingpins and with a writing style that ranges from poetry to screenplay — became a New York Times Bestseller and a shot in the arm to Winslow’s already successful career. The author had penned more than ten novels prior to Savages, including the Neal Carey series, while moonlighting as a private investigator during grad school and the meticulous DEA/drug cartel fueled intrigue of The Power of the Dog, […]
Telling the origin story of the creature that terrified us in Alien over three decades ago, Ridley Scott’s Prometheus is one of this summer’s most hotly anticipated films. But somewhat surprisingly, the origins of the screenplay came as much from a screenwriter’s general meeting as the story material developed for that original movie. At a meeting in the offices of Scott’s production company, Scott Free, screenwriter Jon Spaihts was asked to riff on the possibilities of a film that would revisit the Alien universe. What resulted is Prometheus, with a script credited to Spaihts and Damon Lindelof. Below I ask […]
If you’ve come anywhere near the blog or print magazine recently, you’ll know that Filmmaker — myself, and much of our staff — are in love with Joachim Trier’s feature, Oslo, August 31st, which opened this weekend from Strand Releasing. I sat down with Trier last month for a short chat, posted below. We talk about the movie’s inspirations, the Louis Malle film based on the same book, adaptation, and then Trier gives some very solid and inspiring advice to young directors. Also, read my interview with Trier from the Winter, 2012 issue.