Thursday, October 16, 2008

What, Where, When this Weekend - W., What Just Happened, Good Dick, Sex Drive, Max Payne

What, When, Where is a weekly guide to select screenings, discussions and events in the NYC-area of interest to screenwriters.

- Barbet Schroeder screenings and Q&A at BAM.

W., written by Stanley Weiser, dir. by Oliver Stone

Premise: A chronicle on the life and presidency of George W. Bush.

Oliver Stone + George W. Bush biopic = Train wreck? Genius? I'm really intrigued by this one. The buzz seems positive enough so far.

WHAT JUST HAPPENED, written by Art Linson, dir. by Barry Levinson

Premise: Two weeks in the life of a fading Hollywood producer who's having a rough time trying to get his new picture made.

Playing at: All over.

Say, what just happened in the production still? (Heh, heh, hehhhhhh... sorry.) It's got DeNiro. It's by Barry Levinson. I'm in.

GOOD DICK, written and directed by Marianna Palka

Premise: A look at the relationship between a lonely introverted girl and a young video store clerk vying for her attention.

Playing at: Landmark Sunshine

Director/writer/star Palka will be present after the 6:30 and 9:00 shows on Friday and Saturday, and the 11:15 AM and 1:30 PM Sunday matinees.

FILTH AND WISDOM, written by Dan Cadan, dir. by Madonna

Premise: The story revolves around a Ukrainian immigrant named A.K. who finances his dreams of rock glory by moonlighting as a cross-dressing dominatrix and his two female flatmates: Holly, a ballet dancer who works as a stripper and pole-dancer at a local club and Juliette, a pharmacy assistant who dreams of going to Africa to help starving children.

Starring Eugene Hutz? Music by Gogol Bordello? I'm interested. Directed by Madonna? Not so much.

SEX DRIVE, written by John Morris and Sean Anders, dir. by Sean Anders

Premise: A high school senior drives cross-country with his best friends to hook up with a babe he met online.

Playing at: All over.

Apparently this may actually be sorta decent...? (See: here and here.) Who'd have ever thunk?

MAX PAYNE, written by Beau Thorne, dir. by John Moore

Premise: Coming together to solve a series of murders in New York City are a DEA agent whose family was slain as part of a conspiracy and an assassin out to avenge her sister's death. The duo will be hunted by the police, the mob, and a ruthless corporation.

Playing at:
All over.

A video game movie NOT by Uwe Boll? Let's hope this fares better. Onyx - you're seeing this, right?

What are you seeing this weekend?


Now that I've got your attention...

Dead Things on Sticks has a few really enlightening thoughts on writing sex scenes into your scripts - well worth a read!

And to be fair, here's something for all you ladies:

GENERAL IDI AMIN DADA screening at BAM - filmmaker Barbet Schroeder in attendance

Ugggh, what a terrible time to not be in New York!

BAM has a special screening of the 1974 documentary General Idi Amin Dada by French director Barbet Schroeder. If you saw the outstanding filmLast King of Scotland, you have to see this movie. The controversial dictator worked in full cooperation with the director to commit this portrait to film; the result (a brief glimpse inside his mind) is both engrossing and terrifying.

Schroeder will be present for a Q&A session following the 6:50 PM screening on Saturday night.

If you don't want to take my word for how good this documentary is, Slate has a great review of the film here.

BAM will also be screening his new film, Inju: The Beast in the Shadows. Schroeder will discuss that film after the Friday evening screening.

Abel Ferrara interview up at Filmmaker Mag

Pretty cool interview with Abel Ferrara about his new movie, Mary, over here.
Not very much about the actual writing process, but the Bad Lieutenant writer/director and filmmaker behind the classic Driller Killer talks about the inspiration and ideas behind the film.

Gotta love this quote:
Filmmaker Magazine: What was your dream job as a kid?

Ferrara: Washing dishes in a hospital full of hot nurses. [laughs]

My $12 Gamble

When I talk with Cake Man about the hallowed experience of going to the movies, it’s fairly common to hear him say, “I’ll wait for it to come out on dvd.” The man is patient and treats his movie going experience as an investment. It is an investment, one of time and money, and these days you can’t be putting out too many dollars that are going to have regrets attached to them. It’s not a good time for gambling, but I just can’t help myself when it comes to my twelve dollar gambles.

Let’s face it, a movie shown on the big screen is going to be better than the same movie shown on the 26 inch tv in your living room. And it’s not just bigger picture and bigger sound. There’s just something about the ripped ticket, the big dim room, the popcorn under your feet that makes the movie going experience special. The experience gets better when you know you’re going to see something critics have called a good movie and it’s a movie you know you will enjoy. (Cake Man’s full body orgasm at Dark Knight) In my opinion, the experience is at its best when you go see a movie that you haven’t heard the critics talk about, you know it’s going to be right up your alley, and you end up being right. Unfortunately I was wrong when I took the gamble with Body of Lies and saw it on opening night.

The movie wasn’t bad, but I thought Ridley Scott was poised for something big. I kept hoping for Gladiator meets Black Hawk Down. How awesome would that be? There’s no way the Somalis would have shot down those choppers if Maximus was there. But anyway, we’re getting off topic. I don’t really want to review Body of Lies. I’ll just say that ultimately I was disappointed with the movie and surprised that just about all of the action in the movie was featured in the trailer. But I did enjoy both Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe, and the juxtaposition of the CIA family man/shot caller and the in too deep government agent. Unfortunately that wasn’t enough. Cake Man got the last laugh on this one.

In a year, Cake Man is going to spend less at the movies and over all enjoy the movies he sees more than I will. But whereas he will be content with the dvds that turn out to be pretty decent movies, I think I will have tested the theatres enough to come away with a few more great movie going experiences that I wasn’t expecting to go along with the ones that I was expecting. It’s worth it, because once they pull that movie from the theatre, more often than not that experience is gone forever.

Could you imagine seeing some of the your favorite movies that were before your time in movie theatres? I remember an old boss was telling me about how he got into a fight while watching Predator in theatres. I don’t know if I was more blown away that he got to watch Predator in movie theatres or that he was crazy enough to be fighting while vintage Arnold was blowing people away on the big screen. That got me to thinking. What are some of the movies that you wish you could go back and catch on the big screen? Also, what are some of your most precious theatre going experiences? The first that comes to mind for me is The Last Samurai. I know a lot of people hate on Tom Cruise, but sometimes you just got to drop it and appreciate a solid flick. Cake Man and I are due for a swap soon. I’m giving him The Last Samurai and he’s giving me Requiem for a something or another. Some movie about drugs. If you haven’t gotten a sense of my values: Katanas = awesome. Drugs = Not awesome. Somebody wielding a katana in the war against drugs would just be off the charts. But I’m rambling now.

What movies do you wish you could go back in time to see in theatres?

What are some of your most precious theatre going experiences?