Thursday, February 12, 2009

What, When, Where this Weekend - Gomorra, The International, Two Lovers, Friday the 13th

What, When, Where is a weekly guide to select screenings, discussions and events in the NYC-area of interest to screenwriters. Have an event you'd like to see listed here? Give us a heads-up at

Opening this weekend...

GOMORRA, written Maurizio Braucci, dir. by Matteo Garrone

Premise: A drama of five interconnected stories, each of them illustrating the levels of organized crime in modern-day Naples.

Playing: Lincoln Plaza, IFC Center

There's been a lot of buzz around this one - I can't wait to see it. Been a while since we've seen a different take on the mafia genre.

THE INTERNATIONAL, written by Eric Singer, dir. by Tom Tykwer

Premise: Interpol Agent Louis Salinger and Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Eleanor Whitman pool their resources in an attempt to break up an international arms dealing ring financed by a high-profile bank.

Playing: All over.

Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run, Princess and the Warrior) is one of those amazing directors I always forget about because there are such long breaks between his films. I'm in for this already - Clive Owen and Naomi Watts are also a bonus.

TWO LOVERS, written by James Gray and Ric Menello, dir. by James Gray

Premise: Leonard returns to Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, where he soon falls for two very different women: the family friend his parents wish he would marry and his beautiful but volatile new neighbor.

Playing: All over.

No matter how good or bad this movie is, I'm afraid all of the attention is going to go to Joaquin's newfound rap career or bizarre Letterman interview. (While we're on the subject - WTF?)

The trailer made this movie look extremely dumb (at least to me), but word on the street is that it's pretty decent. Check out a couple rave reviews here and here.

FRIDAY THE 13th, written by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, dir. by Marcus Nispel

Premise: A group of young adults discover a boarded up Camp Crystal Lake, where they soon encounter Jason Voorhees and his deadly intentions.

Playing: Everywhere.

Iiiiiiit's a remake, just like every other horror movie these days. It's a classic - shame on you if you haven't seen the original. (Add it to your Netflix queue and you can consider yourself forgiven!)

What are you doing/seeing this weekend?

Encouraging Stats, So Keep Writing

I got an email today from Creative Screenwriting magazine with some figures they quoted from For anyone out there who is worried that the economy - which is causing problems for the theatre and non-profit arts industries in particular here in NYC - is going to spell trouble for Hollywood, these numbers might put your mind at ease.

Year versus Box Office Sales
2009: $1.228 billion
2008: $1.041 billion
2007: $ 856 million
2006: $ 917 million
2005: $ 895 million
Here at the League, we've been having a lot of talks recently about whether Hollywood is going to start pinching pennies anywhere it can. This would mean that studios would not only reduce their slates, but buy up fewer scripts. Well, according to CS, that just isn't the case.

As sales rise, Hollywood will be picking up more and more projects, trying to meet the demand for movies as people flock to the cinema. I'm not sure whether the numbers take into account inflation or anything (or how much that would affect a five year spread), but the projection for 2009 is encouraging, to say the least.

Bottom line: don't worry yourself that Hollywood is going to put a freeze on buying material until this whole recession thing gets sorted out. People are still watching movies - in fact, they might need the escapism more now than ever. So keep writing.