April 22, 2011 |
"African Cats," a striking Disneynature documentary about the life journeys of lions and cheetahs, could be subtitled "What's for Dinner?" given its preoccupation with these majestic animals' search for sustenance. It can be a cat-eat-cat world out there — until, say, a pack of hyenas shows up. And when that happens, believe me, it's no laughing matter. In fact, despite its family-friendly trappings, "Cats" is largely serious stuff; deliberately paced, thematically dark and often wistfully told, with enough moments of survival-oriented tension and dread to question its G rating (a scene of lions feasting on a zebra is one of several daunting images that might disturb youngsters)
September 28, 2002
Prominent Jews in Hollywood pay $10,000 in blood money to hear Benjamin Netanyahu spout a message that can best be summed up as "Kill 'em all." And then they wonder how they can better market Israel to America ("In Hollywood, a Small Break in the Silence on Israel," by Rachel Abramowitz, Sept. 25). When will these people realize that the best thing they can do for Israel is to show how [Ariel] Sharon and Hamas make each other possible and probable? As long as Israelis run a de facto apartheid system, Palestinian extremists will attack them and democratic voices in Palestine will be silenced.
June 21, 1992
A warning should be attached to John Truby's "StoryLine" software program for screenwriters: Formulaic writing suffers the law of diminishing returns (Film Clips, May 24). Long ago character was like the human face before the onset of cosmetics, fashion magazines and reconstructive surgery: infinitely varied. Look at Nadar's daguerreotypes and you will see that people didn't know how to see themselves. They were seen. And like undiscovered islands, each was different. Before, a screenwriter was a writer.
June 30, 1995 |
Imagine you know little about screenwriting, need to earn a fast couple of hundred thou, and have always fancied yourself an erudite if technically deficient screenwriter--if only you could somehow acquire the proper tools. Who would you turn to for help? A. Your friendly bartender. B. Your local screenwriting teacher. C. A Venice boardwalk psychic. D. A computer software program.
February 26, 2004 |
Laptops litter the tables of nearly every cafe in Los Angeles. Intense men and women -- in slightly rumpled clothes, more often than not -- guzzle caffeinated drinks, mutter dialogue under their breath and stare into their screens at Final Draft. It's part of what defines this city and its public spaces -- the fact that on any given morning, at any coffee shop from Silver Lake to Santa Monica, screenwriters seem to outnumber the rest of us the way sheep outnumber people in New Zealand.
March 23, 2003 |
Tonight some lucky and surely deserving scribe will mount the stage to accept the Oscar for best original screenplay. In some far-off parallel universe, I'm sure I've been awarded something similar. It's like this: Just as there is matter and antimatter, for every Oscar I'm sure there is an anti-Oscar. That's what I won.