CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 7, 2012 |
One of the last links to the silent film era, Frederica Sagor Maas wrote the script for 1925's "The Plastic Age," which launched actress Clara Bow. But she watched in horror as her serious treatment on women and work was turned into a frivolous 1947 musical, "The Shocking Miss Pilgrim," starring Betty Grable. It was Maas' final Hollywood credit. Disgusted by the "shallow" industry, she and her screenwriter husband contemplated suicide before leaving the movie business altogether, she later wrote.
January 3, 2012 |
"A Dangerous Method," the intellectually stimulating look at the formative days of psychoanalysis, presents Viggo Mortensen in a transformative performance as Sigmund Freud, Michael Fassbender as his restrained protégé and rival, Carl Jung, and a bold Keira Knightley as the patient-turned-practitioner who came between them. But it was almost a Julia Roberts movie. "I first heard of and was intrigued by the story of Sabina Spielrein in a book by Aldo Carotenuto, 'A Secret Symmetry,'" says screenwriter Christopher Hampton of the character played by Knightley.
December 15, 2011
Will Reiser on his creative process, his work space and how difficult it can be to fictionalize a true account. Where he writes: Anywhere, but his favorite place is his first-floor home office in Echo Park, which has a giant desk and a lot of Post-It notes full of advice. One note reads: "SPECIFICITY," while another says, "Go deeper, more emotional turns. " Instrument of success: Apple PowerBook, but he also sends notes on his BlackBerry and via email. "I used to hand write, but I've stopped — I'd find I'd lose things when I would hand write.
December 13, 2011 |
The National Board of Review recently bestowed screenplay awards upon the writers of "The Descendants" and "50/50," perhaps giving their scribes a leg up in the Oscar race. Yet, in 2008, when those films were just ideas on a page, they had already been recognized for their potential to be great movies by the very people in Hollywood who read scripts for a living. Both projects landed on the "Black List" - an annual compendium of the most-liked screenplays that have yet to be turned into movies.
November 19, 2011 |
"8," the work-in-progress play by screenwriter Dustin Lance Black that dramatizes the legal battle over Proposition 8, will make its Los Angeles debut March 3 in a staged reading directed by Rob Reiner. The play will be performed for one night only at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre. The production will serve as a fundraiser for the American Foundation for Equal Rights. Black and Reiner are founding board members of the advocacy organization, which has fought to overturn the controversial ballot initiative that outlawed same-sex marriage in California.
October 7, 2011 |
Coming hot on the heels of "The Beginning of a Great Revival," it is tough not to dismiss "1911" as yet another in the recent string of officially sanctioned not-so thinly-veiled propaganda pictures coming from China, this time telling in heroic terms the story of how the Wuchang uprising led into the Xinhai Revolution and brought down the Qing dynasty in the year, you guessed it, 1911. The film flops back and forth between excruciatingly earnest discussions of political ideals and brutal battle scenes.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 28, 2011 |
David Zelag Goodman, a screenwriter best known for such 1970s films as the controversial psychological thriller "Straw Dogs" and "Lovers and Other Strangers," a comedy that earned him an Oscar nomination, has died. He was 81. Goodman died Monday at an assisted-living facility in Oakland of progressive supranuclear palsy, a brain disorder, said his daughter, Kevis Goodman. "He was a man for all seasons," said his close friend Zev Braun, a film and television producer. "He went from biblical scholar [as a young man]
September 28, 2011 |
AOL has recruited some Hollywood heavyweights to revitalize its struggling year-old online entertainment site Cambio, aimed at teens and young adults — a demographic coveted by advertisers. Reality television producer Mark Burnett and director McG, best known for the "Charlie's Angels" movies and NBC's spy comedy "Chuck," will create original Web shows with production spending as big as any prime-time series. AOL and its investment partners — brand strategist MGX Lab and Jonas Group, which manages such musical acts as the Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato and Jordin Sparks — are betting that recognizable screenwriters, actors and directors are the digital catnip needed to draw a greater share of the 49 million people ages 12 to 24 who go online.
September 18, 2011 |
A few years ago, director Marc Forster went to visit Sam Childers at his home in rural Central City, Pa., eager to learn about how a drug dealer became a preacher and then director of an orphanage in Africa. As a get-to-know-you activity, Childers took the Swiss filmmaker (who has a penchant for purple sneakers and pink-striped socks) into his backyard to shoot guns. When screenwriter Jason Keller first met the outsized Childers, who has fought alongside the Sudan People's Liberation Army, Childers challenged his credentials so strongly the scribe rose from the table in a huff.