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Our own version of Tay

I hate the tech-heavy narcissism of the Internet. Yes, Shakespeare mentioned the theatre in his plays, but none of his protagonists were full-time stage actors.  Montaigne acknowledged what he was doing, but he didn’t go on  and on about the craft of writing essays.  Did Caxton repeatedly publish books about publishing?  No.  Not even film is […]

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Above the line or below the line

Above the Line: In a film budget, departments whose key members are traditionally recruited before the film’s financing is in place and before the budget is written.  These include development (costs and investment recoupment), story and screenplay, direction, production, cast, and any associated fringes. – Ptara’s guidebook. Michael Wohl may the the world’s foremost expert on […]

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Topsy Turvy (1999) Review

I purposely avoided Moliere, Shakespeare in Love, and almost every other movie about a playwright.  I do this because I respect writers like Shakespeare, and I find their period fascinating.  I likewise avoid most movies about Thomas Jefferson.  I prefer the Jefferson that I read in his letters, or from his contemporaries, to the cartoon […]

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Review: Le Rayon Vert

NAPOLEON DYNAMITE meets AMELIE POULAIN. Or, the grandmother of both films. Le Rayon Vert is a classic. It’s not black and white, it’s not silent, and you probably never heard of the actors. The director’s name, Eric Rohmer, may easily be confused with a military general. It’s title is apparently taken from a Jules Verne […]

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Why screenwriters should grow spines

William Goldman shares two important lessons in Adventures of the Screen Trade.  First, he claims that Nobody Knows Anything.  Then, he contradicts himself with his strongest piece of advice : Protect Your Story’s Spine To The Death. Yes, Goldman whines and whinges melodramatically about how screenwriters are on the bottom of the power ladder, how […]

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Laura (1944) review

A mystery, filled with red herrings, deceptions and hilarious false leads, but at the end, when it’s all solved, it seems so obvious. The entire plot falls into place. How can anyone claim to forget who the murderer is? Roger Ebert claimed in his review that “I’ve seen the movie seven times, and the murderer […]

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Five films about Ex-pats

People who have left their country of origin to work  in another have great stories to tell.  Sometimes, these stories are told on film in a way we can relate to. We’ll drop the films about short adventurers or expeditions.  There’s a difference between a tourist and an expat.

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