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 […]
Creative accounting is wrong, but it’s not wrong to be creative when accounting. We were putting together some numbers for a project, and the budget started looking, well, bloated. We hoped to keep total costs down below a certain threshold. But, the budget for our project was starting to balloon to one and a half […]
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 […]
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 […]
Like many of today’s historical films, Mysteries of Lisbon is long (very long). Before investing four and a half hours in a movie, it might be an idea to read a review or two. After I invested my four and a half hours, ideas for reviews kept invading my head. But there are so many […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
From the plays of the early 19th century to the movies of the present, spectators have seen things that were never in the script. Avengers Assemble, Independence Day, Monsters Vs. Aliens and a forgotten play which Washington Irving disliked illustrate how the audience sees what the critics don’t.
Today Ptara is joined by two world class historians who give their take on what started the war of 1812. They examine the speeches of the British Parliament and the US House of Representatives. From Jefferson’s purchase of Louisiana, up to the repeal of the Orders of Council, the US and Britain had shaky relations.