mrgregfrancis
[Medium-sized movies] are too risky. If you look at movies like… I guess, All the President’s Men was important enough and based on a big enough transgression. But take a movie like Klute – I don’t think that movie would be made today. I mean, The Godfather would have a hard time being made today. Even if you could put up the $75 million it would take to make that movie today, and you could guarantee that it would be one of the greatest movies of all time, people would still go, “$75 million? I dunno man, that’s a lot of bread…” There are realities to our business. The bottom has fallen out. Dramas that cost more than $20 million, you’re taking a big risk. I think Soderbergh was right. And it’s sad. I think the thing is to make movies cheaper. People are migrating to television to find characters that aren’t spandex-clad superheroes.
David Fincher, in response to the question Did you see Soderbergh’s speech in San Francisco? He was lamenting the death of medium-sized movies. (via avenging-hobbits)
two-things-productions

two-things-productions:

Of all the people I’ve ever asked about what it takes to be a filmmaker and how to get there the most consistent piece of advice has been: do, see, explore, and absorb so you can have something to write about. 

Things That Inspired Me This Week:

Note To Self: The art of filmmaking comes from within.

—C.

Emotional Competency

by Leland R. Beaumont

We may have mistakenly learned to overreact to various negative emotions while suppressing positive ones.

Unfortunately some of us are prisoners of anger, hate, guilt, sadness, fear, anxiety, shame, humiliation, envy, pain, and violence without understanding what has consumed so much of our lives. Others endure a lonely and sterile existence without experiencing genuine feelings or passionate emotions.

But passion has logic. Emotions obey their own peculiar rules that we can study, understand, listen to, learn from, master, and even enjoy. How well can you interpret what your emotions are telling you? Listen carefully to what your emotions are telling you. Don’t ignore them, deny them, or try to drown them out. Sharing these web pages with the difficult people in your life can increase your common understanding and improve your relationships; perhaps even with your nemesis.

How successfully do you respond to emotions in yourself and others? Improving your emotional competency can provide important benefits throughout many aspects of your life. It can increase the satisfaction you have with relationships while it increases your gratification and contentment with the many simple events in your life. It can give you greater insight and help you better understand the motives and actions of yourself and others. You can free yourself from anger, hate, resentment, vengeance, and other destructive emotions that cause hurt and pain. This will reduce much of the stress in your life. You can feel relief and enjoy greater peace-of-mind, autonomy, intimacy, dignity, passion, and wisdom as you engage more deeply with others. Increasing your tolerance and compassion can lead to an authentic optimism and a well-founded confidence, based on your better understanding and interpretation of what-is.

Passion + Reason = Constructive Action. This is the essence of emotional competency.

As your emotional competency increases, you may experience a variety of positive transformations in your life.  Destructive behavior patterns of the past may transform into more constructive behavior as you begin to solve the mysterious puzzle of human interactions and gain a quiet and confident understanding of them. Anxiety may yield to more peaceful, tranquil, and contented feelings as your understanding increases. You may become less isolated as you learn authentic expression and become more engaged with others you now enjoy relating to. You may feel more confident and powerful, and less confused, frustrated, and powerless.

Overall you can transform from confused to confident; from clueless to comprehending and enlightened, from fragmented to coherent, from shallow to deep, from cold to passionate, and from oppressed to liberated as you become your authentic self.

Continue reading to understand your characters, collaborators, and yourself. Crazy good stuff for writers and filmmakers who create from within.

"Why is Falkner read and appreciated, even if in very limited editions? I thought. ‘I’ll make a film that’s not all that pleasant to watch but that people will think about later" — it’s very concrete. And that’s actually what happened. It wasn’t popular, but it had an effect on people they talked about it for a long time afterward."

Observations On Film Art: Too Few Things Happen?

by Kristin Thompson & David Bordwell

In most films, Agnes Varda said, “I find that too many things happen.” How can screenplay studies move beyond Hollywood’s jammed dramaturgy to consider the more spacious sort of storytelling we find in “art cinema”?

Colin Burnett offered a general overview of art-cinema norms that is somewhat parallel to our and Janet Staiger’s The Classical Hollywood Cinema. To a great extent, of course, “art films” differ from classically constructed films. They can be more ambiguous, more reflexive, more stylized and at the same time more naturalistic. They often replace a tight causal chain with episodic construction and nuances of characterization. The protagonists may have complex mental states; they may have inconsistent goals, or no goals at all; they may be passive; they may have shifting identities.

Yet Colin argued against claims that art films lack narrative altogether. “Art films offer reduced scene dramaturgy, rarely its complete absence.” They possess structuring devices comparable to Hollywood acts. A film’s large-scale parts may be based on a character’s development, on changes in space or time, or on variations of action and/or reaction. A question was raised as to whether such a broad category as art cinema could be characterized in such ways. Given the enormous range of types of films made in the Hollywood tradition, however, it seems possible that the art cinema could be described in a similar fashion.

A great many art-film strategies can be seen as stemming from modernism in literature and the other arts. As if offering a case study illustrating Colin’s argument, Kelley Conway focused on La Pointe Courte. Varda’s first film is now coming to be considered the earliest New Wave feature.

But Varda wasn’t the prototypical New Waver. She wasn’t a man, she wasn’t a cinephile, and she took her inspiration from high art, not popular culture. A professional photographer who loved painting and literature, she brought to this film (made at age 26) a bold awareness of twentieth-century modernism. The result was a striking juxtaposition of stylization and realism, personal drama and community routine. In La Pointe Courte, we might say, neorealism meets the second half of Hiroshima mon amour.

Inspired by Faulkner’s Wild Palms, Varda braided together two stories. While families in a fishing village live their everyday lives, an educated couple work through their marriage problems in a long walk. Remarkably, Varda had not seen Rossellini’s Voyage to Italy. After supplying background on the production process, Kelley focused on matters of performance. She explained how Varda, well aware of Brechtian “distanciation,”  made  the couple’s dialogue deliberately flat. By contrast, the villagers’ lines, through scripted, were treated more naturalistically.

La Pointe Courte emerges as an anomie-drenched demonstration of how little you need to make an engrossing movie.