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SCREENPLAYS The Best Websites To Download & Read Screenplays


The Best Websites To Download & Read Screenplays

20 sites

October 7, 2016 Posted by | screenplay, screenwriting, script | , , | Leave a comment

FILM SCREENPLAY 20 Incredible Screenwriting Videos!

Paddy Chayefsky's Notes for Network (New York Public Library)

Paddy Chayefsky’s Notes for Network (New York Public Library)

20 Incredible Screenwriting Videos!

Well, that’s some American person getting over-excited. Let’s say, Twenty Famous Screenwriters Talk Turkey. They are all longish videos. Wade through that lot and you’ll get no writing done, but they’re there if you want a break from writing to listen to someone talking about writing.

The Charlie Kaufman one is worth listening to but the German interviewer is dire, and makes you want to give up living. Fight through it. Charlie, bless him, keeps on saying, “like..”, which is almost as irritating as the interviewer’s questions. But he’s the guy, so bear with. He talks about Adaptation. All writers who fancy writing a script about a scriptwriter should listen to that. And of course Google films about scriptwriters.

William Goldman, Robert Towne, all sorts. Not all P2P some lectures and round-tables.

Most of these are readily available elsewhere in buckets, but having a small clutch altogether in one place is handy.

September 28, 2016 Posted by | Film script/screenplay | , | Leave a comment

FILM subtitles

La Règle du jeu [1957]

La Règle du jeu [1957]

Decades of Dialogue: 15 Classic French Movies to Develop Your Speaking

From French language and culture blog FluentU

Well any excuse for another film list. It’s good-films-to-learn-French-from with the added French films you might never have come across.

At the beginning, just saying, I feel there must be a chain of COTA post where I say the same thing that is going into this one. And the worry is I have not recollection of these others and there is only a small set of facts and ideas in my brain on film, such as Chinatown is my favourite screenplay.

But anyway, how lucky you are if you can speak French [or Swedish, German, Danish, Polish, or Czech…Russian] well and don’t need subtitles. Some people I know simple won’t watch subtitled film or tv. A great loss – all those Scandi noirs – but there you are.

We all know how terrible subtitles can be [or were]. In most cases it’s just a source of merriment. In that particular section of dialogue we recognised enough [It’d probably have to be French as that the one we have a smattering of..] to see the subtitle completely garbled the punchline the screenwriter so carefully crafted.


A COTA post that never got finished took on Lanzmann’s Shoah as an example of where translation can go wrong and be a source of worry. Shoah’s simultaneous translation involved three stages: Lanzmann asks his translator in English [so the English speaking audience can hear his question…], his translator would translate it into, say Polish, listen to the answer, then translate back to French or English. Here we would be watching the English sub-title version. A notorious example was where the subtitle rendered a reply by a Polish man as Yid, or some equally unpleasant word, when the Polish man had used the Polish for “Jew”. Here, Lanzmann relied on the skill of his simultaneous translator because he would base his next question on that rendering. As an aside, Lanzmann has a very insistent interrogatory style of questioning, which added a further layer of possible misinterpretation of the interviewee. That is to say, through a second language, Lanzmann would understand what he thought the reply was, and respond with a question based on that.

Then there’s Godard [If Godard is mentioned in a COTA post I get 5 extra points..],

godard english cannes: The Reception of Film Socialisme‘s “Navajo English” Subtitles

Samuel Bréan, Senses of Cinema, Issue 60, Oct 2011

Sit back enjoy JLG take on subtitles.

I’ve mentioned before I see subtitles in roughly the same category as the problems of translation in general. Briefly, a poem or novel in one language – especially a poem because it is such a concise expression of language – is pretty much a different poem in another. Though not to everyone’s taste, Douglas Hofstadter’s big conceptually expansive, Le Ton beau de Marot, which takes as his translation task the slight poem [ditty..] by Clement Marot, asking family and friends to translate it. Many of the results are included. The book as usual with Hofstadter, takes a longer complex journey within, beyond, into wider questions than just turning one language into others such AI.

For me, the business of language translation is one starting point for an understanding of film adaptation. Films adapted from novels should be of interest to anyone who loves film and who wants to understand how scripts are made into films.

The one I always mention is Pinter’s Proust. He wrote a screenplay which Joseph Losey was to direct. The money wasn’t raised and so it was never made. Pinter had it published. It was later done on BBC Radio as The Pinter Proust Play. There are posts on this which you can find by using the blog search box, to see exactly what went on.

Pinter’s screenplay is at the extreme edge of adaptation. Those critical of the screenplay say it is Pinter not Proust. How can you ‘translate’ thousands of pages into a 1hour 20 minute screenplay? And how can you leave out all the enormous paragraphs consisting of a single sentence? Film after film has been made of Proust with varying degrees of success. Most have taken a section like Swann’s Way, rather than the whole book. I like the Pinter. Though I haven’t read Proust from cover to cover, and admit it rather than get egg on my face when questioned about it, when I’d listened to the radio adaption – very effective because it relied so much for its effect on repeated sounds – I got the screenplay and with use an e-book of Proust, worked from the script to book, searching the text for the various parts depicted to see what he started with.

I have no plan to adapt a book into a screenplay just yet. Well, never unless it’s my own. But it seems one of the best ways to grasp screenplay writing. What can and can’t be done. or what is done and how it turns out in the film. And of course the lessons it teaches about what can and can’t be done in film per se.

A screenplay is translated into a film.


The Rhetoric of translation

pdf 14 pp.

September 28, 2016 Posted by | film adaptation, Film script/screenplay, Film Socialisme, film subtitles | , , | Leave a comment

FILM SCREENPLAY American Hustle [2013]


American Hustle [2013]

Screenplay from Sony Pictures, written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell

No date.

Mentioned on Plotbot, the online screenwriting site.

In the side bar under screenplays for ease of later access

September 10, 2016 Posted by | Algeria, Eric Warren Singer, screenplay, script | | Leave a comment

FILM ESSAY Kiarostami by Hugh Gibson

FILM KIAROSTAMI Him  in front odf a quote

TIFF ~ The Review ~ 28 August 2016 ~ Issue 29

August 29, 2016 Posted by | Abbas kiarostami, film, film essay | | Leave a comment

FILMMAKER Abbas Kiarostami 1940 – 2016

FILM Abbas Kkiarostami

Remembering Abbas Kiarostami


~ video 2 hour in Conversation. TIFF Lightbox 2016. Translation, therefore v. slow so only for the real enthusiasts! Pompous film-type hoping for arty-farty replies gets dead simple film-maker’s simple answers. Tha’s m’ boy…

In his wiki

Ben Gibson, Director of the London Film School:

“Very few people have the creative and intellectual clarity to invent cinema from its most basic elements, from the ground up. We are very lucky to have the chance to see a master like Kiarostami thinking on his feet.”

confirms my immediate response to the interview. Anyone who has a great desire to be a film maker, or has a great desire but is probably not going to make a film ever but just loves to work out how this film that isn’t ever going to be be made could be made, Kiarostami’s way of thinking about film should be an encouragement.

At the beginning of the interview the Hercule Poirot’s among you will have noticed AK asked for the lights to be turned down a bit. They couldn’t or wouldn’t for the filming. He was frustrated. It turns out he suffers from light sensitivity and always wears shades. That is insensitive and a missed opportunity to talk about lighting. The guy asks for less illumination. He’s a film-maker. He should know whether you can film with less light! In long-shot it was obvious the spots needed to be reduced with more overhead lighting.

There will be mountains on AK. Look forward to adding more links later. Plenty of reading to catch up on. Not sure which I’d recommend to a first timer. Close Up would be recommended by many, I’m sure. Or even if you wanted to chose just one representative of his oeuvre. Which is probably in the territory of this cartoon.

The book is so much better than the film..

The book is so much better than the film..

You’ve only seen Close Up but who is going to know? Oh, yes I highly recommend you see that. And now you’re going to catch up fast in case someone catches you out.

Oh, and what I’d really like to see is Kiarostami in conversation with Panahi. Anyone for a mash-up? And, oh, oh, try not to start mentioning latter’s films thinking they are the former’s. Do try some Panahi if you haven’t. Suggest Taxi followed by This is not a Film. But the other way round is fine. Then some earlier ones.


A One-of-a-Kind Artist: The Staff Remembers Abbas Kiarostami

Why you should know Abbas Kiarostami — and his 6 most legendary films
~ Explore the intimate, quiet world of the great Iranian filmmaker.

Clips from each film

July 8, 2016 Posted by | Abbas kiarostami | , | Leave a comment


FILM STILL SCORSESE The Age of Innocence]

We’re rather determined in defending our claim that Martin Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence is one of the best literary adaptations ever made in the world of film.

‘The Age of Innocence’: Scorsese’s Strikingly Passionate Depiction of Unconsummated Love

Facsimile of the screenplay by Jay Cocks & Martin Scorsese’s – also downloadable as pdf. Click the .pdf and a separate tab loads. From there you can log-in to your dropbox account or download the file directly. Top right > drop the download menu gives you two options save to Dropbox [log-in required] or direct download.

June 20, 2016 Posted by | Martin Scorsese | , , | Leave a comment

FILM ESSAY EVAN PUSCHAK ~ David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive

FILM Mulholland Drive [sex scene 2]

Mulholland Drive: How Lynch Manipulates You

Another great video essay by Evan Puschak, aka The Nerd Writer. 9 mins. Not for those who haven’t seen the film. I like Evan’s very slick video technique and his clear, measured voice-over.

Here’s a bio by the man himself at Patreon.

June 20, 2016 Posted by | David Lynch, Mulholland Drive | Leave a comment

10 Cinematographers to watch 2016


10 Cinematographers to watch 2016

May 29, 2016 Posted by | cinematographer, cinematography | Leave a comment


TV SERIES Magnifica 70 [poster]

Directed by Cláudio Torres, Magnífica 70 portrays the era of trash mouth – “Boca do Lixo”, a neighborhood in São Paulo where the movie studios made trash movies filled with sexual content (known as “pornochanchadas”), in the 1970s and 1980s, during the height of the Brazilian military dictatorship.

Marco Aurélio Morsch is a professor of business management at FAAP and Universidade Mackenzie in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He was also movie critic contributor to “Correio do Povo” in the 1980´s.

You’ll know within seconds if this is for you. If you’ve been enjoying the Scandi noirs and others from Channel 4 you will not be disappointed. Not even finished Blue Eyes? Elin will be there next week, relax.

Don’t read a thing about Magnifica 70. Just the quote above. Get stuck in. All 13, 45 min. episodes are available, so there’s no waiting a week to get the next episode. You will not be disappointed. Trust me.

If you’re in the film biz, a film buff, write scripts, or just like good drama, you’ll be as happy as old Larry.

May 28, 2016 Posted by | Cláudio Torres, Magnifico 70 | , | Leave a comment



Andrei Tarkovsky: it’s time to immerse yourself in the work of a true auteur

~ The Russian director’s debut is the perfect place to start to gain an appreciation of a film-maker of extraordinary influence and cinematic vision

John Patterson, Guardian, 16 May 2016

Tiddly piece reminding us to think about starting Tarkovsky at the beginning and working forward.

May 16, 2016 Posted by | Andre Tarkovsky, Tarkovsky | | Leave a comment

FILM SCREENPLAY Nabokov’s Lolita script


SCREENPLAY NABOKOV Lolita [sample 2]

O.K., hands up who knew Nabokov had written a screenplay for his novel Lolita?

All explained at Open Culture. Here, 2 of the set of 5 pages included there. Left them larger than I normally would do for a header graphic for ease of reading. Interestingly, Kubrick credited Nabokov as screenwriter even though he hardly used it.

Lolita: A Screenplay has been published by Vintage. Don’t know about you, but its used hardback for me. Screenplays in paperback are not the best bet. If only they did them spiral bound with nice hard covers! C’m on Vintage. Costly but we don’t care.

Blake Bailey, Vice, 7 July 2014 Vladimir Nabokov’s Unpublished ‘Lolita’ Screenplay Notes

Two Views of Lolita

Two abstracts – one Robert Stamm, the other Thomas Allen Nelson, from books what they wrote. These expand the brief summary in Open Culture. Scripty person? You’ll love this.

April 25, 2016 Posted by | Nabokov, Stanley Kubrick | , , , | Leave a comment

FILM DOCUMENTARY Klaus Kinski : Jesus Christ the Saviour

FILM POSTER kinski  Jesus Christ the Saviour

Jesus Christus Erloser

Amanda McAllister, Network Awesome, 12 July 2015

A middle aged man stands alone on a stage, gripping his mic stand like an anchor, earnestly speaking of Jesus and persecution. A wide shot intensifies his isolation as he speaks, a small illumination in a sea of darkness. A single unshed tear clings to his eyelashes before beginning the journey down his cheek.

Well, let her continue the story.

Haven’t had much success playing the embedded video there but it is on YouTube. Komplett. 1:23:54 with credits.

Klaus Kinski Jesus Christus Erlöser

Jesus Christ Saviour: Interview with Peter Geyer

Interview by Pamela Jahn, Electric Sheep, 3 August 2008

Jesus Christ Savior: Klaus Kinski’s 1971 Punk Rock Apocalypse

Marc Campbell, Dangerous Minds, 13 February 2011

Yer pays yer money and takes yer pick of which description you prefer. There’s a quote in this short piece which certainly says it. But who says it? Film embedded there as well.

The Mouth of Madness : Kinski Jesus Christ Saviour

Starting to get in here some of the context. If you didn’t know much about Kinski, saw him in Aguirre and that’s about it, learning about his life is part of the process of grasping this film’s context. German in 1971.

Film Comment Selects 2011: Klaus Kinski: Jesus Christ the Savior

Nick Schrager, The House Next Door, 17 February 2011

One more short description. Add them all together to get the whole thing.

Wiki: Klaus Kinski

Fill out some of the gaps from the wiki. I personally can’t be bothered to read books about his life. Quite easy to construct your own Kinski from these basic facts, the acting and a mishmash of images from the Tin Drum and beyond. The bit about his life during and post-war is of some interest to me, as it connects to so many aspects of German history and culture.

How can you not throw him into a great big imagined pot with all the keynote novels and films about Germany between the wars, during the last war and the process of Germans coming to terms or revolting against their Nazi history.

His acting in Aguirre, Wrath of God and Fitzcaraldo, I found hard to watch even when I hadn’t got a clue who he was. His daughter Pola’s assertion in her autobiography, Kindermund,{1}that she couldn’t watch his films because that was how he behaved at home, is a sort of confirmation of that feeling.

I watched Peter Geyer’s film and then read around it. More and more I felt tempted to forego reality and imagine this was not Kinski reciting his Jesus script but him playing a character trying to do so. So him storming off and the barracking from the young audience – who hated him because they looked upon him as a rich hypocrite – seems at as if part of a script of a mocumentary.

April 19, 2016 Posted by | 1957, Peter Geyer | , | Leave a comment

FILM SHORT Agnes Varda ~ Les 3 Boutons


Miu Miu Women’s Tales #10: Les 3 Boutons

Picked this one up from Indewire: Watch: 9-Minute Video Essay On Agnes Varda’s Strong And Feminine Search For Meaning

April 15, 2016 Posted by | Agnes Varda | , , | Leave a comment

FILM RAFELSON ~ 5 Easy Pieces [1970]

FILM Five Easy Pieces

Five Easy Pieces (1970) is a Difficult Film

Wade Sheeler, The Retrospect, 10 March 2016

* Short recent review reminded me of this film.

Five Easy Pieces (1970)

Tim Dirks, Filmsite.

* Wopper. Meticulous. Make a cup of tea, sit back. Can’t find a date on this. Always a hard one : buy the film then read all the stuff, or read then watch. My recommendation is watch it first [or watch it again after all these decades…you were young then….how do you see it now as a 70s classic, etc.]

April 4, 2016 Posted by | Bob Rafelson, Five Easy Pieces [1970] | , | Leave a comment

FILM SCRIPT 10 famous scripts

CARTOON Screenplay reading

10 Famous Film Scripts and What You Can Learn from Them

By Alison Nastasi, Flavorwire, 23 February 2014

Link in each to script itself. Screenplays not script-o-rama transcriptions from films without stage directions.

Chinatown, Blue Velvet, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Taxi Driver, Pulp Fiction, Casablanca, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Breathless [you film buffs should have question mark above your heads here..but read on], Jaws, Citizen Kane.

10. Citizen Kane. In case you can’t figure out how to find the link, it’s in two stages. First to Cinephila and Filmmaking, from the link ‘said’, then off that very interesting page to the script itself. Don’t miss the Cinephila post: facsimile title page of Welles’ own war-torn, scribbled on copy dated 9 July 1940 and four photos of the young Welles.

April 2, 2016 Posted by | Citizen Kane, Film script/screenplay | , | Leave a comment

TV DRAMA BBC War and Peace

BBC TV War and Peace cast photo

Rarely put up a review of a TV drama. But this is a classic on BBC’s serial War and Peace.

In Which We Would Never Lie To A British Person

Sickness and Remorse

by Dick Cheney, This Recording, 8 February 2016

Dick Cheney…Sickness and Remorse….for a moment….hard to resist. Dick, a lot of people out there are puzzling over this one. Personally, I would change the surname. Chainlink or something.

March 31, 2016 Posted by | BBC drama, War and Peace | , , , | Leave a comment

FILM PHOTOGRAPHER Bob Willoughby 1927-2004


“The man who virtually invented the photojournalistic motion picture still.”

Audrey Hepburn and George Cukor on the set of My Fair Lady, 1963

Audrey Hepburn and George Cukor on the set of My Fair Lady, 1963

Behind the Hollywood Scenes: Bob Willoughby Photography

Bob Willoughby Photography

112 set photos. Full bio.

His body of work, documenting this historic era of filmmaking, is unsurpassed. He captured with wonderful perception the most famous actors and directors of the time on and off the set, in unguarded moments of repose, vulnerability and high drama. He had a unique ability to capture what was essential to each film. Sydney Pollack said in the introduction to Bob’s autobiography: “Sometimes a filmmaker gets a look at a photograph taken on his own set and sees the ‘soul’ of his film in one still photograph. It’s rare, but it happens. It happened to me in 1969, the first time I looked at the work of Bob Willoughby during the filming of They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?.”

March 27, 2016 Posted by | Bob Willoughby, Film photography, unit photography | , | Leave a comment

FILM DIRECTOR Ingmar Bergman’s essay The Snakeskin

Ingmar Bergman, Sven Nykvist, Faro 1972

Ingmar Bergman, Sven Nykvist, Faro 1972

The Snakeskin

~ Possibly Bergman’s greatest essay, in which he explains his doubts of cinema and art in general.

Written in 1956. Translated into English in 1972 by Keith Bradfield.


March 26, 2016 Posted by | Bergman, Ingmar Bergman | | Leave a comment

FILM VIDEO ESSAY How Alfred Hitchcock Blocks A Scene

FILM STILL VERTIGO from video essay

How Alfred Hitchcock Blocks A Scene

Another one of Evan Puschak’s highly polished video essays.

Aisha Harris in Slate has it down as :

If You’re a Hitchcock Nerd, This Insanely Deep Dive Into a Pivotal Vertigo Scene Is For You

Check out his video on Ansel Adams photography.

March 26, 2016 Posted by | Ansel Adams, Evan Puschak, video essay | , , , , | Leave a comment