cutting on the action

photography and film – facts, ideas, values

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.



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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.


Other:


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 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

FILM ADAPTATION And Its Discontents





DIAG Book to film




Part 1: The Process and Reception of Book to Film Adaptations


Part 2: The Process and Reception of Book to Film Adaptations


Part 3: The Process and Reception of Book to Film Adaptations


Steve McCarthy, Motion Brothers, 8 Sept 2014



March 11, 2016 Posted by | film adaptation, Film script/screenplay, screenplay, screenwriting, script, script-writer | | Leave a comment

FILM SCRIPT JO SWERLING ~ Hitchcock’s Lifeboat [1944]





FILM HITCHCOCK Lifeboat [1944]




Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Lifeboat’: An Expertly Composed Allegorical Thriller That Deserves More Recognition


Another brilliant essay from Cinephila & Beyond.


The screenplay is embedded as usual. The facsimiles always seem to give that little bit extra somehow. A typewritten one for added heck. Is it a script fetish? I don’t know.


Click on the expand button, top right of screenplay box. If your browser is set for open in new tab, it’ll be in a new tab as the pdf that can also be downloaded. Link in text.


But for the script hounds and film-making fanatics all sorts of other goodies down – oh dear, everyone’s using this now – the rabbit hole. Going by the testimonials which are mighty impressive – even professionals are greatly enamoured with Cinephilia & Beyond.



January 8, 2016 Posted by | film essay, film production, Film script/screenplay, Hitchcock, Jo Swerling | , , , , , | Leave a comment

FILM SCREENPLAY Is it a great one?





screenplay_klein




What makes a great screenplay?


John Yorke, Guardian,15 March 2013


From Casablanca to The Killing – the elements of a great script are essentially the same. John Yorke – who is responsible for some of the most popular recent British TV dramas – reveals how and why the best screenwriting works


Also by John Yorke:


Into The Woods: A Five Act Journey Into Story


This is lovely long piece which doesn’t mention Chinatown By Robert Townes. But lo, a commenter does. And COTA has posted a version at Screenplay: Chinatown [1977] It’s one of my favourite films, which I repeat ad nauseam. Best silly man joke in film too : note in that shot how the people line up one behind the other.



October 22, 2013 Posted by | film, Film script/screenplay | , , | Leave a comment

FILM ADAPTATION Re-visiting Pinter’s Proust



The previous post about novel and screenplay made me think again of Pinter and his Proust Play.

These two were not around when I did my Pinter/Proust posts*


In Which Harold Pinter Changes Marcel Proust


Alex Carnevale in This Recording, 23 August 2011


and


Pinter the Adapter: The Proust Screenplay in Notes and Drafts


Naoko Yagi


No date on this pdf. But she’s a prof. at Wasada University with one of her research areas listed as: Harold Pinter’s plays, screenplays, and prose.


*


Little patch of yellow wall or a single asparagus? : Harold Pinter’s The Proust Screenplay


Little patch of yellow wall or a single asparagus? : Harold Pinter’s The Proust Screenplay {2}



September 17, 2013 Posted by | film, film adaptation, Film on radio, Film script/screenplay, Pinter, Proust | Leave a comment

FILM WEBSITE PODCAST Intercut





FILM POSTER paths of Glory [2]



Why use my own words when those of the website are readily available and, well, they know what they’re doing. I’m just shining my spotlight on another corner of the film world magnificently exposed to everyone – film expert, buff, film student, even those unsure about film over book – through the wonders of the interweb:


INTERCUT is a film podcast supported by the #yegfilm collective which explores a love of film, the process of filmmaking, and filmmakers themselves.


I started with Dailies #1 purely because it has Michael Douglas in Kubrick’s 1957 Paths of Glory as it’s cover. Think it’s time to watch that again. What a pleasure to hear them start talking about Bela Tarr. Since I’ve spent hours rewinding the opening cow sequence of Tarr’s Satantango, hearing anyone at all talking about his films is really exciting.

My Tarr’s can be found in this search on Cutting on the action. Slow, slow film, requires slow, long posts.

N.B. I’m not a film expert, I just watch films and dream of making my own. (The making equivalent of the guy working in the New York restaurant as a waiter who says he’s an actor, usually seen as a scene in a film…). So don’t expect illumination: you might be disappointed. Anywhere I have written at length about a film is mostly me working through things about a particular film I’ve just seen. It won’t be expert analysis or criticism. Or if turns out to be either or both, that’s probably purely accidental.


P.S. Check out these images of Paths to Glory. There’s a whole set of posts in there on colour and black & White film…

….note the way light rays and blocks of light on objects work so well in monochrome.



June 23, 2013 Posted by | Bela Tarr, film, film analysis, film blog, film directors, film editing, film podcast, film production, film reflexivity, Film script/screenplay, film short, film sound, film still, film watching | , | Leave a comment

FILM-MAKER SCREENWRITER Suzanne Schiffman





Godard, Schiffman, Truffaut on set of Farenheit 451 [1966]. She is credited as assistant to the director.



Obits: Guardian and Independent


Les Archives de script de Suzanne Schiffman : Godard au travail dans Pierrot le Fou


By Núria Aidelman


Facsimiles of typed and handwritten scripts and notes.


The French new wave: an artistic school By Michel Marie, Richard John Neupert [GoogleBook]


p. 77






June 13, 2011 Posted by | Film script/screenplay, film [its techniques], Godard, plan-of-action script, programme script, Suzanne Schiffman, Truffaut | Leave a comment

Glossary of film terms from filmsite.org




Film Term Glossary



March 20, 2011 Posted by | cinéma-vérité, cinematography, Classical American cinema, film analysis, film editing, film narrative, film narratology, film postproduction, film production, Film script/screenplay, film still, film techniques, film theory, film [its techniques] | Leave a comment

FILM SCRIPT Lucky Number Slevin






Recently shown on British TV, Lucky Number Slevin, or Lucky # Slevin, stars Morgan Freedman, Ben Kingsley Lucey Liu and Bruce Willis. Directed by Paul McGuigan.

Production Notes

Explains who wrote it and how it got to be made.

Lucky Number Slevin  – dialogue transcript

Again, for those looking for scripts/screenplays to study and learn from, this one is not a script but a writing down presumably from watching the film itself, of the dialogue as heard. There is no guarantee it is accurate qua original script. Handy to have to hand to refer back to those snatches of dialogue that seem to stand out from the rest of the film – a movie which was not of top rank, even if quite a ‘page turner’.

July 6, 2010 Posted by | Film script/screenplay | Leave a comment

FILM Two screenplays









Finding what looks like a screenplay is often a bit of a disappointment: sometimes they are just transcripts from movies, so the action is missing.

Whether these two are the genuine article, or post facto re-constructions too, I can’t say. They look o.k, but don’t take them as gosphel. If it turns out they are not kosher, I will say so.

Chinatown

by

Robert Towne

Fargo

by

Ethan and Joel Coen

June 24, 2010 Posted by | film directors, Film script/screenplay, film [its techniques] | , | Leave a comment