Category Movies

Where Are You In The Movie?

I’m at the diner scene in The Big Lebowski, Dorothy meeting the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz, and the Milleneum Falcon is hauling ass out of Tatooine in Star Wars.

If we started a movie on the day you were born, and stretched it over your lifespan, this is where you’d be in that movie. So if you’re a teenager, you might see Luke arguing with Uncle Owen, or Cameron making a phony phone call to Ed Rooney. If you’re a retiree, you might see the Marshmallow Man, or Toto pulling away the curtain. And if you’re in your mid-thirties, you might be relieved to know that Ferris is still eating lunch, and the Millenium Falcon hasn’t left Tattoine.

Ferris Bueller’s Fight Club

The Fight Club theory of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off:

My favorite thought-piece about Ferris Bueller is the “Fight Club” theory, in which Ferris Bueller, the person, is just a figment of Cameron’s imagination, like Tyler Durden, and Sloane is the girl Cameron secretly loves.

One day while he’s lying sick in bed, Cameron lets “Ferris” steal his father’s car and take the day off, and as Cameron wanders around the city, all of his interactions with Ferris and Sloane, and all the impossible hijinks, are all just played out in his head. This is part of the reason why the “three” characters can see so much of Chicago in less than one day — Cameron is alone, just imagining it all.

It isn’t until he destroys the front of the car in a fugue state does he finally get a grip and decide to confront his father, after which he imagines a final, impossible escape for Ferris and a storybook happy ending for Sloane (“He’s gonna marry me!”), the girl that Cameron knows he can never have.

(via Gerry Canavan)

What Crimes Were Committed by Ferris Bueller During His Day Off?

This is the most fun Ask Metafilter question since someone asked how to dispose of a dead body.*

*The correct answer, which Ask Metafilter missed, is to hide the bodies in vacant houses in Baltimore and board them up using the DX-46 27 caliber nail gun that you bought at the Hardware Barn with the helpful sales clerk whom you tipped 200 dollars because he earned that buck like a muthafucka man.

Uncomfortable Plot Summaries

Awesome! Here are some of my favorites:

ALIENS: An unplanned pregnancy leads to complications.
GROUNDHOG DAY: Misanthropic creep exploits space/time anomaly to stalk coworker.
HARRY POTTER: Celebrity Jock thinks rules don’t apply to him, is right.
RED DAWN: Despite shock-and-awe tactics, a superior occupying force is no match for a tenacious sect of terrorist insurgents.
STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE – Religious extremist terrorists destroy government installation, killing thousands.
JUNO: Teen fails to get abortion, ruins lives.

(via Gerry Canavan)

One Letter Off

A Worth1000 contest with movie posters just one letter off.

The “Raiders” Story Conference

Mystery Man on film links to a 125 page pdf of a transcription of a 1978 story conference of Spielberg, Lucas and Lawrence Kasdan discussing Raiders of the Lost Ark.

L — Do you have a name for this person?

G — I do for our leader.

S — I hate this, but go ahead.

G — Indiana Smith. It has to be unique. It’s a character. Very Americana square. He was born in Indiana.

L — What does she call him? “Indy?”

G — That’s what I was thinking. Or “Jones.” Then people can call him “Jones.”

Ebert Blogs About Watchmen

I’ve been somewhat limiting posts about Watchmen. I really enjoyed the book and am somewhat excited that the movie is coming out (by ‘somewhat excited’ I mean that I will actually make an attempt to see it in a theater) but there’s so much about it at the moment that it would be easy to overdose on the marketing hype. But Ebert’s blog post about it is worth a read.

The Godfather Wars

A 21 page article on the making of the Godfather. One of the most fascinating things I’ve read in the last month.

A Murder Scene Written By – Hitchcock!

From Mystery Man on Film:

So then a funny thing happened. At the ripe young age of 68, Hitch sat down to write this screenplay himself. The protag would be called Willie Cooper. There would be two murder sequences and a big ending. The first victim, Caroline Varley, works for the United Nations, and gets offed in Central Park. Willie meets the second victim, Patti Landis, at a Manhattan art school and much suspense is drawn out of when and how Willie might murder this girl, which would eventually take place on an abandoned U.S. battleship from World War II.

And then there’s the ending. A female policewoman is sent out as a decoy to capture Willie, and he actually falls in love with her.

Hitch called it his “dark love story.” Hehehe…

Now Hitch went further in the development of this film than any other project that never made it to the big screen. He was going to break new ground with the use of indoor natural lighting and a 360 degree pan of an entire apartment. He scouted locations and did test footage (the stills from those tests are peppered throughout this article). The sex and violence would’ve broken the kind of barriers that were later broken in films like Bonnie and Clyde. Hitch was ahead of his time. Dan Auiler wrote, “Here is one of cinema’s greatest directors proposing a groundbreaking film that would have eschewed the American studio style for the kind of filmmaking Hitchcock was seeing in France and Italy. More importantly, [Kaleidoscope] would have returned Hitchcock to the kind of dark films that characterized his British period.” But Universal’s rejection of his concept (and that of a serial killer protag) was absolute. It was a decision that irked Hitch to the end of his life.

The thing is, Hitch was right. His concept would have worked, and everybody was (and is) wrong about unsympathetic protags. Sympathy or its lack of has nothing to do with a great protagonist. What matters is character depth. If you have a dynamic character as your protagonist, who has many different sides to his character, a guy who is incredibly charming and yet also a demented killer, people will be repulsed and also fascinated. And if this dynamic character is surrounded by sympathetic supporting characters, they will watch the film to the end, because they will try to A) figure out what makes the killer tick, B) they will quietly sympathize with (and worry about) all of those innocent supporting characters, and C) they will root for his downfall and be overjoyed when it finally happens.

Inglourious Basterds Teaser

FilmSchoolRejects have a clip from Quentin Tarantino’s latest.

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