Showing posts tagged Film.
x
I am a writer. I create innovative creative and business writing courses. I inspire others to tell their stories. My company's name is Writers Write. My email address is amanda@writerswrite.co.za

Hollywood’s ($$$) Love Affair with Literature SOURCE

— 1 year ago with 65 notes
#Film  #Books  #adaptations  #lit 
10 Things Hollywood Wants in Books and Screenplays
Pitchable Concept – If you hook them with the concept, then—and only then—will they read your story.
Relatable Hero – If audiences don’t care about the characters, they don’t care about the story.
Emotionally Compelling Story – Your story should be relatable and emotionally compelling.
Ticking Clock – Stories without ticking clocks tend to ramble.
Visual Potential – Movies can’t delve inside the hero’s head without somehow externalizing the character’s inner experience in a way that makes it seem external (and therefore lensable).
Structure – Anyone hoping to sell to Hollywood needs to understand the structure beneath the beauty.
Actor-Friendly Lead – You must craft a story with one or more strong roles that A-list actors will find appealing.
Average Length – If you’re selling a screenplay, the people footing that bill do not want to hear that your story is running long.
Reasonable Budget - The more your story costs to film, the fewer the people who can afford to make it.
Low-Fat Story – Because of time and budget constraints, there’s little room for anything not absolutely essential.
From Writers Write

10 Things Hollywood Wants in Books and Screenplays

  1. Pitchable Concept – If you hook them with the concept, then—and only then—will they read your story.
  2. Relatable Hero – If audiences don’t care about the characters, they don’t care about the story.
  3. Emotionally Compelling Story – Your story should be relatable and emotionally compelling.
  4. Ticking Clock – Stories without ticking clocks tend to ramble.
  5. Visual Potential – Movies can’t delve inside the hero’s head without somehow externalizing the character’s inner experience in a way that makes it seem external (and therefore lensable).
  6. Structure – Anyone hoping to sell to Hollywood needs to understand the structure beneath the beauty.
  7. Actor-Friendly Lead – You must craft a story with one or more strong roles that A-list actors will find appealing.
  8. Average Length – If you’re selling a screenplay, the people footing that bill do not want to hear that your story is running long.
  9. Reasonable Budget - The more your story costs to film, the fewer the people who can afford to make it.
  10. Low-Fat Story – Because of time and budget constraints, there’s little room for anything not absolutely essential.

From Writers Write

— 1 year ago with 120 notes
#Books  #Writing Tips  #Adaptations  #Writers Write  #Film  #Screenplays  #Writing Advice 
Will You Cry At Les Misérables? A Flowchart

Will You Cry At Les Misérables? A Flowchart

— 1 year ago with 308 notes
#Les Misérables  #Lit  #Comics  #Flowchart  #Books  #Film 
"Who gave you the idea I hate most of the film adaptations? There are at least eight really good ones, and the only one I can remember hating was [Stanley] Kubrick’s cold adaptation of The Shining; spending three hours watching an ant farm would be more emotionally uplifting."
Stephen King
— 1 year ago with 22 notes
#Stephen King  #quotes  #Lit  #Film  #Books  #Writing 
Hollywood’s 25 Most Powerful Authors
From The Hollywood Reporter
1. Stephen KingKnown For: Carrie, The Shining, The Stand, The Shawshank Redemption. Big number: 53 novels and 400 million copies sold
2. Elmore LeonardKnown For: Justified, Get Shorty. Big Number: His books have been adapted into 20 movies and seven TV series.
3. Nicholas SparksKnown For: The Notebook, Dear John. Big Number: Sold 80 million books. All his novels have made The New York Times best-seller list.
4. EL JamesKnown For: Fifty Shades of Grey. Big Number: 40 million copies sold worldwide in 2012.
5. Suzanne CollinsKnown For: The Hunger Games.Big Number: Her trilogy is the best-selling YA series of all time on Amazon.com. 
6. Robert KirkmanKnown For: The Walking Dead. Big Number: In March, he had four of the top 10 paperback slots and three of the top 10 hardcover slots on The New York Times graphic books best-seller list.
7. George R.R. MartinKnown For: Game of Thrones. Big Number: HBO’s Thrones averaged 3.8 million viewers an episode in season two.
8. James PattersonKnown For: Kiss the Girls Big Number: 53 No. 1 New York Times best-sellers.
9. Michael LewisKnown For: Moneyball. Big Number: Both films based on his works have been nominated for best picture Oscars.
10. Stephenie MeyerKnown For: The Twilight Saga. Big Number: More than 63 million copies sold since 2008.
11. J.K. RowlingKnown For: Harry Potter. Big Number: Translated into 73 languages. Eight movies have grossed $7.6 billion. 
12. Tom ClancyKnown For: The Hunt for Red October. Big Number: The four Jack Ryan movies have grossed $846 million worldwide.
13. Dennis LehaneKnown For: Mystic River, Shutter island, Gone Baby, Gone. Big Number: The six-time New York Times best-selling author just started his own imprint at HarperCollins.
14. Charlaine HarrisKnown For: Sookie Stackhouse novels, source of True Blood. Big Number: The series has sold more than 20 million books.
15. Daniel H. WilsonKnown For: Robopocalypse (film not yet released). Big Number: Two of his novels were optioned before the book rights were sold.
16. Ken FollettKnown For: The Pillars of the Earth. Big Number: His works have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide.
17. Cormac McCarthyKnown For: No Country for Old Men, All the Pretty Horses, The Road. Big Number: $217 million in worldwide grosses for three novel adaptations.
18. Seth Grahame-SmithKnown For: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Big Number: His work has been translated into more than 20 languages.
19. Laura HillenbrandKnown For: Seabiscuit. Big Number: Unbroken has spent 103 weeks on The New York Times best-seller list.
20. Jeff KinneyKnown For: Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Big Number: 60 million copies sold.
21. Candace BushnellKnown For: Sex and the City. Big Number: The two movie spinoffs grossed more than $700 million worldwide.
22. Gillian Flynn
Known For: Gone Girl. Big Number: 2 million copies sold since June.
23. Neil GaimanKnown For: Coraline, Stardust Big Number: Has won the Hugo, Nebula, Bram Stoker, Newbery and Carnegie literary prizes.
24. John GrishamKnown For: The Firm. Big Number: Adaptations of nine of his books have grossed $980 million worldwide at the box office.
25. Sara ShepardKnown For: Pretty Little Liars. Big Number: 18 books published in six years.
And Six Authors To Watch
John Green
Zane
Jennifer Egan
Lee Child
Maggie Stiefvater
Ransom Riggs
From Writers Write

Hollywood’s 25 Most Powerful Authors

From The Hollywood Reporter

1. Stephen King
Known For: CarrieThe ShiningThe StandThe Shawshank Redemption
Big number: 53 novels and 400 million copies sold

2. Elmore Leonard
Known For: JustifiedGet Shorty
Big Number: His books have been adapted into 20 movies and seven TV series.

3. Nicholas Sparks
Known For: The NotebookDear John
Big Number: Sold 80 million books. All his novels have made The New York Times best-seller list.

4. EL James
Known For: Fifty Shades of Grey
Big Number: 40 million copies sold worldwide in 2012.

5. Suzanne Collins
Known For: The Hunger Games.
Big Number: Her trilogy is the best-selling YA series of all time on Amazon.com. 

6. Robert Kirkman
Known For: The Walking Dead
Big Number: In March, he had four of the top 10 paperback slots and three of the top 10 hardcover slots on The New York Times graphic books best-seller list.

7. George R.R. Martin
Known For: Game of Thrones
Big Number: HBO’s Thrones averaged 3.8 million viewers an episode in season two.

8. James Patterson
Known For: Kiss the Girls 
Big Number: 53 No. 1 New York Times best-sellers.

9. Michael Lewis
Known For: Moneyball
Big Number: Both films based on his works have been nominated for best picture Oscars.

10. Stephenie Meyer
Known For: The Twilight Saga
Big Number: More than 63 million copies sold since 2008.

11. J.K. Rowling
Known For: Harry Potter
Big Number: Translated into 73 languages. Eight movies have grossed $7.6 billion. 

12. Tom Clancy
Known For: The Hunt for Red October
Big Number: The four Jack Ryan movies have grossed $846 million worldwide.

13. Dennis Lehane
Known For: Mystic RiverShutter island, Gone Baby, Gone
Big Number: The six-time New York Times best-selling author just started his own imprint at HarperCollins.

14. Charlaine Harris
Known For: Sookie Stackhouse novels, source of True Blood
Big Number: The series has sold more than 20 million books.

15. Daniel H. Wilson
Known For: Robopocalypse (film not yet released). 
Big Number: Two of his novels were optioned before the book rights were sold.

16. Ken Follett
Known For: The Pillars of the Earth
Big Number: His works have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide.

17. Cormac McCarthy
Known For: No Country for Old MenAll the Pretty HorsesThe Road
Big Number: $217 million in worldwide grosses for three novel adaptations.

18. Seth Grahame-Smith
Known For: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Big Number: His work has been translated into more than 20 languages.

19. Laura Hillenbrand
Known For: Seabiscuit
Big Number: Unbroken has spent 103 weeks on The New York Times best-seller list.

20. Jeff Kinney
Known For: Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Big Number: 60 million copies sold.

21. Candace Bushnell
Known For: Sex and the City
Big Number: The two movie spinoffs grossed more than $700 million worldwide.

22. Gillian Flynn

Known For: Gone Girl
Big Number: 2 million copies sold since June.

23. Neil Gaiman
Known For: CoralineStardust 
Big Number: Has won the Hugo, Nebula, Bram Stoker, Newbery and Carnegie literary prizes.

24. John Grisham
Known For: The Firm
Big Number: Adaptations of nine of his books have grossed $980 million worldwide at the box office.

25. Sara Shepard
Known For: Pretty Little Liars
Big Number: 18 books published in six years.

And Six Authors To Watch

  1. John Green
  2. Zane
  3. Jennifer Egan
  4. Lee Child
  5. Maggie Stiefvater
  6. Ransom Riggs

From Writers Write

— 1 year ago with 55 notes
#Hollywood’s 25 Most Powerful Authors  #Writers  #Writers Write  #Film  #Adaptation  #Fiction  #Books  #Lit 
11 Authors Who Hated the Movie Versions of Their Books →
  1. P.L Travers - Mary Poppins 
  2. Stephen King - The Shining
  3. Anne Rice - Interview with the Vampire
  4. Winston Groom - Forrest Gump 
  5. Clive Cussler - Dirk Pitt tales, especially 2005’s Sahara 
  6. J.D. Salinger - Uncle Wiggly in Connecticut made into a movie retitled My Foolish Heart
  7. Anthony Burgess - A Clockwork Orange
  8. Bret Easton Ellis - American Psycho 
  9. Roald Dahl - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  10. Ken Kesey - One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest 
  11. Richard Matheson - I Am Legend 
— 1 year ago with 1132 notes
#Writers  #Film  #Adaptations  #Lit 
Is this Tris in Divergent?
Five reasons why she could be.

Is this Tris in Divergent?

Five reasons why she could be.

— 1 year ago with 20 notes
#Divergent  #Veronica Roth  #Books  #Film 
Obstacles
If the protagonist and his objective constitute the first two important elements in the construction of a story, the various obstacles collectively constitute the third. 
You must put obstacles in the characters way, take care of the complications, and force them to find more inventive ways of coping with the situations. Only then, do you begin to see all the possibilities for flourishing scenes, because a scene is good only when it’s difficult, weary, and demanding for the character. If you don’t put obstacles in the scene, it’s flat, and it doesn’t offer anything to the others. 
Although the unity of the story depends on there being but one main objective, there is no threat to unity from the use of multiple obstacles to the achievement of that objective. 
In a film, when all the obstacles have been eliminated except the one that is most difficult for our protagonist, the audience is completely focused on an either/or situation. They will hope. They will fear. They will be engaged.
via The Script Lab
Image Via

Obstacles

If the protagonist and his objective constitute the first two important elements in the construction of a story, the various obstacles collectively constitute the third. 

You must put obstacles in the characters way, take care of the complications, and force them to find more inventive ways of coping with the situations. Only then, do you begin to see all the possibilities for flourishing scenes, because a scene is good only when it’s difficult, weary, and demanding for the character. If you don’t put obstacles in the scene, it’s flat, and it doesn’t offer anything to the others. 

Although the unity of the story depends on there being but one main objective, there is no threat to unity from the use of multiple obstacles to the achievement of that objective. 

In a film, when all the obstacles have been eliminated except the one that is most difficult for our protagonist, the audience is completely focused on an either/or situation. They will hope. They will fear. They will be engaged.

via The Script Lab

Image Via

— 1 year ago with 27 notes
#Writing  #Film  #Screenplays 
The Top 10 Anti-Heroes in Film
Dictionary.com defines the antihero as “a protagonist who lacks the attributes that make a heroic figure, a nobility of mind and spirit, a life or attitude marked by action or purpose, and the like.” In short, the antihero is everything a hero isn’t; they are not brave, they are not selfless.
10. Snake Plissken in Escape from New York (1981)
Admittedly, I’d never heard of Escape from New York before I did my research. Admittedly, it’s an absolute shocker of a film. However, Snake Plissken belongs on this list. Come on, he’s got a beard, a tattoo, even an eye patch! He’s basically the most badass of pirates dumped into 1988 dystopian America! He has “testosterone for blood!” (Syfy.) He doesn’t care about anyone or anything, and you’d forgive him for shooting your own mother because he is just so damn cool. Snake is a former military fugitive who is offered immunity if he goes on a one-man mission to save the President. “President of what?” he replies. Oh, and he’s injected with explosives to make sure he doesn’t run away. No wonder he’s got a bit of a chip on his shoulder! A lot of Snake’s power as an antihero comes from the fact that, in a different circumstance, he’d probably be a great villain. He’s not a shy, retiring and reluctant hero. He just doesn’t care. “Anyone who comes into contact with this film goes to sleep wishing they could wake up as Snake Plissken” (Filmwerk.com, Aled Jones.)
9. Harry Callahan in Dirty Harry (1971)
Clint Eastwood pretty much set the bar for the loose cannon cop who doesn’t play by the rules. Inspector Harry Callahan’s cynical view of the world has left him with no choice but to operate outside of the law. He must cross ethical boundaries in order to pursue the justice he feels is good enough, since the higher powers are too inept to satisfy. Sure, he kills unarmed men and tortures criminals for information but these are all bad men and he is doing it for the greater good. Harry has to do what he has to do to save the missing girl. He has been suspended, demoted and transferred by his superiors for his personal methods at achieving justice, but we admire him because this does not appear to have hampered him at all. In a way, Eastwood presents us with a modern western where you “shoot first and ask questions later,” and it’s as if he sees something that his superiors do not.  For example, when he tells the Mayor that he would shoot a man if he saw him chasing a woman with the intent to rape, the Mayor asks “Intent? How did you establish that?” Callahan replies with “When a naked man is chasing a woman through an alley with a butcher’s knife and a hard-on, I figure he isn’t out collecting for the Red Cross.”
8. Léon in Léon: The Professional (1994)
Léon is an assassin, pure and simple. He makes a living by killing people. However, he is not portrayed by Jean Reno with the charisma or confident swagger of most movie assassins. He is quiet, withdrawn, even endearing when we see him watching a Gene Kelly film with “the rapt expression of a boy watching his first Disney” (EFilmCritic.com, Rob Gonsalves.) When 13-year-old Mathilda (Natalie Portman) comes to his door after her family are murdered, he reluctantly takes her in and, eventually, teaches her how to be a killer. This may sound almost cutesy as this child finds a new father figure, but it is far from it. Léon is never warm towards her, and in addition it is even suggested that Mathilda is sexually attracted to Léon. He manages to escape being viewed as the villain because he has a value system (“No women, no kids) and because that role of baddie belongs solely to Gary Oldman as drug-addicted corrupt cop Norman Stansfield. He is a fantastic take on the idea of an anti-hero and voted number 2 in Total Film’s feature, “50 Greatest Movie Antiheroes.”
7. Ethan Edwards in The Searchers (1956)
The protagonist in AFI’s “Greatest American Western of all time” is a one Ethan Edwards, played by the great John Wayne. He is a Civil War veteran and a loner who goes out to find his niece (Natalie Wood), who has been abducted by Comanches. Edwards is not shy about expressing how he feels about the Comanches and that is where his character may come across as a little unheroic. Heroes aren’t usually racist and this is a trait of Edwards’ that director John Ford never quite resolves. A key example of this is when Edwards shoots the eyes out of a dead Indian, damning him to “wander forever between the winds.” He may not believe in this ancient myth, but he knows that the Indians do, so it is an additional insult. He also demonstrates antiheroic traits in other areas, such as his intolerance of civilized customs when he abruptly breaks up the funeral with: “Put an amen to it. There’s no more time for praying.” The famous last shot of the film is also indicative of his antiheroic behaviour. He voluntarily turns and walks away from the door, showing that he accepts his state of loneliness. These are just some examples; the film is full of them and this kind of character was very unusual back then. As a result, Ethan Edwards has been the model for “many iconic anti-heroes” (“AMC blog,” Michael Rowin.) However, on what scale he is antiheroic very much depends on your audience. Sian Griffiths, in her essay on “Ethan Edwards: Anti-Hero,” wonders, “Did the film’s first audience even question his hatred and desire for murder?” (“Borrow Horses” blog.) Would his attitude towards the Comanches have been considered quite so bad in 1956? It’s food for thought…
6. Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood (2007)
None other than Daniel Day-Lewis, one of the finest actors of our generation, could have pulled this off. Daniel Plainview is an incredibly complex character; he is incredibly charming but also cold-heartedly ambitious. You want to trust him, but you know you absolutely shouldn’t. He only sees the worst in people and yet, somehow, you know there’s a heart in there. He is perhaps the most odious character on this list, and yet you can’t help but be drawn in as he becomes so corrupt by greed and power that he is driven to solitary madness. No other actor could have successfully achieved this. Day-Lewis’ performance compliments the wonderful writing and Paul Thomas Anderson’s directing, and they (nearly) match his.
5. The Man with No Name in The Dollars Trilogy (1964-66)
Clint Eastwood twice? Damn right! In the case of The Dollars Trilogy, The Man with No Name is a killer. However, he is a killer of killers. Just like other characters on this list and other well-known ones such as TV’s Dexter, it’s hard to find a solid moral standpoint on murderers such as these. What separates The Man with No Name from a lot of other characters, though, is that he hardly possesses any positive traits and we know very little about him. He has no name, no past and no future. All we know is that he knows how to kill and has no problem being the one to shoot first. On the other hand, he is righteous and has a “true code of honour” (FemaleFirst.com, Helen Earnshaw.) Ironically, he also represents “the good” inThe Good, The Bad and The Ugly. He saves a woman who has been held captive because “I knew someone like you once and there was no one there to help.” You can’t not like a character like that. He may be neither good nor bad but he’s honourable, which I guess makes him the ideal antihero.
4. Tyler Durden in Fight Club (1999)
Tyler Durden is the man that everyone wishes they could be; free from the bonds of society, decency and morality! He’s also hot as all hell and lives in a huge, gothic house on Paper Street. He pretty much becomes a model for God to the rest of Project Mayhem, too! Throughout the film, he makes some incredibly insightful comments on how we have become consumed by capitalism and how “the things you own end up owning you.” He very nearly succeeds in making you scream “Hell yeah!” while you through your plasma TV out the window and run into the wilderness naked. However, the world isn’t ready for that yet (throwing TVs or your nakedness) and Tyler goes about “enlightening” the world in a less-than-constructive manner. He destroys franchises. He intends to blow up the buildings of major credit card companies and cause total chaos. I get his sentiment and I think he is a great character, but there’s no denying that he’s a bit of an ass!
3. D-Fens in Falling Down (1993)
It’s an unusually hot summers day in Los Angeles, and all Willaim “D-Fens” Foster wants to do is make it home for his daughter’s birthday party. On his way, he is overcharged by a convenience store owner, accosted by gang members, refused breakfast at a fast food place because he just missed the menu change-over and has his snow globe broken by a Neo-nazi. D-Fens is an ordinary working man that is one day pushed too damn far! He does what we all wish we could do when society gets to us: he gets even. He becomes a vigilante and becomes increasingly violent as his sanity starts “falling down.” We cannot commend what he does: he isa killer and violent vengeance is never OK. However, he is an incredibly easy character to sympathise with and that is what makes him an ideal anti-hero, because “there is a little D-Fens in all of us.” (“Layman’s Film” by Corey B.)
2. Michael Corleone in The Godfather Trilogy (1972-90)
When it comes to antiheroes, no one plays them better than Al Pacino. As Sonny inDog Day Afternoon, Carlito in Carlito’s Way, Lefty Ruggiero in Donnie Brasco and then of course there’s Heat and Scarface. Ever noticed that? He could be an axe-murdering maniac who kills your entire family and you’d still go,” Oh alright then, Al, because it’s you.” One of the things that puts Michael Corleone so high up on this list is that we see his transformation from returning war hero and good boy to calculating and merciless Don of the Corleone crime family. Across three whole films (and not short films, mind) we are shown how his integrity is corrupted and his goodness slowly chipped away until he eventually (SPOILER) dies alone in the garden of a Sicilian villa. Because we are shown every moment of Michael’s descent, we can understand it. “We regret it, but we relate to it” (Lit Reactor, Meredith Borders.)
1. Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver (1976)
He is number 1 on Total Film’s Antihero list and Corey B called him “the epitome of an antihero” (Layman’s Film.) What makes Travis Bickle such a great antihero is that he is impossible to place. He is not a character that can simply be categorized, but then, surely that makes him all the more real? (SPOILER ALERT) When he goes on a bloody rampage at the film’s climax, is he acting heroically or is he a man whose increasingly-dark and cynical view of society has caused his mind to finally snap? When he goes to the public rally with a concealed weapon, does he really intend to assassinate Senator Palantine? When he shoots the robber in the convenience store, is this meant to be an act of heroism? Travis Bickle is good, bad, insane, heroic…as one character even calls him, “a walking contradiction.” He is Vietnam vet who has returned “caged, unadaptable” and an “outcast” and for that reason he is one of cinema’s “strangest, saddest” antiheroes (AMC Blog, Michael Rowin.) 
Via The Script Lab
Written by Ally Sinyard
Image

The Top 10 Anti-Heroes in Film

Dictionary.com defines the antihero as “a protagonist who lacks the attributes that make a heroic figure, a nobility of mind and spirit, a life or attitude marked by action or purpose, and the like.” In short, the antihero is everything a hero isn’t; they are not brave, they are not selfless.

10. Snake Plissken in Escape from New York (1981)

Admittedly, I’d never heard of Escape from New York before I did my research. Admittedly, it’s an absolute shocker of a film. However, Snake Plissken belongs on this list. Come on, he’s got a beard, a tattoo, even an eye patch! He’s basically the most badass of pirates dumped into 1988 dystopian America! He has “testosterone for blood!” (Syfy.) He doesn’t care about anyone or anything, and you’d forgive him for shooting your own mother because he is just so damn cool. Snake is a former military fugitive who is offered immunity if he goes on a one-man mission to save the President. “President of what?” he replies. Oh, and he’s injected with explosives to make sure he doesn’t run away. No wonder he’s got a bit of a chip on his shoulder! A lot of Snake’s power as an antihero comes from the fact that, in a different circumstance, he’d probably be a great villain. He’s not a shy, retiring and reluctant hero. He just doesn’t care. “Anyone who comes into contact with this film goes to sleep wishing they could wake up as Snake Plissken” (Filmwerk.com, Aled Jones.)

9. Harry Callahan in Dirty Harry (1971)

Clint Eastwood pretty much set the bar for the loose cannon cop who doesn’t play by the rules. Inspector Harry Callahan’s cynical view of the world has left him with no choice but to operate outside of the law. He must cross ethical boundaries in order to pursue the justice he feels is good enough, since the higher powers are too inept to satisfy. Sure, he kills unarmed men and tortures criminals for information but these are all bad men and he is doing it for the greater good. Harry has to do what he has to do to save the missing girl. He has been suspended, demoted and transferred by his superiors for his personal methods at achieving justice, but we admire him because this does not appear to have hampered him at all. In a way, Eastwood presents us with a modern western where you “shoot first and ask questions later,” and it’s as if he sees something that his superiors do not.  For example, when he tells the Mayor that he would shoot a man if he saw him chasing a woman with the intent to rape, the Mayor asks “Intent? How did you establish that?” Callahan replies with “When a naked man is chasing a woman through an alley with a butcher’s knife and a hard-on, I figure he isn’t out collecting for the Red Cross.”

8. Léon in Léon: The Professional (1994)

Léon is an assassin, pure and simple. He makes a living by killing people. However, he is not portrayed by Jean Reno with the charisma or confident swagger of most movie assassins. He is quiet, withdrawn, even endearing when we see him watching a Gene Kelly film with “the rapt expression of a boy watching his first Disney” (EFilmCritic.com, Rob Gonsalves.) When 13-year-old Mathilda (Natalie Portman) comes to his door after her family are murdered, he reluctantly takes her in and, eventually, teaches her how to be a killer. This may sound almost cutesy as this child finds a new father figure, but it is far from it. Léon is never warm towards her, and in addition it is even suggested that Mathilda is sexually attracted to Léon. He manages to escape being viewed as the villain because he has a value system (“No women, no kids) and because that role of baddie belongs solely to Gary Oldman as drug-addicted corrupt cop Norman Stansfield. He is a fantastic take on the idea of an anti-hero and voted number 2 in Total Film’s feature, “50 Greatest Movie Antiheroes.”

7. Ethan Edwards in The Searchers (1956)

The protagonist in AFI’s “Greatest American Western of all time” is a one Ethan Edwards, played by the great John Wayne. He is a Civil War veteran and a loner who goes out to find his niece (Natalie Wood), who has been abducted by Comanches. Edwards is not shy about expressing how he feels about the Comanches and that is where his character may come across as a little unheroic. Heroes aren’t usually racist and this is a trait of Edwards’ that director John Ford never quite resolves. A key example of this is when Edwards shoots the eyes out of a dead Indian, damning him to “wander forever between the winds.” He may not believe in this ancient myth, but he knows that the Indians do, so it is an additional insult. He also demonstrates antiheroic traits in other areas, such as his intolerance of civilized customs when he abruptly breaks up the funeral with: “Put an amen to it. There’s no more time for praying.” The famous last shot of the film is also indicative of his antiheroic behaviour. He voluntarily turns and walks away from the door, showing that he accepts his state of loneliness. These are just some examples; the film is full of them and this kind of character was very unusual back then. As a result, Ethan Edwards has been the model for “many iconic anti-heroes” (“AMC blog,” Michael Rowin.) However, on what scale he is antiheroic very much depends on your audience. Sian Griffiths, in her essay on “Ethan Edwards: Anti-Hero,” wonders, “Did the film’s first audience even question his hatred and desire for murder?” (“Borrow Horses” blog.) Would his attitude towards the Comanches have been considered quite so bad in 1956? It’s food for thought…

6. Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood (2007)

None other than Daniel Day-Lewis, one of the finest actors of our generation, could have pulled this off. Daniel Plainview is an incredibly complex character; he is incredibly charming but also cold-heartedly ambitious. You want to trust him, but you know you absolutely shouldn’t. He only sees the worst in people and yet, somehow, you know there’s a heart in there. He is perhaps the most odious character on this list, and yet you can’t help but be drawn in as he becomes so corrupt by greed and power that he is driven to solitary madness. No other actor could have successfully achieved this. Day-Lewis’ performance compliments the wonderful writing and Paul Thomas Anderson’s directing, and they (nearly) match his.

5. The Man with No Name in The Dollars Trilogy (1964-66)

Clint Eastwood twice? Damn right! In the case of The Dollars Trilogy, The Man with No Name is a killer. However, he is a killer of killers. Just like other characters on this list and other well-known ones such as TV’s Dexter, it’s hard to find a solid moral standpoint on murderers such as these. What separates The Man with No Name from a lot of other characters, though, is that he hardly possesses any positive traits and we know very little about him. He has no name, no past and no future. All we know is that he knows how to kill and has no problem being the one to shoot first. On the other hand, he is righteous and has a “true code of honour” (FemaleFirst.com, Helen Earnshaw.) Ironically, he also represents “the good” inThe Good, The Bad and The UglyHe saves a woman who has been held captive because “I knew someone like you once and there was no one there to help.” You can’t not like a character like that. He may be neither good nor bad but he’s honourable, which I guess makes him the ideal antihero.

4. Tyler Durden in Fight Club (1999)

Tyler Durden is the man that everyone wishes they could be; free from the bonds of society, decency and morality! He’s also hot as all hell and lives in a huge, gothic house on Paper Street. He pretty much becomes a model for God to the rest of Project Mayhem, too! Throughout the film, he makes some incredibly insightful comments on how we have become consumed by capitalism and how “the things you own end up owning you.” He very nearly succeeds in making you scream “Hell yeah!” while you through your plasma TV out the window and run into the wilderness naked. However, the world isn’t ready for that yet (throwing TVs or your nakedness) and Tyler goes about “enlightening” the world in a less-than-constructive manner. He destroys franchises. He intends to blow up the buildings of major credit card companies and cause total chaos. I get his sentiment and I think he is a great character, but there’s no denying that he’s a bit of an ass!

3. D-Fens in Falling Down (1993)

It’s an unusually hot summers day in Los Angeles, and all Willaim “D-Fens” Foster wants to do is make it home for his daughter’s birthday party. On his way, he is overcharged by a convenience store owner, accosted by gang members, refused breakfast at a fast food place because he just missed the menu change-over and has his snow globe broken by a Neo-nazi. D-Fens is an ordinary working man that is one day pushed too damn far! He does what we all wish we could do when society gets to us: he gets even. He becomes a vigilante and becomes increasingly violent as his sanity starts “falling down.” We cannot commend what he does: he isa killer and violent vengeance is never OK. However, he is an incredibly easy character to sympathise with and that is what makes him an ideal anti-hero, because “there is a little D-Fens in all of us.” (“Layman’s Film” by Corey B.)

2. Michael Corleone in The Godfather Trilogy (1972-90)

When it comes to antiheroes, no one plays them better than Al Pacino. As Sonny inDog Day Afternoon, Carlito in Carlito’s Way, Lefty Ruggiero in Donnie Brasco and then of course there’s Heat and Scarface. Ever noticed that? He could be an axe-murdering maniac who kills your entire family and you’d still go,” Oh alright then, Al, because it’s you.” One of the things that puts Michael Corleone so high up on this list is that we see his transformation from returning war hero and good boy to calculating and merciless Don of the Corleone crime family. Across three whole films (and not short films, mind) we are shown how his integrity is corrupted and his goodness slowly chipped away until he eventually (SPOILER) dies alone in the garden of a Sicilian villa. Because we are shown every moment of Michael’s descent, we can understand it. “We regret it, but we relate to it” (Lit Reactor, Meredith Borders.)

1. Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver (1976)

He is number 1 on Total Film’s Antihero list and Corey B called him “the epitome of an antihero” (Layman’s Film.) What makes Travis Bickle such a great antihero is that he is impossible to place. He is not a character that can simply be categorized, but then, surely that makes him all the more real? (SPOILER ALERT) When he goes on a bloody rampage at the film’s climax, is he acting heroically or is he a man whose increasingly-dark and cynical view of society has caused his mind to finally snap? When he goes to the public rally with a concealed weapon, does he really intend to assassinate Senator Palantine? When he shoots the robber in the convenience store, is this meant to be an act of heroism? Travis Bickle is good, bad, insane, heroic…as one character even calls him, “a walking contradiction.” He is Vietnam vet who has returned “caged, unadaptable” and an “outcast” and for that reason he is one of cinema’s “strangest, saddest” antiheroes (AMC Blog, Michael Rowin.) 

Via The Script Lab

Written by Ally Sinyard

Image

— 1 year ago with 32 notes
#Film  #Characters  #Script  #Writing  #Anti-Heroes 
The Top 10 ‘The Princess Bride’ Quotes
10. I’m not a witch, I’m your wife.9. Inconceivable!8. While you’re at it, why don’t you give me a nice paper cut and pour lemon juice on it?7. Bow to the Queen of Slime, the Queen of Filth, the Queen of Putrescence.6. True love is the greatest thing, in the world, except for a nice MLT – mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich.5. Mawwage. Mawwage is whatt bwings us togedder today.4. Have fun stormin’ the castle.3. As you wish.2. Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.1. When I was your age, television was called books.
From Word & Film

The Top 10 ‘The Princess Bride’ Quotes

10. I’m not a witch, I’m your wife.
9. Inconceivable!
8. While you’re at it, why don’t you give me a nice paper cut and pour lemon juice on it?
7. Bow to the Queen of Slime, the Queen of Filth, the Queen of Putrescence.
6. True love is the greatest thing, in the world, except for a nice MLT – mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich.
5. Mawwage. Mawwage is whatt bwings us togedder today.
4. Have fun stormin’ the castle.
3. As you wish.
2. Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.
1. When I was your age, television was called books.

From Word & Film

— 1 year ago with 330 notes
#The Princess Bride  #Quotes  #Lit  #Film  #Books 

International Movie Posters for To Kill a Mockingbird

Italy, Australia, Denmark, Belgium, France, West Germany

From Book Riot

— 1 year ago with 18 notes
#To Kill A Mockingbird  #Film  #Books  #Lit 
"I don’t know what your childhood was like, but we didn’t have much money. We’d go to a movie on a Saturday night, then on Wednesday night my parents would walk us over to the library. It was such a big deal, to go in and get my own book."

Robert Redford

— 1 year ago with 17 notes
#quotes  #film  #books  #robert redford 
The Not-So-Silver Screen →

Writers acting in films NOT based on their writing 

— 2 years ago with 2 notes
#writers  #film  #acting 
In the early-1970s, when originally offered the lead role in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory by director Mel Stuart, the great Gene Wilder accepted on one condition:
"When I make my first entrance, I’d like to come out of the door carrying a cane and then walk toward the crowd with a limp. After the crowd sees Willy Wonka is a cripple, they all whisper to themselves and then become deathly quiet. As I walk toward them, my cane sinks into one of the cobblestones I’m walking on and stands straight up, by itself; but I keep on walking, until I realize that I no longer have my cane. I start to fall forward, and just before I hit the ground, I do a beautiful forward somersault and bounce back up, to great applause."
Asked why, Wilder explained: “Because from that time on, no one will know if I’m lying or telling the truth.”
After seeing some early sketches of Willy Wonka’s eccentric outfit, Wilder wrote the following letter to Stuart and offered some charmingly constructive feedback.

In the early-1970s, when originally offered the lead role in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory by director Mel Stuart, the great Gene Wilder accepted on one condition:

"When I make my first entrance, I’d like to come out of the door carrying a cane and then walk toward the crowd with a limp. After the crowd sees Willy Wonka is a cripple, they all whisper to themselves and then become deathly quiet. As I walk toward them, my cane sinks into one of the cobblestones I’m walking on and stands straight up, by itself; but I keep on walking, until I realize that I no longer have my cane. I start to fall forward, and just before I hit the ground, I do a beautiful forward somersault and bounce back up, to great applause."

Asked why, Wilder explained: “Because from that time on, no one will know if I’m lying or telling the truth.”

After seeing some early sketches of Willy Wonka’s eccentric outfit, Wilder wrote the following letter to Stuart and offered some charmingly constructive feedback.

— 2 years ago with 62 notes
#charlie and the chocolate factory  #film  #willy wonka  #lit  #books