Monday, June 29, 2015

TODAY'S NUGGET: Stardust Memories (1980) - Seeing What the Writer Saw

[Quick Summary: A comedy filmmaker unsuccessfully tries to break new ground.]

1 - I want script readers to "get" my scripts, i.e., they see what I'm seeing in my head.

So when I read a script that I don't get (like this one), I tend to take a closer look.

This story begins with a popular comedy filmmaker who now wants to make a serious drama. However, the public just wants more of his early stuff.

The filmmaker experiences/complains about the pressures of sycophants, women, family, etc....and then nothing happens.

So WHAT IS THE POINT? I couldn't see what the writer was aiming for.

2 - Here's one scene that was clear, and juggled pathos and comedy as well:

WALKING MAN (Overlapping Sandy's speech): Are you Sandy Bates?
SANDY (To the man, trying to get rid of him) Uh, no. (To Isobel) The kids will probably be starved.
WALKING MAN: Yes, you are.
SANDY (Shaking his head, trying to get rid of the man): Uh, no, no, no, no, no, no. I'm not.
WALKING MAN: My mother buys meat in the same butcher shop your mother does.
SANDY (Laughing): Oh, great.
WALKING MAN (Handing Sandy a piece of paper): Can I have your autograph?
SANDY (Reacting): Oh, Jesus.
WALKING MAN: Could you just write "To Phyllis Weinstein, you unfaithful, lying bitch"?

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: One tip is whatever characters do, they must experience consequences. 

If nothing happens, I'm 99% uninterested.

Stardust Memories (1980)
by Woody Allen
Four Films of Woody Allen (book published 1982)

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