Last night at the 85th annual Academy Awards Quentin Tarantino won the award for best original screenplay. His speech—as it is being discussed around the interwebs—will be remembered for its humility, crediting the cast for bringing his words to life. Tarantino’s ability to articulate what goes on in his mind and filter it through characters is unparalleled. His efforts have been celebrated before at the Oscars for Pulp Fiction. Tarantino is a poster boy for all who have aspirations of being in the loop of his leather tie.
To hear him shout out writers was flattering, even though he was extremely general about the type. “This will be the writer’s year,” he extolled. He didn’t specify industry, style or medium. It’s a struggle to do what he does. Pining over the written word, to eventually allow yourself to be judged by others for your imagination is part of the challenge. Writing articles like this one takes time regardless of word count, or characters if you’re writing half-way clever things on Twitter to whet the appetite of your followers. Whether or not people like me, or Argo’s Chris Terrio fit the bill of Tarantino’s salute, just know that we were listening. Click below to watch his on-stage and backstage Oscars acceptance speeches.
“The lava alone…”
Mahalo to the late Russell Jones.
Romanticizing Paris seems like 2011’s “in” thing. I’ll go as far back as June, when Woody Allen set his most recent film in the north of France, where Owen Wilson was enamored by the literary inspiration that dawned on him during Midnight In Paris. Then of course, Jay-Z showed us that this region of Europe is where he could let it all hang out (pause) when he scoffed, “If you escaped what I escaped, you’d be in Paris getting fucked up too.” Meanwhile it’s the most appropriate place to debut a women’s clothing collection, as Kanye West did with his new line, Dw. Oui. It’s a celebration bitches, and the new indie flick Julien & Claire throws its arms around Paris, and plants two juicy ones on its cheeks. The romantic story follows the relationship between an American dancer and a French musician, both at a crossroads with a fading passion for their respective art. The film’s teaser captures the picturesque landscape of Paris set to a soundtrack luring you into the emotion written on the cast’s faces. Aside, the romance shared between these two crazy kids is a throwback to 2004’s Before Sunset, also shot on location in Paris. Watch the trailer, it’ll really get you going.
A new-new cut of the Transformers: Dark of the Moon trailer. This version, including “Bad Dreams” by Blind Benny (Jade<3 and JD Carmelli), gives better pacing to the trailer. Watch it after the jump.
I just watched the trailer for The Hangover Part II about 2 weeks ago. I wasn’t in a rush to see where the cast would travel next or what trouble they’d get into until I sat in the theater to experience the fictional disaster. My reason for holding out is because I didn’t expect the film’s debaucherous premise of party and bullshit to deviate heavily from it’s 2009 predecessor. Why would it? It was a huge success, spawning watchable re-runs on HBO and maybe other networks like TBS—when it retires Wedding Crashers (also co-starring Bradley Cooper). But it’s the music that will also be a main attraction for me. Already mainstream darlings Jay-Z and Kanye West score the trailer for this Memorial Day blockbuster. Just look at how Kanye West’s “Dark Fantasy” track is threaded over the first half of the trailer to build the story.
Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images North America)
This short story is dedicated to writer, professor Patrick Meanor who dedicated The Wrath of Grapes to writer, director Edward Burns.
Class is over. I think I’m going to make it out of here unscathed from another week of being delinquent in my work. Correction: unscathed from the professor’s threats to fail me. He won’t and I’m not stupid enough to underachieve that low. For this one literature class, I don’t have to be paranoid of my tendency to attract the general species of asshole professors with tenure. They can do whatever the fuck they want, their job is safe—me, not so much. My friends, also in the class, impress our professer pointing out parallels between our assigned stories and movies with similar themes. The teacher eats it up, so do the girls in our class who want to “share notes.” We’re in good graces with everyone. Some of the professor’s recent favorite movies are Good Will Hunting and the ones written and directed by a former student, Edward Burns. He hones in on me, again this time making a flattering connection between me, Burns and Matt Damon’s brainy nonchalant character in Good Will Hunting. At this point, the conversation shifts to how I choose my own adventure with his assignments, and he realizes my potential for more, as he once saw in Burns who was once in my shoes. During my sophomore year, I couldn’t find any concrete ground academically even as an English major—somehow in my mind, “Undecided” was watermarked over the concentration status of my degree. So now what? The professor is souping me up with this idea that he could be as proud of me as he is of his former pupil. I could be a screenwriter or write books like the pretty good one he dedicated to Burns… I don’t know. Flash forward to the spring of 2009, I’m nearing the end of my continuing education course study of screenwriting at the School of Visual Arts. I’m juggling a job as a waiter, deejaying part time for local New York rappers and singers, meanwhile trying to write a 30 page draft of my legacy for the screen. I’m spreading my professional life thin as New Yorkers do by their birthright—never sleeping, never not working. Somehow one of these things will stick, and be the lottery ticket to millions.
I look like I need a hole in my head as much as I need to hear Jay-Z and Alicia Keys sing about New York, again. I can’t be completely mad at “Empire State of Mind” because 42nd Street, Tribeca, and a few other parts of the city he’s namedropping aren’t even really neighborhoods anymore, much less places I’d find myself even if they were giving out free real estate. The only place I could ever possibly escape this record is at a Knicks game—where no song will lift their depression—or I could just leave Earth altogether.
Play it again Treats
There is something funny to be said about choosing Woody Allen as my career role model. It happened when I began reading Without Feathers, Allen’s collection of journals, and plays last month. For a moment my own inner monologue began to mirror some of Allen’s flashes of brilliance. Except since the advent of Twitter, I now have a public forum to kick around my half-baked ideas, then at times find humor in the most unlikely places. There’s no such thing as too much information, a pillar to how Allen dissects his imagination. In his 74 years on Earth he’s known for communicating his sharp criticism about his likes and dislikes through screenplays (film, and theater). His side hustle: playing clarinet in the New Orleans jazz band. For these reasons, I admire Allen on his birthday today, as a successful icon for toeing the line between writing and playing music, let’s take a look at my four favorite works by Woody Allen below.