Taxonomy of the 37 basic silent-film plots


It's a lovely piece of narrative theory from Wycliff Aber Hill's 1919 book Ten Million Photoplay Plots: The Master Key to All Dramatic Plots, part of a tradition of stage-play manuals that presented related taxonomies for aspiring writers. Read the rest

Wes Anderson, Centered


“Wes Anderson // Centered,” on Vimeo. Music: The New Lobby Boy by Alexandre Desplat. Read the rest

Harrison Ford can't, and fortunately won't, be replaced as Indiana Jones

The only thing that Disney seems certain about regarding any future Indiana Jones films is they don't plan on subbing in another actor as Indy.

“There are a lot of rumours,” the franchise's producer Frank Marshall says. “We haven’t even sat down to talk about Indy yet… at some point we’ll sit down. But there’s a bunch of people who could probably take the baton. … We’re not doing the Bond thing where we’re going to call somebody else Indiana Jones … we have to figure this out.”

Sorry, Chris Pratt. Mr. Ford, please put down the blaster and grab the bullwhip.

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Kickstarting an indie film adaptation of China Mieville's "Familiar"


Jason writes, "An indie film company here in Denver called Mythos is crowdfunding an adaptation of China Mieville's short story 'Familiar' with full cooperation from Mieville himself (he's even contributing to some of the rewards). The Kickstarter campaign ends on November 15." Read the rest

Revealed: The clever filmmaking trick behind the epic continuous shot of “Birdman”


Ever wonder how “Birdman” director Alejandro González Iñárritu and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki got that one incredibly long continuous shot? Well, technically, they didn't.

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J Edgar Hoover fought to write ex-FBI agents out of Hitchcock's scripts


Michael from Muckrock writes, "Like almost everyone else in the J. Edgar Hoover era, Alfred Hitchcock managed to catch the attention of the FBI, leading to a 16-page file. Did it investigate the rumored murders the Master of Suspense committed? Secretive ties to foreign states? Nope, mostly just the fact that, in one episode of Hitchcock Presents, a bad guy was briefly referenced to be a 'former FBI agent,' a plot point that the Bureau worked surprisingly hard to change ... perhaps worth of a Hitchcock treatment all its own. Read on for the full story." Read the rest

Here's the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie trailer


On Tuesday evening, Disney released the latest trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Read the rest

This is the trailer you're looking for. (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)


"It’s true. All of it. The Dark Side. The Jedi. They’re real."

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Batman v. Superman trailer (1949)


This looks much more fun to me than whatever's coming next year. (YouTube)

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Buck Rogers and the Copyright Trolls

Remember the Sherlock Holmes case where the Conan Doyle Estate was shaking everyone down for sub-litigation payoffs and asserting claims over Holmes (despite serious copyright scholars all saying they had no right to do so) until Les Klinger stuck to his guns?

Now it’s happening again, with some minor variations, only this time the weapon of choice is Buck Rogers.

Watch the 1978 trailer for Jurassic World


If Jurassic World was released in 1978, this would have been the trailer. (ChiefBrodyRules)

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Stop motion animation of stop motion master Ray Harryhausen

The incredible visual effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen (1920-2013) bringing a stop-motion skeleton to life. Below, the classic skeleton fight from Jason and the Argonauts (1963). (via r/movies)

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Watch this very surreal mashup of Hitchcock and Kubrick


"Jimmy was having a rather beautiful day until he bumped into Jack and things got weird." Directed by Adrien Dezalay, Emmanuel Delabaere, and Simon Philippe. (Vimeo)

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Pee-Wee is the Penguin's dad (again!)


Pee-Wee Herman will play the father of Oswald Cobblepot -- AKA The Penguin -- in season two of Gotham, a role he already nailed in 1992's otherwise meh "Batman Returns," where he depicted Daddy Penguin as a lunatic disciplinarian vaper oligarch. Read the rest

'The Muslims are Coming!' Judge overturns NYC subway's ban on ads for Muslim comedy movie

The Muslims Are Coming! ad in NYC subway station.

A federal judge says a New York transportation agency was wrong to label some funny subway posters for a documentary on Muslim-American comedians as "political," so they could ban the posters from the NYC subway.

One of the six ads for "The Muslims Are Coming!" included the statement: “The Ugly Truth About Muslims: Muslims have great frittata recipes.”


Another one of the unfairly banned posters read, “Muslims hate terrorism! They also hate: People who tell you they went to an Ivy League school within 10 seconds of meeting them ... When the deli guy doesn’t put enough schmear on your bagel ... Hipsters who wear winter hats in the summer ... the pickling of everything ...”

The judge said it was “utterly unreasonable” for an MTA official to decide an advertisement including the word “Muslims” was political for that reason alone.


In the movie, comedians Negin Farsad and Dean Obeidallah lead an all-star Muslim comedy troupe performing in “big cities, small towns, liberal enclaves, conservative hotbeds, rural and everything in between to explore the issue of Islamophobia.”

The film also includes comedy bigshots Jon Stewart, David Cross and Lewis Black.

From The Guardian's coverage of the MTA ad brouhaha:

The ads for the film The Muslims Are Coming! were rejected this year by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates the subway system and the rest of the nation’s largest mass transit network. The MTA, which had first approved the ads, later concluded they violated its new ban on political ads.

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Back to the Future III: home video behind the scenes


The house that starred as Marty McFly's home in the Back to the Future trilogy is at 9303 Roslyndale Ave in Arleta, California. While "Back to the Future Part III" was in production, a neighbor shot the home video above of the actors on set. (via Reddit)

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Princess Leia's bikini sells for nearly $100,000


One of Princess Leia's slave bikinis she actually wore in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi sold for $96,000 at auction yesterday. No news on who bought it. The costume came complete with the collar and several links in the chain Leia used to strangle Jabba the Hutt. A 16" model of Leia's Blockade Runner seen in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope went for $450,000, the highest auction price ever for Star Wars memorabilia ever.

Other items sold in the same Profiles In History auction include one of Indiana Jones's bull whips ($204,000) and George Reeves's Superman costume from the 1950s TV series ($216,000).


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