Billy Wilder's 10 tips for screenwriting

Billy Wilder was the director of many excellent movies, including Sunset Boulevard, Some Like It Hot, and Double Indemnity. Here are 10 tips about moviemaking that he shared in the late 1990s with Cameron Crowe (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Almost Famous, Jerry Maguire)

From Open Culture:

Wilder was 90 years old when the young director Cameron Crowe approached him in 1996 about playing a small role in Jerry Maguire. Wilder said no, but the two men formed a friendship. Over the next several years they talked extensively about filmmaking, and in 1999 Crowe published Conversations with Wilder. One of the book's highlights is a list of ten screenwriting tips by Wilder. "I know a lot of people that have already Xeroxed that list and put it by their typewriter," Crowe said in a 1999 NPR interview. "And, you know, there's no better film school really than listening to what Billy Wilder says."

Here are Wilder's ten rules of good filmmaking:

1: The audience is fickle. 2: Grab 'em by the throat and never let 'em go. 3: Develop a clean line of action for your leading character. 4: Know where you're going. 5: The more subtle and elegant you are in hiding your plot points, the better you are as a writer. 6: If you have a problem with the third act, the real problem is in the first act. 7: A tip from Lubitsch: Let the audience add up two plus two. They'll love you forever.

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Kickstarter to digitally erase the rat from the end of The Departed

The Departed is a Martin Scorsese mob movie about a rat. It ends with a scene depicting an actual rat making its way across a precarious railing: a metaphor so breathtakingly hamfisted it ruins the entire movie. Adam Sacks, therefore, is raising money on Kickstarter to have the rat digitally removed from the movie by a professional effects editor. [via Kottke]

Previously: Dune with all the dialog removed Read the rest

Jason Voorhees, unmasked

Jason Voorhees, the handsome hockey-masked villain of slasher series Friday the 13th, gets plenty of unmasking scenes—and new look each time. Read the rest

See Black Panther on the big screen for free

Black Panther, on the heels of its SAG win and seven Oscar nominations including Best Picture, will play for free at 250 movie theaters for a week starting tomorrow (February 1). As part of the Black Panther celebrations, Walt Disney Company is also granting $1.5 million to the United Negro College Fund.

“In times of crisis, the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers," T'Challa said. "We must find a way to look after one another as if we were one single tribe.”

Claim free tickets to see Black Panther (WeTicketIt) Read the rest

Trailer for "Beach Bum," Harmony Korine's new weirdo stoner comedy

Writer/director Harmony Korine (Kids, Gummo, Spring Breakers) is back at the shore for Beach Bum, a stoner burnout comedy starring Matthew McConaughey with Snoop Dogg, Isla Fisher, Zac Efron, Jimmy Buffett, Martin Lawrence and Jonah Hill. The trailer reminds me a bit of Pee-wee's Big Adventure if the weirdo protagonist was on Sour Diesel instead of Purple Microdot.

Beach Bum will premiere at SXSW and hit theaters March 22.

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A list of all the booze in Casablanca (surprisingly long!)

Bruce Sterling cataloged all the onscreen booze in Casablanca, producing a surprisingly long list (Sterling: "ranted, they’ve all got plenty to drink about, but gee whiz.") Read the rest

Trailer for "The Drone," a horror film about a sentient flying drone

The Drone, currently in post-production, is a real movie about a killer drone. From the trailer description:

A serial killer transfers his consciousness into a consumer drone right before he is killed, then flies off to terrorize newlyweds Rachel (ALEX ESSOE) and Chris (JOHN BROTHERTON). The couple must fight to stop the insidious device before it destroys them both.

Director Jordan Rubin is a comedian, his prior film was Zombeavers, and The Drone is obviously a tongue-in-cheek tale. But I kinda wish it was straight-up splatterpunk sci-fi.

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Trailer for "Lords of Chaos," the horror-thriller about Norwegian black metal and murder

In the early 1990s, the burgeoning black metal scene in Norway was plagued with jealousy, violence, arson, and eventually murder. Lords of Chaos, named after Michael Moynihan and Didrik Søderlind's excellent non-fiction book, is a new film coming to theaters February 8 that tells the story of those loud, weird, dark times. Jonas Åkerlund directs and the cast includes Rory Culkin, Emory Cohen, Jack Kilmer, Sky Ferreira, and Valter Skarsgård.

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Mundane activities made amazing by performing them in reverse

Backward Picnic is like a terrifying and fascinating cross between David Lynch and the Coen Brothers. Read the rest

Documentary about Moby-Dick devotees

David Shaerf, a professor of English and cinema studies at Michigan's Oakland University, is fanatical about Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. He's so fanatical that he made a documentary about Moby Dick fanaticism. The film is titled "Call Us Ishmael" and in it, Shaerf joins the devotees who gather annually in New Bedford, Massachusetts to read Moby-Dick aloud, without stopping. He interviews the likes of Frank Stella who spent 15 years making a piece of art for each of the book's chapters. He talks with the likes of Laurie Anderson who developed an entire live performance and tour titled "Songs and Stories from Moby-Dick" and Matt Kish, the librarian/illustrator who drew "Moby-Dick in Pictures: One Drawing for Every Page." Now, Shaerf is seeking help via Kickstarter to get Call Me Ishmael ready for release by clearing the music, legal fees, and insurance before he can hand it off to the film's distributor.

It sounds like a whale of a project and I look forward to seeing the film!

"Support "Call Us Ishmael" via Kickstarter!" (Thanks Ora Pescovitz!)

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Celebrate Public Domain Day with a viewing of Cecil B Demille's 1923 epic "The Ten Commandments"

It's been 48 hours since the American public domain expanded for the first time in 20 years, allowing Americans free access to works from 1923, including Cecil B Demille's 1923 epic "The Ten Commandments" (here's 1,000 or so more). Read the rest

Iran sacks state TV chief after uncensored broadcast of Jackie Chan sex scene

A broadcast of the 2009 crime drama The Shinjuku Incident cost an Iranian TV chief his job last week, reports the BBC. He forgot to censor a sex scene featuring star Jackie Chan.

Iranian media said the "immoral" scene was aired by Kish TV in "total violation of Irib's regulations".

Physical contact between men and women is not permitted on screen in Iran.

Censors are also said to be required to remove men and women exchanging "tender words or jokes", unveiled women, close-ups of women's faces and exposed necklines, as well as negative portrayals of police and bearded men.

I only have more questions after reading this. Read the rest

First trailer for Men in Black: International

Any director would be hard pressed to top the magic of the original Men in Black movie. Surpassing its two sequels? That's very doable. If this first trailer for Men in Black: International is any indication, Director F. Gary Gray is off to a great start. Staring Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth, the film is due for release in June, 2019. Read the rest

Watch Jason Momoa and friends perform a Haka at 'Aquaman' premiere

In the video below, Actor Jason Momoa, his friends, and his children perform the ceremonial Haka at the premiere of the new Warner Bros. movie 'Aquaman.' Read the rest

The Bleeding Edge: a terrifying, enraging look at the corrupt, deadly world of medical implants

Prior to 1976, the FDA did not regulate medical implants, and so shoddy and even deadly devices proliferated, inserted into Americans' body. Read the rest

Every Booby Trap in 'Home Alone', the flipbook (GENIUS)

Check out this incredibly dedicated animated flipbook re-creation of all the booby traps in the 1990 holiday scare-'em film HOME ALONE, starring Macaulay Culkin and Joe Pesci. Read the rest

Watch David Lynch's weird TV commercial for Adidas

David Lynch has directed many television commercials but this one from 1993 for Adidas, titled "The Wall," gives any surreal perfume commercials (including Lynch's own) a run for their money. (See what I did there?) You can find a directory and clips of Lynch's other commercial, ad, and promo work here.

(via r/ObscureMedia)

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