Screening Room Archives - The Millions

August 23, 2016

Being Bad Is Sad: Bojack Horseman & Boethius 0

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We’re born broken, and yet our wicked choices punish us. Somehow, BoJack the alcoholic, humanoid horse has bumped into Boethius the 6th-century Christian philosopher.

August 22, 2016

Don’t Believe the Haters: In Defense of ‘Genius’ 0

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I will not deny that more people are interested in organized crime than book editing when it comes to sheer volume — but that does not classify editing as unfit for cinema.

August 19, 2016

Comfort Objects 1

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For a few hours one night a year the film made her forget her worries about finances or her unhappy marriage to my father. I have since discovered how we often return to our favorite songs, movies and books, seeking contentment or an escape from our daily lives.

July 28, 2016

Screenwriting 101: What Fiction Writers Learn from Star Wars 5

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Before my students begin to learn screenplay format, I first ask them to consider their film’s major dramatic question, or MDQ. In screenwriting, the MDQ is a yes-or-no question that is answered by the climax. For instance, in the 1977 classic Star Wars: A New Hope, the MDQ would be, ‘Will Luke blow up the Death Star?”’

June 6, 2016

Where Legless Men Run and Water Burns: On Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland 0

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Unlike J.M. Barrie or A.A. Milne, Lewis Carroll grants no asylum to wistful acknowledgements that childhood must come to an end. The lost laughter of childhood needn’t be lost forever.

May 24, 2016

Living Clichéd Lives: On Hollywood Biopics 15

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Maybe the problem is that musicians keep living clichéd lives that can’t be made into anything but clichéd movies.

March 18, 2016

The Devil Works in Mysterious Ways 3

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New England horror is less about surprise and more about the slow burn of suffering. In Hollywood, horror sneaks into your home, leaps from behind doors; in New England, horror festers in your soul.

February 25, 2016

And the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay Goes to… 7

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Four novels as source material for Oscar-nominated screenplays? What happened? Did some pixie slip a vial of smart powder into the L.A. drinking water?

November 25, 2015

The Filmable Miss Highsmith 8

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What is it that keeps drawing filmmakers to the fiction of Patricia Highsmith?

November 10, 2015

Too Real to Be Real: The Problem of Authentic TV 0

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How can something be both entertaining and true to life — which, as we are all acutely aware, is overwhelmingly mundane?