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Top 7 Movie Monologues on Business

The ironic thing about many of these great monologues is they have been turned into mantras by the very people the filmmakers where attempting to demonize. Oliver Stone was so upset over the “cult of Gekko” he has created a squeal in an attempt to get the toothpaste back in the tube. I guess we will have to wait and see if “greed is still good.”

I put a little palate cleanser in the form of George Bailey at the half way point for all those that can’t handle so much of life’s truths all at once. :)

Larry the Liquidator – Other People’s Money

Corruption – Syriana

Group Interview – Boiler Room

A Much Richer Man – It’s A Wonderful Life

Primary Forces of Nature – Network

Greed is Good – Wall Street

Coffee is for Closers! – Glengarry Glen Ross

Fans, Friends & Followers: Creating Your Own Cult

From SXSW 2010: Finding an audience has become essential to the filmmaker’s arsenal. Featuring real-world examples, Gary Hustwit (director: Objectified, Helvetica) and Scott Kirsner (CinemaTech) explore the filmmaker’s art of cultivating an audience for their work, spreading the word, showing up for screenings, and buying the DVDs or downloading.

VIA: SXSW

Adding Depth to Villains

By David Freeman

Q: F.X. Snyder from Garden Grove, asks:

My villain is a bit too one-dimensional. Any tips for fleshing out a character who’s not the protagonist?

A: David Freeman responds:

Sure, I know a lot about villains, although not from personal experience mind you. That bank robbery thing was a big mistake, and the reporter got it all wrong!

1. You can have the villain occasionally do something good — but just make it something SMALL or we’ll like him too much and be upset when he dies (unless you want us to be upset).

2. He can have reasons for his criminality, which, if not reasonable to us, can at least make us understand why his crimes are reasonable to him.

3. He can have a life outside of his simply being a villain. For instance, he can be concerned about his kids grades in school; he can be a member of a local softball team, etc.

4. We can see his human side that makes him more “relatable.” Maybe he’s shy on a date. Maybe he’s self-conscious because he has gained weight. Maybe he’s secretly embarrassed when he tries out a French phrase in public (trying to sound sophisticated) and is laughed at for his mispronunciation. Once again, too much of this thing and we’ll identify with him so much we’ll mourn his death. So just a little touch is all you need.

Adding Emotional Depth to a Plot Via a Subplot

By David Freeman

One way to add that mysterious quality of emotional layers or ‘depth’ to a plot is to have the hero’s emotional journey echoed in a subplot. Alan Ball, the screenwriter of ‘American Beauty,’ does this masterfully.

This can be seen in how Wes Bently’s (the intense young man in the film) plotline echoes Kevin Spacey’s (and sometimes, vice versa).

First, there are some obvious parallels between the two men:

1. Both Bently and Spacey get fired by telling off their bosses.
2. Spacey and Bently are out of communication with those around them. Spacey lives in a sexual fantasy; Bently lives through his video camera.
3. Both take no responsibility for those around them. Spacey is content to let his family fall apart while he pursues Mena Suvari; Bently sees nothing wrong with the irresponsibility of selling drugs.

But Bently’s storyline echoes Spacey’s in a more important way as well. Kevin Spacey goes on an emotional journey. He starts in apathy, a vacuous wage slave. From this low point, he grows toward freedom and transcendence. His progress is mirrored in the character of youthful Wes Bently. With his poetic take on life, Bently seems, at first, to have achieved a kind of transcendence. However, we soon learn it’s mostly a hollow dream.

After all,
1. He only videotapes people, avoiding personal contact.
2. He lets his father (Chris Cooper) beat him up.
3. He’s fascinated by death and talks about it all the time.
4. He sells drugs.

Are these the actions of someone who has transcended and achieved a kind of enlightenment?

No. Wes Bently, like Kevin Spacey, is mired in apathy. Kevin Spacey gradually becomes more engaged in life, rising up from apathy to anger, embracing an almost teenage kind of rebellion. He gets a job in a fast food joint, like a teenager, and buys the car of his teenage dreams.

At the end, though, he does achieve true transcendence. Caring about someone else for a change, he turns down the chance to sleep with nubile Mena Suvari. It’s his first step toward a transcendent perspective.

And from there, before and after his death, he quickly achieves true wisdom. He even speaks some of the same poetic words spoken earlier in the film by Wes Bently to reinforce the parallel between the two men.

Wes Bently, by trying to be transcendent at the start of the film, had skipped the all-important middle step of anger. So, at the end, he finally achieves anger and stands up to his father, leaving him forever. While he hasn’t yet achieved the real transcendence which he fantasizes about, we feel there’s a good chance he’ll make it.

The bottom line here is that the two emotional plotlines roughly mirror each other, and that’s a great technique for adding depth to your script. There are several other ways to use subplots to great advantage, but that’s the subject for another article.

Top 7 New York Films

There have been more great films made in New York than any other city. It’s hard to narrow it down to seven. What I tried to do is pick the ones where the city play a major character in the film. So here they are and I’m sure as always I’ll think of a few that should have made the list once I post this.

PS
Goodfellas is my favorite films of all time, but because the studio is so ignorant they won’t even let you embed a trailer it is off the list.

King Kong (1933)

Ghostbusters (1984)

Midnight Cowboy (1969)

Escape From New York (1981)

Annie Hall (1977)

Wall Street (1987)

Do the Right Thing (1989)

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