There's no story if there isn't some conflict. The memorable things are usually not how pulled together everybody is. I think everybody feels lonely and trapped sometimes. I would think it's more or less the norm.
There's this thing about Wes Anderson's movies. They often seem to be set in a world that's at least a step or two removed from ordinary reality—with heightened artifice, sometimes stagey dialogue, fanciful "facts," even stop-motion crayon ponyfish—but they can be as hard-hitting with the emotional truths of their characters as any more naturalistic film,
Anderson's formalist whimsy is an acquired taste for some people, and that's fine. I'm a big proponent of liking what you like and not judging other people's tastes. I do find, though, that many critiques of his movies are disingenuous at best, and often based on suppositions that simply aren't true when you take a closer look at the films.
And when it comes to criticizing Moonrise Kingdom?*
Moonrise Kingdom is a delight. It's the story of first love between two troubled kids, of grand gestures to break free of a world that seems to be against them, and of the adult ensemble that fears for their future and does their best to guide them in spite of—or more likely because of—their own many failings.
The basic outline is this: Set in the fall of 1965 (and flashing back to the summer of the preceding year) Sam Shakusky and Suzy Bishop meet and decide to go on the run together, alarming the adults of their small island community. There's a search involving a posse of Khaki Scouts, a capture, an escape, and a showdown featuring a couple of lightning strikes. There's also a pair of lefty scissors. Here's the whole Moonrise Kingdom story circle:
Welcome to 2022. I'm sure there's enough being said on that, so I'll take a pass on the commentary.
But I do want to pop my head up for a few minutes for some quick site announcements. Yes, Story24 is alive and well, fully vaxxed and ready for ... I don't know, what rhymes with vaxxed? I'm a screenwriter, not a poet.
I've got projects, so that's it for now. But you've all got my best wishes for the new year. Let's all stay healthy and do some great work and make it so much better than the last few, okay?
To say I'm excited about the return of Party Down is an understatement. I love this show and I've been grieving its loss for ten years. The recent news that it's coming back for six new episodes—featuring almost all of the original cast—had me dancing with the Starz like Constance Carmel.
Party Down ran for two seasons beginning in 2009. It was a show that Starz didn't really know what to do with at the time, as the network was struggling to figure out its own niche. I remember show creator Rob Thomas telling the story about Starz doing market research to figure out who their audience was, and what they learned was that Starz viewers were mostly people who had so much money that they didn't know they subscribed to Starz. On the plus side, the network was pretty hands off with the show. The only notes they ever gave were basically "more nudity, please."
The concept behind Party Down was to follow a group of employees at a catering company, most of whom worked there as a side gig while pursuing Hollywood success—with often dismal results. Each episode took place at a different catered event, which gave a great showcase for guest stars, many of them recognizable from the Veronica Mars stable of actors (plus a few ringers like George Takei and a pre-scandal Stormy Daniels).
The ensemble cast centered around Adam Scott's Henry Pollard, whose acting career had peaked years earlier with a series of beer commercials. Ron Donald (Ken Marino) was the hapless team leader. Casey Klein (Lizzy Caplan) was an aspiring comedian (and love interest to Henry) who couldn't catch a break. Martin Starr played Roman, a wannabe writer with a superiority complex and a series of mediocre scripts. Ryan Hansen was Kyle Bradway, a good-looking but not so bright actor. And Jane Lynch rounded things out as Constance, a free-spirited '70s starlet oblivious to the reality that she had aged out of that game.
The cancellation was no great loss to anybody's career. Adam Scott went off to do a little thing called Parks and Rec. Jane Lynch had already left for Glee (and was replaced in season two by the wonderful Megan Mullaly). Martin Starr landed in Silicon Valley. Ryan Hansen got to still be BFFs with Kristen Bell. And Lizzy Caplan ... well, she's so busy that she's the only one who couldn't work the revived Party Down into her schedule.That one hurts.
What's it like inside Charlie Kaufman's head? You have to wonder. It's not as if he doesn't continually open it up on the page—literally or metaphorically, I'm honestly not sure which. There's the door into Malkovich, the running down of memories in Eternal Sunshine, the replicated lives of Synecdoche, the self-reflective autobiographical fantasy of Adaptation. He does it again, or variations of it—whatever it is—in Anomalisa, I'm Thinking of Ending Things, and even his novel Antkind.
It's a fascinating place. I wouldn't want to live there.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind tells the story of Joel Barish, whose girlfriend Clementine Kruczynski has had him erased from her memory. In response to being erased, Joel has the same procedure performed on himself to remove his own memories of Clementine. The bulk of the story takes place within Joel's head as old memories are erased one by one and as Joel changes his mind and starts fighting back against the process.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
La La Land
These notebooks contain story circle templates and blank dot-grid pages that are great for breaking down your own creations or analyzing the structure of existing films and stories. Purchase from Amazon:
What movie should I write about next? I have a few ideas, but I‘m open to suggestions:Before Sunrise
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