Netflix This : Street Thief




Engaging documentary-style fictional film that follows the life of putative Chicago burglar Kaspar Karr.

Directed by Malik Bader, Miles Harrison and Ishai Setton.


Although filmed as though it were a documentary, the movie and story line are fictional.












Netflix This : It Might Get Loud



Davis Guggenheim, creator of the Oscar-winning An Inconvenient Truth, directs this profile of three contemporary guitarists: Jimmy Page of Zeppelin, U2's The Edge, and Jack White of the White Stripes.

Each talks about their creative process, technique, and influences as cameras follow them to key locations in their own music history.

Jack White making his own guitar might be the highlight for me.


















Netflix This : Waste Land



Artist Vik Muniz joins creative forces with Brazil's catadores––garbage pickers who mine treasure from the world's largest landfill, Rio's enormous Jardim Gramacho.

With touching empathy, Muniz then creates portraits of them from the very trash they collect for him (see above.)

In this oak-leaf-clustered documentary the catadores reveal themselves to be unique and surprising individuals in their own right, waxing philosophical as they impart valuable lessons about what society discards.

I might rattle on here about discovery of self and the dignity of labor, but I shall resist.

Movie blurb: 'What happens in the world's lagest trash city will transform you.'

Yeah, it will. Have I lied to you before?
























Netflix This : The Parking Lot Movie




Over the course of three years filmmaker Meghan Eckman tracked the comings and goings of a solitary parking lot in Charlottesville, Va., chronicling the lives of the attendants who worked there.

Hanging tough as they navigate the range of human emotions––from hope to frustration, from a sense of limitless possibilities to stagnation--the film's subjects illustrate what happens when highly educated brainiacs work in a service industry.

You will enjoy. Have I let you down before?


Watch Trailer












Netflix This : Scott Walker - 30 Century Man



Documentarian Stephen Kijak pays tribute to the influential and enigmatic Scott Walker who shunned pop stardom for a reclusive existence in which he rarely released new music but when he did, it was by both groundbreaking and haunting.

You may not be familiar with Walker, but Brian Eno, Radiohead and David Bowie sure are.


Watch Trailer


















Site 'O The Week : Plot Builder


Actually, this is one site I'd really rather you didn't visit. It's a software program that will help you write a screenplay with the obligatory 'Michael Bay Explosion' and the 'Euro Car Chase.'

Yes, as if Hollywood wasn't already brim-full with formulaic scripts, "Plot Builder is the simple solution to visualize and develop your story in correct industry standard format."

How d'you write a great screenplay? As William Goldman (Butch Cassidy, etc.) replied, "You just put a piece of paper into the typewriter and write FADE IN."

Billy Wilder's Screenwriting Tips


Ten commandments from the writer of such classics at Sunset Boulevard, Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, and many more.

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.

8.    In doing voice-overs, be careful not to describe what the audience already sees. Add to what they’re seeing.

9.    The event that occurs at the second act curtain triggers the end of the movie.

10.    The third act must build, build, build in tempo and action until the last event, and then—that’s it. Don’t hang around.

It's simple, but it's not easy.

Related post: Before You Write That Movie

100 Years Of Visual Effects


100_Years_Of_Visual Effects  

Fascinating montage of visual effects over the past century. Stop-motion has come a very long way. (Track: Blue Man Group.)

1900 - The Enchanted Drawing
1903 - The Great Train Robbery
1923 - The Ten Commandments (Silent)
1927 - Sunrise
1933 - King Kong
1939 - The Wizard of Oz
1940 - The Thief of Bagdad
1954 - 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
1956 - Forbidden Planet
1963 - Jason and the Argonauts
1964 - Mary Poppins
1977 - Star Wars
1982 - Tron
1985 - Back to the Future
1988 - Who Framed Roger Rabbit
1989 - The Abyss
1991 - Terminator 2: Judgement Day
1992 - The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles
1993 - Jurassic Park
2004 - Spider-Man 2
2005 - King Kong
2006 - Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
2007 - Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
2007 - The Golden Compass
2008 - The Spiderwick Chronicles
2008 - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Movie 'O The Week : Art & Copy


So where do advertising people get their inspiration exactly?

The new documentary Art & Copy interviews all the usual creative director brand names for insights on the craft of advertising, and how they come up with their ideas.

"Creativity can solve anything" says the poster. You be the judge.

Watch The Trailer

My views on creative inspiration:

Where Ideas Come From : Part 1

Where Ideas Come From : Part 2 

Where Ideas Come From : Part 3

Top Ten Movie : Man On Wire


There's only one documentary that makes it into my Top 10 Movies along with The Graduate, Apocalypse Now, The Fugitive, Some Like It Hot, Chinatown, The Shining, 2001, Laurence Of Arabia, and The Odd Couple.

Man on Wire (the NYPD offense description on his summons) is the Oscar winning film about high-wire artist (he's no artiste) Philippe Petit and his co-conspiritors who, under cover of darkness, erect a tightrope between the World Trade Center towers.

He then proceeds to walk across the 1,340 foot drop without a safety harness.

(Photograher Jean-Louis Blondeau took some breath-taking shots of the 'Stunt of the Century' in Precarious Moments.)


More philosopher that circus-act, Petit sees every day as a work of art, and every performance an act of rebellion.

By turns poignant, uplifting, and hilarious, this piece of film allows you to believe you can reach any goal you set your mind to, however high.

Watch it now!

The Changing Face Of Women In Film


A fascinating montage of female movie icons over the years.

Film buffs can check their total recall here:

Mary Pickford, Lillian Gish, Gloria Swanson, Marlene Dietrich, Norma Shearer, Ruth Chatterton, Jean Harlow, Katharine Hepburn, Carole Lombard, Bette Davis, Greta Garbo, Barbara Stanwyck, Vivien Leigh, Greer Garson, Hedy Lamarr, Rita Hayworth, Gene Tierney, Olivia de Havilland, Ingrid Bergman, Joan Crawford, Ginger Rogers, Loretta Young, Deborah Kerr, Judy Garland, Anne Baxter, Lauren Bacall, Susan Hayward, Ava Gardner, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Lana Turner, Elizabeth Taylor, Kim Novak, Audrey Hepburn, Dorothy Dandridge, Shirley MacLaine, Natalie Wood, Rita Moreno, Janet Leigh, Brigitte Bardot, Sophia Loren, Ann Margret, Julie Andrews, Raquel Welch, Tuesday Weld, Jane Fonda, Julie Christie, Faye Dunaway, Catherine Deneuve, Jacqueline Bisset, Candice Bergen, Isabella Rossellini, Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, Meryl Streep, Susan Sarandon, Jessica Lange, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sigourney Weaver, Kathleen Turner, Holly Hunter, Jodie Foster, Angela Bassett, Demi Moore, Sharon Stone, Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts, Salma Hayek, Sandra Bullock, Julianne Moore, Diane Lane, Nicole Kidman, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron, Reese Witherspoon, Halle Berry.

Women In Film

Remake Me : Westworld

The first bald movie star died in New York City on October 10, 1985 at the age of 70. (Twas a bad Thursday: we lost Orson Wells the same day.)

This 1973 retro-classic directed by Michael Crichton is well overdue for a retread.

Inspired by the then revolutionary Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland, Westworld is a story about an adult future amusement park in which visitors can––at $1,000 a day!––indulge themselves in one of three environments, namely "Romanworld", "Medievalworld" and of course "Westworld" itself.

The robots are programmed to obey all the visitors’ demands and, of course, lose at the gunfights. Until they don't.

Richard Benjamin, and a very young James Brolin co-star, but it all about Yul. The original unstoppable machine more than a decade before Terminator.

Tilt-Shift Meets Time-Lapse


Artist Keith Loutit combines two techniques––tilt-shift and time-lapse photography––to create this dreamy video of the Sony PlayStation 3 South Pacific Monster Truck World Finals in Brisbane, Australia. (Snappy title, no?)

For non-techies: in tilt-shift photography objects are made to appear small and toy-like by altering the camera's lens to narrow the image's depth of field--the portion of a scene that appears sharp.

By running together 15,000 of these still photos taken over three hours he created a magical time-lapse animation.

"My work has a simple message: that the world is an amazing place, worthy of a second but closer look. Both techniques are tools to achieve this," he said.

Track: Robot High School by My Robot Friend.

Keith Loutit Photo