Monday Starters #7

A collection of links, fun and serious, on film and culture, to start the week


The Problem with Dinosaurs by Carmel Doohan

Realism is a loaded term, especially when we are talking about films depicting the British Working Class. Tyrannosaur is a sad film where relentlessly grim things happen to people it is often very difficult to like. Hannah, an abused wife befriends Joseph, a violent older man, as both struggle to survive in a lonely, brutal vision of modern day Britain. It is a film that tackles many difficult issues but the main question addressed in the mainstream media seems to have been; are we allowed to tell stories like this anymore? (‘Toilet bowl drama to titillate the chattering classes’ in the Daily Telegraph and ‘Is Tyrannosaur poverty porn?’ in the Observer). “


Writer-director Jason Tammemägi recommends books to those who plan to create, produce, or direct shows for children: From the Bookshelf



Southwest is a film about responsibility for our own lives and those of others. About how our choices not only affect us, but also the people who love us. As the great French filmmaker Claire Denis says, “it’s about love in a way, and what happens when you tangle with something that is stronger than you are.”

It is also the director and producer’s thesis film for their Master of Fine Arts degree at Columbia University in New York.


Dreams Without Frontiers at the Manchester Art Gallery until May 1, 2013

“The story and the mythologies of Manchester’s music are now part of a much bigger world of ideas and artistic activity.” Dave Haslam, 2012


“I find television very educational. Every time someone switches it on I go into another room and read a good book.” Groucho Marx


F.Scott Fitzgerald Responds to Hate Mail

“Fitzgerald’s feisty, brilliant response, found in F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Life in Letters, pulls into question — just as his fiction famously does — the superficial values high society holds so dear, touching on everything from education to ethics to politics to creative legacy with equal parts insight and irreverence…”


Charlie Kaufman Gives 70-Minute Screenwriting Lecture at BAFTA

Screenwriter on the Web

Janet van Eeden – freelance journalist, producer, theatre and feature film scriptwriter and lecturer.

“A friend of mine wrote on his blog recently about essential films every cinema fanatic should see. See the link above. Although his list is excellent, it isn’t comprehensive in my opinion. For one thing, where’s the category for Screen WRITING? This vital foundation of any good film is usually overlooked, but one thing is certain: without a good script you can never make a good film. It is written.” (from Whose film is it anyway?!)



In his own words: Screenwriter (K-9, Alaska, Trojan War), teacher and mentor. Host of GoIntoTheStory, screenwriting blog of the Black List. Co-founder ScreenwritingMasterClass.


The complete works of Rembrandt Van Rijn online

Rembrandt Van Rijn – a comprehensive guide to the life and art with hundreds of hi-quality images of paintings, etchings and drawings.


It takes a blink of an eye to reduce a character from strong to flustered


Use Pinterest or other image websites to to do research for your story even regardless whether it’s set in a specific existing location or not. You can find inspiration for different types of streets, buildings, interiors for offices, homes, types of characters, costumes, props, or ideas for a scene, which will help you make your writing more colourful and vivid.

Here’s a photo of a scene taken in 1940 in America and discovered on Pinterest (source and author of photo unknown). Everyone looks happy (look at their faces!), so it could be a hello-kiss rather than a goodbye-kiss. It looks like both have missed each other greatly because they can’t wait for him to get off the bus to do the greeting. He leans out and she’s helped up by someone else (their actions reveal how they feel about each other and what has been going on before this meeting), everyone in the scene is involved, cheering for them. It’s just a kiss but all the details around it turn it into an event.


Stephen King: The ‘Craft’ Of Writing Horror Stories

“It all seemed familiar to me in the sense that there was nothing involved with the whole deal that I didn’t expect, but the odd thing is that when you’ve been seriously hurt, there’s a kind of numbing shock that sets in, and as a result, everything is — there’s no surprise involved with any of the things that seem to go on. You just sort of — the things come and you deal with them. It’s like being cast adrift and riding the waves.” – Stephen King


“But the audience is right. They’re always, always right. You hear directors complain that the advertising was lousy, the distribution is no good, the date was wrong to open the film. I don’t believe that. The audience is never wrong. Never.”

– William Friedkin



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