Sunday 20 December 2009

Brittany Murphy - and her performance in 'Spun'

Brittany Murphy really stood out for me in 'Spun' - a film I saw on a whim one night with two of my friends. I remember us getting to the cinema, having no idea what to see, and settling on Spun, knowing nothing about it. I also remember that we were alone in the cinema - and guess where we sat? You guessed it, in the front row. In fact, we sat on the floor - leaning back on the front row seats, and staring up at the screen. Murphy's performance really got me.

Murphy is great in it because she gets to be funny, attractive, unattractive, insane, silly, weird. She gets to be many things. The film was full of over-acting, but within the context of the film, it worked. Murphy was the best of the bunch (along with Mickey Rourke, one of my favourite roles of his).

I also found Brittany extremely sexy, despite her being completely fucked out of her head on drugs and looking completely rough for most of the movie. She pulled it off. Or maybe I just like them battered, rough, and high as a kite.

And it's a shame, because she never captured me in the same way again, acting-wise or sexy-wise.. and I don't really know where she's been the last few years. Whenever I did see her she looked pretty thin, unhealthily so - and I've not seen her on the screen in quite a while.

RIP Brittany Murphy.

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Friday 18 December 2009

I Guess It's Christmas Coming Down

I'm signing off - have a bitchin' Christmas and a Happy New Year. I'll be back in 2010. I need a break from the filmmaking malarkey, film blogging malarkey, and other things, malarkey-wise.

It's been great. Last Christmas, the Kid In The Front Row didn't exist. I mean, I did exist, I don't mean I'm less than a year old. But my blog is. Yet, here you all are, readers, bloggers, filmmakers, lurkers, stalkers. Thanks for sticking around. It makes me feel loved and wanted, which is why I'm abandoning you all for the Holidays. I'm cold like that.

Have a Jimmy Stewart kind of Christmas (I don't mean suicidal, jumping off a bridge, I mean everything else.)

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Thursday 17 December 2009

Screenwriting Festival Winner!

The Kid In The Front Row Screenwriting Festival 2009


Patrick O'Riley

Thank you to all who submitted. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of entries - each script had original ideas and distinct voices of the writers. It fills me with joy to know there is talent out there capable of doing such exciting work under such strict conditions! You should all be very proud.

Patrick's script, 'Hypo-Whatever' showed some real imagination and originality - where the idea came from, I have no idea. With his permission, I'll be posting the screenplay very soon.

Also, when I get a chance - I will talk more about the other entrants and dish out a few awards - but right now, let's all congratulate Patrick on a well-paced, funny and dramatic script.

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Tuesday 15 December 2009

My Views On Life Expressed Through Movies #1

Scarlett Johannson - On How It Really Doesn't Matter.

Would you-- Would you
please stop smoking?

I like to.
I don't really smoke that much.

It's just so bad for you,

Well, I'll stop later.

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The Rough Edit.

So, you show the rough edit to a few choice people to get some feedback. You show it to your friend who's an actor, you show it to a composer, you show it to your family, you show it to some dude on Facebook who keeps saying 'I wanna make films!' and you show it to your best friend.

Your friend who's an actor tells you everything is great, brilliant, apart from the acting, which is really bad and "by the way, I played a drug dealer once and you should have cast me as the drug dealer." You remind them the drug dealer in this film is 9, with a moustache, which is different to the actor giving you feedback who is a 24 year old model. But they say "I can play a drug dealer." So anyways, you say thanks and off they go and you begin to cry because your film has really bad actors.

And then your friend, the composer, says everything is great, especially the acting, although the music is really bad and drowns out all the action, and then the composer reminds you they won 'Best Music In A Short Film 2008' as well as 'Most Likely To Be Good At Composing, East Frimley School Contest 1986'.
So you consider cutting the actors and keeping the music, or maybe cutting the music and keeping the actors. You settle on cutting the actors and cutting the music, and suddenly your film is only eight seconds long.

So you find alternate takes and alternate music and put them all in. And then you show it to your best friend, who politely says "What the fuck? Aren't you famous yet? Hasn't Spielberg phoned? After all these years nobody has really cared about what you do so isn't it time you got real and did something productive with your life?" You take their feedback constructively, and fill out a McDonalds recruitment form.
And then you show your family the film and they say "This is amazing! You're our little star. It's wonderful. You're special!" - so you immediately feel confident and loved again, and ignore the fact that anything less than special that you do from now on will make you feel inferior and a failure to your family for the rest of your life.

So now you're rolling again and ready to release your mini masterpiece. And then you show it to the dude on Facebook who wants to make a movie, and he says "I really liked it. I especially like your liberal use of film language, and the way you playfully made things nonsensical and abstract, I especially liked your use of bad wind/microphone noises and I loved the way you wrote really bad dialogue and were okay with that." You say, defensively, "when did you ever make a film?" - And he says "Shut the fuck up, it's been four weeks and McDonalds still haven't got back to you."

And suddenly you realise that nobody knows anything. Especially you. And that actor you love, it turns out they may be really fucking awful. And that actress who couldn't act, turns out maybe she's the most realistic one in the film.

Nobody knows anything. If you show the film to thirty people, there'll be thirty people to tell you what's wrong with your film, and thirty people to like things about it that you didn't even think of. Aside from 'The Godfather' and 'Shawshank Redemption' - it's been the same for every film in history. So all you can do is take one final look at it and then declare it as the final cut.

Then it's time to get those pennies you earned at McDonalds; get some envelopes and stamps, and enter some film festivals. And then, eventually - something good might come of all this.

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