Posts by: Bren

Wondering About Wonder Woman

Wondering About Wonder Woman

This year’s Rorschach test of cultural gender norms and aspirations turns out to be Wonder Woman. In case you haven’t heard, the director is a woman. And unlike ALL other superhero tales, its protagonist is a woman. That makes it…

Are Cross-Dressing Comedies Dead?

Are Cross-Dressing Comedies Dead?

Okay, hear me out. This is important for writers… According to the AFI, the two greatest comedies of all time are Some Like It Hot, and Tootsie – BOTH employing the conceit of straight men dressing as women in order…

How Compelling is Your Historical Revisionism?

How Compelling is Your Historical Revisionism?

Those who do not learn history are doomed to replace it. We’re currently awash in current event stories (e.g. Patriot’s Day) competing with historical revisions (Man in the High Castle), alongside documentaries (Hillary’s America), fiction with stupid-simple history horribly wrong…

Star Wars: The Force Awakens New Hopes

Star Wars: The Force Awakens New Hopes

I took a bit of flak for my Facebook post saying that Star Wars: The Force Awakens (SW:FA) “was the sequel we’re looking for.” Look, it had the spectacle we wanted, the Millennium Falcon in a tight dogfight on the…

Origins of Auteur Theory

Origins of Auteur Theory

Which came first, the great movie or the great director? Like the chicken or egg theory, people for years have wondered how great directors make lousy movies.  Cinephiles have raged for decades and the following small treatise on auteur theory…

Are these the best slow-motion movies scenes?

Are these the best slow-motion movies scenes?

A fun one for a Sunday.  Slow-motion is another way for directors/editors to convey story.  At best, they reveal story.  At worst, they provide empty spectacle and gratuitous violence. With that in mind, are these the best slow-motion scenes? I…

One Word Awesome

One Word Awesome

A fun one for the new year.  Movie dialog is usually long.  We glorify great Shakespearean monologues (“To be or not to be”), and Paddy Chayefsky-inspired diatribes (“I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”)….

Making Characters Happy

Making Characters Happy

Okay, this is heady stuff.  Basically, Martin Seligman’s involved in Positive Psychology, which for him means not simply treating the miserable (or the sexually dysfunctional as Freud did), but to enhance and promote meaningful happiness for everyone. What does this…

Preston Sturges Rules

Preston Sturges Rules

If you haven’t seen The Lady Eve, then you haven’t seen Henry Fonda as a total rube, Barbara Stanwyck at her comic best, and some of the cleverest writing in Hollywood.  And yeah there’s Biblical elements of Adam and Eve,…

Does Your Movie Have Enough Mystery?

Does Your Movie Have Enough Mystery?

This post is a great companion piece to my Use of Reveals post, but with the added bonus of watching JJ Abrams talk about his Mystery Box: Not only does he talk about great scenes, and production tricks (always protect…