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Monday, August 25, 2008

Movie of the Week Club

Over lo the past 100 years or so, the production of moving pictures has gone from a trickle to an avalanche. A quick visit to any video store will reveal miles of shelves of movies. More movies than a normal person would ever want or need to see. But writers, especially screenwriters aren't normal people.

For those of us lucky enough to take film classes, many great and obscure movies were mandatory viewing and thank god. I really can't see myself having voluntarily moseyed out to see Jules et Jim at age 18 one Thursday night. Until I saw it and a world was opened up to me. The Battleship Potemkin! Metropolis! Fanny & Alexander! Breathless! The Seven Samurai! There were movies out there that were different than THE CANNONBALL RUN and FLUBBER. It was revelatory.

Academic studies, cultural access or parental influence nonwithstanding, even today as we get older, the world spins faster, there's so much going on in our lives - we barely have time to go out to the theater to watch current releases. When we go to the video store, we often pass right over anything not on the "new release" wall. Who has time? Well, I'm here to say we must make time because there are movies down there on the lower left of a bottom shelf that are absolute jewels. No self-respecting screenwriter should be guilty of not perusing the shelves for those jewels we may have missed or long forgotten.

Let's try something interesting. If enough Wavers participate, we could have what amounts to a book club for movies. Here's the idea - we'll have a movie of the week that participating Wavers will watch and then when the week is up, we'll have some feedback and discussion from all you movie-nuts and screenwriters. You know, comparing, contrasting, weeping, arguing, laughing, admiring, complimenting and wondering about what we just saw.

So The Wave-inatrix actually has two movies for the movie club this week:

Fitzcarraldo and Burden of Dreams - the documentary about the making of Fitzcarraldo.

Here's why I have chosen these two movies:

Because Werner Herzog is a fascinating director. Because he is as driven as his main character, Fitzcarraldo. Because this is a famed movie with a famously troubled shoot. Because the steamboat going up the Amazon is an iconic moment and you just can't beat the tension. Because Klaus Kinski is an actor you should be familiar with, god rest his crazy soul. Because if you love movies, you really should have seen this movie by now.

If you have a Movie of the Week Club to suggest, email me HERE and I'll compile a list. If we get a lot of suggestions, we can vote on what comes up next. Please provide a few bullet points about why you nominate your suggestion and think it worthy of viewing and discussion.

For now: Fitzcarraldo and Burden of Dreams. Discussion on Tuesday, September 2nd right here on the Rouge Wave.

One - two....

flex those Netflix fingers....


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Deb said...

Oh, wow, two amazing movies--great start to the movie club, Julie.

I had the great pleasure of seeing FITZCARRALDO when it opened at the New York Film Festival years ago and meeting Werner Herzog. He is as strange and remarkable a man as you would imagine from watching his films. (Even stranger, he's a very nice man, too.)

I'll be back to talk about the films next week, so you can be certain of at least one participant. And I'll be thinking of some movies to suggest for future Movie Club viewing.

Christina said...

What a great idea! I would love to watch classic films and discuss them. Sign me up.

Anonymous said...

Suggestion Julie. Can we have Script of the Month Club too? Since most of us write, can we dissect a SP so that we can learn at the same time? It could be unproduced, in production (like Glorious Basterds or Jennifer's Body), or a script from your client (with permission of course).

Julie Gray said...

A script of the month could be very fun but logistically a little trickier. But I like the suggestion and we'll see! Of course, this is the movie of the WEEK - no slacking! :)