THE SCREENWRITER AS AN ACTIVIST
A BIG HARVARD PROFESSOR was TOURING AMERICA recently, TALKING ABOUT the present economic crisis, the most devastating since the Great Depression. He claims to find all social layers in America "unprepared, including artists and intellectuals". He asks: " Is it possible to point to a single film, play or novel that provided a forewarning of what was to come, even a serious premonition? "
CAN WE AS WRITERS ANSWER HIM? How about Grapes of Wrath when Steinbeck wrote it, cuz movie was a tad late.. NETWORK by CHAYEFSKY, predicted oil wars. "THINGS TO COME"nuclear death fever by Korda in UK. Surveillance in Enemy of the State? The REVOLVING DOORS of MILITARY MIGHT in theAdventures of Remo Williams." or "Z" and Every other Costa Gavras film, MISSING is amazing. "THE PACKAGE". an utter thrill. Hindsight twenty twenty. "JFK. "WALL STREET" . "MATRIX. AND THIS LIST... Jane Fonda produced the obscure but very valid "ROLLBACK" which accurately portrays today's FED pulling all the cash out of our pockets and the gold out of our teeth. That should be re-released.Along with her CHINA SYNDROME.
The Harvard Prof goes on to ask: "How can the current artistic and cultural malaise be overcome?" Well the only malaise I see, fellow (Groucho tap of cigar,) is that there aren't MORE of these fine films than the few we can mention! Only problem is, none of these FINE FILMS really caught sight of the coming GREAT RECESSION or the WAR on the MIDDLE EAST before these things came at us. Science fiction is how the screenwriters do it these days, like Spielberg warned us they'd read our brains and execute us before we murdered. Yeah right. How about they read our brains and know we all want to execute THEM?
MORE ACTIVISTS should go to political science classes simultaneous with going to writing school! And more screenwriters should go to activism groups! Meaning More trivial people should expose themselves to folks who care and want to fix it and documentaries about current time horrors and the causes of these sorrows.
Then our intellectual says in HARVARDIAN PROSE, "The historical and social roots of the problem have to be examined. What part did the anti-communist purges of the 1940s and 1950s play?
HUH? I think he's referring to the Mc Carthy Hearings. That Stalinist word PURGES fooled me for a second. I answer mentally as there's no one in the room but me " I saw a good Woody Allen movie about the BLACK LIST and a great one with Bobby De Niro about it. Warren Beatty's wife was in it. And let's not forget "TAIL GUNNER JOE, a great tv movie. One we should rent. AND a WHOLE LOT MORE GREAT FILMS.
Samuel Goldwyn once said 'If you have a message, send it Western Union." And he lived by that motto but I never knew a producer who didn't want to find the message in his film after he realized that critics panned flicks with no message at all. Some were very sly at putting the message in the movie, Ernst Lubitch's Ninotchka, done with his protégé Billy Wilder. The acme of droll. Yet it kicks the Commies hard. EMPIRE OF THE SUN by Spielberg also has a strong anti-war message.
TO SEE the FILMMAKERS of the early 20th century who bowed to the GOVERNMENT and did "Pro-IMPERIALIST FILMS" see http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/aug2010/holl-a05.shtml
So, you young writers? Don't be like THOSE guys. Go to DROLL SCHOOL. Activists' meetings and not always CINEMA CLASSES cuz that Harvard Professor couldn't film his way out of a wet paper bag!
Read books or see films on screenwriting: FILMS: "The International," "The Ghost Writer," "Nothing But the Truth," State of Play," and "The Lives of Others" (German) were/are all Excellent. Are from books I believe Oh, and "Edge of Darkness" (based on a B.B.C. 6~8-hr. mini-series from roughly 20 years ago).
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Our POSTER is ANITA SANDS HERNANDEZ, Los Angeles Writer, Futurist and Astrologer. Catch up with her websites TRUTHS GOV WILL HIDE & NEVER TELL YOU, also The FUTURE, WHAT'S COMIN' AT YA! FRUGAL LIFE STYLE TIPS, HOW TO SURVIVE the COMING GREAT DEPRESSION, and Secrets of Nature, HOLISTIC, AFFORDABLE HEALING. Also ARTISANRY FOR EXPORT, EARN EUROS.. Anita is at firstname.lastname@example.org ). Get a 35$ natal horoscope "my money/future life" reading now + copy horoscope as a Gif file graphic! No smarter, more accurate career reading out there!
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