Monday, February 27, 2006

Nude Oscar Actresses

James Berardinelli analyses how many Oscar nominated actresses have done nude scenes during their careers, so you don't have to. His conclusions so far:

over the last three years, here are the totals. In the Lead Actress category, 12 out of 15 nominees have done nudity during their careers (80%). All three winners have done career nudity. (Since 2006 was a sweep, it doesn't matter who the winner is.) But only 5 out of 15 (33%) did a nude scene as part of the nominated performance. In the Supporting actress category, 10 out of 15 nominees have done career nudity (67%). One of three winners has done career nudity (33%). And 5 out of 15 (33%) did a nude scene as part of the nominated performance.

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(scr. Charles & Donald Kaufmann, dir. Spike Jonze)

"Adaptation's a profound process. Figure out how to thrive in this world."

Just rewatching one of my favourite movies. What's this, the fifth time? And I'm beginning to understand the overall conflict of the film. It's the struggle between what we are and what we want to be. The struggle to adapt to the world as it is.

How is this illustrated? Almost every scene in the A-plot (Charlie vs. himself) is Charlie constantly self-sabotaging his ideal life. Examples: "I could write this scene" vs. "I could have another muffin"; "I could stay out with Amelia & kiss her" vs. "I have to go home and brood about the script."

It's the conflict between just one person and the implication of what his life could be.
And I think this interpretation's supported by having Donald as the counter-point to Charlie, effortlessly achieving everything Charlie can't.

Susan Orlean represents one part of Charlie's ideal life - the effortless writer. But she too desires an ideal life that her repression prevents her from achieving; she "longs to feel passionate about something" and so she too is in conflict with herself. John Laroche is her counterpoint- a man who knows how to adapt, dropping passions when they're no longer useful & picking up new ones.

Characters in conflict with something that's almost entirely implied via subtext. I like it.
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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Failed Dates (No. 407)


Me: You know, this'll obviously not work out long term.

Her: ... Why?
Me: Well, your first name's Nikki.

<She stares at me.>

Me: If we got married, you'd be Nikki Hickey.

Her: Why did you even bother ringing me up then?

<Mockery of date continues for another 32 minutes.>

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Friday, February 24, 2006

Where am I?

OK, I admit it. I haven't been blogging lately.

This week I got a job at the Ministry of Women's Affairs (starts on Monday) and I'm now looking for a flat with as much of the rest of my time as I can spare.

And just a few minutes ago, my speech recognition software started going hay-wire. According to Brewer's, 'haywire' is an American phrase probably arising "from the difficulty of handling the coils of wire used for binding bundles of hay, which easily became entagled and unmanageable is handled unskilfully." That's a concept that lacks application to my day-to-day life. Might be time to look for a new turn-of-phrase.

Online, I've been enjoying reading Jane Espenson's blog - she has much fame from her writing credits on Buffy, Gilmore Girls and many other shows. 90% of her entries deal with the practicalities of writing for TV. The rest centre around what she had for lunch.

And on Kung Fu Monkey, John Rogers - co-writer of The Core, which I really enjoyed on Monday night (and see his defence of its scientific accuracy here) - is breaking down the process of being a freelancer and writing a episode for TV. The show in question is the still in development Eureka, about a small town composed entirely of super-geniuses.

More later, as I get the chance.
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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Sad to go, Glad to be home

It was the best holiday ever.
Great for my family, great for me.

Highlights and a more detailed report should follow, but for now:
Shrek 4-D
Snorkelling above a coral reef
Asking Shiralee to dance after sneaking in to the VIP lounge of a wet-tshirt competition
The Wedding
The Obliteration Room
The Girl at Mind Games
Learning first hand about the good & bad of having a global culture
Seeing Wellington at night
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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

See ya real soon!

I'm in Australia till the 16th for my sister's wedding.

There is much to blog about, but it'll have to wait.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

The Limit - Done for now

Inquiry letters have been sent to producers. My awesome reader-volunteers have all hopefully received their copies of the script.

Now all I have to do is work on my website & get ready for Australia.

Oh, and as I said, I'll be looking for a flat when I get back (for around March 3). So if anyone knows anyone who's looking for a tidy, reliable, pretty quiet flatmate for the city or the inner suburbs ... well, that's me!
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Friday, February 03, 2006

Lost - something that bugs me

Re-watching the 'Destination Lost' special on Wednesday night gave me quite a surprise. There's something fundamental to the show - its soap opera character backgrounds - that bugs me.

Now I like Lost and what the writers are doing - but part of it's appeal is that it originally seemed to centre on ordinary people, trying to survive. The beginning of the special certainly reinforced this. These are normal airline passengers, it stated, who through extraordinary circumstances are forced to learn more about each other and rely on each other. I've said before that I think this was the basis of Lost's initial appeal. Its universality; it's "what would I do in that situation?"

However, where that theory breaks down is that the main characters are a paraplegic mystic, a possibly psychic child, a drug addict from a famous rock band and a wanted criminal. And all of them seemed to be bound together by forces of fate or science that are greater than themselves.

Yes, this is good series design - it gives you lots of nice personal stories to play out over the island & (again) lets you contrast to people were before and after the crash. But it's certainly not 'universal'.

And I believe a good show could be made out of characters who are just ordinary people, possessing no particular soap opera conflicts to begin with - and the drama would come simply from watching them react sensibly to incredibly difficult situations. In fact, our brainstorming group is working just such a show at the moment.

*I think this is something that Chris pointed out to me many months ago, but I've only just noticed it for myself.
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Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Limit - Home Stretch

The draft is coming into the home stretch. Less than 20 pages to go. Decisions are easier to make now. Dialogue is coming to me like I’m overhearing the conversations from a distance.

After this, a short break to organise stuff for my sister’s wedding and the flat, then a sweep through the script to tidy up descriptions and format dialogue.

One mechanical thing I found useful on this draft was to put the script feedback into ‘endnote’ format, so that all the potential edits are together on one page. I put each Endnote under the Scene Heading, so it’s very clear what needs to be worked on.

Contacted readers yesterday. Good response so far. Also started working on letters to producers. Very excited.

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