Author Topic: MAMET  (Read 12193 times)

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Gold Trumpet

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Re: MAMET
« Reply #45 on: April 25, 2009, 02:04:06 AM »
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fuck I have to buy those too?  fuck.

I dislike On Directing Film a lot. It maintains that you should put Eisenstein on a pedestal. Some pointers in the text are good, but it's insanely conservative with the freedom of expression.

pete

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Re: MAMET
« Reply #46 on: April 25, 2009, 11:28:53 AM »
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all of his stuff is quite conservative.  in the latest one he went on to shoot down people's protesting of racism and sexism in the industry.  but I like the austerity of his principles, which are entirely different from how I look at things, and I like checking against them.
“Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot.”
- Buster Keaton

pete

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Re: MAMET
« Reply #47 on: April 27, 2009, 01:27:17 AM »
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I don't think one should read his books when one is still young and impressionable - a lot of his opinions are formed as reactions to occurrences he deems unjust.  However, a young person with no familiarity with method acting or the coverage writing process shouldn't be prematurely riled up by the system.  It should serve as a comfort for those who are in the shits and slugging it out; the struggling Hollywood actors and crew members.
“Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot.”
- Buster Keaton

JG

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Re: MAMET
« Reply #48 on: April 28, 2009, 10:04:50 PM »
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i wouldn't disagree with that. i think it varies from book to book, but you've gotta move past a lot of pomp to get to the good stuff, but there is definitely good stuff. specifically parts of chapter 2, "where to put the camera," though i should say i haven't read the book in its entirety since i was "young and impressionable" (maybe i still am). dude puts eisenstein on a pedestal for sure, but there's stuff to be mined from all of the books of his that i've read.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2009, 10:10:10 AM by JG »

pete

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Re: MAMET
« Reply #49 on: July 18, 2009, 02:02:43 PM »
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jesus, how many girls sell out their men in his movies?  everytime I watch his films I recall what my dad said when we saw our first mamet - it's always the girl.  and I hate how right he is.  I just watched another movie where I knew from the very beginning that it was gonna be the girl.  he's got airtight plot everytime except he always fudged it with the girl. 
“Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot.”
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SiliasRuby

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Re: MAMET
« Reply #50 on: August 01, 2009, 04:44:05 PM »
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I went on a Mamet marathon recently and was throughly impressed. One of my favorite writers of all time. His book about hollywood was quite insightful and honest. I have yet to see 'Things Change' and 'Homocide', but I've swallowed everything else. I want more of his stuff. In fact I demand it.
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MacGuffin

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Re: MAMET
« Reply #51 on: August 12, 2009, 01:12:25 AM »
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Mamet, Disney Team On Frank Tale
Source: Variety

Disney has acquired the rights to film a new version of “The Diary of Anne Frank.”  The film will be written and directed by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet.

Mamet will produce with Andrew Braunsberg.

Mamet will use the famed diary, and the original play by Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich, to tell the story of the young jewish girl who hid with her family from the Nazis in the an attic in Amsterdam. Mamet brings his own original take on the material that could re-frame the story as a young girl’s right of passage.

Braunsberg is best known for producing “Being There,” and he spent a year gathering the rights from the Anne Frank Estate, and the estates of Hackett and Goodrich. He met with ICM’s John Burnham, who recommended Mamet. Mamet sparked to the opportunity tell the story, and he is already writing the script. 

Hackett and Goodrich also wrote the script for the 1959 George Stevens-directed film, which was nominated for eight Oscars and won three.

Mamet, who last wrote and directed the Chiwetel Ejiofor-starrer “Redbelt,” makes his Broadway debut as director in December when he opens his new play “Race.” A production of Mamet’s play “Oleanna” also moves to New York from L.A. with Bill Pullman and Julia Stiles starring. The Atlantic Theater Co., which Mamet formed with William H. Macy, is bring Mamet’s comic play “Keep Your Pantheon” to Atlantic’s off-Broadway theater. The play is expected to include a new short Mamet work, called “School.”
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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Gold Trumpet

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Re: MAMET
« Reply #52 on: August 12, 2009, 11:11:34 AM »
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Cool news. I've been wanting to read The Diary of Anne Frank lately because I've been getting into Jewish-European history. Amos Elon provided that interest for myself, but David Mamet needs a story that will not tempt his genre inclinations and Diary of Anne Frank could be it.

pete

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Re: MAMET
« Reply #53 on: August 12, 2009, 11:27:22 AM »
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he loved the old anne frank movie.  I know that.
“Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot.”
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SiliasRuby

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Re: MAMET
« Reply #54 on: September 08, 2009, 09:29:06 PM »
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Just saw 'Homicide' and its perhaps his most subtle, least crime filled movie in that it doesn't have a lot of double crosses or many shoot outs. Its definitely mamet and its possibly his best film. It deals a lot with the Jews, Jewish culture and Jewish history. Really great film.
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MacGuffin

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Re: MAMET
« Reply #55 on: September 24, 2009, 06:24:15 PM »
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Mamet's Anne Frank in Turnaround from Disney
Source: The Wrap

When it seemed as if “The Diary of Anne Frank” was going to be remade, that sounded like it could be a Disney movie.

But when adapted by provocateur playwright and filmmaker David Mamet as a pro-Israel exploration of anti-Semitism movie set in contemporary times – the project became less likely to be made by the Walt Disney Company.

And so it has gone. Developed by the studio’s chief of production, Oren Aviv, the project was recently rejected by the studio as “too dark” and put in turnaround, according to people involved.

The writer who took on ethnic politics in the play “Race,” and sexual politics in works like “Oleanna,” takes on modern anti-Semitism in “The Diary of Anne Frank.”

But the screenplay is not a retelling of the famous Holocaust drama taken from the diaries of Frank, but about a contemporary Jewish girl who goes to Israel and learns about the traumas of suicide bombing.

With the studio in a state of limbo after the ouster of chairman Dick Cook, it is unlikely that any projects will be getting the go-ahead at the moment, say executives doing business there.

"It's very intense, and dark and scary," said the executive. "It's not a film version of 'The Diary of Anne Frank.' The story evolved into something more intense."
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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Re: MAMET
« Reply #56 on: September 24, 2009, 09:12:02 PM »
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"It's very intense, and dark and scary," said the executive. "It's not a film version of 'The Diary of Anne Frank.'

Hah right, because her life was actually really sweet and calm, fun even. 

Fuck you Disney.

pete

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Re: MAMET
« Reply #57 on: September 24, 2009, 10:22:05 PM »
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but to be fair, mamet has pretty a fucked up (read conservative) view of gender and racial politics.
“Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot.”
- Buster Keaton

Pas

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Re: MAMET
« Reply #58 on: March 07, 2010, 03:44:50 PM »
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Please someone explain me the end of Homicide! Cant find the explanation online :-S

polkablues

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Re: MAMET
« Reply #59 on: March 24, 2010, 05:57:57 PM »
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Say what you you will about Mamet's fascist tendencies, the man understands dramatic storytelling.  This is a memo he wrote to the writers of The Unit (which he created... you probably already knew that), basically filling them in on everything they're doing wrong.  Everyone who wants to be a screenwriter when they grow up would do well to read this.

TO THE WRITERS OF THE UNIT

GREETINGS.

AS WE LEARN HOW TO WRITE THIS SHOW, A RECURRING PROBLEM BECOMES CLEAR.

THE PROBLEM IS THIS: TO DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN *DRAMA* AND NON-DRAMA. LET ME BREAK-IT-DOWN-NOW.

EVERYONE IN CREATION IS SCREAMING AT US TO MAKE THE SHOW CLEAR. WE ARE TASKED WITH, IT SEEMS, CRAMMING A SHITLOAD OF *INFORMATION* INTO A LITTLE BIT OF TIME.

OUR FRIENDS. THE PENGUINS, THINK THAT WE, THEREFORE, ARE EMPLOYED TO COMMUNICATE *INFORMATION* — AND, SO, AT TIMES, IT SEEMS TO US.

BUT NOTE:THE AUDIENCE WILL NOT TUNE IN TO WATCH INFORMATION. YOU WOULDN’T, I WOULDN’T. NO ONE WOULD OR WILL. THE AUDIENCE WILL ONLY TUNE IN AND STAY TUNED TO WATCH DRAMA.

QUESTION:WHAT IS DRAMA? DRAMA, AGAIN, IS THE QUEST OF THE HERO TO OVERCOME THOSE THINGS WHICH PREVENT HIM FROM ACHIEVING A SPECIFIC, *ACUTE* GOAL.

SO: WE, THE WRITERS, MUST ASK OURSELVES *OF EVERY SCENE* THESE THREE QUESTIONS.

1) WHO WANTS WHAT?
2) WHAT HAPPENS IF HER DON’T GET IT?
3) WHY NOW?

THE ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS ARE LITMUS PAPER. APPLY THEM, AND THEIR ANSWER WILL TELL YOU IF THE SCENE IS DRAMATIC OR NOT.

IF THE SCENE IS NOT DRAMATICALLY WRITTEN, IT WILL NOT BE DRAMATICALLY ACTED.

THERE IS NO MAGIC FAIRY DUST WHICH WILL MAKE A BORING, USELESS, REDUNDANT, OR MERELY INFORMATIVE SCENE AFTER IT LEAVES YOUR TYPEWRITER. *YOU* THE WRITERS, ARE IN CHARGE OF MAKING SURE *EVERY* SCENE IS DRAMATIC.

THIS MEANS ALL THE “LITTLE” EXPOSITIONAL SCENES OF TWO PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT A THIRD. THIS BUSHWAH (AND WE ALL TEND TO WRITE IT ON THE FIRST DRAFT) IS LESS THAN USELESS, SHOULD IT FINALLY, GOD FORBID, GET FILMED.

IF THE SCENE BORES YOU WHEN YOU READ IT, REST ASSURED IT *WILL* BORE THE ACTORS, AND WILL, THEN, BORE THE AUDIENCE, AND WE’RE ALL GOING TO BE BACK IN THE BREADLINE.

SOMEONE HAS TO MAKE THE SCENE DRAMATIC. IT IS NOT THE ACTORS JOB (THE ACTORS JOB IS TO BE TRUTHFUL). IT IS NOT THE DIRECTORS JOB. HIS OR HER JOB IS TO FILM IT STRAIGHTFORWARDLY AND REMIND THE ACTORS TO TALK FAST. IT IS *YOUR* JOB.

EVERY SCENE MUST BE DRAMATIC. THAT MEANS: THE MAIN CHARACTER MUST HAVE A SIMPLE, STRAIGHTFORWARD, PRESSING NEED WHICH IMPELS HIM OR HER TO SHOW UP IN THE SCENE.

THIS NEED IS WHY THEY *CAME*. IT IS WHAT THE SCENE IS ABOUT. THEIR ATTEMPT TO GET THIS NEED MET *WILL* LEAD, AT THE END OF THE SCENE,TO *FAILURE* – THIS IS HOW THE SCENE IS *OVER*. IT, THIS FAILURE, WILL, THEN, OF NECESSITY, PROPEL US INTO THE *NEXT* SCENE.

ALL THESE ATTEMPTS, TAKEN TOGETHER, WILL, OVER THE COURSE OF THE EPISODE, CONSTITUTE THE *PLOT*.

ANY SCENE, THUS, WHICH DOES NOT BOTH ADVANCE THE PLOT, AND STANDALONE (THAT IS, DRAMATICALLY, BY ITSELF, ON ITS OWN MERITS) IS EITHER SUPERFLUOUS, OR INCORRECTLY WRITTEN.

YES BUT YES BUT YES BUT, YOU SAY: WHAT ABOUT THE NECESSITY OF WRITING IN ALL THAT “INFORMATION?”

AND I RESPOND “*FIGURE IT OUT*” ANY DICKHEAD WITH A BLUESUIT CAN BE (AND IS) TAUGHT TO SAY “MAKE IT CLEARER”, AND “I WANT TO KNOW MORE *ABOUT* HIM”.

WHEN YOU’VE MADE IT SO CLEAR THAT EVEN THIS BLUESUITED PENGUIN IS HAPPY, BOTH YOU AND HE OR SHE *WILL* BE OUT OF A JOB.

THE JOB OF THE DRAMATIST IS TO MAKE THE AUDIENCE WONDER WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. *NOT* TO EXPLAIN TO THEM WHAT JUST HAPPENED, OR TO*SUGGEST* TO THEM WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.

ANY DICKHEAD, AS ABOVE, CAN WRITE, “BUT, JIM, IF WE DON’T ASSASSINATE THE PRIME MINISTER IN THE NEXT SCENE, ALL EUROPE WILL BE ENGULFED IN FLAME”

WE ARE NOT GETTING PAID TO *REALIZE* THAT THE AUDIENCE NEEDS THIS INFORMATION TO UNDERSTAND THE NEXT SCENE, BUT TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO WRITE THE SCENE BEFORE US SUCH THAT THE AUDIENCE WILL BE INTERESTED IN WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.

YES BUT, YES BUT YES *BUT* YOU REITERATE.

AND I RESPOND *FIGURE IT OUT*.

*HOW* DOES ONE STRIKE THE BALANCE BETWEEN WITHHOLDING AND VOUCHSAFING INFORMATION? *THAT* IS THE ESSENTIAL TASK OF THE DRAMATIST. AND THE ABILITY TO *DO* THAT IS WHAT SEPARATES YOU FROM THE LESSER SPECIES IN THEIR BLUE SUITS.

FIGURE IT OUT.

START, EVERY TIME, WITH THIS INVIOLABLE RULE: THE *SCENE MUST BE DRAMATIC*. it must start because the hero HAS A PROBLEM, AND IT MUST CULMINATE WITH THE HERO FINDING HIM OR HERSELF EITHER THWARTED OR EDUCATED THAT ANOTHER WAY EXISTS.

LOOK AT YOUR LOG LINES. ANY LOGLINE READING “BOB AND SUE DISCUSS…” IS NOT DESCRIBING A DRAMATIC SCENE.

PLEASE NOTE THAT OUR OUTLINES ARE, GENERALLY, SPECTACULAR. THE DRAMA FLOWS OUT BETWEEN THE OUTLINE AND THE FIRST DRAFT.

THINK LIKE A FILMMAKER RATHER THAN A FUNCTIONARY, BECAUSE, IN TRUTH, *YOU* ARE MAKING THE FILM. WHAT YOU WRITE, THEY WILL SHOOT.

HERE ARE THE DANGER SIGNALS. ANY TIME TWO CHARACTERS ARE TALKING ABOUT A THIRD, THE SCENE IS A CROCK OF SHIT.

ANY TIME ANY CHARACTER IS SAYING TO ANOTHER “AS YOU KNOW”, THAT IS, TELLING ANOTHER CHARACTER WHAT YOU, THE WRITER, NEED THE AUDIENCE TO KNOW, THE SCENE IS A CROCK OF SHIT.

DO *NOT* WRITE A CROCK OF SHIT. WRITE A RIPPING THREE, FOUR, SEVEN MINUTE SCENE WHICH MOVES THE STORY ALONG, AND YOU CAN, VERY SOON, BUY A HOUSE IN BEL AIR *AND* HIRE SOMEONE TO LIVE THERE FOR YOU.

REMEMBER YOU ARE WRITING FOR A VISUAL MEDIUM. *MOST* TELEVISION WRITING, OURS INCLUDED, SOUNDS LIKE *RADIO*. THE *CAMERA* CAN DO THE EXPLAINING FOR YOU. *LET* IT. WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERS *DOING* -*LITERALLY*. WHAT ARE THEY HANDLING, WHAT ARE THEY READING. WHAT ARE THEY WATCHING ON TELEVISION, WHAT ARE THEY *SEEING*.

IF YOU PRETEND THE CHARACTERS CANT SPEAK, AND WRITE A SILENT MOVIE, YOU WILL BE WRITING GREAT DRAMA.

IF YOU DEPRIVE YOURSELF OF THE CRUTCH OF NARRATION, EXPOSITION,INDEED, OF *SPEECH*. YOU WILL BE FORGED TO WORK IN A NEW MEDIUM - TELLING THE STORY IN PICTURES (ALSO KNOWN AS SCREENWRITING)

THIS IS A NEW SKILL. NO ONE DOES IT NATURALLY. YOU CAN TRAIN YOURSELVES TO DO IT, BUT YOU NEED TO *START*.

I CLOSE WITH THE ONE THOUGHT: LOOK AT THE *SCENE* AND ASK YOURSELF “IS IT DRAMATIC? IS IT *ESSENTIAL*? DOES IT ADVANCE THE PLOT?

ANSWER TRUTHFULLY.

IF THE ANSWER IS “NO” WRITE IT AGAIN OR THROW IT OUT. IF YOU’VE GOT ANY QUESTIONS, CALL ME UP.

LOVE, DAVE MAMET
SANTA MONICA 19 OCTO 05

(IT IS *NOT* YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO KNOW THE ANSWERS, BUT IT IS YOUR, AND MY, RESPONSIBILITY TO KNOW AND TO *ASK THE RIGHT Questions* OVER AND OVER. UNTIL IT BECOMES SECOND NATURE. I BELIEVE THEY ARE LISTED ABOVE.)
Now you're in the *spoiler* place.

 

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