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Best dialogue writers out there

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  • The Vision Quest
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Reply #15 on: March 04, 2004, 09:27:12 PM
Mamet's the shit  :lol:
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Reply #16 on: March 04, 2004, 09:59:32 PM
Mamet is the shit.  Few movies are as quotable as Glengarry Glen Ross.  Hell, in Boiler Room characters sit around watching Glengarry and quote from it.  Mamet has influenced an entire new generation of writers.  I can detect traces of Mamet in PT Anderson and QT's work.

As for Paddy Chayevsky, I will give him props for foreseeing the future of television when he wrote Network in the mid-70's.  In many ways, the world he envisioned has come to pass.  However, I think a lot of his dialogue is way too on the nose.  There are lots of bombastic speeches in Network, some of them are great, others go on long after the point has been sledgehammered into the audience.  Time Magazine hit the bullseye when it said Network was an anti-youth movie, as Diana represents the new generation of cutthroat executives (now known as yuppies), and William Holden represents the virtuous old guard.  I agree with everything Chayevsky is saying about popular culture and corporate control of the media -- I just feel that the way he goes about making his points is way too ham-fisted (like much of Oliver Stone's output).

The opposite approach is employed by Terrence Malick, who creates characters who communicate more by what they don't say, or what they aren't able to articulate.  Sometimes, one look can say as much as a page of dialogue.
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Reply #17 on: March 05, 2004, 02:35:18 PM
Itís interesting because Malick can be regarded as the few poets that have made celluloid their ink capturing the true essence of cinema with introspective images of kinetic and suspended emotional time.  The other one that comes to mind would be Andrei Tarkofsky.

Bergman was the great explorer of human complexity and the unfathomable essence of the psyche.
I believe that the most profound psychoanalyst making films today is Michael Haneke.

Lars Von Trier has come to master cinematic form in such a way that his composition comes from his actors and their performances rather than from his frame.

Kubrick and Hitchcock are directors whose films can be viewed with no sound and they are still mesmerizing.

Anyway the subject of dialogue is interesting in film; itís inherited directly from theatre. Playwriting structures itself through the flow of exposition and the texture of the words.
Mamet is fascinating in the sense that his most interesting characters are the ones who canít articulate.
Woody Allen is also one of the most influential writers in modern cinema.
Dialogue has triumphed when it can be appreciated even in a language we donít speak, Denys Arcandís flair for lexicon is evident even if you donít now French.  

However Iím a firm believer that film is a universal language and reducing it to a specific lingo is playing against its potential and expressive powers.
Film is first and foremost a visual medium. Great films are the ones that can balance all the different elements and create something new while bringing an emotional and intellectual awareness. From Maya Darenís and Stan Brakhageíexperimental-avant garde explorations to Baraka to Gummo to Un Chien Andalou to Viscontiís neo-realism to Paul Thomas Andersonís hyper-realism in a surreal context to Peter Greenawayís juxtaposed semiotics etc. etc. etc.

Film triumphs when thereís a post that fails miserably in analyzingÖsomething rambling on and on about conceptual nothingness. Like this one.
Anyway letís keep making films.
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