where the writers are
Before "The Artist"

Now that the Oscars are over, and The Artist has won best picture, I thought I’d take the opportunity to suggest some other films that celebrate the art of filmmaking. 

Sherlock, Jr.  (1924) dir. by Buster Keaton
Keaton is a projectionist who falls asleep at work and enters the film he’s showing. 
This silent film, way ahead of its time, is a true marvel. Take a look at the link below to see why.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TA8rrAqip8E

The Last Shot (2004) dir. by Jeff Nathanson
Alec Baldwin is pricelessly deadpan as Joe Devine, the FBI agent who masquerades as a Hollywood producer in order to lure John Gotti into a trap.  Matthew Broderick is hilarious as Steven Schats, the screenwriter/director who thinks Baldwin is going to make his dreams of directing a feature film come true.  Based on a true story.

The Player (1991) dir. Robert Altman
Michael Tolkin adapted his own novel about a Hollywood executive who murders an aspiring screenwriter.  A satirical commentary on the movie industry and the way it treats artists.

The Purple Rose of Cairo  (1985) dir. Woody Allen
A simply gorgeous, funny, and bittersweet tale of a depression-era woman who goes to the movies to escape the misery in her life. Just watch it, and keep the tissues handy; the last scene is a heartbreaker.

Ed Wood (1994) dir. by Tim Burton
An amazing film about the worst director ever.  Johnny Depp disappears into the role of the infamous title character, and Martin Landau channels Bela Lugosi in an Oscar-winning performance.

Cinema Paradiso (1988) dir. by Giuseppe Tornatore
A filmmaker recalls the friendship that began his love affair with movies.  If I try to say anymore I’ll need tissues….

Bowfinger (1999) dir. by Frank Oz
Steve Martin wrote and starred in this comedy about a down-on-his-luck director without the money to hire the action star who’ll guarantee his project’s success.  Eddie Murphy, in a dual role, steals every scene he’s in as the star who doesn’t know he’s being filmed from afar, and the simple-minded look-alike who’s hired as his stand-in.

And finally….

Singing in the Rain (1952) dir. by Stanley Donen
As with The Artist, this deservedly celebrated musical focuses on the problem that arises for a star when her studio stops making silent films.  The movie is a treasure in many ways, but I keep coming back to it for only one reason:  I can’t think of a more perfect expression of pure joy than Gene Kelly’s title number....

 

 

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pick of flicks

Oh, Barbara, you make me want to see them all.

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Smiing broadly....

Thanks, Dolores.  They are wonderful films!