Genre: Drama/Weird
Premise: This dystopian tale follows a desperate man who breaks with the rules of a hotel where single people are obliged to find a matching mate within 45 days. If they fail, they are transformed into an animal of their choosing and released into the woods.
About: (did this research after I read the script) Yorgos Lanthinmos’s most well-known film, Dogtooth, is… different, to say the least. “The Times” in London called it “One of the darkest, most unsettling, weirdest films of the year,” which was apparently a badge of honor to the producers, so much so that they included the quote in the trailer for the film.  Yorgos’s most recent film has a trailer that got 90% dislikes on Youtube, though it did win the Osella Award for Best Screenplay at the 68th Venice International Film Festival. I’ve never heard of the Osella Award for Best Screenplay but Venice is definitely a well-known festival. The Lobster will be Yorgos’s first English language film, and will star Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz.
Writers: Yorgos Lanthimos & Efthimis Filippou
Details: 87 pages – April 30, 2013 draft

full_7657_59555_FrankietheLobster_1

It’s never a good sign when I receive a script in the mail with the obviously sarcastic remark, “Have fun.”

Indeed, The Lobster sounds like a potential disaster in the making the further into the logline you go, but these out-there ideas are also the ones with the biggest upside. It’s kind of like when you heard about Being John Malkovich for the first time. A movie that’s going to star John Malkovich as himself? And someone’s going to go into his head? That could be awful. But it could also be revolutionary. It turned out much closer to the latter.

I, for one, am hopeful that this script will be awesome. As you can see, it’s got a solid cast, and while casts can come together for reasons other than a good script (most actors just follow the money), I’d like to hope that that’s the reason they came to The Lobster. Let’s find out.

I’m assuming we’re living in the future in The Lobster, but I don’t know how far forward and couldn’t even tell you for sure since the year is not noted. This is one of many unknown factors in The Lobster.  What we do know is that David is our hero, although I must admit I deduced this in that nobody else in the script has an actual name.

David’s wife leaves him for another man, and in this (possible) future, under these rules, if you’re alone you’re sent off to the “Hotel,” where you stay for a certain amount of time (it wasn’t clear from the script, but I’ll go with 45 days, since it was in the official press logline) with the hope of finding a new mate. If you can’t find a mate by that time, they turn you into an animal of your choosing. David, of course, has chosen a lobster (because they live to be 100 years old and they’re fertile all their lives).

But wait! There’s more! Every day, you get to go into the woods and hunt humans (called “Loners”). The more loners you kill, the longer you get to stay at the hotel. How ’bout that!

So, wait, Carson, you say. How can there be no character names? Well, because everyone’s got names like, “Nosebleed Man” and “Limping Man” and “Shortsighted Woman.” Oh, Shortsighted Woman is an important one actually, as she’s the woman David falls in love with. But not at the hotel. No, David actually leaves the hotel after killing Heartless Woman, who killed his dog, who actually was his brother, who had been turned into a dog.

Anyway, after David defects to the Loners, he has to abide by a whole new set of rules, namely that you can’t have sex or kiss or even flirt, which is ironic since there are more blowjobs and anal sex encounters in this script than there are in your average porn search.

So these two fall in love and have to find a place where there are no more rules, no more laws, no more people turning other people into animals – basically all the things keeping them from having sex ‘n stuff. But when the Loner Leader (no really, that’s her name!) finds out David and Shortsighted Woman are in love, she does something so horrible to Shortsighted Woman that it will test her and David’s love to the core!

FFN_Farrell_Colin_GGFF_021913_51018061Colin Farrell’s non-lobster costume.

(…….… sorry, I need a moment to process what I just read….. and what I just wrote)

Okay. Yeah. Right. Here we go.

Ummm, to put in mildly, this script felt like it was written by a disturbed sixth grader. Now I get that there are “lost in translation” barriers at play. Our two writers are Greek and this is their first English-language film. I get that. Also, these guys make a different kind of movie. I looked at the trailer for Dogtooth above and, clearly, they embrace the hardcore indie storytelling approach of: little has to make sense as long as there’s something bizarre going on.

We also have to keep in mind that there isn’t a screenwriting industry in Europe (or the large majority of Europe, I should say). A lot of the directors write their own scripts and they write them to shoot – looking for weird shots or shocking moments as opposed to creating a well-thought out story.

Why?

Partly because of that lack of infrastructure. But also out of laziness. It’s much easier to write a bunch of nonsense than do the hard work and write something that moves audiences and, well, makes sense.

I think that’s the thing I get angriest about when I read European screenplays – is that the writers don’t look like they’re putting any effort into the craft at all. If they’re only going to make movies in their respective countries, where story requirements are a lot less stringent, that’s fine. But if you hope to break into the wider American market, you have to realize just how many people are over here trying to learn this stuff, and therefore have a leg up on you.

If you’re from another country, you have to put MORE effort in than your American counterparts, not the same, and definitely not less. Because they have a huge advantage over you in that there’s an entire screenwriting industry over here teaching people how to tell stories.  If you put NO effort into screenwriting, then you’re going to get a story that reads like you put nothing into it.  I mean, I guess there’s a progression in The Lobster here.  But there are way too many things that happen that make zero sense.  Why do you have to go to The Hotel if you’re single?  Beats me!  Why do they turn you into an animal if you don’t find a mate in this world?  Your guess is as good as mine!

The Europeans do have one big advantage over us, however, and it’s why these guys are making a movie with Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz, and you’re not. The only way they’re able to make movies over there is to make them themselves. They don’t have a spec market. So they have to get their hands dirty and figure out how to make a film. These two have now made three feature films, and that’s enough to prove to a financier that they know what they’re doing. So I’ll give them that.

But man, the downside is no grasp of story and the script really reflects that. Here’s a description line from early on in the script: “David is crying. The woman is not.” That’s how the entire script reads. Yeah, you want screenwriting to be short and to the point, but you still want to add style. You still want to add some garnish. It’s hard to enjoy even a good story if the writing is THAT bland.

And while I understand it’s part of the writers’ voice, it was confusing to read a sequence where David fucks a woman, then wakes up the next day to hear her say, matter-of-factly, “I killed your brother. I left him to die very slowly. He may not be dead yet, even as we speak. I was kicking him for ages.”  Why did she kill his brother/dog?  No idea.  Never explained.

I don’t know, this all seems like it’s just trying to get a rise out of you, and to me that’s gimmicky.  Anyone can string together a series of shocks with little to no skill. There’s no substance in these moments, unless there’s a larger theme that I’m not grasping. Whichever way you look at it, this was not a good reading experience. And that makes me sad. I was hoping for something brilliant.

[x] what the hell did I just read?
[ ] wasn’t for me
[ ] worth the read
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius

What I learned: If I see a 10-line description within the first 10 pages of a script (or really anywhere in the script), it is a 100% guarantee that the script will be bad. After reading 6000 scripts, this equation has never failed.

  • Bifferspice

    “If I see a 10-line description within the first 10 pages of a script (or
    really anywhere in the script), it is a 100% guarantee that the script
    will be bad. After reading 6000 scripts, this equation has never failed.”

    yeah, taxi driver’s rubbish.

    • brenkilco

      And this would mean every movie made before 1970 is junk. Vertigo, North by Northwest, Some Like It Hot, Bonnie and Clyde, Dr. Zhivago.(Just noting a few classics whose scripts can be found online). I know styles have changed, but let’s not be careful here.

      • Magga

        The American film industry have decided on a standard of style and formatting, but if you have no intention of impressing a Hollywood reader I don’t see why they would need to follow that standard. It doesn’t make it bad (though for all I now the script sucks), it just means it has a different target demographic they need to impress to get the story into production.

        • brenkilco

          And if the writer is also the director. And if his financiers trust him. And if his name is big enough to attract a decent cast, then really there is no reason for his script to be any more detailed than is necessary to remind him what it is he wants to do.

      • mulesandmud

        A script doesn’t need to be written before 1980 or written in Bavarian to disqualify this ridiculous ‘equation’ of Carson’s.

        Michael Clayton, 2008 Academy Award Nominee, Best Original Screenplay. Page one, scene one, first block of description: ten lines.

        • brenkilco

          I happen to think that this emphasis on white space -while defensible where the object is not to daunt an exhausted reader- probably results in a lot of flimsy, unfocused moves. And even if I were a big director who felt I was infinitely more important than the writer I still don’t think I’d want a script that gave me a vague idea of what was happening. I’d want a script that told me exactly and clearly what was happening. Some Like it Hot is considered one of the fastest comedies ever and the script is extremely clear and sharp, no fat, but it contains blocks of text that would make Carson’s head explode.

          • mulesandmud

            The part about the white space craze that I agree with is the impulse to take down as many barriers as possible between the words and the reader. Doing so at the expense of focus and meaning, though, becomes counterproductive, and anyone who claims that long paragraphs always equate to bad writing is simply misstating the nature of written craft.

            That said: keep it short unless absolutely necessary. I try to keep my own action lines economical, and think that in general most others should as well unless the prose contributes significantly to both the style and the content of the project.

          • brenkilco

            Generally agree. Brevity isn’t necessarily a virtue. But economy always is.

          • Ange Neale

            I await the day some studio pays big money for 90 virtually blank pages, hires a director and markets whatever the hell it ends up as as a ‘masterpiece’ which does fantastic business until some rotten kid-critic yells out, “Hey, look, the Emperor’s not wearing any clothes!”

          • klmn

            …”it contains blocks of text that would make Carson’s head explode.”

            I’d pay cash money to see that!

          • brenkilco

            If The Lobster is a critical and commercial hit and they greenlight Lobster 2 it might have the same effect.

        • Citizen M

          You are referring to the Final Shooting Script dated 2/11/06, not the draft script Gilroy wrote. Gilroy did not write the Final Shooting Script. It was written after the movie wrapped.

          The movie was released in October, 2007. As far as I can establish, Gilroy started shooting Michael Clayton in winter, 2005, and the finished script was shown to Clooney a year before that and not significantly rewritten.

          • mulesandmud

            Do you have an earlier draft? If so, would love to take a peek.

            And hey, if some kind of specialist wrote that opening block of text, then I look forward to reading that person’s next script as well. Damn fine work.

          • Citizen M

            I don’t have an earlier draft. Only what’s online.

        • kenglo

          Yeah, but in those ten lines, it state SERIES OF SHOTS. Maybe that was the best way for him to write it. Plus, directors write whatever the heck they want (QT) because they don’t have any gatekeepers to have to go through like us. They don’t have to impress anyone. I wish I could just write like QT, then direct it, and be done, at least there wouldn’t be any question as to what the heck I was thinking for a scene.

          “There are no rules” as Midnight Luck says…..

      • Citizen M

        Many scripts found online are final shooting scripts (also known as continuity scripts, final draft scripts, and other names), written after the movie is made by specialists and filed as a written legal record of the movie.

        They are not in any way the original script as penned by the author. They are not the basis for the movie. The movie is the basis for the script.

        My guess is most of those with long descriptions fall into this category. Of the ones you name, I only checked Bonnie and Clyde. It was definitely penned after the movie was made.

        • brenkilco

          It’s generally easy to tell a continuity script from the original screenplay. Continuity scripts typically read like visual transcripts with frequent camera directions. The screenplays of,for instance, North By Northwest, Some Like it Hot and Dr Zhivago that I’ve seen online are all the authors. And they contain a lot of unbroken test. I honestly don’t know whether a version of Bonnie and Clyde is online. It was published in book form, which is where I read it.

      • Casper Chris

        Conventions have changed. Back then it was okay to write long-ass descriptions so even great screenwriters did it. Nowadays, when you encounter a 10-line description in a screenplay, it’s usually by someone who hasn’t taken the time to study the craft of screenwriting. If they had, they would know that modern conventions abhor long unbroken descriptions.

  • Bifferspice

    Off topic, someone said yesterday that it was OK to post a script here. No idea if anyone wants to read it, but here it is! :) Any comments would be very welcome!

    http://www.mediafire.com/view/c3mquvp5nd0dvmo/Breaking_the_Chain.pdf

    Title: Breaking The Chain
    Genre: Comedy Drama
    Logline: A gambler wins millions on a crazy bet, yet is unable to
    tell anyone. Instead, he resolves to secretly use the money to improve the
    lives of those closest to him, and win back the love of his long-suffering
    wife.
    Synopsis: Steve is stuck in a dead-end job stacking shelves in the
    north of England, and spends all his spare time and money down at the local
    bookmaker’s, dreaming of the big win. His long-suffering wife, sick of him
    wasting their future, makes him go to Gambler’s Anonymous and tells him if he
    ever bets again, she’ll leave him.
    So when he follows advice from one of his meetings, and wins millions, he is
    faced with a problem. If he shares his news with the most important person in
    his life, she may well take her share and file for divorce.
    He decides to restore their relationship first, by using the money secretly, to
    change her life for the better, make her happy, and win back her love and
    trust. Then he sees problems elsewhere that he can fix, with family and friends.
    Soon, he’s quietly pulling strings all around town.
    When things end up going wrong, his secrets spiral out of control, and he
    begins to lose everyone and everything he ever held dear, he realises there are
    some problems that no amount of money can fix.

    • fragglewriter

      Haven’t read the script but the log line sounds like “Brewsters Millions.”

      • Bifferspice

        haha, I can see where you’re coming from, but this is totally different. that was about a millionaire who has to spend his money without telling people why. this is about a hard-up working class guy who has millions to spend but can’t tell anyone. so i guess it’s almost the opposite!

        • fragglewriter

          Almost the opposite LOL

    • ElectricDreamer

      Maybe I haven’t woken up yet, but I’m not seeing a REAL problem in your synop.
      As written, If I won millions doing something I shouldn’t have, but it wasn’t a crime…
      Would that really kill a strained, but loving relationship?

      I mean, your protag was told by his GA mentor (for some reason) to gamble.
      So, he was following the advice that will supposedly rehabilitate him somehow.
      Why is that grounds for him being thrown out of a marriage?
      Would your protag really be worried about the wife taking half, if he’s in love?
      Why not go home and TELL the TRUTH? Protag has his hat in hand…

      “Honey, I know I promised, but my GA mentor said to gamble to overcome.
      And guess what? I WON!!! I didn’t want to keep it a secret from you.
      I know it’s not what we agreed to, but now are financial troubles are over.
      That crazy GA mentor’s advice paid off, literally! Let’s celebrate!
      And while we live the high life, I promise I’ll be staying in GA until I’m well.”

      She understands and appreciate his honesty, like most real people do.
      They’ll work through their issues while paying off their debtors.
      He’ll keep going to GA while they pump out more kids. Kiss kiss, roll the credits.

      Only an illogically unreasonable wife/person would have an issue with that.
      Which in turn, disintegrates how RELATABLE your concept will be.
      I’m not sure if you can hang an entire premise on that questionable conceit.
      Good luck with your project. Kudos for having the stones to post here.

      • Bifferspice

        thanks for commenting :) it wasn’t the GA mentor. It was a guy there. No GA mentor bloke would tell someone to gamble!! He went against all her last ditch ultimatums and gambled, even when she told him she’d leave if he ever gambled again. if i was with someone i thought was a gambling addict and they won us loads of cash, and that person had a history of wasting and gambling it all away, i’d take my half and get the hell out of there before they could put us back on the breadline :)

        • ElectricDreamer

          Yeah, loglines and synops are easy to tweak. No worries.

          I read the first twenty this morning. I’m with Kirk & Grendl.

          Had only one note during the breezy read…
          I felt the pub scene with dad should be before going home.
          Makes much more sense he’d confide in his dad FIRST.
          I think that switcheroo makes the narrative flow even stronger.

          Good luck with this script, your hard work is evident on the page.

          • Bifferspice

            much appreciated, ED. that’s a good thought – I’m going to switch it and see how it reads. Thanks very much :)

    • pmlove

      Finally, a film set in the Midlands that feels like it’s going to be slightly more upbeat than Shane Meadows.

      • Bifferspice

        Hehe, I actually have it somewhere further north in my mind, but I’m not sure exactly where. I think “more upbeat than Shane Meadows” is a shoo-in quote for the film poster if it ever gets made though ;-)

    • Casper Chris

      Hi Bifferspice.

      I’m reading now. 30-some pages in.

      This is some of the best amateur writing I’ve seen posted here. Your character work is phenomenal. Hope the story delivers.

      • Bifferspice

        Wow, much obliged, Caspar! Thanks very much for the read :)

    • Kirk Diggler

      I read the first 35 pages off of Grendl’s rave of it. Quite good! Enjoyable character work. Steve is likable and his life is easy to relate to. The sports watching stuff was extremely well done, even though I knew the result would be favorable to Steve, you still managed to make it dramatic.

      You avoided making Sarah a shrew (which a lot of amateurs would have done), she’s just a woman who wants Steve to stop gambling and seems generally supportive of him otherwise.

      Now somehow could say “it’s contrived!” His wife isn’t going to be mad that Steve won millions. She’ll be thrilled. Well, maybe Sarah isn’t one of those people who values money over more important qualities? And if the writing is good, you don’t think about such niggling little details. This is a real solid set up, and I plan on reading further into it to see how well it delivers. Nice work!

      • Bifferspice

        Hey Kirk, I really appreciate the read, and the kind words. Thanks very much :)

    • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1888937/ Rick McGovern

      I downloaded it and plan on reading as much as I can (when I can, have a couple scripts ahead of yours)… BUT if people are liking it, then send the damn thing in to AF…

      I actually like that you post here before sending it in, getting notes before hand, making sure its as ready as it can be. I think that’s smart.

      I remember a guy not too long ago was happy to have it read, and was thrilled to get a “Not For Me.” He didn’t want other people reading it and giving him notes beforehand. It was the strangest thing. I thought we want our stuff to be as good as it can be to get the best chances of being sold (and even better, MADE).

      But yeah, send it in is my recommendation. And let people know you put it in, so they can bug Carson to add it to the mix. When I get to reading it, I’ll get back to you.

      Good luck, dude (or dudette?) lol

      • Bifferspice

        Cheers Rick.

        I have sent it in, many times. Guess the logline doesn’t float Carson’s boat.

        Cheers for the comments, be interested to know what you think. I’ve got several ideas for the next draft, so any more feedback is very much welcome.

        (and yes, it’s dude, not dudette :) )

        • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1888937/ Rick McGovern

          Cool. You need to have others email Carson to stand up for this script lol

  • Casper Chris

    There’s a fine line between originality and batshit insanity.

    This sounds ridiculous.

    • Bifferspice

      yeah, pretty sure there won’t be any plagiarism suits coming out of the woodwork for this one

    • Midnight Luck

      I also have issues with being weird for weird’s sake, rather than being creative and interesting. However i am all for experimentation.
      Sadly, this sound horrible and ludicrous, whereas when I first heard of Being John Malkovich it sounded bizarre, yet kind of awrsome and hilarious, and it was.

  • Pop Art Pop Tart

    “We also have to keep in mind that there isn’t a screenwriting industry in Europe (or the large majority of Europe, I should say). A lot of the directors write their own scripts and they write them to shoot – looking for weird shots or shocking moments as opposed to creating a well-thought out story. Why? Partly because of that lack of infrastructure. But also out of laziness. It’s much easier to write a bunch of nonsense than do the hard work and write something that moves audiences and, well, makes sense.”

    Carson, I know people on this site have said this before, particularly during “French Week,” but European film culture isn’t monolithic by any means. It isn’t entirely art cinema. They, too, produce commercial films for mainstream audiences. However, that product (French action, Danish rom-coms, Italian horror, Spanish melodrama, etc.) isn’t regularly exported to the United States because our homegrown product is more marketable. If you check out some of those films, you’ll find the GSU, character arcs, and emotional resonance you crave.

    Obviously, judge The Lobster on its own merits, and how it appeals to your sensibility and the sensibility of mainstream American audiences. But, please, stop making sweeping statements about foreign film industries that are simply untrue.

    • Marija ZombiGirl

      Indeed. And I might add, Carson, that we European audiences are kind of depressed about these director-written movies that have neither head nor tail. Badly written movies do not make for good BO results over here either. And while it may be true that the scriptwriting industry isn’t the same as in the US – which, trust me, tons of producers and screenwriters alike deplore over here – some of us do know what we’re doing :) Learning the craft from the bottom up is the only way to go. My script for CREVASSE (now in production) has attracted a lot of attention and the first compliment that people give me – readers, producers, directors – is always the same : “Great structure ! Finally someone who has learned the importance of a solid screenplay.” Things are starting to change a little bit here in France in that respect – with micro baby steps, granted, but directors are now looking for pro screenwriters instead of doing everything themselves and joking about “We don’t need no steenkin’ screenwriter !” Well, yeah, you do :) But we can only convince them of that fact if we learn and keep learning.

      • Poe_Serling

        “My script for CREVASSE (now in production)…”

        That’s great news!!!

        • Marija ZombiGirl

          Yep ! Things are finally moving forward and I’m doing my little happy dance every morning :p We still have to convince the financiers, though, so there’s still a long road ahead of us and very probably littered with obstacles but hey, we believe in this project so I’m sure we’ll get there eventually :)

          • Poe_Serling

            Just curious about the location – any idea where it would be shot at?

          • Marija ZombiGirl

            Well, there’s a huge complex outside Paris that is used for the training of military personnel and where they can recreate the climactic conditions neede. But we’ll also need exterior shots, of course. My producer is thinking of a Canadian co-production so maybe it will be shot over there. Or it can also be shot here in France, we’ll see how things turn out :)

          • Poe_Serling

            “…there’s a huge complex outside Paris that is used for the training of
            military personnel and where they can recreate the climactic conditions
            needed.”

            Almost sounds like a setting for a Twilight Zone episode: A handful of soldiers wake up to find themselves trapped in a glacial crevasse. Soon they discover that they’re part of some kind of secret experiment being conducted in this military complex.

          • Hadley’s Hope

            Or maybe they are troops of the French Interstellar Legion. They are being trained in this secret military complex, to eventually go to the stars and battle hostile alien forces. All of this is done in secret to keep the knowledge of the alien war from the general populace of Earth.

            Coming soon from Luc Besson. Jason Statham will star in the American remake.

          • Poe_Serling

            There you go…. don’t surprised when Luc Besson ‘borrows’ the idea and puts it into production next week. ;-)

          • Hadley’s Hope

            He better not, or I’ll go all Leon The Professional and ruin his crepes.

      • ripleyy

        Congratulations on Crevasse! What’s it about?

        • Marija ZombiGirl

          When four mountain climbers cross a glacier, one of them falls into a crevasse. As the others try to get him out of there, they must also battle forces of nature feeding off their inner fears and getting ever more hostile…
          (This is not an official log line, by the way…)

          • ripleyy

            That sounds really, really great! It’s also pretty different, we haven’t had a story like that in ages. :)

          • Ange Neale

            Congrats Marija! Absolutely delighted for you!

            ‘Crevasse’ reminds me of the story from 1912 of Antarctic explorer, Australian Douglas Mawson and colleague Xavier Mertz. Expedition almost ended in disaster when a sled with the third man, Ninnis, the best Huskies, their tent and almost all the food went into a crevasse too deep to retrieve them from. Mawson barely survived.

            If anyone’s interested, there’s a nice account of it at: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/01/125-mawson-trek/roberts-text

          • Marija ZombiGirl

            Thank you :) And thanks for the link.

            Since I was a kid, I’ve been fascinated by true stories of survival in extreme conditions and in particular North/South Pole expeditions and mountain climbing. Very life affirming stories, actually, and just plain impressive from a human point of view (phisically and mentally). I found my inspiration in a book by Jim Wickwire – he went to climb Mount Denali with a young friend who fell into a crevasse. Jim was unable to pull him out and could only sit there helpless while his friend died. He was then caught in a storm for ten days before being rescued. Pretty gruesome stuff and no need for monsters to make it horrific…

          • Ange Neale

            Too true about the monsters — don’t need ‘em.

            And the saddest polar story is probably Amundsen’s and Scott’s race to the South Pole over the summer of 1911-1912. Scott and his men were so demoralised when they got there to find Amundsen’s Norwegian flag. The Norwegians had beaten them by several weeks. Scott wrote in his diary, “Great God, this is an awful place.”

            On the way home, the last three got pinned down by a blizzard that raged for days. One walked out into the storm — suicide, in effect, so the others could share his food. They were 11 miles walk from a cache of supplies that held a month’s worth of food and fuel to cook with. By the time the blizzard stopped, Scott and the last man had either died or were too weak and frostbitten to leave.

            But their legacy included a huge cache of fossils and rocks they’d gathered on the journey south and back. They’d refused to abandon them, so when a recovery party found their bodies the next summer, they found all their samples and a treasure trove of detailed scientific notes and observations. Quite extraordinary.

      • NajlaAnn

        CONGRATULATIONS on “My script for CREVASSE (now in production)…”

  • fragglewriter

    I heard about this movie the other day on Yahoo. I thought it was a cartoon.

    The trailer for “Dogtooth” was basically a TV spot ad. I wonder what made Colin Farell & Rachel Weisz sign-on to the movie? I can understand follow the money, but is this film really getting a significant amount of financial backing or are their careers over in for them in the U.S?

    • bruckey

      the reason for this has to be art over money.
      can’t imagine the money for the film itself never mind the actor’s is all that large

      • fragglewriter

        I can understand art but unless the Lobster is a metaphor/allegory, it might go over most audience’s head.

    • Midnight Luck

      Being that both actors are from other countries i believe they have broader interests than just income and American cinema, their work is not over in the states .

      It reminds me of something John Cusack said: Every few years he will do a Huge American bloated movie so he can make a bunch of money (2012), which then allows him to go off and make the films he wants to make (mostly indie).

      • fragglewriter

        I understand about artist balancing greed and art, but from the summary that Carson has provided, it would be difficult to see that same vision in this script unless it’s a cartoon or horror movie.

      • jw

        Which would make a whole lot of sense if the films he did were actually good.

        • Midnight Luck

          All a matter of taste, but I loved or liked a ton of his:

          to name a few:
          Grosse Point Blank, High Fidelity, Grace Is Gone, Serendipity, Runaway Jury, Hot Tub Time Machine, Being John Malkovich, Say Anything (of course), Stand by Me, The Sure Thing, Better off Dead.

          Of course he’s done a lot of bad, but with this many movies, who wouldn’t have?

          • jw

            True. And, the last 5 years have been tough, which is why none of those listed happened during that time frame (and most outside of the last decade). I always find him an interesting actor, but when I hear someone say, “I do big popcorn films to do indie films” I would expect those indies to be really, really solid, because if not — just stick to the bread and butter and make some cash! Plus, he’s a coke head anyway. Wouldn’t expect rational thought.

          • Midnight Luck

            I believe he said that at least 10 years ago.
            I have been surprised as well he hasn’t put out anything good (in my estimation) in the last 5+ years, except Grace is Gone possibly. It was a very indie movie, not for everyone, but I thought it was great, – Spoilers possibly – an interesting take on a guy who has to take care of his daughters after their mom dies in the Military in Iraq. His take on how to be with his daughters right after he finds out, and how to go about telling them was just fresh.
            I liked it.

            Just a question, do you know he is a Coke head, or something you’ve heard? I wouldn’t have guessed that, but what do I know?

          • jw

            Very true and yes, total coke head. I’ve seen the pics. Unfortunately!

  • Citizen M

    Based on Carson’s review…

  • Cuesta

    After reading it I still think this article is a glorious inside joke following last week’s comment on lobster and Big Macs.

  • ximan

    “Genre: Drama/Weird”

    LMFAO! XD

  • cjob3

    This script sounds stupid, but watch Dogtooth. It’s on Netflix. It’s actually quite hilarious.

  • http://atticofthefilmaddict.blogspot.com/ Matty

    No idea about this, but I’d watch it. DOGTOOTH was a masterpiece. Truly amazing film. One of the most original films I have ever seen, and just plain damn brilliant. Disturbing, yes. Amazing? Definitely.

    “I looked at the trailer for Dogtooth above and, clearly, they embrace
    the hardcore indie storytelling approach of: little has to make sense as
    long as there’s something bizarre going on.”

    Watch the film. It makes perfect sense. It’s weird, sure, but there’s nothing about it that makes little sense. It’s perfectly straightforward. The only thing weird about it is the concept, which is part of its brilliance.

    I believe it’s on Netflix Instant. I highly recommend it to everyone. Great, great film.

    • cjob3

      I love the idea of homeschooling your kids the wrong definitions of words. I was laughing from that very first scene. First movie ever that made me wanna become a parent.

      Don’t be scared off, it’s not as disturbing as everyone makes out. It’s absurdist humor. The cat thing reminded me of the deadly bunny rabbit in Holy Grail.

      • http://atticofthefilmaddict.blogspot.com/ Matty

        I can see how someone would find it funny – and it definitely had intentional dark humor in it – but I found it disturbing because it depicted monsters that were scarier than any boogeyman in a horror film because they were (or rather, could be) real. The parents, I’m speaking of.

        And incest is always disturbing to me.

        • cjob3

          True. But all black comedies need a touch of disturbing. It’s the nature of the beast. I loved World’s Greatest Dad and In The Company of Men too. They’re both pretty fucked up. Sometimes you just laugh in shock and relief like ‘FINALLY Somebody went there!’

          My favorite scene in Dogtooth is:

          FATHER: Now who wants to hear Grandfather sing?

          KIDS: Yay!

          Father drops needle on record. “Summer Wind” by Frank Sinatra plays.

          Then the father “translates” the lyrics.

          • http://atticofthefilmaddict.blogspot.com/ Matty

            Yeah, I agree, like I said there’s a good amount of dark comedy in the film. I just wouldn’t consider it, as a whole, a comedy. It’s more of a drama with dark comedy in it. Tomato, potato, doesn’t really matter ;-)

            And I LOVED World’s Greatest Dad. Didn’t expect to find that film so damn funny, so it was surprisingly delightful. And In the Company of Men is very good too, though certainly cringe-inducing as well.

            WGD is one of my go-to examples of dark comedy. It’s basically a perfect example of what that term means.

          • cjob3

            Hey, I’m late to the “party” here (only writers could consider commenting on a script a “party”) but congrats on The Savage South! Double Worth the Read! That’s huge! Nice job, brother!

    • http://atticofthefilmaddict.blogspot.com/ Matty

      On an unrelated note to Dogtooth…. does anyone have THE LOBSTER that they can email me? I’d be quite grateful :-)

      My email is mwilliams.691@gmail.com

      Thanks in advance!

    • Childsupport

      Jumping in a bit late in the discussion here, but I’m glad to see someone sticking up for Dogtooth. It was hardly cheep shock. The themes were deep and layered. It seemed to me that every scene, whether disturbing or poignant, served a purpose.

    • Childsupport

      Jumping in a bit late in the discussion here, but I’m glad to see someone sticking up for Dogtooth. It was hardly cheep shock. The themes were deep and layered. It seemed to me that every scene, whether disturbing or poignant, served a purpose.

  • Magga

    I’m sure you guys know that in Europe, if you say to a cineaste or a film teacher that you have a preference for American cinema they look at you like you’re a lunatic, like you just said that your favorite restaurant in Paris was the McDonalds at Pigalle. I say this from experience, though I think great American movies have been replaced by great American TV, and like a lot of people here (I’m from Norway), a Great Cinema Event is when Roy Andersson makes another film, and they usually take at least three years to shoot, not counting editing (of which there is little). So I thought I’d post a classic clip here just to see how you readers feel about it, just for fun, cultural differences and all. This is almost comically opposed to any Hollywood notion of what is remembered as a great set-piece

    • Midnight Luck

      I so agree. It seems a beautiful thing about world cinema is i EMBRACES experimentation in Cinema. Hollywood and American Cinema embraces Money and Fame.

      If I were to say Iron Man 2 was my favorite film (and i was over 12) a European would think i had brain damage (i hated it BTW, but i may also have brain damage as well FWIW, and all the other LMNOP’S and LOL’s and DUI’s).

      American’s favorite specialities are Bud Light and American cheese. (Anyone ever tasted that swill? It is undrinkable, and the other inedible). Our tastes are Plastic and superficial when it comes to our society as a whole. We want to be dulled into submi, where as the world seems to want to be enlightened or at least elevated.

      Now i haven’t seen Dogtooth, nor read this script, so have no feeling about either one way or the other. But i do about American Cinema. Yes it is the most powerful market in the world, and generates the most money.

      But as a WISE MAN once said: “with Power comes Responsibility” .
      Oh Shit, now I am quoting one of those fucking Marvel-Disney powerr and money hungry juggernauts myself.

      Fuck, we are all doomed.

      • Magga

        I guess I didn’t make it clear that I do love American cinema, especially from the 70’s and strangely enough the year 1999. Also, amazing TV these days. Foreign markets have had a dumbing down effect on American movies because destruction translates, discussion does not. But writing off non-American movies is something you need a LOT of knowledge to do, and there’s some amazing stuff out there.

        • mulesandmud

          1999!

          American Beauty, The Matrix, Magnolia, Three Kings, Fight Club, Eyes Wide Shut, Bringing Out The Dead, The Insider, Boys Don’t Cry, The Sixth Sense, The Blair Witch Project, South Park, The Phantom Menace, Rushmore, The Thin Red Line, and who knows how many others that were either great or hugely important somehow.

          They don’t make them like that anymore.

          • Hadley’s Hope

            Yes!

            A great year for both popcorn/summer fun flicks as well as more serious films.

          • CJ

            I just had to thumb up your vidphone picture of Burke!
            Oh, and I liked the movies of 1999 too.

          • Hadley’s Hope

            I’m really an okay guy.

          • Magga

            Lesson of 99: Everyone said The Matrix made The Phantom Menace look pathetic, that it was so much more innovative and deeper and on and on, but Phantom Menace outgrossed it by a huge margins because it was called Star Wars. Hence the century that followed

          • S_P_1

            I always considered Star Wars fantasy-adventure not sci-fi. Not exactly sure that’s an even comparison between The Matrix and The Phantom Menace.

          • Magga

            I agree you don’t need to compare them, but the press did. My point is the surprise hit was pretty big, the one that was hated by many made money, and the reason was brand recognition. The following decade was dominated by name brands and not much innovation in the big movies. Remember that Fight Club – FIGHT CLUB! – was a gigantic investment from the studio. There are many reasons for the change, but with Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Pirates etc you could make money year after year from the same property, without risking that audiences rejected the idea you bet on. That doesn’t mean that all those movies were bad, in fact some were groundbreaking and audacious, but it makes it harder to sell a script just because your story, characters and ideas are amazing, since they don’t have the built in interest an established brand gives you, and it certainly makes them less likely to put a huge advertising budget behind an idea they aren’t 100% sure has an already existing audience. But the pendulum always swings, and there might come a time pretty soon where it doesn’t make sense to put that amount of dollars behind anything, and then it will be important to have ideas that stand out.

          • S_P_1

            I have only one exception to your list. LOTR brand has been tarnished. The original cartoon and the original trilogy are the only films I feel are worth seeing. This second trilogy is a pathetic cash grab. Johnny Depp may have hurt the Pirates franchise by his garbage performance in The Lone Ranger. The only long running series I have no problem supporting is the James Bond series.

          • Ange Neale

            Yes, damned shame about trying to spin ‘The Hobbit’ out into 3. Should’ve been 2 tops, or crunch it into 1 hellishly good flick.

            And WTF with all the goddamned dwarves? NEVER go more than SEVEN with dwarves: Happy, Doc, Grumpy, Sleepy, Sneazy, Bashful and Dopey. That’s plenty.

        • Ange Neale

          Seriously object to the notion that “[f]oreign markets have had a dumbing down effect on American movies” — why blame non-Americans?

          And since when does discussion not translate? Are you suggesting people outside American borders don’t think about big ideas, like the value of liberty, or religious freedoms, or racial equality? That we don’t consider climate changea problem, or war (civil and otherwise) in the Middle East a threat to global stability, or how to deal justly with refugees without opening floodgates, or the feel alarm at the growing rich-poor divide? That’s just absurd. These are global discourses, not uniquely American ones, nor uniquely European ones.

          If you want an example of America being dumbed-down, take a look at political discourse, for Heaven’s sake. The moderate middle’s been shut out because it makes for more entertaining tv blood sport to have the loony extremists on both the left and right scream at and past each other, rather than to have pragmatic moderates negotiate a consensus that the majority can live with.

          US movies get green-lit by mostly US investors who will fund the projects they believe will at least protect and hopefully improve upon their investments. Foreign markets rarely figure in calculations.

          In recent years, what gets funded in Follywood seems to begin and end with an almost slavish, homoerotic fascination with and attachment to the teen male audience demographic, despite the fact that most of them don’t have jobs.

          And since these movies keep getting less intellectually demanding but somehow still make money, one could argue that this ostensibly prime audience demographic is getting dumber, not smarter. I’m sure as hell it’s not my fault.

          • Magga

            Ironically I think something was lost in translation here. You can take what I say more literally – An explosion works in any language. If you watch Pulp Fiction in, say, Italy, you’re watching it in a new language, played by new voice actors and so on, but BOOM doesn’t have to be overdubbed. Big effects are impressive wherever you come from but a big social issue will get different reactions in different places in the world. Imaginary lands with clearly defined good and evil, on the other hand, works if you want to earn money everywhere. Trust me, I’m obsessed with America, but most other Norwegians would NEVER go see a movie about a political stalemate in a country that’s not theirs, and since health care is never an expense anyone thinks about, for example, the only way you could get a reaction to someone not being able to afford it is if he blows up someone’s apartment and walks away in slow motion. More and more Hollywood money has been made in foreign markets this century, and movies have been more and more general in theme and setting. It’s not the cream on top, it’s the life support of the bloated, megabudget movies that are not sustainable. The specific is out at the moment

          • Magga

            Looks like my response wasn’t posted, but the gist of it was that I meant translate literally, as in dialogue is dubbed or subtitled whereas VFX and action works everywhere. You don’t have to translate “BOOM”, and foreign markets are an ever-growing part of the box office, as movies become less specific and more general. For example, you say the moderate middle is missing in American discourse, I’m Norwegian and think Obama is on the right. But we can both agree that Spiderman should get the girl and not die

    • Citizen M

      That clip was interesting, and I might watch the whole movie one day. But if every movie was like You, The Living, the industry would die. It’s like food. You need a steady diet of the basic meat and potatoes or whatever, with occasional forays into smelly cheese, grilled rattlesnake, and other exotic repasts.

      It’s the popular genres and franchises that are the financial bedrock of the industry and enable the weirder movies to find their niche somewhere without bankrupting all concerned. We the writers need to feed the machine, preferably with a quality diet.

      “Shooting started in 2003 and had to be closed down twice due to need of more funding” — IMDb trivia. The bottom line. Even more important than the logline.

      • Magga

        Agree, but every big Hollywood film IS like Spiderman, Avengers, Man of Steel and the sequels and prequels and reboots and off-shoots of these movies. Imagine if I told you some genius had pitched me a series about a meth-dealing chemistry teacher who suffered from Alzheimer and turned into his alter ego Heisenstein to kick ass and leave money for his family. That’s how it feels to me every time a new blockbuster is announced these days, and I must either believe that studios underestimate their audience or lock myself in a basement with plenty of canned food

        • Casper Chris

          Heisenstein

          Heisenberg :)

    • S_P_1

      Not exactly sure how they pulled that shot off. The bottom line is, it worked.

  • ripleyy

    Not all European films are “bad”. Edan Log is one of my all-time favourite films, even if it’s french. British films aren’t bad either. Spanish horrors are the best kind of horrors (seriously, KM-31? Okay, it’s Mexican but even still. REC and REC 2 are brilliant) and there are some pretty powerful thrillers made in the European market (“The Returned”, “Irreversible”, “Sleepless Night”) so I don’t think it’s right to really say that the European isn’t as great as the American one.

    Oh, and I’d probably want to be turned into either an Alpaca (or a Sloth on top of an Alpaca, or a Koala-Armadillo hybrid called a Koarmadilloa)

  • UrbaneGhoul

    So this isn’t about the B-52 song Rock Lobster?

  • shewrites

    That’s a strange animal for sure!

  • mulesandmud

    Yeesh. What a goddamn ignorant review.

    Presumptuous. Incurious. Lazy. Blatantly inaccurate. Proud of its own ignorance. Conflates a difference in creative priorities with an artist’s lack of effort.

    The Lobster’s faults notwithstanding, this review serves mostly as a reminder that Carson, outside of his limited area of expertise, should be trusted for neither facts nor opinions.

    • Randy Williams

      Carson’s been to Paris and I haven’t. I must take him at his word. C’est ca!

      • mulesandmud

        Carson’s fee for notes is in the same ballpark as a ticket to Paris. Think hard on it before you decide, my friend.

    • Brainiac138

      Unfortunately, I agree.

      As someone who had the chance to read Sundance Screenwriters Lab submissions a few years ago, I can attest that there is just as many convention-breaking shenanigans from writers within the United States, just like in Europe. It isn’t that they just take the screenwriting rule books and through them over their shoulder because they are lazy, but because they want to take chances. That is something that the American film industry desperately needs right now.

  • Dale T

    Wanna talk about weird European films?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Serbian_Film

    I lost my appetite just reading the synopsis alone.

  • ElectricDreamer

    I’m a big Dogtooth fan. Didn’t get into Attenberg and I haven’t seen Alps.
    Seems The Lobster and Dogtooth have at least one big theme in common: REPRESSION.

    In Dogtooth, a father represses his children through misinformation.
    He paints a picture of a world for his kids where he will always be at the center.

    I guess in The Lobster, the repression is dealt with in more fantastical ways.
    You get turned into things if you don’t conform to the outrageous rules in The Lobster.
    And I find that far less compelling than a ruthlessly smart overbearing ego-driven father.

  • Eddie Panta

    10 Lines from 12 Monkeys for 1 Donkey

    COLE’S POV: wails hidden by old headlines, articles, maps, charts…
    a blackboard covered with elaborate, sophisticated formulae…surfaces
    heaped with cracked monitors, gerry-rigged computers held together with
    string, lasers lost in tangles of cable, ancient tube amplifiers, a
    dilapidated cardboard reconstruction of a city, stacks of moldering
    books and tattered computer printouts…and, seated at a long conference
    table, staring at COLE, six SCIENTISTS: an ASTROPHYSICIST, ENGINEER,
    BOTANIST, MICROBIOLOGIST, ZOOLOGIST, and a GEOLOGIST. They represent
    a “modern” science where brilliant new ideas interface with crude,
    outdated, patched-together technologies.

    • Eddie Panta

      10 lines from MOONLIGHT KINGDOM – Academy Award Nominated Script

      INT. SCOUT TENT. DAY

      The lining of the tent is printed with images of trees and
      pine cones, and a plaid rug covers the floor. There is a foot
      locker, a gas lamp, a chair with a folded blanket over it,
      and an empty cot. Scout Master Ward steps inside slowly, bent
      over, examining the space. He lifts the lid of the foot
      locker. He looks under the corner of the mattress. He picks
      up a piece of folded yellow notebook paper sticking out from
      under a pillow. He opens it and stares at it. He turns
      suddenly to the chair against the wall of the tent and slides
      it aside.

      • Citizen M

        The Moonrise Kingdom extract is taken from a script dated May 1, 2011. Filming took place in Rhode Island from April until June 29, 2011 (per Wikipedia). So it is almost certainly the continuity script. The spec script would have been finished months before to get talent and financing on board.

        • Eddie Panta

          Yes, of course, I understand that, but it doesn’t matter if it’s a SPEC or SHOOTING script the article itself fails to make the distinction between a script from a writer/director and a spec script. from an unknown writer.

          I do NOT advocate using a solid block of 10 lines in a script.
          But this script is a completely different breed of screenplay. The whole discussion is really pointless. Directors can space out the sequence on the page anyway they feel like. There’s nothing to be learned from it.

          I wished Carson would of chose something different to pick on. This screenplay is not inline with his skill set.

          • Citizen M

            Forgive me. I thought you were quoting 10-line descriptions as proof that 10-line descriptions are okay and Carson is wrong.

            I have to question the common belief that directors can write a script any way they want. The script is a working document that has to attract talent and finance, and guide cinematography, locations etc, so it can’t stray too far from accepted norms.

            Once a script is sold and moves up the chain gathering input from various sources, one can expect it to grow more detailed. But these developed scripts are not the scripts we should be looking at.

      • Ange Neale

        Or this one, right on page 1 of ‘Taxi Driver’ from IMSDb.

        TRAVIS BICKLE, age 26, lean, hard, the consummate loner. On
        the surface he appears good-looking, even handsome; he has a
        quiet steady look and a disarming smile which flashes from
        nowhere, lighting up his whole face. But behind that smile,
        around his dark eyes, in his gaunt cheeks, one can see the
        ominous stains caused by a life of private fear, emptiness
        and loneliness. He seems to have wandered in from a land
        where it is always cold, a country where the inhabitants
        seldom speak. The head moves, the expression changes, but
        the eyes remain ever-fixed, unblinking, piercing empty space.

  • fragglewriter

    Off-topic: Is there anyone submitting script to the Nicholl?

    I am and would like to say Good Luck to those who are.

    • S_P_1

      Actually I was wondering why no one brought up Final Draft’s Big Break Contest. Today is the last day for early submission. Good Luck fellow competitors.

      • fragglewriter

        Thank you for mentioning that cause I complete forgot about that contest. I’ll try to enter that as well.

    • hickeyyy

      I submitted my AOW offering Monty after taking some notes from here and applying them.

      • fragglewriter

        Good luck

        • hickeyyy

          Thanks! I’m not sure whether it’s there, but I figure it’s worth a shot anyway! I wish you the best of luck as well. Let’s meet in the Finals somewhere? :)

    • MaliboJackk

      Heard they’re going to turn the lights off at 5PM.
      (Rumor has it — grendl is going to try to crash the computers again.)

    • S_P_1

      Short term notice.

      I have 24 hours to decide either $65 for Nicholl with a chance to win one of five $35000 fellowship.
      Cons
      Only 5 prizes, drama scripts are the predominate winner, wrote a sci-fi script, currently there are over 5000 scripts in the pool.
      Pros
      Losing in the later rounds is a compliment

      I have until May 15 for Page International Screenwriting Awards $79 with a chance to win $25000.
      Cons
      Only one real prize, 3 tier prizes in 10 categories, $79
      Pros
      They have a short film category, The grand prize winner really has made it in the industry Brooke Eikmeier.

      • fragglewriter

        I would say, if you have the money, submit to all of them. If not, submit to the contest that you think you have a chance of placing.

        I’m on page 93 of my script that’s due to tomorrow. I know the ending, just making revisions as I go along. I’m debating if I’ll go to work tomorrow, since I’ve been out since Monday.

        • Midnight Luck

          awesome, now that’s dedication.

          reminds me of a Movie I saw, can’t remember which one, where they took “Healthy Days”, because they didn’t want to waste their sick days laying in bed doing nothing when it was beautiful out.

      • Citizen M

        Do you get feedback like a reader’s assessment or judge’s report?

        • Ange Neale

          Most of them will do it for you but it costs more!

      • Ange Neale

        CONS: Page uses readers for first round, not agents, managers & execs. I think Austin does, too. Scriptapalooza closed recently and it uses execs, etc, from the start, not readers.

    • S_P_1

      I’m in, and Good Luck.

      • fragglewriter

        I just submitted to Nicholl about 3 hours ago.

        I also submitted to Script Pipeline and the Page Awards. Tonight is the last day to opt-in your script on the Black List for the Fox Broadcasting Company.

  • Gregory Mandarano

    “If I see a 10-line description within the first 10 pages of a script (or really anywhere in the script), it is a 100% guarantee that the script will be bad. After reading 6000 scripts, this equation has never failed.”

    Except for Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Counselor” of course.

  • kenglo

    “This is my opinion….of course, I could be wrong.”
    ~Anonymous

    • S_P_1

      kenglo I just had access to your account prior to me logging in. I can’t explain what just happened.

      • kenglo

        you are the 2nd person who has had that problem…trying to be ME! LOL

        • S_P_1

          I’m glad this isn’t a bank or credit card account. That’s a serious breech. FYI I logged out immediately.

        • Guest

          I saw when someone else said that, and I up-voted because they’re not the only ones. I’m sure there are more.
          You cant do anything with the account, but If I have the comments section open when you sign in (Im assuming) it looks like you signed in on my end. You should get this sorted out.

  • S_P_1

    OFF TOPIC and Of Interest

    Part of my scriptmag e-mail.

    What can winning a smaller screenwriting contest do for my career?

    Mario O. Moreno, Story Specialist at The Writers Store explains:

    “One example of what a contest can do for you is the story of Tyler
    Marceca who I coached during the third run of the Industry Insider
    Contest for The Writers Store. Based on winning the contest and the
    feedback we provided, Tyler felt confident enough to submit his script
    The Disciple Program to the popular Script Shadow blog. The script was
    reviewed by blog host Carson Reeves as part of the site’s amateur Friday
    and became the first amateur script to ever break the blog’s top twenty
    list, landing in the top five, which generated a buzz all over the
    industry. Tyler was able to parlay that buzz into representation from
    Anonymous Content and William Morris Endeavor, and the script was bought
    by Universal after Mark Wahlberg became attached.”

  • Bifferspice

    Grendl, I’ve had a really shitty day and you have made the world right again. I have a big old grin on my face. Thank you so much for this post, for the post further up, and most of all for opening it up and reading it. I’ve enjoyed your rants* for ages now and wondered what you’d make of it, and now I know. :) many thanks once again!
    *well informed posts

  • Hadley’s Hope

    I hate to be a wimp, but kicking a dog to death is just not my cup of tea in terms of storytelling and filmmaking. Sure I can blast aliens and zombies all day on my Xbox, or watch films where people beat the crap out of each other on screen (They Live, for example, is a favorite flick of mine), but kill a dog and it just turns me off of the film. I doubt I am the only one that feels this way. Especially if it is done for shock value.

    I think the basic premise of The Lobster sounds interesting. Basically that of a human being turned into an animal. A human being being turned into an animal. Whoa! Quickly say that three times in a row and see if it all runs together into gobbledygook.

    Maybe just focusing on the human to animal transformation could be an interesting jumping off point for a film? Or how about also exploring a human turning into an animal and back to human form again? I don’t know. All this other stuff like the Loners being hunted by the hotel people seems odd and out of place. As if it is some sort of dark indie spin on the popular dystopian young adult genre.

    Going back to the thing with the Heartless Woman killing the dog that is actually the protag’s brother, what if instead of hunting other humans, the hotel people went out and hunted animals (who could be former people)? That would then shift it to perhaps being about how maybe we can and/or should empathize with animals. It seems cleaner that way, from a narrative sense.

    For example: imagine if you were watching The Matrix, and it was revealed that the machines were actually slaves to advanced aliens lording over the Earth? Like whoa! More layers dude! Yet that’s stupid. It muddles the whole damn story world. It would feel as if it were two movies mashed together into an unholy cinematic turducken. That is what I am getting here with this idea of the Loners in The Lobster.

    Perhaps it is all supposed to mean that we are just animals, or equal to animals. Whether the people in the hotel who hunt and kill the humans or do the same to the animals is the point.

  • thewildkingdom

    I loved Dogtooth and Alps, both by the same guys. so chances are I may enjoy this…that is all.

    • Midnight Luck

      just a wild guess, Children’s Hospital?

    • Citizen M

      It’s a holiday here today, so I thought I’d watch Dogtooth.

      The longest 94 minutes I’ve spent in my life. Totally baffled as to what it was all about. A slightly odd family living behind high walls in the countryside. Almost nothing happens. The few incidents that do occur make no sense. None of the characters is lively or interesting. There is no progression. One thing does not lead to another. It’s all a random jumble. You could watch it backwards, forwards, or sideways. It would make no difference.

      Even with subtitles it was all Greek to me.

  • Bfied

    “When I say thou shall not bore and thou shall not confuse are the two commandments of screenwriting, I don’t mean thou shall not test people’s mental limitations or challenge them.

    Sometimes art takes work, or interpretation. It’s not laziness all the time.”

    I was listening to an interview with Nancy Oliver – the writer of ‘Lars and the Real Girl’ – and when asked about the potentially alienating subject matter of her film, she explained, “The movie’s not going to come to you. You have to come to the movie.”

    I think this quote resonates with your point pretty well, grendl. Just because you have to “come to” a film – like Under the Skin, Upstream Color, The Tree of Life, etc – doesn’t necessarily make it “bad” or condemnable or unworthy; it’s just different.

    I’m not gonna lie, Under the Skin definitely tested my patience at times, and made me unsure whether I was witnessing the worst movie of 2014, or something resembling a master piece that’s just too ahead of it’s time. But I did give it a chance the entire time, tried to stay open to it, and in the end I’m glad I did.

    I haven’t read The Lobster, but it definitely sounds like something that’s never going to open for huge numbers opening weekend or ever see a wide release, but that’s OK; it’s not trying to do that.

    As audiences, I agree, I think we need to be a little more open to different types of stories, and at least give them a chance for what they are, not what we want them to be…

    • Ange Neale

      The more material that’s not straight out of the cookie-cutter, the better, IMO. So over superheroes and zombies…

  • Bifferspice

    Hey Grendl, I really appreciate the read, and your kind comments. I can only hope :)

  • tokyoYR

    Color me a conspiracy theorist but are you and Bifferspice one and the same?

    • Bifferspice

      haha, that’s hilarious! :)

  • Caroline

    “But Venice is definitely a well-known festival”. It’s really the second most prestigious film festival in the world. Second to Cannes.

  • tokyoYR

    I don’t think I commented on your script? Why are you so upset?

  • Panos Tsapanidis

    I am Greek, and I approve Carson’s message.

  • Zoulou

    Hi, I’m looking for script? Anyone? I can trade: The Homesman, Trainwreck, etc…

    Email: azdo-ladiskette@live.fr