Hollywood WritersHollywood authors
Those who know best - the writers - were the ones we let judge. It' s noteworthy that Hollywood's tradition of marginalizing the female and colored makes it extremely hard to truly compete for the best in the field, but recognition of today's pressing need for more comprehensive story-telling does not override the contribution of these 100 innovators.
Most writers (and critics) connect the qualities of Billy Wilder with journalism as being cynical, and he had a harsh grasp of a certain kind of US self-interest and lowhandedness. The Apartment, his most powerful movie, which won several Oscars, is the one that acted in both directions. Every bar, every syllable in his best movies is clicked in place.
A secret as complicated and stable as a wristwatch (North by Northwest), and one of Hollywood's greatest sources of noir ( "Sweet Smell of Success", jointly composed with Clifford Odets and inspired by a Lehman novella). Writing a classical is abundant for most writers; Lehman has succeeded in producing more than half a dozen, and the only thing they have in common is excellent.
So familiar with emotion as with humour, flowing in tough-guy-ese and pink sentimentality, Lehman is the defining filmmaker in the middle of the century. "Haggis was one of the best all-round authors of contemporary adaptions, but I will always adore him for his collaboration with Hitchcock," says Paul Haggis.
There is a general principle for most scripting that one page represents one min. of your computer display total clocks. "The fact that someone could describe the dialog of a movie as "Sorkin-esque" and the mediocre filmmaker immediately knows what that means brings him a place on the all-timer list," says Mark Bomback. Guinness used to spend most of his days with Star Wars and complained that his lyrics were "garbage," while Harrison Ford Lucas said Lucas was famous: "You can guess this crap, but you can't say it.
"Everyone needs money," says a figure in David Mamet's 2001 Heist. He also has an emotive, disrespectful, counter-cultural vein that has enabled him to re-define the plot - turning aliens into a female fantasy that disrupts both the scheming and corporateism of his time, turning The Abyss into a dramatic about rescuing a couple, turning Titanic into a wild dramatic romance, turning Avatar into an anti-colonial flooring and an excuse for principal eco-terrorism.
With it he sets the standard for what Hollywood expected from an action movie. "While Cameron may be the best actions filmmaker of all times, he has also authored some of the best sci-fi script. Timeinator is a great script. There was once a small fire storm that put Orson Welles on a big script writer roster.
His co-author of Citizen Kane was controversial for years, and many claimed that the loan almost exclusively went to the great Herman J. Mankiewicz. Pauline Kael even composed an explosively brillant, profoundly controversial essays in which she argued that much of her research would later be disparaged. Even if he hadn't taken Citizen Kane along (which he did absolutely), Welles would have been one of the great scriptwriters of the twentieth centuries.
Although for years he was known as the auteur' s ultimative role model, what really made Welles' work alive was his almost miraculous talent as a novelist. "Is there a better movie about America than Citizen Kane? No matter how well Welles did it, it was all in the script," says Paul Haggis.
In the New Hollywood age, Frank Pierson gave us some of the most remarkable New Hollywood figures, from a philanthropic villain who steals a bench to finance his partner's gender change operation to a malicious director who pronounces one of the most celebrated words of 1960s cinema: "What we have here is non-communication.
"David Gordon Green says that his screenplay for Dog Day Afternoon is an example of how dialog becomes musical. Not only did Zavattini write many of the most important neo-realist movies, but as a well-known reviewer and author he was also the main philosopher of the movements and helped to sketch out their basic ideas and concepts. In the end, however, the writer's real brilliance lies in his capacity to use his fascinating everyday lives to transform them into convincing dramas through lively, connectable personalities, exciting scenes and deep passion.
That was more difficult than it seemed; he once said that making a real movie takes as much fancy as making a fiction movie. That' one of the things that made these movies travel so well. Shoeshine was even overwhelmed by Hollywood; the Academy awarded its first prize for the best foreign movie to Shoeshine; two years later they gave it to Bicycle Thieves.
Not only did Ramis write Ghostbusters, he also played along as a mad scholar Egon Spengler and mirrored his actual alcove as a fool egg in his sketchy cartoon-peer group. From its beginnings (Stripes, Caddyshack, Animal House) to Ghostbusters and Marmot Day, his structural and historical awareness developed and was most highly acclaimed by film reviewers.
"Judd Apatow says, "He has written the kind of movie that shaped my childhood - a champion comedian". In his 1940s essay on Hollywood, City of Nets, the German scholar Otto Friedrich states that Mankiewicz was "unemployed, destitute, overhanging and trapped in a gypsum bandage from waist to ankles. "But from their first encounter, a cooperation would emerge that would lead to one of the most notorious and powerful Hollywood film ever, Citizen Kane.
As Welles and Mankiewicz struggled for a loan for the script, it could not have survived without their cooperation. Â His understanding of this scenery resulted in many of the moving details used in Citizen Kane to build the delusional maniac at his centre. Mankiewicz' carrier goes far beyond Citizen Kane. It was at the peak of his skill in the 1920' and 1930' (with much of his work not being recognized), which included Dinner at Eight, Dancers in the Dark and credited with a small movie entitled The Wizard of Oz.
Markiewicz personified a glittering lightness, which he made look light, which represented a Hollywood sign at that period, which is badly missing. "Every author who has worked on both Citizen Kane and The Wizard of Oz must be on this list," says Stephen Chbosky. Oscar-winning twice, he once complained about his incapacity to compose an antihero like Paul Newman's figure in Cool Hand Luke:
1973 Paper Moon (based on the novel by Joe David Brown) captures the essences of a father-daughter relationship; 1977 Julia, who won three Oscars, explores the relationship between the lead role and author Lillian Hellman. Sargent Judith Guests three years later adopted the novel Judith Guests Roman Ordinary Peoples and transformed it into one of the most important dramas of the whole NPH dynasty, which the Oscar nominee Billy Ray (Captain Phillips) described as "the most complete monumental film of all time".
"Gambit, Paper Moon, Straight Times - he can do anything. Linklaters remained stubbornly self-reliant ever since and basically founded his own movie fellowship in Austin, Texas. He wrote Waking Life animated movies, Amazing Commedies, The Before Triilogy, and Boyhood movies that took more than a ten years to make - and he always did it in his own way and in his spare hours, even when he was playing the Hollywood play.
It turned out the lazybones were the ultimative pro all the while. Jay Presson Allen sketched the author's ethical principles as follows in 1982: As one of the few woman writers in the sixties and seventies, Allen also played pioneering parts for actresses such as Brodies Vanessa Redgrave, Funny Lady's Barbra Streisand and Cabaret's Oscar recipient Liza Minnelli.
Later Allen worked more calmly in her carrier, adapted William Golding's novel Lord of the Flies under the name Sarah Schiff and worked without recognition on David Mamet's screenplay for The Verdict with Paul Newman. "for Hitchcock, Lumet and Fosse and made the boys' night clubs all the better.
If the author isn't the producer, who's the actual author? Shortly before Babel Arriaga Tommy Lee Jones composed Tommy's very good contemporary Western The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. Perhaps Arriaga only needs a little bit of extra work to become a stage manager with his own signature. Perhaps the relationship was unique, a transient ego couple that contributed to the direction of the 21 st-century Mexican movie renaissance.
"While Arriaga did not create the apparatus of coherent storytelling, in the filmmaking triilogy he created for Iñárritu he used it in such a way that it felt completely reinvented," says Mark Bomback. "This is the opening line of Jane Campion's Oscar-winning 1993 screenplay for The Piano, but it could also be the model for her own literary work.
New Zealander specialises in the incredibly tricky skill of making the characters' inner stories readable on screen, from Geneviève Lemon's emotional instable distant nature of her Sweetie début to Holly Hunter's silent protagonist in The Piano to Kate Winslet's unprogrammed iconic object in Holy Smoke! "Because she can intimately associate you with a certain personality, Jane is on this list," says Sofia Coppola.
Although her epithet was "The Queen of Space Opera", few authors worked as smoothly in different styles as Brackett. Hawks once said that Brackett was so good: "She was writing like a man. Lucas would re-write the screenplay with Lawrence Kasdan, but he eventually gave Brackett a co-credit alongside Kasdan because, as some movie scientists thought, her key storyline blows outlived.
Over the course of his carreer, Scorsese has worked with a number of writers, from Paul Schrader as a taxi driver to Terence Winter as The Wolf of Wall Street. However, his two movies with Nicholas Pileggi are probably the highlight of his professional life. Only a few writers were able to grasp fundamental anthropological phenomenon such as Robert Altman.
However, the movies he composed and co-wrote - especially Quintett, 3 Frauen and McCabe & Mrs. Miller - showed that he could also find enchantment on a more private level. "He hasn' t always written his own scripts, but when he has, the results have been his best, most inspiring and most accurate work," says Mark Bomback.
Surely Blade Runner, Twelve and Twelve Monkeys are nothing to cry about, but Peoples would still be on this roster if the only scenario he ever wrote was the one for unorgives. According to legends, Clint Eastwood first reread this scenario in the early 1980s, but stayed until 1992 - when he got barbecued enough to become the gone-to-seed anti-hero Bill Munny of the West - to make it, and filmed it without altering a single phrase.
In Hollywood, we are always looking for genuineness, for "real Americans". "Kennedy said, "My hypothesis has always been to make a really small history against a big background," a basic overview for practically every big Western that has existed since. "Charles Lederer's screenplay for His Girl Friday, inspired by Charles MacArthur and Ben Hecht's The Front Page, is full of exchange and one-liners that blend remarkable realism of rhythm with a high level of comedy.
Lederer, a former Hearst writer, wrote several other classical screamball plays with and for Hawks, among them The Thing From Another World, Monkey Business and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, as well as the Ocean's 11 with Harry Brown and Mutiny on the Bounty series. "One of my favorites of all times is His Girl's Friday, because he did this seldom thing of raising a great piece," says Paul Haggis.
From an out of stock 1853 novel - somehow the first slaver's memory ever adopted for a movie - he turned it into one of the best screenplays of the twenty-first hundred by interpreting Salomon Northup's elaborate narrative into the movies and at the same time penetrating the violence, duplicity and deceit of pre-war societies.
"I have never reread the 12 Years of a Slave story and don't want it, because John's scenario is excellent and perfect," says Margaret Betts. It wasn't known how much we needed Diablo Cody until she showed us what we had been lacking with her Oscar-winning Juno début scenario, which was an easy, fun, hypocritical and rather hands-on investigation into teenage gestation.
"And what it felt like to fell in lov for the first moment (Juno: "You're like the most cool guy I've ever seen and you don't even have to try. "but she has a really high punch average," says Zak Penn.
Talking of timing - Wright's command of beat and rhythms is fresh and awe-inspiring at a juncture in which film humour is mostly about loosely improvising. "In Edgar's movies no moments are squandered, every line communicates something about characters or history," says Kumail Nanjiani. He always runs the danger of underbuying himself; his characters (many of whom are complex females who resist the cleanliness of a logline) are driven by their own inner ethical struggles and uncertainties, even more than by established outside powers.
With Arteta, the no-budget malfunctioning Chuck & Buck novel, his breakdown movie featured a novelist who was already deep tuned in to the often unattractive graceful nuances of personal experiences that often remained uncharted by the movie, and since then - especially with The Good Girl, Year of the Dog, and this year's affluent and class-swinging doppelganger Beatriz at Dinner and Brad's Status - he still finds the sorrow and humour to just try to be a character.
Wrongly, the Oscar for Best Screenplay was awarded to Marty in the Oscar for the best film. Awarded the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. Wrongly, the orginal edition of this paper also said that A Letter to Three Wolves was named for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
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