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WHERE'S THE DRAMA?

The stuff that dreams are made of

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28 EXT     THE SCREENING ROOM      DAY 


The film of tomorrow appears to me as even more personal than an
individual and autobiographical novel, like a confession, or a diary.

- Francois Truffaut  


The Screening Room is currently comprised of TWELVE "theatres" - or channels - each specialising in different kinds of film and/or television stories.  These are:

1. Features

2. Documentaries

3. Short Films

4. Avant Garde/Experimental cinema

5. Iranian films

6. Television

7. Trailers

 8. Tribal Films

 9.  Jazz Films

10. Web Series

11. Music Videos

12. Andrew Brittain's CINEMATIQUE

            

Some of the films were first presented on "NOW SHOWING" as part of WHERE'S THE DRAMA'S  Recommended Films category. 

Trailers have been included to alert viewers to films they should see that are not currently available on YouTube. The "art" of the trailer is a very special form of dramatisation, as well, and the trailers featured here provide vivid and succinct examples of the effective use of the essential grammar of dramatic storytelling/filmmaking... PROBLEM, GOAL, PLAN. There is also a special section dedicated to Jazz films.

The selected shorts - and PLEASE NOTE: not all of the shorts presented in The Screening Room were chosen by the editors at WHERE'S THE DRAMA? - illuminate in various ways the essential elements of short-form drama. Each in its own way re-contextualises the dramatic problem that defines the main character. For a more detailed account of this, please read the essay, "STORY - the Long and the Short of It" - http://www.wheresthedrama.com/grammar.htm   Those films posted under the name, "scripttools", comprise some of my personal favorites and are among the finest and most potent works of modern dramatic short-form filmmaking.

If you have made an exceptional dramatic short-film that adheres to the essential grammar and principles of dramatic storytelling, that is fresh, surprising and thoroughly credible, please POST IT in the short films section of The Screening Room. Or, if you feel you have made a film that in some way contributes something original and vital to film culture, please consider posting it in the experimental film section.

Experimental films often employ dramatic grammar or elements of it in unexpected ways. Their power frequently stems from the tension, mystery and suspense they conjure by playing with context and archetypes so as to challenge our understandings, desires, fears and habits of thought.

The features (both fictional and factional) present a rather eclectic and distinctly international collection representing a broad range of genres and styles. The choice of these films was driven not so much by their technical excellence - though most of them instance memorable and often brilliant examples of the arts of cinematography, editing, sound, design, etc - but rather because they effectively and imaginatively employ the essential grammar of dramatic screen storytelling and because each, in its own way, is solidly grounded in a "tribal" sensibility that manifests and maintains a wonderful freshness and originality. This is particularly in evidence in the Iranian films, the quality of which is so good and so consistent, I have decided to give these films their own section.

The featured television programs also evidence the very best in television drama. And don't forget to check out the music videos and the unusual offering's provided by film aficienado, Andrew Brittain, in his online Cinematique series.  Be sure to check out  NOW SHOWING as well.

Please use the search function to find the film or films that you wish to view. And please feel free to comment in the space provided. Please note: this site is updated every week.

Billy Marshall Stoneking  

 
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  • Hills Like White Elephants
    by scripttools on July 14, 2016 at 6:54 AM
    283 Views - 0 Comments

    This film was shot on 35mm, using the original dialog from the Hemingway story, as a project for the LA Film School. It features a beautiful sound track by Benjamin Davis. It was shot at an abandoned train station in Barstow and on a sound stage in Hollywood. I carved and painted the brick walls by hand, and the brick panels could be individually removed to accommodate the various camera angles required in the narrow bar scene.

  • The Legend Of Boggy Creek
    by scripttools on July 11, 2016 at 11:50 PM
    360 Views - 0 Comments

    A 1972 horror docudrama about the "Fouke Monster," a Bigfoot-type creature that has been seen in and around Fouke, Arkansas, since the 1950s. The film mixes staged interviews with some local residents who claim to have encountered the creature, along with reenactments of said encounters.

    Charles B. Pierce, an advertising salesman from Texarkana on the Arkansas/Texas border, borrowed over $100,000 from a local trucking company, used an old 35mm movie camera and hired locals (mainly high school students) to help make the 90-minute film. The film has generated approximately $20 million in box office revenue and is available on DVD.

  • A Day With The Boys
    by scripttools on July 9, 2016 at 4:19 AM
    319 Views - 0 Comments

    This avante-garde short film was written, directed, and produced by character actor Clu Gulager back in 1969, and follows a group of boys as they just sort of do the things that a pack of boys might do. Lensed by the great László Kovács!

  • Frozen Flower
    by scripttools on July 4, 2016 at 7:06 PM
    345 Views - 0 Comments

    Historical drama of epic, Shakespearean proportions set during the Koryo dynasty and focused on the relationship between a king and his beloved bodyguard, and the bodyguard's involvement with the king's wife.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

  • Chopper
    by scripttools on July 1, 2016 at 7:22 PM
    265 Views - 0 Comments

    Eric Bana's first dramatic role, playing the arch crim, "Chopper",  presents a hyper biographical picture of the Aussie badman. Directed by Andrew Dominick, the film is roundly hailed as one of the great character-driven films in contemporary Australian cinema. 

  • Looking For Mr Goodbar
    by scripttools on July 1, 2016 at 7:09 PM
    267 Views - 0 Comments

    Morally reprehensible film based on the events surrounding the 1973 murder of Roseann Quinn, a 28-year-old New York City schoolteacher. Stars Diane Keaton. Directed by Richard Brooks.

  • A Life In The Balance
    by scripttools on June 26, 2016 at 11:15 PM
    245 Views - 0 Comments

    Antonio Gomez, a nearly down-and-out musician, is a widower with a young boy, Paco. Fighting to support his boy in the face of uememployment and neighbors who want custody of his son (something that here in Mexico City they might just obtain), Gomez argues with an ex-girlfriend over money she owes him. After he leaves, the girlfriend is murdered by the religiuos-fanatic serial killer terrorizing the city. When neighbors report the argument Gomez had with the dead girl, the police presumes they are finally on the hot trail of the serial killer, and Gomez is their target. Gomez goes out to a pawnshop to buy his son a long-dreamed-guitar and there meets a young woman with whom he goes looking for his son. What Gomez does not realize is that a police dragnet is closing in on him and that his boy Paco actually witnessed this most recent murder and has been trailing the killer. It's not long, though, before the killer is trailing the boy.

  • Moebius
    by scripttools on June 24, 2016 at 5:06 AM
    197 Views - 0 Comments

    Shrieks of rage, whimpers of pain, blissful moans... there are plenty of vocal expressions in this twisted Korean tale of familial perversity, just no dialogue. As a father's infidelity leads to his son's all too literal emasculation, as the same actress plays both vengeful mother and wanton mistress, as the genital transplants pile up, Kim Ki-duk looks to be successfully auditioning for the role of Asian cinema's Lars von Trier. He's both giggling at the outrage he provokes and yet somehow deadly serious (isn't he?) at the hornets' nest of depraved emotions aroused.

    The longer it goes on and the more hysterical it becomes, the clearer Kim's strategy to keep his actors dumb makes sense. The entire film operates at a pitch outside and beyond words. It's not Kim's first experiment along these lines (the earlier 3-Iron's central couple say nothing until the film's final scene), but the strategy feels more justified in Moebius: if your primal scream stays silent, who can tell if that rictus grin is pleasure or pain, or an infinite loop hell-bent on merging the two? We're saying nothing.

  • Young Adam
    by scripttools on June 19, 2016 at 2:31 AM
    218 Views - 0 Comments

    A young drifter working on a river barge disrupts his employers' lives while hiding the fact that he knows more about a dead woman found in the river than he admits.

  • Antonin Artaud
    by scripttools on June 19, 2016 at 2:27 AM
    232 Views - 0 Comments

    Fantastic documentary of the pioneer Antonin Artaud. Compromised entirely of interviews from those who knew him.

  • Skammen
    by scripttools on June 19, 2016 at 2:15 AM
    202 Views - 0 Comments

    Ingmar Bergman's psychological study of how humans react in a situation of war. The film takes place on Gotland, where invasion forces arrive.

  • Twister
    by scripttools on June 19, 2016 at 2:09 AM
    195 Views - 0 Comments

    Not the more famous Bill Paxton film. This is hard-to-find cult comedy that tells the story of the eccentric Cleveland family during the event of a tornado's hitting their rural Kansas home.

    The head of the family is Eugene Cleveland (Stanton), who built soda pop and mini-golf empires and lives off the proceeds. His two adult children, Maureen and Howdy, live with him in his mansion along with Maureen's daughter Violet, and Lola, the housekeeper. Maureen is plagued by unwanted visits from her ex, Chris who has recently returned from Canada with the intention of marrying Maureen and becoming a father to Violet. Howdy is enrolled in a local university and pursues rolling interests in painting, music, and theater, all with an Absurdist slant. He is also desperately trying to convince Stephanie, a young groundskeeper from the University, to marry him and go off to Europe. Eugene, exasperated with Howdy's high-brow attitude and Maureen's sullen listlessness, spends his time drinking and courting Virginia, a local host of a Christian children's TV program. The group continuously annoy each other, fight, and try to find themselves in an isolated little world where all of the necessities of life are provided, but purpose is lacking.


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