Archive for screwball comedy

Burn After Reading

Posted in Film with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 23 October, 2008 by Ally

WARNING: This review may or may not contain sensitive information. If you want to know absolutely nothing before seeing the film, it is recommended that you do not read this.

Joel and Ethan Coen, 2008

Burn After Reading is the latest film by the Coen Brothers, the two-headed director known to their friends as Joel and Ethan. It’s not an easy one to categorize, other than to say it’s “a Coen Brothers film”. You could say it’s a satirical screwball farce which blends verbal wit, visual gags and moments of genuinely shocking violence. You could say that it’s a high-tech screwball modernization of The Big Sleep, in that it’s difficult to explain but easy to enjoy. The gist of the story is as follows:

CIA analyst Osbourne Cox (John Malkovich) furiously quits his job after being handed an unexpected demotion. As revenge for this injustice, he begins writing a salacious memoir. He is unaware that his wife Katie (Tilda Swinton) is having an affair and intends to divorce him. Having been advised to do so by a divorce lawyer, she secretly copies all his personal and financial files to a blank CD. When the lawyer’s forgetful secretary leaves said disc at the gym, it falls into very much the wrong hands. The wrong hands in question are Hardbodies gym employees Linda Litzke (Frances McDormand) and Chad Feldheimer (Brad Pitt). They decide to seize the opportunity and attempt to blackmail a deeply confused and increasingly furious Osbourne Cox, assuming that they’ve got their grubby little mitts on “secret CIA shit” and not just the egotistical rantings of a lowly analyst. Continue reading

Ideas, Reviuku and Updates

Posted in Nothing Really with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 23 September, 2008 by Ally

Firstly, a couple of reviuku (haiku reviews).

At the Circus
The great Marx Brothers
In a not-so-great movie
With sporadic mirth

Sullivan’s Travels
Preston Sturges says;
“Laughter, that’s all some folks have”
But then offers more

Secondly, another idea for a line in the screwball comedy I’ll never get around to making.

X: Haven’t I seen you someplace before?
Y: Maybe it was at the Natural History Museum…
X: That’s it! Were you a tour guide or an exhibit?

Thirdly, I’ve been writing a script with my friend Dan. He did most of the nitty-gritty actual work, I just injected some extra jokes. He submitted it to a Channel 4 talent comepetition, and it has been shortlisted as one of five pieces of comedy writing – one of twenty categories, so there’s one hundred entrants overall. The other four shortlisted comedy writers are published professionals, which is funnier in itself than anything anyone could ever have written.

Very Punny

Posted in Nothing Really with tags , , , , , on 11 September, 2008 by Ally

It is my ambition to write an old-fashioned screwball comedy full of puns, pratfalls and self-imposed censorship. It’s a pointless exercise when you could just watch an old Cary Grant film or something, but it would be fun for me. And only me. Here is a pun I’m saving for my forthcoming screwball comedy:

Sorry I’m late, I crashed my car at the hospital.
Yeah, I backed myself into a coroner.