Sunday, 29 June 2014

DAMN I WISH I WROTE THAT!



Part one - TV shows & Movies

Have you ever stopped to wonder who wrote that fantastic movie or TV show that you just watched? Sure, they’re name was in the credits. But I’m willing to bet you know who the actors were, and maybe who directed it, but who wrote it? I’ll bet you have no idea who was the creative party behind that fabulous film or TV show. If they didn't write it, you couldn't watch it.

First I have to thank DJ - Jim Mitchell from Q107 for the idea for this blog post. Kim regularly has a spot on his radio show where he will play a song that he wishes he had written; therefore this blog is dedicated to things I wish I had written.  These are all pieces of writing that are just damn exquisite, eloquent and intriguing. As musicians are inspired by other musicians, these are pieces of writing that inspire me. In some cases it’s a specific scene, in others it’s the entire series, episode or film.

So here it is- DAMN I WISH I WROTE THAT -part 1

1      THE USUAL SUSPECTS: Film, 1985 written by Christopher McQuarrie. A truly superb movie, my favorite scene is the moment when Customs agent Dave Kujan looks up and realizes that he has been duped!- Who actually is Keyser Söze?

          CASABLANCA: Film 1942, screenplay by Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, and Howard Koch - A nearly perfect example of screen writing. There’s an example of some classic dialogue:
      Captain Renault:What in heaven's name brought you to Casablanca?
      Rick: “My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters.
     Captain Renault: The waters? What waters? We're in the desert.
     Rick: I was misinformed.

    PLANET OF THE APES: Film 1968, screenplay by Michael Wilson and Rod Serling. Based upon the novel La Planète des singes by Pierre Boulle, Another ground breaking story. The most gripping scene is at the film’s end when Taylor and Nova have escaped from the apes and are ridding on horseback through the surf on a deserted beach. There they come across the remains of the Statue of Liberty which is half submerged in the surf. Just an incredible piece of writing.

     GAME OF THRONES: TV show, written by George R.R. Martin. - Seasons 1-4 brilliant in every way. Particularly good are the Death of Ned Stark, The Crown of Gold, the death of Kal Drogo and the birth of dragons, the Ed Wedding and the final climax between Tyrion, Shae and Tywin.

     LOST: TV show, 2004, Season 1, episode 2, written by Jeffrey Lieber, J. J. Abrams & Damon Lindelof - That sublime and eerie moment when we realize that Locke had been confined to a wheelchair prior to the crash. Possibly the best moment in the entire series.

      MAN OF STEEL: Film 2013, written by David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan. - I just love the moment when Clark Kent’s father stands and sacrifices himself to the tornado in order to preserve his son’s secret identity. I get goose bumps every time I see this incredible scene.

     MASH : Season 3, episode 24, written by Everret Greenbaum & Jim Fritzell.- This was in general a very well written TV series. The shocking death of Lt. Colonel Henry Blake was perhaps it’s greatest moment. Does TV writing get any better than this?

     BREAKING BAD: TV show, 2008-2013 Season 1, episode 1, Season 4, episode 13, written by Vince Gilligan. Walter driving down the desert road in the meth RV is possibly the very best opening sequence in any TV show- ever. In the season 4 finale Walter’s final solution for Drug kingpin Gustavo Fring- brilliant, unexpected and explosive.

    The Duellists: Film 1977, written by Joseph Conrad (Based upon his short story- THE DUEL) & Gerald Vaughan-Hughes. Most people have never heard of this great film. A gripping tale of honor and dueling during the Napoleonic era. Just superb in every aspect.

 STAR WARS- Return of the Jedi: Film 1983, written by Lawrence Kasdan & George Lucas -“ Luke, I am your father.” Movie magic.

  THE SIXTH SENSE: Film 1999, written by M.Night Shyamalan. One of the greatest screenplays of all time. “I see dead people.” Chilling dialogue.

  HILL STREET BLUES: TV show 1982, Season 2, episode 11- Freedom’s Last Stand. Written by Michael Kozo & Steven Bocho. This episode made me cry!