BARBARIAN, elevated, FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, high concept, JOKER, paradigm, subversion, THE LAST JEDI -

Like many industries, film (and scripts by extension) runs on cycles, which in turn are often defined by buzzwords. The current buzzword we often hear is “subversion.” As in: “We’re looking for scripts that subvert the paradigm.” Or: “We’re looking for projects that feel subversive.” We might naturally ask what is meant by “subversive.” But it’s kind of like “high concept” or “elevated” in that it’s less of a concept that adheres to a hard and fast definition than a you-know-it-when-you-see-it sorta deal. However, we can discuss “subversion” as a shorthand for the idea of subverting expectations. The latter concept...

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BRICK, Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, KNIVES OUT, LOOPER, Our Favorite Screenwriters, Rian Johnson, THE LAST JEDI -

Because Rian Johnson also directs his films, it’s easy to forget he writes them. Johnson has established himself as not just a top director, but a master screenwriter as well. With early raves coming in for his next film, KNIVES OUT (currently at 98% on RottenTomatoes), let’s take a look at Johnson’s remarkable output.  In the book, The Film That Changed My Life, Rian identifies ANNIE HALL as a major inspiration because it broke so many rules of narrative. This statement is telling when considering all his work.  Rian shot out of the gate with his debut feature, BRICK. This...

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