From The Journal Of Screenwriting V4 Issue 3: The pleasure of immersion: Some thoughts on how The Singing Detective sustains narrative by Anne Karpf

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


The pleasure of immersion: Some thoughts on how The Singing Detective sustains narrative by Anne Karpf

This article argues that while Dennis Potter’s television drama series The Singing Detective is commonly celebrated for its multi-layered narrative and the post-modern way that it played with genre, another of its critical features has remained relatively neglected: the sustained narrative pleasure that it afforded. It suggests that Potter allowed viewers the deep immersive experience of realist TV drama and storytelling, even while he was experimenting with narrative, so providing a bridge between modernist and traditional forms, and rewarding viewers (who had to try and integrate the series’ different fragments and layers into some sort of quasi-cohesive narrative) with abundant dramatic gratification. Narrative, it claims, is not effaced, only displaced, partly onto the central character of Marlow, whose subjectivity unifies the fragmented narrative. Potter broke radically with the conventions of TV medical drama, and the painful experience of Marlow-as-patient acts as another binding agent.

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V4 Issue 3: The pleasure of immersion: Some thoughts on how The Singing Detective sustains narrative by Anne Karpf


Journal of Screenwriting Cover

The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

Get your copy and subscription to the Journal of Screenwriting Today!



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** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

“A Man Of Action Saving Liberty: A Novel Based On The Life Of Giuseppe Garibaldi” – 35 in a series

So the children remained in safety with his mother as Giuseppe traveled the regions looking for a city that would allow him to settle, but most local governors feared his presence would escalate tensions with Austria. Or France. As Giuseppe traveled, he found himself taking Margaret Fuller’s advice and writing his memoirs. He had learned that newspapers from England to the United States were spreading his story far and wide and hoped a publisher would pay him for his own story.

Get your copy of A Man Of Action Saving Liberty Today!

The Civil War On Film – 30 in a series – “… some took issue with the way a movie about black soldiers focused on the regiment’s white colonel.”

The Civil War On Film - 30 in a series -

Film critics universally embraced Glory as both a cinematic success and social justice tour de force. Leonard Maltin called it “breathtakingly filmed” and “faultlessly performed” (Maltin 2008). Historians liked the film nearly as much, though some took issue with the way a movie about black soldiers focused on the regiment’s white colonel, but most critics tempered their criticisms with some discussion of the need to make movies for diverse audiences.

Movies profiled in this book:

“A Man Of Action Saving Liberty: A Novel Based On The Life Of Giuseppe Garibaldi” – 34 in a series

“I am guilty of no crime save that of being an Italian like yourself,” Bassi said in his defense. “I have risked my life for Italy, and your duty is to do good to those who have suffered for her.” The Austrians convicted both men of bearing arms against the State, sentenced them to death and on August 8, 1849, executed Father Bassi and Count Livraghi by firing squad.

Get your copy of A Man Of Action Saving Liberty Today!

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V4 Issue 3: Chaos, culture and fantasy: The television plays of Howard Schuman by Leah Panos

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


Chaos, culture and fantasy: The television plays of Howard Schuman by Leah Panos
 
The single plays of American ex-pat playwright Howard Schuman produced for British television between 1973 and 1983 have received little critical attention. Written in a distinctly un-British madcap, non-naturalistic and often pulpy ‘B movie’ style, they centre around caricatured, hysterical and/or camp characters and make frequent references to popular culture. This article provides a general survey of Schuman’s plays and analyses his sensibility as a screenwriter, drawing extensively on material from interviews with the writer. The article’s particular focus is how and why different cultural forms including music, film and theatre are used and referred to in Schuman’s plays, and how this conditions the plays’ narrative content and visual and aural form. It also considers the reception of Schuman’s plays and their status as non-naturalistic dramas that engage heavily with American pop culture, within the context of British drama. Finally, it explores the writer’s relationship to style and aesthetics, and considers how his written works have been enhanced through creative design decisions, comparing his directions (in one of his scripts) with the realized play to reflect on the use of key devices.

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V4 Issue 3: Chaos, culture and fantasy: The television plays of Howard Schuman by Leah Panos


Journal of Screenwriting Cover

The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

Get your copy and subscription to the Journal of Screenwriting Today!



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

The Civil War On Film – 29 in a series – “…his attitude about the futility and ridiculousness of war comes from his own experiences as a child during World War II.”

The Civil War On Film - 29 in a series -

Many film historians attribute anti-Vietnam war sentiment to Sergio Leone personally, but this is not particularly accurate. Leone is Italian and he wasn’t making films for the American market, at least not until United Artists approached his producer with a film deal, at which point the first two films in the trilogy had already been made. Leone’s attitude about the futility and ridiculousness of war comes from his own experiences as a child during World War II.

Movies profiled in this book:

Dr. Rosanne Welch Quoted in Bitch Media article on Women Screenwriters

Journalist Alexis Schwartz contacted me a few weeks ago to be interviewed for an article she was writing about female writers in Hollywood on the eve of hoping a woman would win this year’s Oscar for Best Screenplay.

Alexis noted, teenagers entering high school this fall would never have seen a female win in that category since the last win was 13 years ago (Diablo Cody for Juno).  Happily, Emerald Fennell did win – for Promising Young Woman. Then Chloe Zhao won for directing Nomadland.  Yet notice how in the Chloe Zhao descriptions no one calls her the writer-director of Nomadland even though she adapted the book. They only call her the director – though she did both important tasks on that now Academy Award-winning film.  So there is still much work to be done for writers to be recognized on an equal level.

We had so much fun talking and there was so much to say that it’s no surprise something got mixed up.  The initial published version of the story reported that Eve Unsell was Cecil B. deMille’s mother – but that was playwright, Broadway producer Beatrice deMille who had hired Unsell after reading one of her short stories and therefore began Unsell’s career as one of Hollywood’s earliest writer-producer-directors – and as the woman who taught Hitchcock how to direct.  Read the article to learn more.  And then read our book – When Women Wrote Hollywood – to learn more about the important work women have been doing since the founding of the film industry.

As Alexis and I noted during the interview – we really could talk about this all day – and look – how wonderful for both Fennel and Zhao to win that night.

Dr. Rosanne Welch

Emerald Fennell attends the 2020 Sundance Film Festival  Promising Young Woman premiere on January 25 2020 in Park City Utah header

A Woman Hasn’t Won a Writing Oscar in 13 Years. That Could Change on Sunday by Alexis Schwartz

The 2007 Academy Awards’ futuristic stage was adorned with three large pillars—some 25 feet in diameter—superficially holding up the Dolby Theatre. Within the stage’s center, an equally large Oscar statue loomed over the diminutive presenters like a god demanding hecatomb. Throughout the evening, celebrities weaved through the stage, including winners Alan Arkin, Helen Mirren, Forest Whitaker, and Martin Scorsese, the latter of whom’s cop-and-mob film The Departed (2006) would go on to win four statues that evening. But something happened in the middle-pack of the awards—more “popular” than sound editing, less “popular” than original score —an unsuspecting former exotic dancer and first-time screenwriter, Diablo Cody, won Best Original Screenplay for her freshman film, Juno.

[…]

Writers such as Jeanie MacPherson, who wrote most of the profitable films credited to director and Hollywood tycoon Cecil B. deMille, have been all but forgotten. Meanwhile, deMille is described as “a founder of the Hollywood motion-picture industry” and is the namesake for the Cecil B. deMille Award of Excellence presented annually at the Golden Globes. Paradoxically, deMille’s mother, Eve Unsell, who taught Alfred Hitchcock everything he knew was later regarded as an erasable footnote by Hitchock himself. She was left uncredited in his memoir—only to be known as “a middle-aged woman.” Even worse, these titans set a precedent by often discrediting writers’ work during interviews. This became standard practice—if the writer was mentioned at all. “The [director-ownership model] destroyed writers, even great men, like Preston Sturges [the first-ever winner of the Academy Award for Original Screenplay], had to become directors to protect their words and characters,” Rosanne Welch, PhD, screenwriting historian and former Beverly Hills 90210 writer says. “No one was safe.”

[…]

Read the entire article — A Woman Hasn’t Won a Writing Oscar in 13 Years. That Could Change on Sunday by Alexis Schwartz

“A Man Of Action Saving Liberty: A Novel Based On The Life Of Giuseppe Garibaldi” – 33 in a series

Giuseppe saw all this as he struggled to carry Anita, pregnant with their fifth child and sick from the malaria she had been trying to hide, to shore. Most of his remaining men scattered into the woods, on the run from the Austrians. One man, Leggero, stayed behind to help Giuseppe carry Anita and lay her in a cornfield out of sight. Then Leggero went in search of help.

Get your copy of A Man Of Action Saving Liberty Today!

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V4 Issue 3: Bridges and gaps: The Singing Detective’s serial afterlife by Sean O’Sullivan

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


Bridges and gaps: The Singing Detective’s serial afterlife by Sean O’Sullivan

The Singing Detective has long been considered a high point of televisual storytelling. But what is its specific legacy as a serial narrative, particularly in the contemporary U.S. context of ambitious dramas? In many ways, the experiment of The Singing Detective remains an outlier. If the likes of Mad Men and The Sopranos have re-invigorated seriality by emphasizing the gaps between episodes—by making the narrative broken rather than connected—The Singing Detective’s continuing contribution lies in its insistence on bridging the disparate parts that make a serial: old and new, sound and image, memory and imagination, ritual and eccentricity.

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V4 Issue 3: Bridges and gaps: The Singing Detective’s serial afterlife by Sean O’Sullivan


Journal of Screenwriting Cover

The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

Get your copy and subscription to the Journal of Screenwriting Today!



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

The Civil War On Film – 28 in a series – “…except for them it was a conflict of beliefs.”

The Civil War On Film - 28 in a series -

In terms of the American Civil War, the Friends experienced the same conflicts of brother against brother that infused the North and the South, except for them it was a conflict of beliefs. They had declared their adamant opposition to the importation of slaves as early as 1696 at their Society of Friends (Quaker) Yearly Meeting. As slavery took hold of the South anyway, many became fervent abolitionists willingly breaking the law to aid enslaved people on their escapes via the Underground Railroad.

Movies profiled in this book: