From The Journal Of Screenwriting V5 Issue 2: The pragmatic modernist: William Faulkner’s craft and Hollywood’s networks of production by Ben Robbins

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 pragmatic modernist: William Faulkner’s craft and Hollywood’s networks of production by Ben Robbins

This article analyzes the screenplays and treatments for two highly popular and critically acclaimed films, To Have and Have Not (1944) and Mildred Pierce(1945), on which Faulkner worked as a salaried screenwriter for Warner Brothers. Faulkner’s collaborative writing for To Have and Have Not demonstrates his ability to participate in and extend the construction of the cinematic archetype of the Hawksian woman on the level of action and language, a portrayal that both develops and transcends the portrayal of women within his own fiction. The article also illuminates the process through which Faulkner recycled content across the high–low cultural divide, borrowing from himself to include a hybrid scene from his modernist masterwork Absalom, Absalom! (1936) in Mildred Pierce, a noir melodrama starring Joan Crawford. The article further illustrates how Faulkner reconciled himself to the narrative mode of Hollywood through his use of ‘charged realism’. As such, Faulkner’s work for the screen would seem to confound a number of presumed modernist imperatives for artistic practice: autonomy, organic production, breaking with the past, formal innovation and disdain for objective realism. The article concludes by suggesting a way to reconcile the divergent skill bases of Faulkner’s screenwriting and modernist fiction by showing how he was able to imaginatively adapt his craft to inhabit and revisualize the structures of both genres.

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V5 Issue 2: The pragmatic modernist: William Faulkner’s craft and Hollywood’s networks of production by Ben Robbins

 


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. 

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From The Journal Of Screenwriting V5 Issue 2: ‘A story is not a story but a conference’: Story conferences and the classical studio system by Claus Tieber

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


‘A story is not a story but a conference’: Story conferences and the classical studio system by Claus Tieber

In analyzing the script development of Grand Hotel (1932, Edmund Goulding), this article brings an insight into the workings of the classical studio system and the way screenwriting was organized and understood during this era. The protocols of story conferences that took place at MGM under the leadership of producer Irving Thalberg deliver an exhaustive picture of the whole process, from the first screen idea, to getting the rights for a novel, to the final discussions after the screening of a rough cut. The protocols deliver evidence of screenwriting as an ongoing work in progress that was done not by a single screenwriter, but by a group of film-makers, constantly discussing all elements of the production. The concerns of the participants of these conferences included more than just storytelling; they also focused on the emotional reactions of the audience and the presentation of stars. The criteria these decisions were based upon are not ‘rules’ of storytelling, but reasonable assumptions about the audience’s reactions. Screenwriting within the studio system was not an ongoing fight between screenwriters and producers, but an ongoing discussion about every detail of a film, constituting a rather modern and democratic system of film development.

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V5 Issue 2: ‘A story is not a story but a conference’: Story conferences and the classical studio system by Claus Tieber

 


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. 

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From The Journal Of Screenwriting V5 Issue 2: Normatizing the silent drama: Photoplay manuals of the 1910s and early 1920s by Terry Bailey

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


Normatizing the silent drama: Photoplay manuals of the 1910s and early 1920s by Terry Bailey

The first instructional manuals to cover the writing of photoplays for silent drama emerged in 1911. In the wake of ‘Scenario Fever’, their style was often hyperbolic, and they claimed a great need in the film industry for new dramatic scenarists. In truth, few readers of manuals, or clients of the ‘schools’ that often distributed them, attained professional status. This article uses primary and secondary sources to examine the origins and content of the silent screenwriting manuals, and determines that, despite their poor record in fulfilling their ostensible purpose, they served valuable social functions. By overlooking screen drama’s debt to Victorian theatre and vaudeville, they served to normatize screenwriting practice in its own right, and thus helped to legitimize film’s sense of itself as a new medium. The uniform nature of their content, shaped by manual writers who were often working scenarists, suggests their reliability in clarifying aspects of screenwriting practice that lay behind the creation of silent films, and justifies their use as resources in film studies.

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V5 Issue 2: Normatizing the silent drama: Photoplay manuals of the 1910s and early 1920s by Terry Bailey


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!

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V5 Issue 2: Written to be read: A personal reflection on screenwriting research, then and now by Claudia Sternberg

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


Written to be read: A personal reflection on screenwriting research, then and now by Claudia Sternberg
 
Having been identified as an early contributor to the intensifying academic study of the (American) screenplay and screenwriting, the author presents a personal account of the circumstances which led to her own research in the 1990s and the publication of Written for the Screen: The American Motion-Picture Screenplay as Text in 1997. Additionally, she offers some reflections on the consolidation and institutionalization of screenwriting research and sketches a number of possibilities for future work in the field.

Having been identified as an early contributor to the intensifying academic study of the (American) screenplay and screenwriting, the author presents a personal account of the circumstances which led to her own research in the 1990s and the publication of Written for the Screen: The American Motion-Picture Screenplay as Text in 1997. Additionally, she offers some reflections on the consolidation and institutionalization of screenwriting research and sketches a number of possibilities for future work in the field.


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!

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V5 Issue 2: Filling up the glass: A look at the historiography of screenwriting by Tom Stempel

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


Filling up the glass: A look at the historiography of screenwriting by Tom Stempel
 
This article covers the historiography of screenwriting over the past 60 years, discussing whether there has developed a critical mass of scholars, writers, and publishers in the area. It begins with writings in the fifties, sixties and seventies by such writers as Pauline Kael and Richard Corliss, then spends time with the author’s experiences in writing about the history of screenwriting, and the problems he faced dealing with publishers. From there, the article moves on to the development of books about the history of screenwriting and screenwriters. There is a brief history of the rise, death and revival of Creative Screenwriting, which started as an academic journal and evolved into a magazine. The article notes that non-American academics got into the field earlier and in more depth than the Americans. The reasons American academia avoided the study of screenwriting are discussed, as is the recent growing involvement of American academics in the field.

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V5 Issue 2: Filling up the glass: A look at the historiography of screenwriting by Tom Stempel


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!

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V5 Issue 1: Poetic dramaturgy in Andrey Tarkovsky’s Nostalgia (1983): A character without a goal? by Marja-Riitta Koivumäki

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


Poetic dramaturgy in Andrey Tarkovsky’s Nostalgia (1983): A character without a goal? by Marja-Riitta Koivumäki

This article centres on the use of a character goal and a character arc as elements to express the theme and the meaning in Andrey Tarkovsky’s Nostalgia (1983). In classical dramaturgy, the goal of the character – what does the character want and what actions may he or she take in order to achieve this goal – is considered to be of the utmost importance. In Tarkovsky’s film, however, the character is passive and there does not seem to be any obvious goal to achieve. Through dramaturgical analysis my aim is to reveal the dramaturgical function of both the character goal and the character arc in Nostalgia. My contention is that a passive character forms part of an extensive dramaturgical system and that it carries more meaning than is apparent on the surface. Usually it is the character goal, what the character desires, that carries the spine of the narration and it is usually the starting point of the story design. I argue that the character arc (inner goal) can also assume this function and, accordingly, we can start the development of the screenplay from the perspective of considering how the character changes or why he/she might change. I also suggest that there is a need to reconsider the centrality of character goal, since the screenwriting theories of the twentieth century emphasize the importance of the character goal at the expense of the character arc. This article forms part of a larger study that aims to define certain characteristics of so-called poetic dramaturgy. As I’m interested in whether or not it is possible to define the features of poetic dramaturgy in a similar way as in classical dramaturgy so that they too can be incorporated into the writer’s craft, I also challenge the conventions of classical dramaturgy.

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V5 Issue 1: Poetic dramaturgy in Andrey Tarkovsky’s Nostalgia (1983): A character without a goal? by Marja-Riitta Koivumäki


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!

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V5 Issue 1: ‘It’s literature I want, Ivo, literature!’ Literature as screenplay as literature. Or, how to win a literary prize writing a screenplay by Ronald Geerts

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


‘It’s literature I want, Ivo, literature!’ Literature as screenplay as literature. Or, how to win a literary prize writing a screenplay by Ronald Geerts

Ivo Michiels, besides being one of the most acclaimed and radical experimental literary authors in Dutch literature, is arguably the first Flemish professional screenwriter.These two occupations, that he continuously tried to combine, resulted in screenplays that either have been published as novels (and awarded important literary prizes) or repurposed as fragments in the Journal Brut cycle. Michiels developed a specific style for the screenplay by turning away from economical concrete descriptions. Instead he pursued a more literary way of writing, using narrative strategies aiming at certain effects in the mind of the reader, over conventional description. This article situates Michiels’ script writing as ‘performative’ in its intention and offers a case study of his work, as an expanded notion of the screenplay that elevates the form beyond mere description of what will be visible/audible on-screen. In Michiels’ practice, a screenplay is not just a text that ‘desires to become another text’, in the words of Pier Paolo Pasolini. In contrast, this article frames Michiels’ screenplays as ‘postdramatic’ texts which become artefacts, in and of themselves, claiming a certain independence from the film, whilst at the same time maintaining dialogue with the film (Bakhtin), realized or not.

‘It’s literature I want, Ivo, literature!’ Literature as screenplay as literature. Or, how to win a literary prize writing a screenplay by Ronald Geerts


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!

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V5 Issue 1: The ‘De Santis case’: Screenwriting, political boycott and archival research by Paolo Russo

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 ‘De Santis case’: Screenwriting, political boycott and archival research by Paolo Russo

In the late 1940s and throughout the 1950s writer-director Giuseppe De Santis was the most successful Italian film-maker worldwide, thanks to box-office hits like the Oscar-nominated Riso amaro/Bitter Rice (1949). However, endless rows with producers, distributors and censorship soon forced him into professional exile until his creative voice was completely silenced. Over the years De Santis denounced a systematic boycott against him because of his social and political commitment. All scripts needed the central government film office approval; this system enforced a form of pre-emptive censorship by controlling the writing and packaging process. This article unveils the findings of comprehensive research conducted at the De Santis Fund in Rome. While De Santis’s official filmography lists only one title in the last 33 years of his life, his archive contains dozens of treatments and full scripts (and the film-maker’s correspondence) adding up to a total of almost 50 projects that were never made. The materials analysed here not only allow a thorough re-write of De Santis’s career, but also shed light on the intricate relations between politics and the Italian film industry in the post-war years.

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V5 Issue 1: The ‘De Santis case’: Screenwriting, political boycott and archival research by Paolo Russo


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!

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V5 Issue 1: Screenwriting without typing – the case of Calamari Union by Raija Talvio

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


Screenwriting without typing – the case of Calamari Union by Raija Talvio

The first part of this article is a practice-based case study of the making of the film Calamari Union (1985), a Finnish cult classic written and directed by Aki Kaurismäki. I was the film editor of this film as well as of several other features and short films by Kaurismäki in the 1980s. From the point of view of screenwriting research, Calamari Union offers a thought-provoking example: it is a feature-length fiction film that was made entirely without a formal screenplay. In the case study I examine the effects of this method in the production and post-production of the film. In the second part of the article I discuss the definitions of a ‘screenplay’ and screenwriting in the context of alternative film-making practices, and the reasons for and consequences of the choice of such practices. I will also briefly visit the question of authorship in cinema and reflect on the birth of stories.

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V5 Issue 1: Screenwriting without typing – the case of Calamari Union by Raija Talvio


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!

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V5 Issue 1: Writing with images: The Film-Photo-Essay, the Left Bank Group and the pensive moment by Andrew Taylor

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


Writing with images: The Film-Photo-Essay, the Left Bank Group and the pensive moment by Andrew Taylor

This article is focused on the film-photo-essay form. The first part of the article is a narrative account of my experiments ‘writing with images’ in the early and mid-2000s, using (the then) new digital tools to make film-photo-essays. My account reflects on how the change from analogue to digital affected my approach to photography, film-making and writing with images. I then look at the case study of Siberia (2009), an illustrated script that was written following my experimentation with the film-photo-essay form. The second part of this article is a more general enquiry into the film-photo-essay form and work that combines cinema and photography. I discuss the contemporary interest in work that falls on a spectrum between photography and cinema; often referred to as ‘still/moving’. I then focus on the ‘Left Bank Group’, whose work often combined cinema, photography and the literary and philosophical essay. Examples from the ‘cine-writing’ of Alain Resnais, Agnes Varda and Chris Marker highlight how Raymond Bellour’s idea of the ‘pensive moment’ is apt in relation to their work. I argue that still/moving forms allow more space for audience interaction and emotional response than conventional narrative cinema; and in a world saturated with information and cluttered with images, there is an important place for new pensive hybrid art forms.

This article is focused on the film-photo-essay form. The first part of the article is a narrative account of my experiments ‘writing with images’ in the early and mid-2000s, using (the then) new digital tools to make film-photo-essays. My account reflects on how the change from analogue to digital affected my approach to photography, film-making and writing with images. I then look at the case study of Siberia (2009), an illustrated script that was written following my experimentation with the film-photo-essay form. The second part of this article is a more general enquiry into the film-photo-essay form and work that combines cinema and photography. I discuss the contemporary interest in work that falls on a spectrum between photography and cinema; often referred to as ‘still/moving’. I then focus on the ‘Left Bank Group’, whose work often combined cinema, photography and the literary and philosophical essay. Examples from the ‘cine-writing’ of Alain Resnais, Agnes Varda and Chris Marker highlight how Raymond Bellour’s idea of the ‘pensive moment’ is apt in relation to their work. I argue that still/moving forms allow more space for audience interaction and emotional response than conventional narrative cinema; and in a world saturated with information and cluttered with images, there is an important place for new pensive hybrid art forms.


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!