07 More On Neo-realism in the US From Jeanne to Suso to Julie to Spike: How Jeanne Macpherson’s Manual on Screenwriting Influenced Italian Realism which Influenced Black Independent Film in the U.S. [Video]

07 More On Neo-realism in the US From Jeanne to Suso to Julie to Spike: How Jeanne Macpherson’s Manual on Screenwriting Influenced Italian Realism which Influenced Black Independent Film in the U.S. [Video]

Transcript:

…but interestingly enough in a place where it’s been ignored, it came deeply into the world of the black filmmakers of the 1970s who felt that they wanted finally to show the world and how harsh it had been in their lives. So we see a lot of that influence come through these movies which also didn’t end up often in mainstream film courses. You had to take a side class right and that’s a difficult thing.

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At the recent Screenwriting Research Network conference in Vienna, I gave this talk titled “From Jeanne to Suso to Julie to Spike: How Jeanne Macpherson’s Manual on Screenwriting Influenced Italian Realism which Influenced Black Independent Film in the U.S.”

In the talk, I trace the ways a manual about screenwriting by silent film writer Jeanne Macpherson influenced Suso Cecchi d’Amici who began to utilize Macpherson’s ideas and became the queen of Italian neorealism screenwriting in Europe. Then those Italian neo-realist screenwriters in turn inspired the Los Angeles School of Black Independent Film Makers (the L.A. School). In turn, such as Charles Burnett, Billy Woodberry, Haile Gerima, and Julie Dash and their ideas fueled Spike Lee. Finally, when he became the first Black man to head the jury at the Cannes Film Festival (where Suso had once served) his choice of films influenced yet another generation of screenwriters.

From Jeanne to Suso to Julie to Spike:  How Jeanne Macpherson’s Manual on Screenwriting Influenced Italian Realism which Influenced Black Independent Film in the U.S. (Complete)

06 Neo-realism in the US From Jeanne to Suso to Julie to Spike: How Jeanne Macpherson’s Manual on Screenwriting Influenced Italian Realism which Influenced Black Independent Film in the U.S. [Video]

06 Neo-realism in the US From Jeanne to Suso to Julie to Spike: How Jeanne Macpherson’s Manual on Screenwriting Influenced Italian Realism which Influenced Black Independent Film in the U.S. [Video]

Transcript:

Americans start paying attention because of things like “Rome Open City” which is not something Suso wrote on but is of course a film that was very majorly important here and we start thinking oh how can we incorporate that into our movies and so it begins with things like “On the Waterfront” which most people have seen or heard about which is really working through the HUAC hearings and who’s a stool pigeon and who’s not and who gives names. So we start to see the influences come into American films. “Marty” is considered one of the best examples of that and I do think this is a beautiful film because we’re looking at people who aren’t beautiful. People who aren’t rich. People who aren’t who we think movie stars should be and I often tell my students — it’s hilarious — Ernest Borgnine. They know him from being the Mermaid Man in SpongeBob. The man’s career went 80 years and here he is, they watch “Marty” in there. Amazed that what a brilliant actor. He is playing an Italian-American butcher. So a very unromantic job on top of all that. So we’re seeing some of the Italian neo-realism come into American films.

Watch this entire presentation

At the recent Screenwriting Research Network conference in Vienna, I gave this talk titled “From Jeanne to Suso to Julie to Spike: How Jeanne Macpherson’s Manual on Screenwriting Influenced Italian Realism which Influenced Black Independent Film in the U.S.”

In the talk, I trace the ways a manual about screenwriting by silent film writer Jeanne Macpherson influenced Suso Cecchi d’Amici who began to utilize Macpherson’s ideas and became the queen of Italian neorealism screenwriting in Europe. Then those Italian neo-realist screenwriters in turn inspired the Los Angeles School of Black Independent Film Makers (the L.A. School). In turn, such as Charles Burnett, Billy Woodberry, Haile Gerima, and Julie Dash and their ideas fueled Spike Lee. Finally, when he became the first Black man to head the jury at the Cannes Film Festival (where Suso had once served) his choice of films influenced yet another generation of screenwriters.

From Jeanne to Suso to Julie to Spike:  How Jeanne Macpherson’s Manual on Screenwriting Influenced Italian Realism which Influenced Black Independent Film in the U.S. (Complete)

05 Even More On Suso Cecchi d’Amico From Jeanne to Suso to Julie to Spike: How Jeanne Macpherson’s Manual on Screenwriting Influenced Italian Realism which Influenced Black Independent Film in the U.S. [Video]

05 Even More On Suso Cecchi d'Amico From Jeanne to Suso to Julie to Spike: How Jeanne Macpherson’s Manual on Screenwriting Influenced Italian Realism which Influenced Black Independent Film in the U.S. [Video]

Transcript:

We know from that we also know her from “Bellissima” which was one of the earliest movies to look at the movie business – certainly in Italy – and see how it eats people up. Chews them up. Spits them out which is so sad. So it was a meta film before anyone even had a word for that and of course, we’ve seen many films about the film business since then. So she had the cynical view of it which I think is interesting and then also “The Miracle of Milan” which was a little interesting. It was neorealistic and a little surreal going on there. Very interesting. She was a very interesting filmmaker. So her work – oh and I should thank Paulo who’s here today. You’ll run into him because he comes to my MFA and on Zoom right now and does a lecture on neo-realism which is so useful to my students and has taught me so much over the years that I didn’t know just from being a kid who liked to watch Italian films with my grandmother who was from Italy.

Watch this entire presentation

At the recent Screenwriting Research Network conference in Vienna, I gave this talk titled “From Jeanne to Suso to Julie to Spike: How Jeanne Macpherson’s Manual on Screenwriting Influenced Italian Realism which Influenced Black Independent Film in the U.S.”

In the talk, I trace the ways a manual about screenwriting by silent film writer Jeanne Macpherson influenced Suso Cecchi d’Amici who began to utilize Macpherson’s ideas and became the queen of Italian neorealism screenwriting in Europe. Then those Italian neo-realist screenwriters in turn inspired the Los Angeles School of Black Independent Film Makers (the L.A. School). In turn, such as Charles Burnett, Billy Woodberry, Haile Gerima, and Julie Dash and their ideas fueled Spike Lee. Finally, when he became the first Black man to head the jury at the Cannes Film Festival (where Suso had once served) his choice of films influenced yet another generation of screenwriters.

From Jeanne to Suso to Julie to Spike:  How Jeanne Macpherson’s Manual on Screenwriting Influenced Italian Realism which Influenced Black Independent Film in the U.S. (Complete)

04 More On Suso Cecchi d’Amico From Jeanne to Suso to Julie to Spike: How Jeanne Macpherson’s Manual on Screenwriting Influenced Italian Realism which Influenced Black Independent Film in the U.S. [Video]

04 More On Suso Cecchi d'Amico From Jeanne to Suso to Julie to Spike: How Jeanne Macpherson’s Manual on Screenwriting Influenced Italian Realism which Influenced Black Independent Film in the U.S. [Video]

Transcript:

Suso Cecchi d’Amico is known as coming up with the “Ladder” or “The Little Staircase.” This idea of outlining a film so that it would have steps and you would see the story progress. Seems obvious to us today but coming from a time when people just grab cameras and ran around and did whatever they could take film of, the idea of planning became very important and so again she’s taking Jeanne’s idea. She’s moving it forward. As we know of her, she’s key behind several very important Italian neorealism films starting with “The Bicycle Thief” and we’re going to see how these images match up with some movies in another period which I’ll get to in a second.

Watch this entire presentation

At the recent Screenwriting Research Network conference in Vienna, I gave this talk titled “From Jeanne to Suso to Julie to Spike: How Jeanne Macpherson’s Manual on Screenwriting Influenced Italian Realism which Influenced Black Independent Film in the U.S.”

In the talk, I trace the ways a manual about screenwriting by silent film writer Jeanne Macpherson influenced Suso Cecchi d’Amici who began to utilize Macpherson’s ideas and became the queen of Italian neorealism screenwriting in Europe. Then those Italian neo-realist screenwriters in turn inspired the Los Angeles School of Black Independent Film Makers (the L.A. School). In turn, such as Charles Burnett, Billy Woodberry, Haile Gerima, and Julie Dash and their ideas fueled Spike Lee. Finally, when he became the first Black man to head the jury at the Cannes Film Festival (where Suso had once served) his choice of films influenced yet another generation of screenwriters.

From Jeanne to Suso to Julie to Spike:  How Jeanne Macpherson’s Manual on Screenwriting Influenced Italian Realism which Influenced Black Independent Film in the U.S. (Complete)

03 Jeanne Macpherson & Suso Cecchi d’Amico From Jeanne to Suso to Julie to Spike: How Jeanne Macpherson’s Manual on Screenwriting Influenced Italian Realism which Influenced Black Independent Film in the U.S. [Video]

03 Jeanne Macpherson & Suso Cecchi d'Amico From Jeanne to Suso to Julie to Spike: How Jeanne Macpherson’s Manual on Screenwriting Influenced Italian Realism which Influenced Black Independent Film in the U.S. [Video]

Transcript:

So she wrote just a little bit in this piece that was published all about her theories of screenwriting. Many other women of the day had written in this and what’s interesting is Emilio Cecci came to the states to study how Hollywood did film so he could bring that to Cine Citta and make some money in Italy and he had a daughter named Suso Cecchi d’Amico and she became the core screenwriter in the world of Italian Neo-Realism. She remembered in many interviews that she had read this booklet, as she described it, and that what she kept in mind were these things that Jeanne had said about screenwriting – the three elements: The crucial moment. The beginning of new and the end of the first one. Seems pretty basic but these people were thinking how do we make movies work and so this was new ideas to them. So it’s a woman taking information from another woman mentoring her into how she will run her career in an entirely different country. Which also I think is lovely to fit into in Claus’s theme and she remembered that for many years she was interviewed and there were oral histories done of her and she always kept going back to this one thing she’d read from Jeanne Macpherson which I think is beautiful.

Watch this entire presentation

At the recent Screenwriting Research Network conference in Vienna, I gave this talk titled “From Jeanne to Suso to Julie to Spike: How Jeanne Macpherson’s Manual on Screenwriting Influenced Italian Realism which Influenced Black Independent Film in the U.S.”

In the talk, I trace the ways a manual about screenwriting by silent film writer Jeanne Macpherson influenced Suso Cecchi d’Amici who began to utilize Macpherson’s ideas and became the queen of Italian neorealism screenwriting in Europe. Then those Italian neo-realist screenwriters in turn inspired the Los Angeles School of Black Independent Film Makers (the L.A. School). In turn, such as Charles Burnett, Billy Woodberry, Haile Gerima, and Julie Dash and their ideas fueled Spike Lee. Finally, when he became the first Black man to head the jury at the Cannes Film Festival (where Suso had once served) his choice of films influenced yet another generation of screenwriters.

From Jeanne to Suso to Julie to Spike:  How Jeanne Macpherson’s Manual on Screenwriting Influenced Italian Realism which Influenced Black Independent Film in the U.S. (Complete)

02 Who was Jeanne Macpherson? From Jeanne to Suso to Julie to Spike: How Jeanne Macpherson’s Manual on Screenwriting Influenced Italian Realism which Influenced Black Independent Film in the U.S. [Video]

02 Who was JeanneMacpherson? From Jeanne to Suso to Julie to Spike: How Jeanne Macpherson’s Manual on Screenwriting Influenced Italian Realism which Influenced Black Independent Film in the U.S. [Video]

Transcript:

So we’ll start back with Jeanne McPherson. This is Jeannie McPherson and yes that’s a picture of her with Cecil B Demille. So this is mostly where you see her photographs in the world. She was also an aviator and several years ago at a conference, I saw a marvelous presentation on how women are always there at the beginning of a new thing like the Wild West and women aviators in America and all over the world were doing flying until it became a job that made money and then suddenly women couldn’t be hired to fly anymore and you had to have had experience in the military, where they hadn’t allowed women to fly. So suddenly you couldn’t be a pilot anymore and certainly couldn’t be an astronaut until they broke that rule. So same thing happened in early Hollywood. All these women are working like crazy and then suddenly it becomes the system and they’re all slowly petered out. Often it was because the movie Moguls offered them new contracts – after 20 years of working as screenwriters and being their own directors and casting – they were offered contracts as Junior writers to work with men who would teach them how to do it and to that they said: “I’m going home and writing my own novel.” So they and they didn’t know that by doing that they pulled themselves out of the history and therefore we’re archaeologically discovering all of them.

Watch this entire presentation

At the recent Screenwriting Research Network conference in Vienna, I gave this talk titled “From Jeanne to Suso to Julie to Spike: How Jeanne Macpherson’s Manual on Screenwriting Influenced Italian Realism which Influenced Black Independent Film in the U.S.”

In the talk, I trace the ways a manual about screenwriting by silent film writer Jeanne Macpherson influenced Suso Cecchi d’Amici who began to utilize Macpherson’s ideas and became the queen of Italian neorealism screenwriting in Europe. Then those Italian neo-realist screenwriters in turn inspired the Los Angeles School of Black Independent Film Makers (the L.A. School). In turn, such as Charles Burnett, Billy Woodberry, Haile Gerima, and Julie Dash and their ideas fueled Spike Lee. Finally, when he became the first Black man to head the jury at the Cannes Film Festival (where Suso had once served) his choice of films influenced yet another generation of screenwriters.

From Jeanne to Suso to Julie to Spike:  How Jeanne Macpherson’s Manual on Screenwriting Influenced Italian Realism which Influenced Black Independent Film in the U.S. (Complete)

01 Introduction From Jeanne to Suso to Julie to Spike: How Jeanne Macpherson’s Manual on Screenwriting Influenced Italian Realism which Influenced Black Independent Film in the U.S. [Video]

01 Introduction From Jeanne to Suso to Julie to Spike:  How Jeanne Macpherson’s Manual on Screenwriting Influenced Italian Realism which Influenced Black Independent Film in the U.S. [Video]

Transcript:

…The woman I’m going to start with is Jeannie McPherson who is also a famous silent film screenwriter of that period. As famous as Marion was in her own day. Forgotten much in the history books because she wrote for Cecil B. Demille. She wrote all the films that he made that made money. She was also one of his three mistresses and so textbooks tell you she was his mistress and they forget the part where she wrote the movies that made him money. Yes. So I love Jeannie and I borrowed this title from this play which I love “Vanyan and Sonya and Masha and Spike.” It just seemed to suit me perfectly but I wanted to credit the author. I did not make up the title. I’m Rosanne Welch. I am working with Stephens College which is in Missouri but we run our MFA programs in Los Angeles. So it confuses everybody because I live in LA. I don’t live in Missouri. Our theme of our program is Write, Reach and Represent which of course suits everything that everyone’s been talking about today. I’m very excited about that. My background is that I came from being a television screenwriter and wrote on all these shows and then came into Academia and was like how are people learning how to do this because not everybody’s very good at it and then I’ve written on these various Books. Thank you for mentioning “When Women Wrote Hollywood” which has chapters on Jeannie and many of these other women we can talk about. I also am the book review editor for “The Journal Of Screenwriting” so if you want to review a book – you have a book that needs reviewing – let me know because we always need more reviews all right. So that’s a good thing and we’re here doing Global Screenwriting.

Watch this entire presentation

At the recent Screenwriting Research Network conference in Vienna, I gave this talk titled “From Jeanne to Suso to Julie to Spike: How Jeanne Macpherson’s Manual on Screenwriting Influenced Italian Realism which Influenced Black Independent Film in the U.S.”

In the talk, I trace the ways a manual about screenwriting by silent film writer Jeanne Macpherson influenced Suso Cecchi d’Amici who began to utilize Macpherson’s ideas and became the queen of Italian neorealism screenwriting in Europe. Then those Italian neo-realist screenwriters in turn inspired the Los Angeles School of Black Independent Film Makers (the L.A. School). In turn, such as Charles Burnett, Billy Woodberry, Haile Gerima, and Julie Dash and their ideas fueled Spike Lee. Finally, when he became the first Black man to head the jury at the Cannes Film Festival (where Suso had once served) his choice of films influenced yet another generation of screenwriters.

From Jeanne to Suso to Julie to Spike:  How Jeanne Macpherson’s Manual on Screenwriting Influenced Italian Realism which Influenced Black Independent Film in the U.S. (Complete)

From Jeanne to Suso to Julie to Spike: How Jeanne Macpherson’s Manual on Screenwriting Influenced Italian Realism which Influenced Black Independent Film in the U.S. (Complete)

From Jeanne to Suso to Julie to Spike:  How Jeanne Macpherson’s Manual on Screenwriting Influenced Italian Realism which Influenced Black Independent Film in the U.S. (Complete)

At the recent Screenwriting Research Network conference in Vienna, I gave this talk titled “From Jeanne to Suso to Julie to Spike: How Jeanne Macpherson’s Manual on Screenwriting Influenced Italian Realism which Influenced Black Independent Film in the U.S.”

In the talk, I trace the ways a manual about screenwriting by silent film writer Jeanne Macpherson influenced Suso Cecchi d’Amici who began to utilize Macpherson’s ideas and became the queen of Italian neorealism screenwriting in Europe. Then those Italian neo-realist screenwriters in turn inspired the Los Angeles School of Black Independent Film Makers (the L.A. School). In turn, such as Charles Burnett, Billy Woodberry, Haile Gerima, and Julie Dash and their ideas fueled Spike Lee. Finally, when he became the first Black man to head the jury at the Cannes Film Festival (where Suso had once served) his choice of films influenced yet another generation of screenwriters.

From Jeanne to Suso to Julie to Spike:  How Jeanne Macpherson’s Manual on Screenwriting Influenced Italian Realism which Influenced Black Independent Film in the U.S. (Complete)

Emma Thompson on Adapting “Sense and Sensibility”

Emma Thompson on Adapting

On one of my strolls through YouTube, I went down the rabbit hole of wonderful interviews with screenwriter Emma Thompson and landed on this “Making of” Sense and Sensibility.

While it is fun to hear about the casting and the costuming, the best part (naturally) is near the end.

In “Adapting Austen” they discuss choosing the (at that time) relatively unknown-in-the-States Emma Thompson to adapt the novel and then the segment goes over her process in writing the film.

Producer Lindsay Doran had seen some of Thompson’s UK sketch comedy show (then airing on PBS) and knew her favorite novel would need a writer who understood that Austen was funny in her comments about the societal rules she and her sisters were forced to abide.

No surprise Thompson asked for adaptation advice from Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, who had adapted Howard’s End, the film Thompson was then acting in (and which would lead to her 1993 Oscar for Best Actress.

Creative women helping other creative women for the win!

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web

Why Emma Thompson’s Writing Stands Out by Dr. Rosanne Welch

Why Emma Thompson’s Writing Stands Out by Dr. Rosanne Welch

In doing some research on YouTube I stumbled onto the speech Hugh Laurie gave in celebration of Emma Thompson receiving her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. What struck me is that at 2:52, after joking a bit about having known each other since they were in their late teens in college together, Hugh gets to the meat of why Emma Thompson deserves the star. It’s for her WRITING.

Yes, her first Oscar came for Best Actress in Howard’s End, which is where Americans first heard of her. BUT her second Oscar came from adapting a Jane Austen novel into one of my favorite films – Sense and Sensibility (and she cast Hugh in a small part!). She then went on to write several other films (including Wit, the 2 Nanny McPhee movies, and Bridget Jones’s Baby) though many still don’t realize she is a writer.

In this clip, he explains what makes her writing so powerful…a good lesson to us all.