The 21st Rewrite

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Children of Men (2006) - Screenplay by Alfonso Cuarón, Timothy J Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby - Writing a Movie - Review

What happens when a visionary director chooses to adapt a novel, without actually reading the whole book? ‘Children of Men’ is one of the greatest science fiction films of the early twenty-first century, and results from a collaboration between Alfonso Cuarón and no less than four other writers (all of whom, presumably, did read the book). William and Alan take a look at this remarkable screenplay and its origins in the pages of P. D. James’ 1992 novel ‘The Children of Men’, while drawing out some of the key elements that make the story work on the page and on the screen, and explore the concept of finding hope when humanity feels it no longer has a future.

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Black Swan (2010) - Screenplay by Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz and John McLaughlin - Writing a Movie - Review

A project ten years in the making, ‘Black Swan’ tells a compelling story of a ballerina striving to achieve perfection in her performance and to synthesise the two sides of her personality. As the lockdown continues, William is joined by Alan again over a video call in order to bring you this regular episode, and together they trace the evolution of the story and break down why they think this screenplay is so enjoyable.

Want to comment, get news and join episode discussions? Follow our instagram @21st_rewrite. Letterboxd film reviews @whacoldwell

For more information on the show and to contact us check out our homepage.

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003) with Everett Rummage - Screenplay by John Collee - Writing a Movie - Review

We have a podcast crossover this week with the host of ‘The Age of Napoleon’, Everett Rummage, calling in to discuss one of his favorite historical films: ‘Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World’.

Together we take a detailed look at the mentality of the early nineteenth-century; talking warfare, culture and science, and discuss what we thought of the screenplay, which does not hold back and actually emulates the complex vocabulary used in Patrick O’Brien’s original ‘Aubrey-Maturin’ novels. John Collee wrote a fantastic screenplay, and the film was brilliantly directed by Peter Weir, though the mass-market appeal to audiences was likely stoked by the presence of Russell Crowe in the lead role, at this point riding high off the acclaim for ‘Gladiator’ (2000) and ‘A Beautiful Mind’ (2001).

The writer John Collee has made a version of his script publicly available to download here, we recommend you check it out!

Want to comment, get news and join episode discussions? Follow our instagram @21st_rewrite. Letterboxd film reviews @whacoldwell

For more information on the show and to contact us check out our homepage.

The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) - Screenplay by Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson - Writing a Movie - Review

Wes Anderson is a filmmaker with such a recognisable style on the big screen, but we were interested to see how his stories appear on the page too. Written in collaboration with Owen Wilson, 'The Royal Tenenbaums' was the film that really turned Anderson into a household name, and it is an endearing, complex tale of a disintegrating family. William and Alan speak this week over a video call, as a result of the worldwide lockdown, but we hope the content is just as informative and insightful as when we record together in person.

Want to comment, get news and join episode discussions? Follow our instagram @21st_rewrite. Letterboxd film reviews @whacoldwell

For more information on the show and to contact us check out our homepage.

Looking For Eric (2009) with Andrew Graves - Screenplay by Paul Laverty

‘Looking For Eric’ is a pretty unique film. A postal worker from Manchester in the middle of a personal crisis suddenly finds himself talking to the apparition of the legendary French player Eric Cantona, and attempts to turn his life around in order to have another shot at happiness. Paul Laverty’s screenplay is a reflection on aging, memory, mistakes, community, family and football. There was plenty to discuss in this episode, and I was joined by Andrew Graves, the author of the new book ‘Welcome to the Cheap Seats: Silver Screen Portrayals of the British Working Class’. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning more about this branch of cinema, from ‘Saturday Night and Sunday Morning’ to ‘This is England’. You can buy it here from the publisher, Five Leaves.

Want to comment, get news and join episode discussions? Follow our instagram @21st_rewrite. Letterboxd film reviews @whacoldwell

For more information on the show and to contact us check out our homepage.

Casino Royale (2006) - Screenplay by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Paul Haggis

We are back to one of our regular discussion episodes this week, this time taking a look at ‘Casino Royale’. The film was intended to be a complete reboot of the James Bond franchise so we read the screenplay in that light, comparing it to Ian Fleming's 1952 novel of the same name, which first introduced the character of international secret agent James Bond to the world. There is plenty to talk about here, including how to write an ending to a screenplay when you intend it to be the first part of a series of films or a franchise, finding out what exactly is interesting about a character like James Bond, who is so prone to parody, and what needed to be done in order to reinvent him for the twenty-first century.

Want to comment, get news and join episode discussions? Follow our instagram @21st_rewrite. Letterboxd film reviews @whacoldwell

For more information on the show and to contact us check out our homepage.

Blackkklansman (2018) with David Rabinowitz - Screenplay by Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott and Spike Lee

For this special episode William and Alan met with David Rabinowitz, one of the Academy-Award winning writers of ‘Blackkklansman’, based on the memoir by Colorado Springs detective Ron Stallworth. We’re sure this film needs no introduction! We talk about how David got into writing for film, his writing partnership with Charlie Wachtel, working with Jordan Peele, Spike Lee and Kevin Willmott, the surreal few years working on ‘Blackkklansman’ and what he learnt over this time. This was an absolute delight to record and we hope you all enjoy this conversation and gain a lot of inspiration and insight from listening, there's plenty of writing advice in this one!

Many thanks to David Rabinowitz and to Fairfax Village Studios in Los Angeles for hosting us.

Want to comment, get news and join episode discussions? Follow our instagram @21st_rewrite. Letterboxd film reviews @whacoldwell

For more information on the show and to contact us check out our homepage.

Good Vibrations (2013) with Glenn Patterson - Screenplay by Glenn Patterson and Colin Carberry - Writing a Movie - Review

This week’s episode is all about the feature screenplay ‘Good Vibrations (2013)’ with a special interview with one of the writers, Glenn Patterson. The story centres on the life of Terri Hooley, who sets up a record shop right in the middle of the bombs, security cordons and danger of Belfast at the height of the Troubles. We cover a range of topics including how to authentically portray a protagonist who you personally know, the impact of using music to give your film a strong identity, perseverance in finding your audience and how it is for a novelist to try begin working on a screenplay.

The BBC writer’s room has made the script publicly available to download here, we recommend you check it out!

Learn more about Glenn Patterson

Want to comment, get news and join episode discussions? Follow our instagram @21st_rewrite. Letterboxd film reviews @whacoldwell

For more information on the show and to contact us check out our homepage.

Parasite, Jojo Rabbit and all of the Screenwriting Nominees for the 92nd Academy Awards

This is a bonus episode in which we discuss the merits of all of the screenplays nominated for the Academy Awards this year, in the two categories of Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay. Now that we know who the winners are, we talk about whether we felt the right choices were made. This is a spoiler-free episode so if you haven’t seen all the films, don’t fear, we won’t ruin any of them for you.

Note: the Academy does not have ‘judges’ but there are specific members of the Academy who can vote on these categories, in the podcast we used the word ‘judge’ as shorthand to mean anyone who is meant to be casting a vote and making that judgement about which screenplays they felt should win.

Want to comment, get news and join episode discussions? Follow our instagram @21st_rewrite. Letterboxd film reviews @whacoldwell

For more information on the show and to contact us check out our homepage.

The White Ribbon (2009) with Brian Dunnigan - Screenplay by Michael Haneke - Writing a Movie - Review

Brian Dunnigan is a writer and filmmaker from Edinburgh. He is the author of the new book ‘Screenwriting is Filmmaking’ and was the head of the London Film School’s screenwriting programme for twelve years. In this episode William met with Brian in London to discuss the Michael Haneke film ‘The White Ribbon’, which won the Palme d’Or at Canne in 2009. We also hope you enjoy the twenty minutes of bonus content at the end in which we discuss some of Brian’s advice and teachings to screenwriters in his new book.

Buy ‘Screenwriting is Filmmaking’!

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The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas (2008) with Mark Herman - Screenplay by Mark Herman - Writing a Movie - Review

Happy new year everyone! This week, writer and director Mark Herman is on the show to discuss his 2008 adaptation of John Boyne’s novel ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’. We talk about difficult questions regarding holocaust fiction, how he went about adapting the book into a screenplay, and lessons he has learnt over his career as a screenwriter and filmmaker. This is second recording from York St John University, with many thanks to Mark for his time and to Robert Edgar for facilitating.

Learn more about Mark Herman // Watch the film // Read the book

Want to comment, get news and join episode discussions? Follow our instagram @21st_rewrite. Letterboxd film reviews @whacoldwell

For more information on the show and to contact us check out our homepage.

No Country For Old Men (2007) with Robert Edgar - Screenplay by Joel & Ethan Coen - Writing a Movie - Review

This week William is in York to chat with Robert Edgar, co-author of the new guide 'Adaptation for Screenwriters'. They discuss the Coen Brother’s popular adaptation ‘No Country For Old Men’, based on the book by Cormac McCarthy. Their conversation covers many interesting topics and ideas including the techniques the writers used to compress the timeline, some of the key differences that are apparent in the screenplay, what we mean when we talk about a film’s faithfulness to a book, and the elusive nature of the story’s antagonist Anton Chigurh.

Buy 'Adaptation for Screenwriters': Bloomsbury UK // Amazon US

Want to comment, get news and join episode discussions? Follow our instagram @21st_rewrite. Letterboxd film reviews @whacoldwell

For more information on the show and to contact us check out our homepage.