Monday, August 28, 2006

Germany's Scriptforum announces conference programme

The Scriptforum Conference in Berlin in October is one of the Europe's foremost scriptwriting events. In addition to the conference itself, a series of workshops are being organised in English and/or German. These include "Eroticism in Screenplays", "Creativity Access: Diving into Story" and "Action – Writing for a Successful Genre”.

For details, see the Scriptforum website.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

British sitcoms celebrated in documentary

Britain has been producing sitcoms since the fifties, so it was about time the subject was given a serious documentary. "Laughter in the House" is a superb look at the history and peak moments of British sitcoms, from the earliest days up to the recent classics such as "Only Fools and Horses" (written by John Sullivan), "The Young Ones", Fawlty Towers", "Blackadder" and "Rising Damp". Of particular interest to writers are the numerous interviews of the scriptwriters, many of whom wore woolie jumpers. Argh, what does that tell us about the writing profession?

The series is currently running on BBC2. If this link doesn't help, try the BBC2 homepage.

"Only Fools and Horses" has just been voted by viewers as Britain's best Sitcom, edging out "Blackadder", "Vicar of Dibly", "Dad's Army" and "Fawlty Towes". But where does "Absolutely Fabulous" come in? For the full list, click here.

Friday, August 11, 2006

"Adam and Paul" writer-director team plan new movie

I've never understood why "Adam and Paul" didn't chalk up more viewers worldwide. Despite being a runaway hit at home in Ireland, releases elsewhere were very tepid. This was probably due to the premise, which has been summed up (accurately) as "Laurel and Hardy waiting for Godot in Dublin on smack". However, the bittersweet tale is probably one of the best-written and engaging comedies I've seen in years.

The writing-directing team of Mark O'Halloran and Lenny Abrahamson are now set to start shooting "Garage" in Ireland. I'll leave the comments to one of the producers, the UK's FilmFour. "Lenny and Mark [have] taken a genre we think we know and think may have had its day – the small-town drama – and used it to make something new, poignant and hilarious".

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Verhoeven's "Black Book" trailer online

Paul Verhoeven, the maker of "Basic Instinct", "Total Recall" and "Starship Troopers" is making a return to the screen with a Dutch-speaking film. "Zwartboek/Black Book" will be released in Holland in September, according to the site of the Dutch distributor A Film which is already airing the trailer (click on the photo left). The story of a Dutch Jew trying to survive in Holland during the war was co-written with Gerard Soeteman, the prolific writer of "Turks Fruit/Turkish Delight" and "Soldier of Orange". Carice van Houten and Thom Hoffman are the stars in what looks like being a lush period piece. Verhoeven and Hoffman have been working on the story on and off for 20 years.

"Black Book" is a Dutch/UK/German co-production. It will be unveiled at the upcoming Venice Film Festival. "I could not think of a more beautiful premiere for my film," says Verhoeven. Releases have been arranged in some 50 countries, which is quite exceptional for a Dutch-speaking film.

Paul Verhoeven on Amazon FR