Mr Unemployed – feb 2021, ‘Goodbye Neighbourhood’

Another month closer to normality. I can taste the warm beer already.

In all honesty, this month has been a bit of blur – my only concept of time is completely orientated around Manchester City games. So in that case, I’m just gonna get cracking for the sake of consistency.

SCRIPT OF THE MONTH

February was all about writing for me. I only managed to squeeze one YouTube video out because of it.

The reason I prioritised writing above all is two-fold.

  1. I have recently got in touch with a screenwriter and they have been tremendously helpful to me. And before getting in touch with her, I was convinced that the film industry would continue to seem impregnable for me. But now, it feels like I’m finally cracking through the walls. Andy Dufresne style, but even he made it eventually. Anyway, she said she would have some spare time at the start of March to read over my stuff so I’ve gone gung-ho writing and rewriting to meet that aim.
  2. The early-bird deadline for Austin Film Festival’s Screenwriting Competition is March 16th and this is one script I wanted to enter.

But anyway, the bastard is done (for now). I’ll wait until I get some feedback before I decide whether it’s just finished, or finished finished.

I present to you, the ‘bastard’:

So what’s in store for March?

A couple YT videos hopefully. A final re-write of ‘Dying For An Inheritance’ in time for Austin. And hopefully, a scene-by-scene breakdown of the next script I’m going to write on Ching Shih.

Look her up on wikipedia if you have no idea who she is.

Anyway, this’ll most likely get no interaction but to hell with it, I need help on a title.

MOvie reviews of the month

Nomadland (dir. by Chloe Zhao)

As discussed last month, the lack of new UK releases is painful. So for the first time in years, I turned to Putlocker. And in all honesty, the constant pop-ups and the picture quality, especially the shadows, hampered my experience a bit.

But what I can say is that this is an Oscar frontrunner for a reason. It’s rare to find a film told with such honesty. There’s no embellishment, no stylisation. It feels like a documentation on a snippet of an ostracised community, bound by loss and humility. It is both bleak and beautiful. As soon as cinemas open I will be flooding in to re-watch it.

Also, Francis McDormand is going to sweep up awards left, right and centre. And having seen her performance, I will have zero argument with that.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Malcolm and Marie (dir. by Sam Levinson)

What can I say that’s nice about this movie? Well, in patches Levinson seems to capture a real life-like voice in his writing. And erm… well quite simply, John David Washington and Zendaya deserved better than the rest of the film’s self-aggrandising bullshit. Bar the patches that I previously described, the rest of the film is brimming with an adolescent impetuousness and angst. It’s well, boring. Plus, the best camera work is all in the first five minutes, after that it’s all a bit… meh.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

MOVIE IDEA OF THE MONTH

This idea I had a while back when watching Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. It was also an afterthought after I watched a Louis Theroux documentary on US prisons.

The idea is this – a play but told via film.

It would tackle very serious themes, such as the diabolical state of the US prison system and racism.

The cast would be as such:

  • The protagonist – a new inmate thrown into a communal cell. Beaten upon arrival.
  • A young kid (14) – got involved in a drug gang from a young age. The gang forced him to shoot someone.
  • An older, respected inmate – he would be due his release and would be protective over the kid.
  • A mentally ill inmate – no care for his mental illness. Extorted by other inmates.
  • A gang-member – fully indoctrinated by the make-belief laws with the prison system and gangs.
  • Two white prison guards.

And it would end in tragedy, the gang-member killing the older inmate who is due to be released. That’s the broad brushstrokes and I believe it could be an incredibly strong story.

However, I don’t think I should be the one to write it. I mean, what can a white, middle-class Englishman tell anyone about the struggle of the black community in America? I’d wager I am as ignorant as most people and although my intentions always come from a sincere place, I would be bigoted to believe that I can authentically write about these people and their struggles. So I will look elsewhere, but I hope a similar film will soon be made (perhaps it already has) because it is an incredibly important story to tell.

Anyway, that’s that for this month.

Signing off –

G.

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