Dangal: The perfect Bollywood film for the uninitiated

There is a general resistance to Bollywood cinema in Western countries. This isn’t so much because of any strong objection to them, as it is because their structure is so fundamentally different from the output of Hollywood. They are frequently quite long, invest heavily in a sense of the melodramatic, and perhaps most significantly, the…

By James Curnow
London Road

Down on the Street: London Road and the Music of Fear

It can’t be the easiest way to write. Go out, find people who’ve been through something bad, interview them and then spend months working the material into a script. In the case of London Road, it may have been worth it, as first a hit stage musical and then a movie came out of it.…

By Ed Rowe
Zeffirelli otello

Opera Onscreen: How to Resurrect a Dying Genre

Given the fact that Placido Domingo instinctively ruffled his fingers through my hair 30 years ago as I—then a member of the Metropolitan Opera Children’s Chorus—marched by him on stage during a production of Carmen, I can’t help but admit a personal bias toward the legendary singer … which includes admiration for his efforts in…

By Simon Hardy Butler
The Jolson Story

A Lesson in Film Structure: The Jolson Story & Humoresque

This is a story about film structure. At various times, I have tried to lecture on the subject of structure in screenwriting, and I usually am forced to admit that we teach structure, in part, because it is something that can be taught. There’s some sort of indefinable spark of creation in any work of…

By Jonathan Eig