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Showing posts from November, 2012

Seven Psychopaths

Finally, a story.  So reads the screenwriter's epitaph, according to the old joke.  That dilemma, the unending quest for a good story, is one that Marty (Colin Farrell), an Irishman living in Hollywood, understands all too well.  His agent calls to remind him that his next screenplay is due.  Unfortunately, Marty has made little progress, beyond a bold if rather literal title:  Seven Psychopaths.  Thus begins the film within a film, or perhaps film about a film by another Irishman, Martin McDonagh, also in Hollywood and lapsing into a major sophomore slump after his surprising debut, In Bruges (2008).  Seven Psychopaths might be only the second full-length feature for Mr. McDonagh, but for his part, he already seems to be a writer running desperately short of ideas.

The subject matter in Seven Psychopaths, aside from the screenwriter's dilemma and, well, psychopaths, is hit men.  Such was the subject of McDonagh's vastly more original debut, In Bruges.  Perhaps it constit…

The Sessions

It wasn't cinematic, complained a friend after a screening of The Sessions.  Much as I might like to disagree with that friend, if only to make her life more difficult,  it's a fair criticism of the film written and directed by Ben Lewin.  Mr. Lewin's film, based on the story, "On Seeing a Sex Surrogate," by Mark O'Brien often plays like a television movie and not a terribly distinguished one at that.

Mark O'Brien was a journalist, poet and advocate for the disabled.  The contraction of the polio virus during childhood deprived him of the use of his limbs for the remainder of his life and often confined him to an iron lung.  Moving about Berkeley on a motorized gurney, he was able to complete a bachelor's degree in English literature in 1982.  Illness prevented him from completing a masters degree, but he was still able to pursue a career in journalism.  After writing an article on sex and disabled people, he was forced to confront fears about his ow…