October: Hidden Gem Month?

September 17th, 2013 by

Note: I intend this post to gauge your interest in taking on what I think could be a cool series, but I take my damn sweet time getting to that point, so please be patient and read through my musings until you hit the payoff toward the end. Thanks!

Here in the Wonderful World of GITS, I’m always trying to think of ways to provide information, inspiration and insight for readers. That was the driving force behind my commitment to doing interviews with screenwriters on a regular basis, a weekly series that judging from the email and Tweets I get, is quite popular. As well it should be. What better way to learn about how to write and think like a professional screenwriter than hearing first-hand from professional screenwriters.

Another thing that emerged this year is a rotating monthly series of daily posts occupying the Noon (Eastern) 9AM (Pacific) slot. Thus far this year, we have had the following:

April: Story Idea Each Day for a Month

May: Movies You Made

June: 30 Days of Screenplays

July: Movie Story Types

August: Scene Description Spotlight

September: Scene-Writing Exercises

I look at that list and I think that’s pretty good, as it c0vers a lot of ground. But what to do for October?

Then it hit me: In my never ending quest to motivate folks to watch movies, why not a Hidden Gem Month? What’s more, what if I reached out to the GITS community and offered any of you interested to write a guest blog post? Do you have a favorite movie that deserves more attention than it gets?

Perhaps an older film hidden in the shadows of time.

Maybe a cult classic.

How about a foreign film.

I’d like to gauge your interest in taking this on. If I can get 25 people to commit to writing a brief Hidden Gems guest post, I think that would be totally cool. Imagine the variety of movies we could amass. I would create a post template to make it easy on you, all you’d have to do is plug in the information, provide a couple of paragraphs about why you love the movie so much and why we should all watch it, and you’d not only be doing a public service, you’d also get your name in some bright bloggy lights!

So who’s up for PROJECT HIDDEN GEMS?

I can think of so many hidden gems I’d love to promote. Here’s one:

That’s right, Repo Man, a cult classic if there ever was one, the 1984 movie written and directed by Alex Cox, starring a who’s who of great character actors including Harry Dean Stanton and Tracey Walter, where many of the key characters are named after beer (Oly, Bud, Miller, Lite), and featuring a musical appearance by none other than The Circle Jerks doing an acoustic version of “When the Shit Hits the Fan.”

How about you? Surely you’ve got a hidden gem you would love to brag on. Here’s your chance.

Can I get 25 movie loving souls to step up for this project? And to sweeten the pot, each one who participates will receive a special batch of GITS creative juju!

So whaddya say? Are you in… or are you in?

33 thoughts on “October: Hidden Gem Month?

  1. robbie says:

    I’m in. I’ll just go down to the movie mine and pull a few rocks outta the wall to prepare. : )

  2. I’ll play! Put me down for, “Ball of Fire.” :D

  3. Two for your consideration:

    Nancy Savoca’s DOGFIGHT, written by Bob Comfort, and A MIDNIGHT CLEAR, written and directed by Keith Gordon.

  4. Zach Jansen says:

    I’ve got a few movies I’d love to write about. And it’d give me a nice break from screenwriting and get back (albeit briefly) to exploring why movies rock.

    So yeah, I’m in. And if you’ve got the template, I’d have no problem touting a handful of films. I guess that means you can sign me up five times.

  5. 14Shari says:

    I’m in. If it’s okay, I want to write about the foreign movie ‘Wan Pipel’ (1976), a Surinamese/Dutch classic movie.

  6. bigjonslade says:

    I would be happy to contribute. Love and Death, The Third Man, Exorcist 3. I have a few…

  7. Aurélien Lainé says:

    Hi Scott, please count me in. I’d like to introduce a French film that I love “Joyeux Noel (2005)” (Merry Christmas).

  8. jwebb66 says:

    Hi, great idea and a great excuse for re-watching an old favourite. I’d be happy to contribute with perhaps 1968 dark crime flick Pretty Poison, Melville’s classic Le Samourai or Italian ‘giallo’ Deep Red …

  9. Scott says:

    Okay, I’m liking what I’m seeing as these suggestions are very much in the groove of what I imagined: cult, foreign, old, largely forgotten. And we’ve got a good start in terms of volunteers.

    If we can get at least 20 folks to volunteer, I think we can pull this off.

    All I’m talking about is perhaps 1 page of text, I will take care of inserting photos, movie clips, perhaps even script excerpts if available online.

    I assume we’re going to hit 20, maybe even 25, so I’ll start working up a template which I’ll post at some point this week. Then I’ll post chronologically based on when I receive an email from you with your article content.

    Let’s make this thing work so well, we do it every year. I’ll even archive each post in a Hidden Gems forum.

    Thanks all!

    1. Es says:

      I would love to! There are so many movies yet to be discovered or rediscovered. Even from stars we know today.But also from the cult genre.

  10. UpandComing says:

    Great idea, Scott! I’d love to write an entry on “Eve’s Bayou”, a powerful coming-of-age story that includes elements of the supernatural.

  11. John Arends says:

    I’m in, if you’re okay with me laying hands on hallowed celluloid, ‘cuz when I hear anyone utter the words “hidden gem,” one film pops immediately to mind, every time: LOCAL HERO.

  12. I have two nominations.

    On the comedy side – The Missionary (1982). Michael Palin wrote and starred in this gentile satire. It’s 1906, and Palin’s Reverened Fortescue is recalled from Africa and dispatched to minister to the fallen women of London’s East End. His hopelessly naive fiancee thinks fallen women are women who have hurt their knees. Fortescue’s mission cannot succeed without the patronage of Lady Ames (Maggie Smith) who is determined to seduce the Reverend and murder her husband. Denholm Elliot plays a Bishop obsessed with sports, and Michael Hordern steals every scene he stumbles into as an absented-minded butler. Don’t expect Python-level absurdity, but it is very funny and surprisingly touching.

    On the drama side – A Month in the Country (1987). Adapted from the novel of the same name by JL Carr. Colin Firth stars as Tom Birken, an art restorer still struggling with shell-shock from his service in WW1. Birken takes a job in the Northern countryside, uncovering a mural discovered on the wall of a small church. There he meets Captain Moon (Kenneth Branagh) another vet, with wounds that run deeper than Birkin’s own, and Alice Keach (Natasha Richardson) the rector’s lovely and unappreciated wife.

    Visually stunning and emotionally haunting, it’s a story about loss and hope and healing the human spirit. It’s all but impossible to find a copy of today, unfortunately. That I saw it twenty years ago and still remember it in great detail is a testament to how deeply effective it is.

  13. Bird,
    Play Misty For Me,
    The Outlaw Josey Wales,
    Friends of Eddie Coyle,
    Klute,
    Life of Brian,
    The Name of the Rose,
    Zabriskie Point,
    The Long Good Friday,
    The Driver (Ryan O’Neal),
    Breaking In (w. Burt Reynolds)

  14. Ange Neale says:

    Two suggestions from the comedy genre: ‘Galaxy Quest’ – Tim Allen, Sigourney and Alan Rickman save a naive alien species on a spoof of Star Trek and the whole Trekkie convention culture. The aliens have seen their ‘historical documents’ broadcasts and enlist the actors’ help to defeat ‘old lobster head’ who threatens their species with extinction.

    And one Americans may not be so familiar with: ‘Muriel’s Wedding’. It’s a spoof on Australia’s obsession with Swedish pop group, Abba, which also takes aims at parental hypocrisy, airheaded mean girls, etc. Starred Toni Collette and Rachel Griffiths before they came to Hollywood’s attention. It’s on youtube in 10 parts, but if you’re short on time, just watch parts 2 & 3 on their own and you’ll catch some of the funniest dialogue. BTW, ‘chook’ is slang for a chicken, so you get that joke.

  15. hoernsch says:

    Hi Scott, A wonderful idea. Count me in for Beineix’s 1981 film ‘Diva’, a haunting laid-back thriller as only the French know how, Bohringer at the summit of his art, and Wilhelmenia Fernandez sublime… who could ask for more?

    1. Steve Enloe says:

      I love Diva. Turned me on to opera. My gem would be Swedish film MY LIFE AS A DOG.

  16. Lydia Mulvey says:

    I’m in Scott, and championing the Irish movie market by pushing the 2004 film “Adam and Paul” directed by Lenny Abrahmson (who’s slated to direct the adaptation of the haunting novel “Room” by Emma Donohoe.) Adam and Paul is about two drug addicts roaming the streets of Dublin in search of their next fix. Sounds grim but it’s extremely funny, touching and very sad.

  17. igetsbuckets says:

    Hey Scott,

    Awesome idea for a monthly series. I’d like to contribute with a post about either “Beautiful Girls” (1996) or “Fish Tank” (2009).

  18. I’d love to take the mic and spout off about an Aussie flick from 1996 titled “Love Serenade.” Just give the word sir…

  19. David Joyner says:

    This sounds cool, Scott. I’m also a fan of Alex Cox. Many of his scripts are on his webpage and he is now working on Bill, The Galactic Hero, based on the Harry Harrison novel.

  20. Jon Stark says:

    Sounds like a really good series. I’m up for either “Hudson Hawk” or “Ice Pirates” – both of which fall neatly into the quirky but fun and now totally lost niche. Which is to say that I just walked around my office and for those that knew them (just the old timers like me), they were both “love it” or “hate it” films.

  21. Despina says:

    This sounds very cool! I’m always looking for movie ideas!

    I recently watched The Kings of Summer and am obsessed with this movie. Another two recent favorites are 1) Wild Target (British) and 2) The Kid (British https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lMtEpiONRI). I don’t know how good at movie reviews or dissection I’d be, but I’d give it a go on one of those.

  22. Ben Odgren says:

    I would write something about Jake Kasdan’s ‘Zero Effect’.

  23. SabinaGiado says:

    Me me me!!

    I just watched Me You and Everybody We Know. LOVED IT. Really inspired me to explore multiple protagonist not-so-easy plotline movies.

    I don’t think Attack the Block got as much props as it should have as well.

    On the Indian/South Asian side, Monsoon Wedding is on my mind.

    With British movies – ‘Death at a Funeral’, ‘Billy Elliot’ – neither of those too underground but still worth lauding.

    1. Erica R Maier says:

      Sabina, I can STILL see the final image in Me You and Everybody We Know … loved it!! Miranda July is very unique. Was working at a film festival during the time that came out, and we programmed it in — John Hawkes came in for it, and he was a delight, so down-to-earth & cordial. Great film!

  24. SabinaGiado says:

    And Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (more mainstream Bollywood) – a classic simple Cyrano De Bergerac-type story.

  25. SabinaGiado says:

    Oh yes and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi – a classic Cyrano De Bergerac kinda story. Bollywood mainstream though.

  26. Mark Walker says:

    Mmmmmm….looks like you might have plenty of volunteers already but, for my offer I would be happy to talk about

    THE FOUNTAIN – Darren Aronofsky

    Although it is not his first film, and it is not that obscure, it pretty much tanked at the box office and is criticised for being obtuse and mystifying to the point of obfuscation. But it is an emotionally charged piece that works on many levels, even if you don’t understand them all.(I didn’t!)

    Or, failing that, it might be interesting to talk about

    QUINCY’S QUEST

    If I can find a copy to re-watch. Quincy is a doll in a store, planned for incineration on Christmas Eve (if I remember) and his quest is to get to the top of the store to Santa to save all the other toys. Not seen this since I was a kid, but loved it then and have many fond, but fading, memories. If I can source a copy to rewatch, could be an interesting comparison of my rose-tinted view before viewing and after viewing….

  27. NB says:

    –Christmas in Connecticut, with Barbara Stanwyck

    –Miracle of Morgan’s Creek, because Preston Sturges is always worth it

    –Foreign Affair, Billy Wilder. Ditto

    –The More the Merrier, a Jean Arthur classic

    –Buche de Noel, best funeral scene ever

    –Any of Eric Rohmer’s Four Seasons

  28. Scott says:

    I’ll post something on Friday with names of those who have volunteered along with a template. Thanks all! This should be a great series!

  29. sutinderbola says:

    If I’m not too late… and it’s not too ‘famous’ for a hidden gems list…

    In The Mood For Love by Wong Kar Wai

    More than a gem. It’s simply incredible. Beautiful. Heartbreaking. Sumptuous filmmaking.

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