Daily Dialogue — October 31, 2014

October 31st, 2014 by

“My name is John Nash. I’m being held against my will. Someone contact the Department of Defense.”

A Beautiful Mind (2001), screenplay by Akiva Goldsman, book by Sylvia Nasar

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Madness.

Trivia: While this film is inspired by the life of John Nash, there were elements from his life that were deliberately omitted: 1) he was married twice, both to the same woman (Alicia Nash); 2) in the past, he had several affairs with both men and women; 3) he was arrested by the police by scandal; 4) He fathered a child out-of-wedlock in his twenties; 5) he believed that through his mental illness the extra-terrestrials spoke him, giving his advanced knowledge by means of cosmic connection with them; 6) he tried to renounce to his American nationality some times, in the belief that the USA government pursued him; and 7) he made numerous anti-Semitic comments during his period of extreme mental illness, most of which equated Jews with world Communism.

Dialogue On Dialogue: The whole fantasy characters dynamic in Nash’s life was a great creative choice by the filmmakers, helping to suck us into the nature of the Protagonist’s madness.

Daily Dialogue — October 30, 2014

October 30th, 2014 by


Barton Fink (1991), written by Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Madness.

Trivia: Written by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen after a trip to see Baby Boom (1987) while suffering writer’s block writing Miller’s Crossing (1990).

Dialogue On Dialogue: Barton goes through a slow descent into a metaphorical madness, but Charlie Meadows is madness personified. What better backdrop to explore madness than Hollywood where insanity seems to be the basis of the studios’ business practices.

Daily Dialogue — October 29, 2014

October 29th, 2014 by

“But, man, you’re never gonna get any truth from us. We’ll tell you anything you want to hear. We lie like hell. We’ll tell you that, uh, Kojak always gets the killer, and that nobody ever gets cancer at Archie Bunker’s house, and no matter how much trouble the hero is in, don’t worry, just look at your watch; at the end of the hour he’s going to win. We’ll tell you any shit you want to hear. We deal in illusions, man! None of it is true! But you people sit there, day after day, night after night, all ages, colors, creeds… We’re all you know. You’re beginning to believe the illusions we’re spinning here. You’re beginning to think that the tube is reality, and that your own lives are unreal. You do whatever the tube tells you! You dress like a tube, you eat like a tube, you raise your children like a tube, you even think like a tube! This is mass madness, you maniacs! In God’s name, you people are the real thing! WE are the illusion! So turn off your television sets. Turn them off now. Turn them off right now. Turn them off and leave them off! Turn them off right in the middle of the sentence I’m speaking to you now! TURN THEM OFF…”

Network (1977), written by Paddy Chayefsky

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Madness. Today’s suggestion by Will King.

Trivia: Sidney Lumet recalled that Paddy Chayefsky was usually on the set overseeing his direction, and would give him advice on how certain scenes should be played. Lumet claims that Chayefsky had better comedic instinct than him, but when it came time to shoot the scene between Max and Louise, Lumet told Chayefsky, “Paddy, please, I know more about divorce than you”.

Dialogue On Dialogue: Commentary by Will: “The beauty of this film is that it’s a study in madness, but the character of Howard Beale, the supposedly insane former newscaster, is really the only sane person in the story.”

Daily Dialogue — October 28, 2014

October 28th, 2014 by

Mal: [Sitting on the ledge, to Cobb] I’m asking you to take a leap of faith.
Cobb: No I can’t. You know I can’t do that. Take a second, think about our children. Think about James. Think about Phillipa now.
Mal: If I go without you they’ll take them away anyways.
Cobb: What does that mean?
Mal: I filed a letter with our attourney explaining how I’m fearful for my safety. How you’ve threatened to kill me.
Cobb: Why did you do that?
Mal: I love you, Dom.
Cobb: Why did you… why-why would you do that?
Mal: I freed you from the guilt of choosing to leave them. We’re going home to our real children.
Cobb: No, no, no, no. Mal you listen to me, alright? Mal look at me, please.
Mal: [Closing her eyes] You’re waiting for a train…
Cobb: Mal, goddammit! Don’t do this!
Mal: A train that will take you far away…
Cobb: James and Phillipa are waiting!
Mal: You know where you hope this train will take you…
Cobb: They’re waiting for us!
Mal: But you can’t know for sure…
Cobb: Mal, look at me!
Mal: Yet it doesn’t matter…
Cobb: Mal, goddammit!
Mal: Because you’ll be together.
Cobb: Sweetheart! Look at me!

Mal jumps off of the ledge.

Cobb: Mal, no! Jesus Christ!

Inception (2010), written by Christopher Nolan

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Madness. Today’s suggestion by James Schramm.

Trivia: Christopher Nolan first pitched the film to Warner Bros. after the completion of his third feature, Insomnia (2002), and was met with approval from the studio. However, it was not yet written at the time, and Nolan determined that rather than writing it as an assignment, it would be more suitable to his working style if he wrote it as a spec script and then presented it to the studio whenever it was completed. So he went off to write it, thinking it would take “a couple of months”, but it ultimately took nearly eight years.

Dialogue On Dialogue: Commentary by James: “Having been led to believe that her world was real while they were in Limbo she is driven mad when Cobb implants the idea that her world is not real. Causing her death literally haunts him throughout the dream stages. Or was she the only sane person and Cobb and the others are still in a dream world where unbelievable things seem to happen?”

Daily Dialogue — October 27, 2014

October 27th, 2014 by

JOKER: You. You just couldn’t let me go, could you? This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. You truly are incorruptible, aren’t you? Huh? You won’t kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness. And I won’t kill you because you’re just too much fun. I think you and I are destined to do this forever.
BATMAN: You’ll be in a padded cell forever.
JOKER: Maybe we could share one. You know, they’ll be doubling up the rate this city’s inhabitants are losing their minds.
BATMAN: This city just showed you that it’s full of people ready to believe in good.
JOKER: Until their spirit breaks completely. Until they get a good look at the real Harvey Dent, and all the heroic things he’s done. You didn’t think I’d risk losing the battle for Gotham’s soul in a fist fight with you. No. You need an ace in the hole. Mine’s Harvey.
BATMAN: What did you do?
JOKER: I took Gotham’s white knight and I brought him down to our level. It wasn’t hard. You see, madness, as you know, is like gravity. All it takes is a little push.

The Dark Knight (2008), screenplay Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, story by Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Madness. Today’s suggestion by Will King.

Trivia: The Joker’s distinctive tongue flip grew out of Heath Ledger’s own habit of doing that.

Dialogue On Dialogue: The Joker is one of the greatest examples of madness in recent cinema history, embracing his own embracing.

Daily Dialogue — October 26, 2014

October 26th, 2014 by

“I felt it. Perfect. I was perfect.”

Black Swan (2010), screenplay by Mark Heyman and Andres Heinz and John J. McLaughlin

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Dying Words.

Trivia: The budget on this film was so tight that when Natalie Portman had a rib dislocated during a lift and called the producer for help, she was told that the production could not afford a medic. Portman stated that if they needed to cut items from the budget they could take away her trailer to hire a medic. The next day her trailer was gone. Portman also had to receive physical therapy during filming and one of her sessions was incorporated into the final cut. Choreographer Benjamin Millepied brought in Michelle Rodriguez Nouel, an actual physical therapist, and director Darren Aronofsky told Portman to stay in character during the appointment. Subsequent dance sequences were filmed by having Portman lifted from her arm pits rather than her sides to avoid repeating the injury. It took Portman six weeks to fully recover.

Dialogue On Dialogue: This is ultimate expression of Nina’s conscious goal, but not what she NEEDS to be. Hence the nuanced ending.

Daily Dialogue theme next week: Madness

October 25th, 2014 by

The Daily Dialogue theme for next week: Madness.

Sol Robeson: This is insanity, Max.

Maximillian Cohen: Or maybe it’s genius.

The usual drill:

* Copy/paste dialogue from IMDB Quotes or some other transcript source.

* Copy/paste the URL of an accompanying video from YouTube or some other video source.

I’d also ask you to think about why the dialogue is notable. Is there anything about the dialogue which provides some takeaway re screenwriting?

Here is our lineup for upcoming Daily Dialogue themes:

November 3-November 9: Seduction [Markham Cook]
November 10-November 16: Embarrassing Moment
November 17-November 23: Friendship
November 24-November 30: Proposal [Aamir Mirza]
December 1-December 7: Leadership
December 8-December 14: Quitting
December 15-December 21: Negotiation [Michael Waters]

Check this out: The GITS Daily Dialogue Topic Index! You can read about Liz and Allie, two sisters who are big fans of the blog, and were inspired to create the index. A great resource for writers looking for inspiration for their own dialogue writing. You can be a part of this proud tradition with your ideas for weekly themes and Daily Dialogue suggestions.

Please post your ideas for this week’s theme — Madness — in comments. Thanks!

If you have any ideas for Daily Dialogue themes, feel free to post as well. Thanks for your suggestions!


Daily Dialogue — October 25, 2014

October 25th, 2014 by

“I hope that when the world comes to an end, I can breathe a sigh of relief because there will be so much to look forward to.”

Donnie Darko (2001), written by Richard Kelly

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Dying Words.

Trivia: The song that plays as Donnie is riding his bike home in the theatrical version is “The Killing Moon” by Echo & The Bunnymen. As Gretchen waits for the school bus, a Volkswagen Rabbit vehicle quickly passes in front of her. When Elizabeth Darko is sleeping on the recliner, there is a stuffed rabbit next to her. As Donnie reaches for the car keys, there is a Polaroid picture of him and his sister in Halloween costumes on the desk. Donnie is dressed as a rabbit. When Donnie is talking to his sister after his mom leaves near the end, a “jack o lantern” bunny is seen on the table. Frank, the rabbit, often appears near a water source (sprinklers, water main, faucet).

Dialogue On Dialogue: Like so much of this movie, Donnie’s last line is enigmatic and laced with different meanings.

Daily Dialogue — October 24, 2014

October 24th, 2014 by

King Arthur: [about the inscription on the rock] What does it say, Brother Maynard?
Brother Maynard: It reads, “Here may be found the last words of Joseph of Aramathia. He who is valiant and pure of spirit may find the holy grail in the Castle of Aaauuuggghhh… ”
King Arthur: What?
Brother Maynard: “The Castle of Aaaauuuggghhhh”
Sir Bedevere: What is that?
Brother Maynard: He must have died while carving it.
King Arthur: Oh come on!
Brother Maynard: Well, that’s what it says.
King Arthur: Look, if he was dying, he wouldn’t have bothered to carve ‘Aaaauuuggghhhh’. He’d just say it.
Sir Galahad: Maybe he was dictating it.
King Arthur: Oh shut up!
Sir Robin: Well does it say anything else?
Brother Maynard: No, just “Aaaaauuuugggghhh”.
[knights making groaning sounds]
Sir Bedevere: Do you think he could have mean, ‘Camaaaauuuuggghhhh’?
Sir Galahad: Where’s that?
Sir Bedevere: France, I think.
Sir Lancelot: Isn’t there a Saint “Aaaaavvvveeeesss” in Cornwall?
King Arthur: No that’s Saint “Ives”.
Sir Lancelot: Oh, yes. “Iiiiiivvvveeessss”!
[All knights saying, "Iiiiiivvvveeessss"]
Sir Bedevere: Whooooouuuuaaa!
Sir Lancelot: No no no, it’s “Aaaaauuuugggghhhh” from the back of the throat.
Sir Bedevere: No I mean, “Whoooouuuuaaa!” as in surprise and alarm.
Sir Lancelot: Oh, you mean like, “AAAHH!”

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), written by Graham Chapman & John Cleese & Eric Idle & Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones & Michael Palin

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Dying Words. Today’s suggestion by James Schramm.

Trivia: During production, the troupe became increasing irritated by the press, who seemed to always ask the same questions, such as “What will your next project be?” One day, Eric Idle flippantly answered, “Jesus Christ’s Lust For Glory”. Having discovered that this answer quickly shut up reporters, the group adopted it as their stock answer. After production completed, they did some serious thinking about it, and realized that while satirizing Christ himself was out of the question, they could create a parody of first-century life, later realized in Life of Brian (1979).

Dialogue On Dialogue: Commentary by James: “I love the creativity around dying words carved in stone including the last dying breath and then a whole scene discussing the plausibility of such an act.”

Daily Dialogue — October 23, 2014

October 23rd, 2014 by

FATHER: (hoarse whisper) I… was … dis … dis …
FISCHER: I know, Dad. You were disappointed that I couldn’t be you.

The dying man SHAKES HIS HEAD with surprising energy.

FATHER: (whisper) I was disappointed… that you tried.

Inception (2010), written by Christopher Nolan

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Dying Words. Today’s suggestion by suzannepham.

Trivia: If you take the first letters of the main characters’ names – Dom, Robert, Eames, Arthur, Mal and Saito – they spell “Dreams”. If you add Peter, Ariadne and Yusuf, the whole makes “Dreams Pay”, which is what they do for a mind thief.

Dialogue On Dialogue: Commentary by Suzanne: “I love this dialogue because it is economical with words, and with so few words (“I was disappointed that you tried.”), it flips the entire relationship between Fischer and his dying father, which is pivotal to the plot. Fischer thought he was failing by not living up to his father’s legacy; now he understands his father wants him to make his own path.”