Daily Dialogue — August 3, 2015

August 3rd, 2015 by

HAGRID: You’re a wizard, Harry!
HARRY: I’m a what?

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001), screenplay by Steve Kloves, novel by J.K. Rowling (novel)

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Call To Adventure. Today’s suggestion by Katie Cobb.

Trivia: Warner Bros. originally considered making the entire “Harry Potter” series as a set of CGI animated films, or attempting to combine several of the novels into a single movie. The studio’s reasoning mainly had to do with concern over the rapid aging of child actors-if production ran too long on any of the films, or if production was delayed between sequels, the leading actors might have to be recast. Author J.K. Rowling vetoed both the ideas of combining books and an animated film, so the studio decided instead to produce all seven (later eight) films back to back so the same child actors could play their roles in every film.

Dialogue On Dialogue: Commentary by Katie: “This line is so memorable. It’s the perfect call to adventure as it’s the turning point in Harry’s life, when an entirely new world is opened to him. I remember hearing that line for the first time as a kid, and it still gives me chills when I watch it today.”

Daily Dialogue — August 2, 2015

August 2nd, 2015 by

SHEN: (Wistfully) My father’s throne. He used to let me play here beside him, promising someday this throne would be mine.

The throne falls from a high castle window.

SHEN: A little to the left.
GORILLA: Uh, but it’s so heavy, Master.
SHEN: Thirty years I’ve waited for this moment. Everything must be exactly how I envisioned it. And I envisioned it, a little to the left. Perfect. With the weapon by my s— a little bit more. With the weapon by my side, all China will bow before me. We move out in three days when the moon is full and the tide is high. (Laughs) And now, you old goat, why don’t you tell me my—
SHEN: F-Future. I was going to say ‘future.’ Look into your ball and tell me what glory awaits.
SOOTHSAYER: If you continue on your current path, you will find yourself…at the bottom of the stairs. I see…I see…I see…pain.
SOOTHSAYER: And anger.
SHEN: How dare you! That is the finest silk in the province!
SOOTHSAYER: Followed by denial.
SHEN: And this is not fortunetelling. You’re just saying what’s happening right—

Shen sighs in disgust.

SOOTHSAYER: The most important time is now. But if you really want to see the future…
SHEN: Oh, what do you see?
SOOTHSAYER: A peacock…is defeated by a warrior of black and white. Nothing has changed.
SHEN: That’s impossible, and you know it.
SOOTHSAYER: It is not impossible, and he knows it.
SHEN: Who?
WOLF BOSS: Lord Shen! I saw a panda!
SHEN: A panda?
WOLF BOSS: Uh, a kung fu warrior. He fought like a demon. Big and furry. Soft and squishy. Uh, kinda plush and cuddly.
SHEN: There are no more pandas.
SOOTHSAYER: Even with his poor eyesight he can see the truth. Why is it that you cannot?
SHEN: Find this panda and bring him to me.
WOLF BOSS: Yes, sir.
SHEN: One panda. That does not make you right.
SOOTHSAYER: You’re right. Being right makes me right.
SHEN: Then I will kill him, and make you wrong.

The Soothsayer takes another bite of Shen’s robe.

SHEN: Will you stop that!

Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011), screenplay by Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger

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

Trivia: According to the director Jennifer Yuh, Shen proved to be a great challenge to animate, so much that the complexity of the character was like that of doing six characters all at once.

Dialogue On Dialogue: Commentary by Will: “The antagonist as world-conquering demagogue is a standard trope, and Shen is no different in that respect. What we get here is a conversation that reveals the depth of Shen’s willful blindness to his ultimate fate. The Soothsayer functions was the warning to Shen that he cannot win, yet Shen is so driven by his desire, his madness (both his insanity and his anger at the perceived slight by his parents), that he cannot release himself from his own self-destruction even when it’s spelled out plainly to him.

The writers also have some fun playing with the idea of a soothsayer by having her finish Shen’s lines, and with the ‘bottom of the stairs’ gag line.”

The Daily Dialogue theme for next week: Call To Adventure

August 1st, 2015 by

The Daily Dialogue theme for next week: Call To Adventure.

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 related to the craft of writing? If so, feel free to lay that wisdom on us.

Our upcoming schedule of Daily Dialogue topics:

August 10-August 16: Adultery
August 17-August 23: Callback
August 24-August 30: Hysterics
August 31-September 6: Monologue
September 7-September 13: Betrayal
September 14-September 20: Minimum Words, Maximum Impact
September 21-September 27: Depression
September 28-October 4: Opening Line
October 5-October 11: Rivalry
October 12-October 18: Cross Dressing
October 19-October 25: Selflessness
October 26-November 1: Embarrassment

If you have some Daily Dialogue themes to add to the roster, be my guest to post in comments. But be sure to post your ideas for this week’s theme: Call To Adventure.

Thanks to all you loyal Daily Dialoguers! You rock!

Daily Dialogue — August 1, 2015

August 1st, 2015 by

DEBBIE: I don’t want to hurt anybody. I don’t enjoy hurting anybody. I don’t like guns, or bombs, or electric chairs. But sometimes people just won’t listen. So I have to use persuasion. And slides. My parents: Sharon and Dave. Generous. Doting…or where they? All I ever wanted was a Ballerina Barbie in her pretty pink tutu. My birthday. I was ten. And do you know what they got me? MAL-I-BU BAR-BIE!
MORTICIA: Malibu Barbie.
GOMEZ: The nightmare.
MORTICIA: The nerve.
DEBBIE: That’s not what I wanted. That’s not who I was. I was a ballerina. GRACEFUL! DELICATE! They had to go.

Baby Pubert takes down a saw and begins cutting his way out of his prison.

DEBBIE: My first husband, the heart surgeon. All day long coronaries, transplants.
GRANNY: What about your needs?
DEBBIE: “Sorry about dinner, Deb, the Pope has a cold.”
GRANNY: An ax. That takes me back.

Pubert, crawling away, knocks loose a bowling ball.

DEBBIE: Husband number two: the senator. He loved his state. He loved his country.
GRANNY: What about Debbie?
DEBBIE: “Sorry, Debbie, no Mercedes this year. We have to set an example.” Oh, yeah? SET THIS!

More scenes of Pubert and the bowling ball.

DEBBIE: My latest husband. My late husband, Fester.
FESTER: The fool.
DEBBIE: The corpse, and his adorable family. They took me in, accepted me, but did any of you love me? Really love me?
GOMEZ: Hands!

Pubert slides down the stair rail and rolls across the floor.

DEBBIE: So, I…I killed. So, I maimed. So, I detroyed one innocent life after another. Aren’t I a human being? Don’t I yearn, and ache, and shop? Don’t I deserve love? And jewelry?

The bowling ball and baby Pubert set up the teeter-totter.

MORTICIA: A doomed ship.
GOMEZ: Adios, Cara Mia.
FESTER: Debbie, let them go. Take me and my money. For what I’ve done I deserve to die.
DEBBIE: Sorry.

The bowling ball launches Pubert into orbit, where he appears in the window of a passing jetliner.

DEBBIE: Goodbye, everybody! Wish me luck.
GROUP: Good luck.

Pubert lands just as Debbie throws the swtich. He rewires the cables so the shock returns and electrocutes Debbie, turning her into a mound of dust–and credit cards.

Addams Family Values (1993), screenplay by Paul Rudnick, characters by Charles Addams

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

Trivia: Based on the New Yorker cartoons drawn by cartoonist Charles Addams beginning in 1938, the original characters did not have names. It was the 1964 television series based on the cartoons that caused the characters to gain names.

Dialogue On Dialogue: Commentary by Will: “The Addams Family world turns all assumptions about normality inside out. To the Addamses, it’s the normal world that seems off kilter. So, how to make someone seem madder than the Addamses? Debbie Jellinsky had to be bigger than bigger-than-life, which meant writing (and performing) her melodramatically. In this scene we get the confessional trope. Why did she turn to be so bad? Blame it on Barbie (toy maker Mattel likely didn’t pay a promotional fee for this film). Adding a slide presentation was a new twist, which adds to the fun. She’s obviously prepared. Since this is the climax scene, there’s also the interspersed scenes of Pubert and the bowling ball to provide a Rube Goldberg-ish solution to how the baby defeats Debbie.”

Daily Dialogue — July 31, 2015

July 31st, 2015 by

Annie Wilkes: Paul…
Paul Sheldon: [waking up] Hmm?
Annie Wilkes: I know you’ve been out.
Paul Sheldon: What?
Annie Wilkes: You’ve been out of your room.
Paul Sheldon: No I haven’t.
Annie Wilkes: Paul… My little ceramic penguin in the study always faces due South.
Paul Sheldon: I don’t know what you’re talking about. Ceramic penguins…
Annie Wilkes: [shows him a knife] Is this what you’re looking for? I know you’ve been out twice Paul. First I couldn’t figure out how you did it, but last night [holds up bobby pin] I found your key. I know I left my scrapbook out, I can imagine what you might be thinking of me. But you see Paul, it’s all OK. Last night it came so clear, I realized you just need more time. Eventually you’ll come to accept the idea of being here. Paul do you know about the early days of the Kimberly Diamond Mines? Do you know what they did to the native workers who stole diamonds? Don’t worry, they didn’t kill them, that would be like junking a Mercedes just because it has a broken spring. No, if they caught them they had to make sure they could go on working but they also had to make sure they could never run away. The operation was called hobbling.
Paul Sheldon: Annie, whatever you’re thinking about doing, please don’t do it. Annie for God’s sake…
Annie Wilkes: Shhh darling. Trust me…
Paul Sheldon: For God’s sake
Annie Wilkes: It’s for the best.
Paul Sheldon: Annie, please…

She smashes his foot with a sledgehammer, Paul SCREAMS in pain.

Annie Wilkes: Almost done, just one more.

She smashes the other foot with the sledgehammer, Paul continues SCREAMING.

Annie Wilkes: God, I love you.

Misery (1990), screenplay by William Goldman, novel by Stephen King

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

Trivia: After refusing to speak about his motivations for writing Misery for two decades, Stephen King finally came out and stated that it is indeed about his battle with substance abuse. Kathy Bates’ character is a representation of his dependency on drugs and what it did to his body – making him feel alone, separated from everything, while hobbling any attempts he made at escape. In his statement he said he didn’t come out with it at the time because he wasn’t ready and because he was afraid it would detract from the story.

Dialogue On Dialogue: Commentary by James: “Annie is madness personified (a well-deserved Oscar for Kathy Bates). You know she is sincere when she tells Paul she loves him even as she is crushing his ankles.”

Daily Dialogue — July 30, 2015

July 30th, 2015 by

“There’s the television. It’s all right there – all right there. Look, listen, kneel, pray. Commercials! We’re not productive anymore. We don’t make things anymore. It’s all automated. What are we for then? We’re consumers, Jim. Yeah. Okay, okay. Buy a lot of stuff, you’re a good citizen. But if you don’t buy a lot of stuff, if you don’t, what are you then, I ask you? What? Mentally ill. Fact, Jim, fact – if you don’t buy things – toilet paper, new cars, computerized yo-yos, electrically-operated sexual devices, stereo systems with brain-implanted headphones, screwdrivers with miniature built-in radar devices, voice-activated computers…”

— 12 Monkeys (1995), written by David Webb Peoples & Janet Peoples

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Madness.

Trivia: Terry Gilliam was afraid that Brad Pitt wouldn’t be able to pull off the nervous, rapid speech. He sent him to a speech coach but in the end he just took away Pitt’s cigarettes, and Pitt played the part exactly as Gilliam wanted.

Dialogue On Dialogue: In a mad post-apocalyptic world, James is perhaps the maddest of them all. And yet, there is truth in his words, often the case with mad prophets.

Daily Dialogue — July 29, 2015

July 29th, 2015 by

KILGORE: Smell that? You smell that?
LANCE: What?
KILGORE: Napalm, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. (Kneels) I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn’t find one of ’em, not one stinkin’ dink body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like… (sniffing, pondering)… victory.

Apocalypse Now (1979), written by John Milius, Francis Ford Coppola, novel by Joseph Conrad

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

Trivia: According to the George Lucas biography “Skywalking,” Lucas’ decision to pull out of Apocalypse Now destroyed his working relationship with Francis Ford Coppola, who felt betrayed, and all but ended their friendship, and the Colonel Lucas character was meant as a back-handed snub to his then ex-friend. It would be years before they would be on speaking terms again, and would not work together again until 1986’s Captain EO (1986).

Dialogue On Dialogue: Commentary by Will: “Often what looks to one person like bravery appears to another as madness. No one ever accused Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore of being mad, but juxtaposed against the rest of the film, there’s a lot to doubt about his sanity. This is an instance where madness is subtext.”

Daily Dialogue — July 28, 2015

July 28th, 2015 by

Nash: [to Charles] The prodigal roommate revealed. “Saw my name on the lecture slate.” YOU LYING SON OF A BITCH!
Dr. Rosen: Who are you talking to? Tell me who you see.
Nash: How do you say “Charles Herman” in Russian?

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

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Madness.

Trivia: Screenwriter Akiva Goldsman had plenty of personal experience to draw on in developing the story; he had previously worked as a child care counselor and had developed a method for training mental health workers, and had also grown up in a house where his parents had established a group home for emotionally disturbed children.

Dialogue On Dialogue: Screenwriter Akiva Goldsman read Sylvia Nasar’s book on John Nash and immediately saw the story’s three-act structure: Genius. Madness. Redemption.

Daily Dialogue — July 27, 2015

July 27th, 2015 by

RIPPER: Mandrake?
MANDRAKE: Yes, Jack?
RIPPER: Have you ever seen a commie drink a glass of water?
MANDRAKE: Well, no, I…I can’t say I have, Jack.
RIPPER: Vodka. That’s what they drink, isn’t it? And never water.
MANDRAKE: Well, I…I believe that’s what they drink, Jack, yes.
RIPPER: On no account will a commie ever drink water. And not without good reason.
MANDRAKE: Ah…yes. I, uh, can’t quite see what you’re getting at, Jack.
RIPPER: Water. That’s what I’m getting at. Water. Mandrake, water is the source of all life. Seven tenths of this earth’s surface is water. Why, do you realize that seventy percent of you is water? And as human beings, you and I need fresh, pure water to replenish our precious bodily fluids. Are you beginning to understand?
MANDRAKE: (Laughing nervously) Yes.
RIPPER: Mandrake, Mandrake have you never wondered why I drink only distilled water, or rain water, and only pure grain alcohol?
MANDRAKE: Well, it…it did occur to me, Jack, yes.
RIPPER: Have you ever heard of a thing called fluoridation? Fluoridation of water?
MANDRAKE: Uh, yes I have heard of that, Jack, yes.
RIPPER: Well, you now what it is?
MANDRAKE: No, no, I don’t know what it is…
RIPPER: Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face?

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), screenplay by Stanley Kubrick, Terry Southern, Peter George, book by Peter George

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

Trivia: In one version of the script, aliens from outer space observed all of the action.

Dialogue On Dialogue: Commentary by Will: “After launching an all-out attack against the Soviet Union without authorization from the President of the US, Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper finally confides in his attache Group Captain Mandrake why he felt he had to begin World War III. Throughout the film we’ve known that a madman launched the initial attack, but it isn’t until this scene that we come to know that Gen. Ripper was a believer in the fluoridation conspiracy theory. His constant references to “precious bodily fluids” became a cultural catchphrase.”

Daily Dialogue — July 26, 2015

July 26th, 2015 by

“Shut up and deal.”

The Apartment (1960), written by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Last Line.

Trivia: The film’s classic last line was thought up by the writers at the last minute on-set.

Dialogue On Dialogue: The greatest last line of any movie ever!