Arts and Humanities
5:37 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Sound on Film: 'Mandela,' 'Escape From Tomorrow'

Credit Producers Distribution Agency

Hello brave listener and welcome to WFPL’s Sound on Film.

On this episode, our reviews of the Idris Elba-starring biopic “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” and no-budge psychological horror “Escape from Tomorrow,” which was secretly shot inside Disney World without the company’s permission.

But first it’s news from around the filmosphere with an exploration of the 2013 Black List of best unproduced screenplays and some TV odds and ends.

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Questions? Feedback? Story or guest interview ideas? Contact us at film@wfpl.org.

Special thanks to house band Discount Guns.

'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon'

Jimmy Fallon takes over the tonight show desk from Jay Leno on Feb. 17 and yes, he’s taking his house band The Roots with him. NBC released its first promo for Fallon’s debut last week, in a montage of Tonight Show’s past, welcoming the new host to the legacy of Steve Allen, Jack Paar, Johnny Carson, Leno, and briefly, Conan O'Brien.

We discuss Fallon’s prospects as the new host.

'House of Cards' Director Commentary

You can now help to pump yourself up for February premiere of "House of Cards" Season 2 by rewatching Season 1 with the all-new director’s commentary option that the site debuted last week.

The series is produced by director David Fincher, who brought us "The Social Network," "Fight Club" and many more. Fincher is included in the commentary for the first two episodes, which directed himself, and is known for conducting some of the best director commentaries out there.

The remainder of the episodes each feature commentaries from their respective directors, which include James Foley ("Glengarry Glen Ross"), Joel Schumacher ("The Client"), Charles McDougall ("The Good Wife"), Carl Franklin ("Homeland"), and Allen Coulter ("The Sopranos").

The Black List

The Black List is a survey of studio and production company executives published every year on the since 2004, which identifies not necessarily "the best" unproduced screenplays, but rather "the most liked" of what’s out there.

The list of award-winning Black List alums includes examples such as “Lars and the Real Girl,”  “Juno," "The King's Speech,” “Slumdog Millionaire,”  “Argo” and “50/50."

Now, at 72 scripts the list can seem a little unwieldy, but as reported by Go Into the Story, the blacklist’s own screenwriting blog, we have some statistics that I think are quite useful at wrapping our brain around this thing:

An initial caveat is that all of these scripts are currently unproduced, meaning that haven’t been made yet, but that’s not to say they aren’t currently in some step along the production path.

As such, it’s interesting to note that 33.3 percent of the scripts on the 2013 Black List have a financier attached. And 68 percent of the scripts on the 2013 Black List have a producer attached.

• 13 female writers

• 11 biopics

  • 1 script about Stanley Kubrick faking the moon landing.
  • 2 scripts about the making of the film Jaws.
  • 2 scripts about Fred Rogers of "Mister Rogers’ Neighorhood" fame.
  • 5 scripts about Hollywood or the entertainment industry
  • 8 scripts with explicitly politically charged content

'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom'

“Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” is a biographical film covering his childhood (we meet him as a teenager in his Xhosa village completing a ritual initiation into manhood), time as a young lawyer transition to an outspoken reformer,  his subsequent three-decade  imprisonment by South Africa's apartheid government, culminating with his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa.

It stars English actors Idris Elba (known for great TV performances in "Luther" and "The Wire," but featured in 2013’s "Pacific Rim" and Marvel’s "Thor" movies) as Nelson Mandela,  and Naomie Harris ("Skyfall") as wife Winnie Mandela.

It was directed by Justin Chadwick (2008’s "The Other Boleyn Girl") from a script written by William Nicholson (whose had a long career including the 2012 version of "Les Miserables," and "Gladiator.")

The film premiered in September at the Toronto International Film Festival. It was released on November, less than a week before Mandela died.

Escape From Tomorrow

The debut of writer-director Randy Moore," Escape from Tomorrow" stars Roy Abramsohn as a man having increasingly disturbing experiences and visions during the last day of a family vacation at Disney World.

Moore shot his film in several Disney’s amusement parks without the company’s knowledge or permission, in what may be one of the boldest acts of guerilla filmmaking in recent memory.

"Escape from Tomorrow" premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, after being kept secret by both the festival and filmmaker until its premiere. Many critics feared the film would never seen the light of day due to obvious legal issues, but Disney has apparently chosen to ignore rather that draw attention to it, and so it’s moving forward with a limited release.

Moore made the movie for just $650,00.

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