Structure: Boy

Kiwis get film. Even apart from PJ’s blockbuster machine at Weta, they’ve had a good decade, with Whale Rider, The World’s Fastest Indian and more recently, Boy, a film by Taika Waikiki, inspired by his short Two Cars, One Night. by Dave Trendall (structure breakdown) and Karel Segers (notes). Boy is a funny and moving … Read more

Structure: E.T.

As a young teenager, Close Encounters made the deepest impression on me. Five years later, E.T. became the first movie I ever went to see a second time in the cinema. It made me officially a Steven Spielberg fan. by Dave Trendall (structure breakdown) and Karel Segers (notes). I’m still a big Spielberg fan, although … Read more

Structure: Up In The Air

I have written before why in my view Up In The Air didn’t work for a mainstream audience despite the generous attention the film received around Oscar time last year. This time we look at the detailed structure in acts and sequences. Only now, at the time of publication, I realize this is an excellent … Read more

Structure: Raising Arizona

While True Grit has become the biggest hit ever for the Coen brothers, let’s go back and look at their breakthrough hit. Raising Arizona was released twenty-four years ago and made $29m worldwide, then exceptional for an indie. Quite often I see filmmakers take liberties with conventional structure, quoting the success of independent filmmakers who … Read more