Movie Moment: The Untouchables – Mexican Standoff

Let’s face it, ever since David Mamet started directing his own movies, his screenwriting has gone downhill (Glengarry Glen Ross was a play first, remember). His last master piece for the screen was The Untouchables (1987), which he wrote for Brian De Palma. I saw the film at the Venice Film Festival where that year … Read more

The Serial Killer Hero

How should a writer handle a story in which the protagonist is a serial killer? It’s an interesting dilemma, isn’t it? Because every book tells you that your protagonist should be “empathetic” and/or “sympathetic,” right? The audience has to “connect” with him/her on some level, “feel” for the character, and hopefully “root” for that person … Read more

The Untouchables – The Mid Point(s)

A movie’s Mid Point usually fulfills a number of functions. In the Hero’s Outer Journey, an event occurs that makes the Hero change the approach to pursuing the goal. On the inner level, the Hero shows a first commitment to change. Some people speak of the Point of No Return. Because every strong plot point … Read more