In Theaters Today: A Wrinkle in Time

Adapted from the Newberry Medal-winning novel by Madeleine L'Engle published in 1962, A Wrinkle in Time is premiering in theaters today with a screenplay by Jennifer Lee (Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph) and directed by Ava DuVernay.

Disney first adapted the book in 2003 as a made-for-TV movie that was written by Susan Shilliday (Legends of the Fall, I Dreamed of Africa).

Disney describes it's 2018 version as "an epic adventure based on Madeleine L’Engle’s timeless classic which takes audiences across dimensions of time and space, examining the nature of darkness versus light and, ultimately, the triumph of love. Through one girl’s transformative journey led by three celestial guides, we discover that strength comes from embracing one’s individuality and that the best way to triumph over fear is to travel by one’s own light."

Malcolm Gladwell Wants to Teach You How to Write

Journalist Malcolm Gladwell, staff writer for The New Yorker, has joined the growing ranks of accomplished personalities sharing their knowledge and insight through Masterclass.

According to Gladwell, "Writing has a higher purpose. It's part of the way in which we fulfill ourselves as human beings, both in the words that we write and the words that we read. This class is a chance for me to reflect on my career and share the insights I've gleaned in a form that my students can use."

Masterclass describes the program:

"In his MasterClass, Malcolm shares the research and writing techniques that have made him a prolific nonfiction writer and master storyteller. You’ll learn his approach to finding ideas in unusual places, structuring compelling narratives, and keeping readers engaged through every detail—including the art of the title and the role of semicolons. He also shares career tips for writers amassed over years in the industry—dealing with bad reviews, differentiating yourself as a writer, and identifying your own strengths and weaknesses as a writer."

Interested writers can learn more and sign up on the Masterclass website.


New in Print: Mother! The Making of the Fever Dream

If you're interested in delving deeper into mother!, Darren Aronofsky's challenging allegory about religion and human nature, then you will be hard pressed to find a more useful reference than, "mother! The Making of the Fever Dream",  the filmmaker's own analysis of his work on the film.

The book, published by Rizzoli, allows Aronofsky to detail his development and production of the film:

"Equal parts visual chronicle and artful scene study, mother! The Making of the Fever Dream recounts Darren Aronofsky’s spellbinding second half of mother!, and how it was constructed, with corresponding screen grabs, behind-the-scenes photography, script cues, and the annotated maps of his shot list.

mother! The Making of the Fever Dream is a deep dive into an auteur’s process about the heavily talked-about film mother! and its Bosch-like riveting sequence. From Aronofsky (Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream), mother! is the filmmaker’s newest polarizing offering, a psychological horror film with small nods to Roman Polanski, Luis Bunuel, and David Cronenberg, but is wholly Aronofsky’s original vision, a film presented in his singular and arresting style.  This chronicle is a beautiful, dynamic presentation of that sequence, with corresponding screen grabs, behind-the-scenes photography, the script as it pertains to the sequence, and the “maps” of his shot list. mother! The Making of the Fever Dream also includes a preface from Aronofsky about this shoot, and this book is a record of a film that will have audiences, Aronofsky fans, and film school denizens discussing the movie for years to come."

"mother! The Making of the Fever Dream" is available in paperback now,

Paul Thomas Anderson on Writing 'Phantom Thread'

Paul Thomas Anderson on writing 'Phantom Thread':

"The story was a little bit more fully formed than I'm making it out to be. There was the idea that there was a very strong willed man and a woman who enters his life, and what happens when they discover that, when he's weak he's at his best in terms of the relationship, and how that affects their future."

The Hollywood Reporter's Writers Roundtable

The Hollywood Reporter sat down with Jordan Peele ('Get Out'), Anthony McCarten ('Darkest Hour'), Aaron Sorkin ('Molly's Game'), Fatih Akin ('In the Fade'), Emily V. Gordon ('The Big Sick'), and Darren Aronofsky ('mother!') to discuss screenwriting and more as we head in to the Academy Awards.

And the 2017 Oscar nominees are...

Just announced this morning by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, these are the writing nominees for the 90th Academy Awards:


The Big Sick - Written by Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani

Get Out - Written by Jordan Peele

Lady Bird - Written by Greta Gerwig

The Shape of Water - Screenplay by Guillermo del Toro & Vanessa Taylor; Story by Guillermo del Toro

Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri - Written by Martin McDonagh


Calle Me by Your Name - Screenplay by James Ivory

The Disaster Artist - Screenplay by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber

Logan - Screenplay by Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green; Story by James Mangold

Molly's Game - Written for the screen by Aaron Sorkin

Mudbound - Screenplay by Virgil Williams and Dee Rees

In Theaters Today: 12 Strong

New in theaters today is 12 Strong, written by Ted Tally (The Silence of the Lambs, All the Pretty Horses) and Peter Craig (The Town, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Parts 1 & 2), adapted from Doug Stanton's book "Horse Soldiers."

The Warner Bros. film, directed by Nicolai Fuglsig, is 'based on true story' tale set in the wake of the devastating September 11th attacks:

"Set in the harrowing days following 9/11, a U.S. Special Forces team, led by their new Captain, Mitch Nelson (Chris Hemsworth), is chosen to be the first U.S. troops sent into Afghanistan for an extremely dangerous mission. There, in the rugged mountains, they must convince Northern Alliance General Dostum (Navid Negahban) to join forces with them to fight their common adversary: the Taliban and their Al Qaeda allies. In addition to overcoming mutual distrust and a vast cultural divide, the Americans—accustomed to state-of-the-art warfare—must adopt the rudimentary tactics of the Afghani horse soldiers. But despite their uneasy bond, the new allies face overwhelming odds: outnumbered and outgunned by a ruthless enemy that does not take prisoners."

In Theaters Today: All the Money in the World

From a screenplay by David Scarpa (The Last Castle, The Day the Earth Stood Still) that was based on a book by John Pearson (Painfully Rich: the Outrageous Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J. Paul Getty), Ridley Scott tells the story of the 44-year old kidnapping of J. Pauly Getty III in All the Money in the World.

"All the Money in the World follows the kidnapping of 16-year-old John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) and the desperate attempt by his devoted mother Gail (Michelle Williams) to convince his billionaire grandfather (Christopher Plummer) to pay the ransom. When Getty Sr. refuses, Gail attempts to sway him as her son’s captors become increasingly volatile and brutal. With her son’s life in the balance, Gail and Getty’s advisor (Mark Wahlberg) become unlikely allies in the race against time that ultimately reveals the true and lasting value of love over money."

All the Money in the World is in theaters today.

From Book to Screen: Fast Times at Ridgemont High

For the screenplay, Cameron Crowe adapted his own book which was titled "Fast Times at Ridgemont High: A True Story."

The film, directed by Amy Heckerling, premiered in theaters on August 13, 1982, and earned $27,092,088, becoming the 29th highest grossing movie of that year.

In 2005, the Library of Congress added "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" to the National Film Registry.

Masterclass Got David Mamet to Teach Dramatic Writing

David Mamet is teaching dramatic writing for Masterclass and all you need to join in is a pencil and a piece of paper.

"As a dramatist, your job is to tell a story. David’s dramatic writing class covers the rules of drama and teaches you how to keep your story simple by using Aristotle's Poetics as a guide.

David’s MasterClass takes an in depth look at both plot and plot structure. His class includes case studies on the plot structure of two of his award winning works, Glengarry Glen Ross and American Buffalo. Become familiar with the essential ingredients of plot like the precipitating event, the second-act problem, how to connect plot points, and learn the structure of a three-act play.

Learn how David Mamet developed his style for writing dialogue, famously known as "Mamet-speak." In addition, David’s dramatic writing lessons also include advice on where to draw inspiration when trying to write great dialogue."

Mamet's Masterclass covers how to:

- Understand and recognize drama

- Keep your hero’s journey at the heart of your narrative

- Use the rules of writing to improve your script

- Harness your fantasies and life experiences for drama

- Create objectives for your characters

- Structure your plot

- Recognize and remove scenes that are unnecessary to your script

- Overcome writer’s block

- Convey truth to the audience

- Cast the right actors for your play

You can learn more and sign up on

All original content is copyright © 2010-2018 Michael Sajkowicz. All other content is owned by their respective rights holders and used respectfully and with appreciation in an editorial manner under fair use for the purposes of commentary, criticism and reporting.