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August 24 2007

Joss Whedon in today's IMDb poll. "We created a list of contemporary writer-directors who are superb with dialogue; whose lines would you say are the strongest?" Joss is indeed listed as an option.

He totally gets my vote, and there are some amazingly talented folks on that list.

Current top five:
Quentin Tarantino 889 31.0%)
Woody Allen 315 (11.0%)
Joss Whedon 259 (9.0%)
Joel and Ethan Coen 244 (8.5%)
Kevin Smith 210 (7.3%)

I voted.
Joss definitely gets my vote. Kevin Smith would be my second choice.
All the kids are voting for Tarantino, and all the old timers and film students are voting for Allen, leaving Joss the true winner. Hey, it's a good excuse.

And Aaron Sorkin should be high on this list, but he's never directed.
Hmm, that's pretty tough. I'm trying to think of the best of each of their dialogue to compare but i'm blanking.

"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying."

has to be hella close to a perfect line though (even if i'm not certain it actually appeared in a film so may not "qualify").

Joss, Tarantino and the rest also sometimes write great individual lines but I think they're better at creating a sort of "feel" both for character and situations through their dialogue. Woody Allen may be better at zingers though (as befits an ex stand-up - even if he apparently hated every second he was on stage ;).
well, Tarantino takes the poll by a margin, but Big J is now second, topping even Woody Allen!

You know, that says something.
For sheer pleasure of dialogue, Joss sure beats Tarantino in my book. Well, in other aspects too :)

The real unappreciated master here is P.T. Anderson, I believe. He's down in the middle, but the man does wonderful, crazy, subtle things with words.
Were I being really honest, I would have said "I can't choose." but since in the last month I've rewatched all of Firefly and the last 2.5 seasons of Buffy, my head is seriously full of Joss-y phrases. On the other hand, last time I rewatched Annie Hall I realized how many lines I use all the time come from there.So in 30 years will I still be quoting JW? Actually I'm just hoping to be still coherent enough to quote anyone. At least Rob Thomas wasn't another choice, then I'd be really torn.

The thing is I pick up lines from lots of movies, etc and use them all the time, but after watching the works of JW et al I find myself making subtle shifts in phrasing and vocabulary. For example, my daughter, while visiting her sister, sent me a message saying she wanted grilled cheese. Instead of "There's no grilled cheese in Texas?" I replied "Texas is lacking in grilled cheese?"
Sassafras, I hear you on that one. I knew watching Buffy/Angel had had an effect on my vocabulary, but I didn't realize how much of an effect until I found some things I wrote Before Buffy. Wow. The rhythm and cadence are all different, and today I find myself using constructions like "It's much with the awesomeness" that I wouldn't have ten years ago. Insidious.
Tarantino is leading waaay ahead now - I don't get it. The man writes the most boring dialouge.
I couldn't choose. Love so many people on that list, seriously. It's like... half that list makes up my "heroes" list - that includes Woody Allen, Wes Anderson, Joss, Tarantino, Judd Apatow, Sofia Coppola, Kevin Smith and the Coen brothers.
No David Mamet?
Coens. Coens Coens Coens.
So, Coens then.

Here's how rubbish I am, I think I've only actually seen "Raising Arizona" (which was great). Nope, not even 'Fargo'. I might as well spit on the Film Gods and then eat shellfish on their sabbath (Opening Friday-Sunday), take other mediums Gods to be the One True and covet my neighbour's original 'Godfather 2' shooting script. Call myself a fan ... Sheesh, I disgust me.
Did I just detect some sort of purple, not-so-subliminal attempt to influence the vote in favour of the Coens?

I would actually have been forced to still vote Whedon but you have to register and it's been a long day, I'm tired and filling out pointless forms to check a box for a poll that will be forgotten about tomorrow is too much like hard work.

Of course, it might have been quicker and easier to do so than spend all this time typing about how I'm not doing so...
I just watched some of Buffy's season 3 last night with a friend who has never seen it before, and once again I was blown away. I gotta go w/Joss as my favorite because no one I know holds up to multiple viewings (with multiple laughs and tears) the way that Joss does!
Me too, Saje. But considering how much I liked Raising Arizona, I should probably try the others sometime.

I can't vote in this. I haven't seen enough of the other movies, and my loves for Serenity and Dogma are also competing pretty heavily, so I'll just watch.
Saje,
Get thee to an "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" dvd, instantly!
I have a tough time with the Coens' plots, (Ewww too much of the time) but they do have great dialog. ...But I own and watch all of BtVS, Ats, Firefly and Serenity on DVD and don't own a DVD of a Coen movie and don't want to watch any I have seen ever again. Ok...because of the plots not the dialog.

(sigh) This is why I don't pay attention to these things normally.

ETA: Haven't seen "O Brother Where Art Thou?" either.
Saje, watch Barton Fink.

I saw that during the four months I spent in what ultimately was an aborted attempt to move to Chicago. I was living at the Lawson YMCA. Walking out of that movie, I had to just walk around Chicago for awhile because every single perception I had was being seen through the Barton Fink lens.

Those who have seen the movie will understand, then, why it was a little unnerving to return "home" to the long hallway where my room at the Y was.

ETA and PS: Miller's freaking Crossing, too! Or I'll give you the high hat.

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2007-08-24 16:47 ]
I do like both Tarantino and Smith quite a bit, but they do tend to let their characters talk about stuff that's not important to the plot or characters, while Joss manages to keep it fresh and interesting without going completely off track for several minutes, which I admire just a little bit more.
Can't take a stand on the Coens, as I haven't seen a Coen film in a loooong time and can't remember much.
So I'm gonna check the purple-sounding box.
Aha, "Miller's Crossing" with Gabriel Byrne ? I've seen that one ! Just didn't realise/had forgotten it was them for some reason. And I don't remember much about it either (except, bizarrely a bit where he climbs out of a window - just struck me as graceful, very sure-footed y'know ?), worth a re-watch i'm thinking.

Saje,
Get thee to an "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" dvd, instantly!


&

Saje, watch Barton Fink.

Reckon I may watch a couple over the next few days. Though it looks like we could end up with that rarest of rarities, a sunny bank-holiday weekend, so maybe not ;).

("O Brother" appeals because part of what I really liked about "Raising Arizona" was the music)
Woody Allen for Dialogue? Doesn't he asks all his actors to improvise?

Tarantino is excellent at writing soliloquies and tirades, but I've rarely been impressed by his dialogues.

I'm sorry Joss, but as much as the Coens are great with surreal situations and write great characters for 2-hours shots, they don't come close to you for dialogues.

I like all of them, though.
Voted for Joss, of course. There sure are some talented people on that list.
Fargo came out during the year we lived in North Dakota and I remember after seeing it hearing the locals talk about it, saying things like, "Ooh, hey... we doon't talk like that here, eh? I doon't where they get that froom. Hoosers."

lol. Good times.
OBWAT is about the only Coen movie I really liked. I'm forced to admit that I just didn't "get" Fargo, although I thought it was an amusing farce. Of course, I didn't "get" Napoleon Dynamite either, so I may just be turning into a fuddy-duddy.

And Joss, thanks for the endorsement, but... no. Sorry, but I voted for you.
Whither Richard Curtis?
Saje, the Woody Allen line, is, I'm almost sure, from his book "Without Feathers." So, I guess it doesn't qualify. It is, however, pretty much my personal all time favorite. I've often been tempted to claim it for my own.
Never seen The Big Lebowski? Fargo? Oh-check them out.

[ edited by toast on 2007-08-24 19:23 ]
Of course, I didn't "get" Napoleon Dynamite either, so I may just be turning into a fuddy-duddy.


I am fairly certain that I "got" it, but it really wasn't funny to me. Different strokes, as they say.
Quite enjoyed "Napoleon Dynamite" but a) a lot of the best bits were in the trailer and b) it's very much a slow burn. I found it funnier looking back than during the actual watching of it personally.

... the Woody Allen line, is, I'm almost sure, from his book "Without Feathers."

Well, if he'd known there was gonna be a poll he might've slipped it into a film script so I say we give it to him ;).

Ah, and "The Big Lebowski" (also very cool). Jeez, I really wish they'd have some kind of indication on the box when they make a film, then i'd at least know it's a Coen brothers movie.

OK, so it turns out i've seen more of their films than their mother only without realising/remembering. Still, gotta say, not remembering much in the way of dialogue.

Whither Richard Curtis?

He does do pretty decent dialogue (and not just the funny stuff) but I think maybe a lot of the time his writing's slightly overshadowed by the performers (and maybe cos it's also a bit more naturalistic than a lot on this list it doesn't stand out in folk's minds ?).
Much as I love the Coens, Joss, if it hadn't been for you, my vote woulda gone to Tarantino.

Who said he writes boring dialogue?! Sacrilege, I say!
I have a terrible memory for dialog unless I've seen something more than three or four times. That cancels out most of those listed, so I defaulted to Joss as his work is the only stuff I regularly watch over and over.
I've seen multiple Coen movies by multiple Coens and even bought Tarantino scripts, but resign yourself, O Purple One, to being the bestest dialoguist.

[ edited by Pointy on 2007-08-24 20:35 ]
Billy Wilder! Yes, I know he's not really contemporary, but, in my book, he'd knock more than half of those people off the list. Joss would still be on there, but, it would be harder to pick...
Take "QuoterGal's Unpatented Writer-Dialogue Quiz" and win absolutely nothing! I promise!!

1) Woody Allen
2) Paul Thomas Anderson
3) Wes Anderson
4) Judd Apatow

5) Joel and Ethan Coen

6) Sofia Coppola

7) Paul Haggis

8) Amy Heckerling

9) Jim Jarmusch

10) Richard Kelly

11) Spike Lee

12) Richard Linklater

13) Alexander Payne
14) Guy Ritchie
15) David O. Russell
16) Kevin Smith
17) Steven Soderbergh
18) Quentin Tarantino

19) Joss Whedon

a. "That's cool. We did back door. Side door. We were doing all the doors. And a couple of windows."
b. "Foot massages don't mean shit."
c. "I feel like a thumbprint on the skyscraper of life."
d. "Every orgasm I've ever had has been right on the money."
e. "Knives are good, because they don't make any noise, and the less noise they make, the more likely we are to use them. Shit 'em right up. Makes it look like we're serious. Guns for show, knives for a pro."
f. "If this world is temporary, identity is an illusion, then everything is meaningless and it doesn't matter if you use petroleum, and that's got me very confused."
g. "Every night there is a show with somebody shining a blue light and finding tiny specks of blood splattered on carpets and walls and ceiling fans, bathroom fixtures and special-edition plastic Burger King tray cups. The next thing they show is some stupid redneck in handcuffs who looks absolutely stunned that this is happening to him. Sometimes the redneck is actually watching the Discovery Channel when they break in to arrest him. And he still can't figure out how on earth they could've caught him!"
h. "What's Washington like? Well, it's like Calcutta, surrounded by beggars. The only difference is the beggars in Washington wear $1500 suits and they don't say please or thank you."
i. "It's like my grandma always said... 'The real money's in the dick and fart jokes.' She was a church lady."
j. "He's got them locked up in there, crunching numbers! Boys need to be out and scrapping and mixing it up!"
k. "You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I’m asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, ten, they’ll swing back to the belief that they can make people… better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave."
l. "Some people are just born with tragedy in their blood."
m. "You know, but that's valid because if we are all gonna die anyway shouldn't we be enjoying ourselves now? You know, I'd like to quit thinking of the present, like right now, as some minor insignificant preamble to something else."
n. "I run this dump, and I don't know the technical mumbo-jumbo. Why do I run it? Cause I got horse sense goddamit, showmanship! And also I hope Lou told you this, I am bigger and meaner and louder than any other kike in this town. Did you tell him that, Lou? And I don't mean my dick is bigger than yours, it's not a sexual thing. You're a writer, you know more about that. Coffee?"
o. "It is one thing to spark up a dubie and get laced at parties, but it is quite another to be fried all day."
p. "Listen, listen. This isn't just about whiskey. Understand? Imagine you're talking to an old friend. Gently. The emotions bubble up from the bottom of your heart. And don't forget, psych yourself up!"
q. "What can you expect when you're on top? You know? It's like Napoleon. When he was the king, you know, people were just constantly trying to conquer him, you know, in the Roman Empire. So, it's history repeating itself all over again."
r. "Eva, stop bugging me, will you? You know, this is the way we eat in America. I got my meat, I got my potatoes, I got my vegetables, I got my dessert, and I don't even have to wash the dishes."
s. "Trust you? The last time I trusted you, Mookie, I ended up with a son."
er... 1=d and 19=k, other than that I've got nothin'.

edited because I can't type.

[ edited by embers on 2007-08-24 22:30 ]
I only know a few:
11 = s; 16 = i; 18 = b; 19 = k

Edited to put numbers first.

[ edited by Bobbi on 2007-08-24 22:06 ]
Umm, isn't 'k' from 'Serenity' embers ? So Joss rather than Richard Kelly ?

e = 14
g = 4 ??

Flicking around and settled on 'Some Like it Hot' the other day. Just after Jack Lemon has suggested to the agent that they could disguise themselves as girls to get the jobs Tony Curtis highlights his craziness with (roughly) "He hasn't eaten in a while. He's got an empty stomach and it's gone to his head". What a line, funny cos it's true (in a couple of ways). Yep, i'd say Billy Wilder could write (assuming that was his).

edited to remove the ones Bobbi posted while I was, ahem, tending to nature. Which makes my 'score' even more meagre. Stupid nature.

[ edited by Saje on 2007-08-24 22:11 ]
And 18=b (from Pulp Fiction). I'm struggling after that though.
(I'm no good with words. Don't use 'em much myself).

Edited: oops, beaten to the punch. Must learn to put down drink so to type faster.

[ edited by AlanD on 2007-08-24 22:28 ]
I'm so glad that I am not the only one who didn't think Napoleon Dynamite was funny. I kept feeling like there was some secret I was missing.
I'm so glad that I am not the only one who didn't think Napoleon Dynamite was funny. I kept feeling like there was some secret I was missing.

I watched it with a group of people who said all the lines and giggled about them while the movie played. I'm waiting until I've forgotten most of it to try it again by myself. It might be funny, but I don't know for sure. One other thing that bothered me and kept me from really getting into it: I think some of them were laughing at the people in the film, rather than with them.

ETA: I only knew 3 of those (b, i, k). I had to look up a 3rd one I couldn't place (g). Argh. This is an excellent "what to rent next" list though.

[ edited by Sunfire on 2007-08-25 00:13 ]
I'm with z29. Leaving David Mamet off was criminal and the reason I felt compelled to chose the "I feel compelled to vote 'other'" selection.

Nevertheless, took great satisfaction in both Joss's and Tarentino's high ranking. Coenscoenscoens aren't bad either. Actually, almost all of the people on the list are pretty great and yeah, Billy Wilder and his collaborators Izzy Diamond and Charles Brackett do, still, take the all-time prize.
Thanks you Bobster, though I love Raising Arizona so I conceed that Joss may know something about writing and writers.*

But State And Main is right up there for me.


*What colour was the sarcastic font again? Or is there a "Just Kidding" font?

[ edited by zz9 on 2007-08-25 01:16 ]
I'll second the "State and Main" props. I need to watch that one again soon.

I was glad to see 3j; one of my more favorite films (though, to be fair, are we sure that Owen Wilson didn't write that line? Or, is he more of an ideas co-writer?).

[ edited by LKW on 2007-08-25 01:55 ]
I simply a-dore the films of Billy Wilder - I think maybe Sunset Boulevard is my favourite, but I also love The Apartment and Ninotchka and many, many others, and it's simply too hard to pick...

"The last mass trials were a success: there will be fewer, but better Russians." - Ninotchka

(The answer to "g" isn't "4", but yeah to most of the rest - except the one embers mistyped, I'm sure - I'll post a key later, in case anyone's remotely interested...)
Yes, QG, very interested.
p=6. Though technically, that's an English translation from Japanese.
8=O, which looks confusing, but Amy Heckerling wrote Clueless and her dialogue is flawless. I'm a linguistics minor and I took an African American Vernacular English class (AAVE). First off the class was awesome and we did a whole bunch of projects about AAVE in the media. One of them was to watch a movie with AAVE and see how well the writers followed accepted grammatical and stylistic standards.

I watched and analyzed Clueless, specifically Murray- Donald Faison's character- and she wrote him perfectly. There were no mistakes and she wasn't faking it, it was just really impressive writing.
I'd be--in fact I do be--curious to find out what Joss thought of Clueless, Ten Things I Hate About You, and Bring It On, of which all I am fond.
While I don't think he would come out ahead of the others in QuoterGal's list, maybe add a twentieth writer/director?

"No. The world is full of guys. Be a man. Don't be a guy."
quentin tarantino doesn't even have any dialogue. And all of his movies are rip-offs of other, better, greater movies. Not to say that I don't love Kill Bill but... his movies are more like parodies than innovations.

My second choice is Judd Apatow, however, most of his movies are improvised, owing much of his "writing credit" to the actors. He's a great producer, editor, and conceptual thinker but the funny lines are mostly Seth Rogen.

I never got into woody allen. He's too neurotic.

Leaving Joss!

Sigh Clueless. I love Paul Judd. Everything he touches is gold.
Oh dear QuoterGal. What a list. You are truly my hero. Well, almost as much as the people on the list. The ones I am semi-sure of:

b = 18 (Pulp Fiction)
c = 13 (Sideways--at least, I think)
d = 1 (I think Annie Hall but it might be another movie)
f = 15 (I Heart Huckabees)
g = 7 (Crash)
k = 19 (Serenity--duh)
p = 6 (Lost in Translation)
q = 10 (Donnie Darko)

Otherwise, I suspect, without certainty, that:

a = 16 (It sounds like a Smithesque innuendo)
e = 14 (Again, sounds like Ritchie style--and the only other guys who might do a similar crime-based line
l = 3 (Tanenbaums, perhaps?)
m = 12 (OK, this one I debated--it reminds me of some of the revelation moments in Magnolia or Punch-Drunk Love, so I thought about putting in P.T.A. here instead. But Linklater did Waking Life and Before Sunset, movies which I admittedly haven't seen but deal with this sort of subject matter. So, yeah. It might well be him.)
o = 8 (is that Sean Penn or someone referring to him, in Fast Times?)

And the other ones I really can't place. I feel bad because I adore Paul Thomas Anderson and the Coens and Judd Apatow, but really, the other lines aren't speaking to me.

My utter guesses for the remaining ones are:
s = 9 (Could this have been in Broken Flowers? I don't see how but it might fit)
r = 11
n = 5 (I could definitely see this as a Coens line, even if I don't recognize the source)
h = 17 (Soderbergh has the political awareness, right? And it's funny enough that I could see it in one of the Ocean movies. I'm reaching)
i = 4 ???
j = 2 ??? (maybe this one would also fit with 3, and Tanenbaums...)

Also, yes, Billy Wilder is maybe the single greatest writer-director of all time. I think Charlie Kaufman is probably my favourite Hollywood screenwriter who hasn't (yet) moved into directing.
Oh yeah, and can't forget Sofia's father. Francis Ford Coppola wrote the (fantastic) screenplay to Patton even before he made The Godfather. It is just occurring to me now how many of my favourite (English-language) directors (i.e. Hitchcock, Kubrick, Scorcese, Spielberg) generally worked best with others' words, which makes Coppola and Wilder and, well, all the writer-directors listed here stand out, even if I don't always like a particular one's style of writing or directing. (I hated Clerks 2 so, so very much.) I think that we may be entering the age of the writer-director.
I like the Coens, but Joss is better. I actually paid real money to own Joss's work. I've only watched the Coens's work (many times) after it came to cable.

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2007-08-25 07:47 ]
Sorry to disagree, Oh Mighty One, but ..........
JOSS JOSS JOSS :)

Then Tarantino, then the Coens. And my personal unmentioned other favorite, Jane Espenson. Anyone watched Pangs lately?
Pretty amazing job, WilliamTheB - your method of reasoning is exactly the way I used to pass finals on stuff I hadn't studied. :>

The Key

1) Woody Allen | d. "Every orgasm I've ever had has been right on the money." | ISAAC DAVIS, Manhattan

2) Paul Thomas Anderson | q. "What can you expect when you're on top? You know? It's like Napoleon. When he was the king, you know, people were just constantly trying to conquer him, you know, in the Roman Empire. So, it's history repeating itself all over again." | DIRK DIGGLER, Boogie Nights

3) Wes Anderson | j. "He's got them locked up in there, crunching numbers! Boys need to be out and scrapping and mixing it up!" | ROYAL TENENBAUM, The Royal Tenenbaums

4) Judd Apatow | a. "That's cool. We did back door. Side door. We were doing all the doors. And a couple of windows." | ANDY, The 40-Year-Old Virgin

5) Joel and Ethan Coen | n. "I run this dump, and I don't know the technical mumbo-jumbo. Why do I run it? Cause I got horse sense goddamit, showmanship! And also I hope Lou told you this, I am bigger and meaner and louder than any other kike in this town. Did you tell him that, Lou? And I don't mean my dick is bigger than yours, it's not a sexual thing. You're a writer, you know more about that. Coffee?" | JACK LIPNIK, Barton Fink

6) Sofia Coppola | p. "Listen, listen. This isn't just about whiskey. Understand? Imagine you're talking to an old friend. Gently. The emotions bubble up from the bottom of your heart. And don't forget, psych yourself up!" | COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR, Lost in Translation (It's possible that Sofia wrote this in English & then had someone translate it into Japanese - various folks around the net have re-translated it back different ways... I also like: "Either way is fine. That kind of thing doesn't matter. We don't have time, Bob-san, O.K.? You need to hurry. Raise the tension. Look at the camera. Slowly, with passion. It's passion that we want. Do you understand?" - In the version of the script I found, these directions are not written, and it certainly may have been improvised in Japanese. It is, however, a perfect example of the movie's title, and it is just the kind of advertising pomposity that tickles me...)

7) Paul Haggis | g. "Every night there is a show with somebody shining a blue light and finding tiny specks of blood splattered on carpets and walls and ceiling fans, bathroom fixtures and special-edition plastic Burger King tray cups. The next thing they show is some stupid redneck in handcuffs who looks absolutely stunned that this is happening to him. Sometimes the redneck is actually watching the Discovery Channel when they break in to arrest him. And he still can't figure out how on earth they could've caught him!" | LUCIEN, Crash

8) Amy Heckerling | o. "It is one thing to spark up a dubie and get laced at parties, but it is quite another to be fried all day." | CHER, Clueless (I love that the high school is called "Bronson Alcott High.")

9) Jim Jarmusch | r. "Eva, stop bugging me, will you? You know, this is the way we eat in America. I got my meat, I got my potatoes, I got my vegetables, I got my dessert, and I don't even have to wash the dishes." | WILLIE, Stranger Than Paradise

10) Richard Kelly | l. "Some people are just born with tragedy in their blood." | GRETCHEN, Donnie Darko

11) Spike Lee | s. "Trust you? The last time I trusted you, Mookie, I ended up with a son." | TINA, Do the Right Thing

12) Richard Linklater | m. "You know, but that's valid because if we are all gonna die anyway shouldn't we be enjoying ourselves now? You know, I'd like to quit thinking of the present, like right now, as some minor insignificant preamble to something else." | CYNTHIA, Dazed and Confused

13) Alexander Payne | c. "I feel like a thumbprint on the skyscraper of life." | MILES, Sideways

14) Guy Ritchie | e. "Knives are good, because they don't make any noise, and the less noise they make, the more likely we are to use them. Shit 'em right up. Makes it look like we're serious. Guns for show, knives for a pro." | SOAP, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

15) David O. Russell | f. "If this world is temporary, identity is an illusion, then everything is meaningless and it doesn't matter if you use petroleum, and that's got me very confused." | TOMMY CORN, I Heart Huckabees

16) Kevin Smith | i. "It's like my grandma always said... 'The real money's in the dick and fart jokes.' She was a church lady." | HOLDEN, Chasing Amy

17) Steven Soderbergh | h. "What's Washington like? Well, it's like Calcutta, surrounded by beggars. The only difference is the beggars in Washington wear $1500 suits and they don't say please or thank you." | ROBERT WAKEFIELD, Traffic

18) Quentin Tarantino | b. "Foot massages don't mean shit." | PUMPKIN, Pulp Fiction

19) Joss Whedon | k. "You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I’m asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, ten, they’ll swing back to the belief that they can make people… better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave." | MAL, Some movie about some spaceships or something. (There were no aliens. Sheesh. What's the point?)

20) Cameron Crowe | t. "I broke up with someone recently: Jennifer, my last girlfriend. I did it in a crowded restaurant. She just stared at me with that look: How can you pass me up? I told her we weren't right and all the stuff we both knew. A week later I realized I was wrong, tried to get back together with her. She won't see me. Now she's with Tony. Tony knows my friend Bailey, who's friends with the girl Tony's going out with on the side, Rita. Rita who I broke up with to go out with Jennifer. So now do I tell Jennifer that I know Tony's going out with Rita or do I tell Rita that I know about Tony and Jennifer? Tony will tell Jennifer that I was still going out with Rita while I was going out with her. How does stuff get so complicated? I don't know." | STEVE DUNNE, Singles by Cameron Crowe (Added just for OneTeV.)

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2007-08-26 17:54 ]
Nice results. Seeing Joss end ahead of Woody Allen is, me thinks, one of the biggest compliments a writer could ever get.

As for ending up behind Tarrentino... I fear the result stems from Tarrentino being able to use 'shock and awe' in his writing more then one ever could for TV. Totally different target audience.

Much as I love your work mister Whedon, I still have to see/hear/experience your "Madonna-speech" :)

Yours,
a Fan

((PS: excuises for any speeling mistokes))
I'm so late to this party I need a rain check for the next one ... or something.

Personally, I might have voted the Coens over Joss, who are so widely-varied in tone, texture and character, just challenge everyone to tell good stories. I mean, how can you pick? O, Brother Where Art Thou?, one out of so much good shit, made me laugh hysterically, or Fargo, or going way, way back, Raising Arizona. Put his films on a dartboard, no matter where the dart lands, you've got, if not a great film (whatever great means to you) a highly interesting and superbly watchable one.

I love P.T. Anderson too (well, I have to love a writer-director who could make Adam Sandler look like a savant in Punch-Drunk Love).

This last weekend I saw Radio Days for the first time (yes, 'tis fucking amazing I got this old without ever seeing it) and it is a gentle marvel of a slice out of time. And Seth Green, Seth Green playing Woody Allen's narrator as a child! There was a fabulously witty and funny line in it that's gone right out of my head now, but I laughed like a drain at the scene where Aunt Bea (played by the marvelous Dianne Wiest) is out on another date trying to find her Mr. Right. Her date takes her 6 miles away from civilization to park on their first date, and just as he starts to get fresh, on the radio comes The Mercury Theatre's mounting of The War of the Worlds - the date becomes hysterical and Bea decides to walk the 6 miles home rather than stay in the car with a hysterical loser.

John Sayles is another terrific writer/director. Well, there are many. I'm not sure how I'd have chosen.

[ edited by Tonya J on 2007-09-13 02:06 ]
I've loved the Coen Brothers films, their dialog, their sense of artistry and their unique vision, since "Blood Simple". That film is too vastly underrated.

I'm also a big fan of Paul Haggis. But then I've loved his work since he created Due South.

And yes, I'm biased, but the script for "Serenity", and the massive undertaking it truly was to compress all that previous information into a format that wouldn't alienate new viewers, plus the way he translated that vision to the screen, increased my respect for Joss to a whole new level. I keep looking at subtle nuances like the FOUR (!) segues in the opening minutes and the long tracking shot to introduce the ship with the dialog flowing so naturally, and I just keep shaking my head with amazement. I just can't think of many directors who could make that work.

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