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Me and You and "Memento" and "Fargo"


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Table of Contents

Introduction 1. The Ambivalent Protagonist - Stranger Than Paradise 2. The Passive Protagonist - Safe 3. Shifting Protagonists - Fargo 4. Multiple Plots and Subplots - Trust
5. Shifting Goals and Plotlines - Gas Food Lodging
6. Ensemble Structure - Me and You and Everyone We Know
7. Flashback Structure - Reservoir Dogs
8. Temporal Complexity - Elephant
9. Puzzle Film - Memento
10. Dream Logic - Mulholland Dr.
11. Free Association - Gummo
12. Character-based Structure - Slacker

About the Author

J. J. Murphy is Professor of Film Production and Film Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His films have played at major international film festivals and have been screened at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Austrian Film Museum (Vienna), the Barbican Film Centre (London), and the Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris).


"US academic J.J. Murphy argues that the meteoric rise of indie filmmaking in the last 25 years has necessitated a different style of storytelling. His analysis of a variety of indie scripts will chiefly be of interest to aspiring screenwriters." --Empire
"Lately, we've all been pondering the same question: Are independent films really independent anymore? Author Murphy asserts that independent films are determined more by their missions than their budgets."--Script Magazine
"Me and You and Memento and Fargo is absolutely appealing far beyond just being a typical screenwriting "manual" such those written by Syd Field and his ilk. Murphy is clearly zeroing in on the way these films are written, but even those not interested in writing their own screenplays should find this book totally engrossing....Hopefully it'll give food for thought to a new generation of screenwriters who truly want to push the storytelling envelope again." -Bad Lit: The Journal of Underground Film
"With J.J. Murphy's insightful look at American independent screenwriting [in] Me and You and 'Memento' and 'Fargo': How Independent Screenplays Work...Murphy focuses on independent cinema in clear, engaging prose, tracking how a series of seminal independent features were developed and written and his case studies include scripts and films by Jim Jarmusch, Hal Hartley, Allison Anders, Miranda July, David Lynch and Gus Van Sant. -- Kathryn Millard, Journal of Screenwriting 1, 2 (May 2010)
It has the potential to serve future scriptwriters by validating the desire to digress from traditional paradigms. It makes a nice companion to the more rigid manuals on the market. This text will also be of interest to fans of the various films discussed in these pages. Before reading Murphy's book, this reviewer had only seen seven of the twelve films discussed. It created a strong desire to watch the other five films, and managed to raise my appreciation for the seven films that I had previously seen. -- Devon Powell * Cinemaliterate *

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