It’s always fun when a new issue of the Journal of Screenwriting arrives in my mailbox, but this one’s pleasing on several fronts.
First, in my capacity as Book Reviews Editor, I’m able to publish several of my now-graduated students, often for the first time.
In this issue I am also the co-author of an article extolling the marvelously successful conference held at Otago University in 2017.
Also, two of the articles come from that conference – one by my friend Carmen Sofia Brenes (Chairperson, full professor of poetics and screenwriting at the School of Communication of Universidad de los Andes) is about the 2016 film Jackie, about the life of American icon Jackie Kennedy, written by an American, Noah Oppenheim, and directed by Chilean Pablo Lorrain.
The second article is (not so jokingly) “10 Ways to f#ck up Your Female Characters” by two New Zealand female producers, Fiona Samuel and Kathryn Burnett. I’ve already talked about that one with many an MFA student.
Brilliant inventor, electrical engineer, and wise entrepreneur, Guglielmo Marconi was best known for inventing long-distance radio transmissions and the telegraph system.
But his success wasn’t solely a product of his curious mind. Marconi attributed his prosperity to the people in his life who encouraged him to achieve his goals. Fostering his relationships with his mother, his wives, and other female friends allowed Marconi to grow and explore as an inventor without the fear of isolation, political disassociation, and covert racism hindering his dreams.
Although he spent most of his time spanning the globe and using the entire planet as his creative palette, the people he chose to associate himself with were critical to his well-being, his inventive nature, and his general physical and mental health. Without his close-knit relationships, long-distance transmission may have never come to fruition.
I had such a fun catch up lunch with 2017 Stephens MFA alums and Val yesterday at, of all places, IKEA because alum Amy Banks was in town to attend an all day workshop at the Disney Studios for writers with First Nation backgrounds (in their continued work to provide diversity on their channel).
Amy set it up with me and fellow mentor, Val Woods. Then alums Julie Berkobien and Lauren Smith were also free to drop by. I loved hearing about the various work they were all doing and how their MFAs both helped them get hired and, more importantly, helped them excel in their new positions! It also served as an accidental reunion of several writers of our When Women Wrote Hollywood book of essays, which we will be launching to the Columbia, Missouri community in just a few weeks, during the Citizen Jane Film Festival!
The Soul of a Child: A Novel Based on the Life of Maria Montessori places the brilliant educator and reformer in the context of her time. It examines the relationships, inner struggles, and inspirations of Maria Montessori, a woman with heart, empathy, and resilience. As a strong woman who lived through two world wars, the rise of Fascism in Spain and Italy, and the dawn of the nuclear age, she remained undeterred in her faith in the possibility of positive change through education. Her life spanned both the joys of innovation and the horrors of destruction of the twentieth century. Her influence on education and humanism remains resonant and enduring. This is her story.
With a legacy that resonates today in the work of contemporary film composers, the magnanimous Henry Mancini left an indelible mark on the culture. Over the course of a life cut short, Mancini helped liberate a concentration camp at the end of WWII, created some of the most iconic film and television themes ever written, and unseated the Beatles from the number one spot at the apex of rock and roll.
Resurrected through dialogue portraying pivotal scenes from his life, readers will get to know Mancini like never before—and come to appreciate this national treasure who fought for equality while bringing out the beauty of the world through his artistry.
Envisioning a socio-economic utopia, A. P. Giannini was not a typical banking tycoon. With a socially enlightened heart, he made the American dream a reality, not just for himself, but for society as a whole.
In spite of devastating personal obstacles, such as the death of his father, Giannini became the world’s leading banker of the twentieth century. Raised by hardworking peasant immigrants in what was considered a backwater area of California, Giannini received his economic education in an unconventional way, paving the way for his rise to prosperity.
Founding the Bank of Italy for poor immigrant families, he wanted to overcome the barriers put in place by the conservative current banking elite to fulfill the dreams of “little guys.”
Soon, the Bank of Italy became the Bank of America and the poor Italian was now in a position to help dreamers such as Walt Disney achieve their own dreams. Giannini also shaped the San Francisco skyline by financing the bold Golden Gate Bridge. His influences and hard work can be seen all over the country, simply because he believed in “a more general distribution of wealth and happiness.”
“Frederica Sagor Maas moved to Hollywood in 1924 and as was true for many young women, those who were considered good looking were pushed towards being seen on screen. Being the strong willed woman that she was, Mass decided she still wanted to be a writer.”
The Best Revenge Is Outliving Them All: The life and heartbreak of Frederica Sagor Maas Mikayla Daniels
A toast to the man who changed how America drinks …
Enduring an unspeakable nightmare and a family secret that he guarded at all costs, Ernest Gallo overcame unimaginable odds to achieve the American dream.
Ernest Gallo (the “E” of E & J Gallo) may have been haunted by tragedy, but that didn’t deter him from his mission: putting a bottle of wine on every American table.
Gallo grew his legacy from the musty Modesto, California dirt. From fallow acres he practically willed the wine industry into being out of faith and tenacity as he overcame physical and emotional abuse, illness, and the near destruction of the family he was determined to save.
To highlight the wonderful yet largely forgotten work of a collection of female screenwriters from the early years of Hollywood (and as a companion to the book, When Women Wrote Hollywood) we will be posting quick bits about the many films they wrote along with links to further information and clips from their works which are still accessible online. Take a few moments once or twice a week to become familiar with their names and their stories. I think you’ll be surprised at how much bold material these writers tackled at the birth of this new medium. — Rosanne Welch
The Little Foxes (1941) is an American drama film directed by William Wyler. The screenplay by Lillian Hellman is based on her 1939 play The Little Foxes. Hellman’s ex-husband Arthur Kober, Dorothy Parker and her husband Alan Campbell contributed additional scenes and dialogue.
The title comes from Chapter 2, Verse 15 in the Song of Solomon in the King James version of the Bible, which reads, “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” The same passage also inspired the title of an unrelated film, Our Vines Have Tender Grapes.
Southern aristocrat Regina Hubbard Giddens (Bette Davis) struggles for wealth and freedom within the confines of an early 20th-century society where a father considered only sons as legal heirs. As a result, her avaricious brothers, Benjamin (Charles Dingle) and Oscar (Carl Benton Reid), are independently wealthy, while she must rely for financial support upon her sickly husband Horace (Herbert Marshall), who has been away undergoing treatment for a severe heart condition. — Wikipedia