THE MASTER – FILM MAKING FROM THE WRONG SIDE OF THE BRAIN

Paul Thomas Anderson is a terrific filmmaker. PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE, MAGNOLIA, BOOGIE NIGHTS, all wonderfully made films.   THE MASTER, too, is pristinely made; epic in size and ambition, it’s a totally accomplished piece of filmmaking.  The photography is exceptional.  The performances are Oscar-worthy.  The story is interesting.  And the reviews in the New York Times, […]

L. A. BOOK RIOTS – THE REST OF THE STORY

I recovered from the book signing debacle in Larchmont.  I sold a bunch of books but the money wasn’t enough to pay for replacing my shredded clothes and medical bills. But, it didn’t end there.  My phone didn’t stop ringing.  Book groupies!  Who knew? I’m happily married.  I want to make that clear.  And I […]

HOW TO BE A WRITER, NOT GO CRAZY AND SURVIVE

  Over the years, I’ve learned how to survive emotionally and psychologically in Hollywood so I didn’t end up floating face down in Norma Desmond’s swimming pool. (See SUNSET BOULEVARD, the movie.  It’s fantastic.  One of the top ten movies of all time.) I don’t get my ego strokes only if someone likes the script, […]

ONE OF THE GREAT ROCK ‘N’ ROLL CONCERT FILMS AND SCREENWRITING

There are some great rock and roll concert films: Martin Scorcese’s THE LAST WALTZ, with The Band and others; Jonathan Demme’s Talking Heads doc STOP MAKING SENSE with David Byrne, and now I’ve seen another great one: BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: LIVE IN DUBLIN, a documentary on the concerts held at the Point Theater in Dublin, Ireland […]

I HAVE SCRIPT NOTES FOR YOU – DON’T KILL ME

Two of my recent script consultations freaked out when I gave them notes on their scripts.   My notes were referred to as “Callous.”   And “Not helpful at all.”   Hmmm.   Getting notes on a script you’ve worked your fingers to bone on is difficult stuff.  I know.  I’m terrible at getting notes.  I get […]

A CREEPY GREAT MOVIE

I watch a lot of documentaries.  For me, it’s all about storytelling.  In this day and age of evolving media, we’re not just screenwriters or just novelists, we’re storytellers – across media.   These days, some of the best storytelling is happening in documentaries.  They are fulfilling one of the original missions of movies – […]

BOOK SIGNING RIOT SWEEPS LOS ANGELES!

  What started as a laidback little book signing for my new book THE LAST WORD quickly turned ugly at Chevalier’s, our wonderful local independent bookstore in Larchmont, a semi-quaint enclave of expensive restaurants and upscale stores.,   Called for one o’clock, lines began to form early outside the store.  When the doors didn’t open […]

ONE TERRIFIC FILM, ONE REAL STINKER (BUT WHAT A GREAT ‘EXTRA’)

I’ve seen two interesting films recently. TINY FURNITURE – Writer/Director Lena Dunham has fashioned an indie comedy which is so complete, so satisfying, so quirky and indie that you gotta like it.  (Though, I recommended it to one my students and he didn’t get it at all.  Others did) I guess it could qualify as […]

CONNIE MARTINSON INTERVIEWS TOM LAZARUS PARTS 1 & 2

Veteran book maven Connie Martinson interviewed me about THE LAST WORD, my new book. She’s a terrific interviewer and to my surprise asked me to read a couple passages from the book. It was a fun interview, with lots of information for the screenwriter. There are two parts, and nowhere do I discuss the Kim […]