bekah brunstetter
Bekah Brunstetter I care deeply. About a lot of things. Like really, really deep. Ow
playwright in brooklyn, NY

Today, on Movies can (and should be) hopeful

January 18th, 2016 by Bekah Brunstetter

We watched this beautiful movie last night, Room.  Its story is something terrible that you hear about all too often: woman kidnapped, locked in basement or shed of sorts,  assumed dead for years, repeatedly raped by her captor, bears his child in captivity. It sounds awful AND IT IS. But Room is told from the perspective of the little boy, and focuses on the heartbreakingly innocent way in which his views his tiny world. When he is born, his mother refocuses her life on survival and the raising of her son, protecting him.  They develop a tiny world that contains just the two of them, and they Live.  For me it’s a perfect example of how a movie can be about something ultimately awful and difficult, but it can also LIFT US UP AND OUT.

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THINGS I DO NOT DESERVE

December 18th, 2015 by Bekah Brunstetter

I got to see Star Wars on OPENING DAY with my co-workers in the beautiful historic Chinese theater on  IN 3D. There were people there who’d been standing in line for days, people in full costume, people who’d been standing in line for days in full costume, while I was trying to piece together who had the force and who didn’t. It was  beautiful, brilliant revamp of the classic that, if I’m being fully honest, I’ve only ever seen one time in someone’s basement. It’s such a MOVIE. Like a classic movie, with struggle, with human connection, with epic adventure, with grounded friendships between robots.  There is nothing like it, nor will there ever be. I AM NOT WORTHY.

Posted in i am lucky, le film, life, the future, the whole world | No Comments »

A Christmas movie for Christmas

December 7th, 2015 by Bekah Brunstetter

As we all (me and my Mom) know, each year, Hallmark makes about 900 new Christmas movies, usually starring some combination of DJ from Full House and Claudia from Party of Five and Dawson from Dawson’s Creek. One could spend the entire month of December curled beneath an afghan watching Claudia from Party of Five fall in love, fight then love then accept the love mostly likely in front of a Christmas Tree and STILL have movies to spare. There are just. So many. FIR REAL.

My mom has complained that they are too predictable, that they follow a formula, that sometimes, she wants to be surprised, and says that I should write one of these Hallmark Christmas films.  First thought: NO! How BENEATH me! Je suis une ARTISTE! Second thought: getting paid to develop a myriad of scenarios that employ seasonal puns,  in which people fall in love and sometimes those people are related to Santa and sometimes those people are James Van Der Beek? DREAM JOB, OKAY FINE. Point is, these movies have a clear purpose. They are comforting in their simplicity, and they are warm in their cleverness. They are the movie version of a nice seasonal throw. And so, I applaud them.

Some pitches:

The Festival of Tights, in which Holly, a beautiful, hardworking 33 year old Jewish woman, owner of a control top panty hose dynasty, must decide what’s more important to her: family, or success because you can’t have both and also Santa is her Dad.

We Wish you a Berry Christmas, in which DJ Tanner must face a hard decision: give up on the berry farm that’s been in her family for generations,  and move to the big city to be a personal assistant, or stay and fight the bank  for what her parents built and also she makes a pie.

The Second Noel, in which teenage Noel, SICK of living in her big sister Noel’s shadow, decides that this Christmas is all about HER, only to learn that jealousy is toxic and that frosting is really hard to get out of Hair.

Gun Christmas, in which a bunch of people sit around with guns talking about their guns and showing off their guns and trading guns NO WAIT THAT’S JUST CHRISTMAS.

A Christmas Movie for Christmas, in which a hard working movie producer finds the love she never thought she’d find on the set of a Christmas movie about two people finding the love they never thought they would find.

Hallmark call me okaybye.

Posted in a lot, hmmmmm, holidays, le film | 1 Comment »

Inside Out.

November 8th, 2015 by Bekah Brunstetter

Finally got to see Inside Out last night — the new Pixar movie in which the emotions that live in our head come to life — and it was of course clever and adorable and touching and all of those things. The viewing of course lead to discussion of what emotion characters inhabit our own heads, who’s running the control board. After careful consideration, I’m pretty sure that at my motherboard is a very worried toddler who has great concern for all things ranging from whether or not there’s going to be a large earthquake to whether or not she’s wearing the the right dress or she should really cut back on Goldfish or at least switch to whole grain to what does God think of me?

It’s definitely either her or this little girl who just wants the Ham.

Posted in ha, hmmmmm, i am scared, kids, le film, oh nooo | No Comments »

this does not occur….

July 12th, 2015 by Bekah Brunstetter

Yesterday, I gave some of my actual human money yesterday to see Magic Mike XXL because I am a  human woman and I enjoy fun.  It is somehow like male stripper mumble core with not much story, weirdly improvised scenes and wonderfully strange and earnest cameos by Donald Glover and Michael from Kelly and Michael and lots of women getting ground upon (namely, large women, as if to shout at the audience:  HEY! FATTIE BEHIND THE EXTRA LARGE POPCORN! THIS IS FOR YOU!). In summation, Channing Tatum is kind of wonderful, and the whole thing is a STRANGE AND SHAMELESS DELIGHT, best watched while shouting things at the screen like WHAT?! REALLY?! and NO. THAT DOES NOT OCCUR.

Most unreal moment: when the movie’s hot girl, Zoe, the photographer, Zoe who smokes cigarettes and can’t seem to get her hair to stay in her bun, Zoe who is as thin as a child soccer player, has a scene in which she is bummed, and Magic Mike finds her in the kitchen, eating an entire red velvet cake. And this is officially where the movie lost me. There are surely stripper conventions and magical strippers and mystical southern mansions containing Andy Macdowell and a whole lot of very old expensive wine, all that can be realistically happened upon, in the real world. But no way in hell does Zoe ever sit on a counter and sadly eat a whole cake. MAGIC MIKE, YOU LOST ME.

Posted in a lot, awesome, famous people stuff, food, ha, le film, whining, women | No Comments »

JUMANJI.

April 7th, 2015 by Bekah Brunstetter

I accidentally / serendipitously happened upon Jumanji last night, just at the best scene, in  which Robin Williams does not know how to drive, as he’s, you know, been trapped inside of a board game since he was a kid, and the giant jungle mosquito is stabbing into the windshield. I want all actors to be Robin Williams. I want all movies to be Jumanji. I want magical realism and board games come to life and quaint houses overrun by jungle beasts and monkeys in the refrigerator. I want these kinds of movies for my myself and my kids to come and also their kids, which they will watch inside of their brains or on some new hospitable planet. I want big stories! I want to have them and make them!  JUMANJI JUMANJI JUMANJI!

Posted in Uncategorized, a lot, awesome, le film | No Comments »

Birdman: An erudite film review

November 14th, 2014 by Bekah Brunstetter

MOVIE GOOD.

I am terrible at critical analysis, especially when something is really like nothing I’ve ever seen before. But I shall try. Birdman:  a melanchomedy. it’s like a fictionalized dramatization of fears I’ve feared, thoughts I’ve thought. If you are a theater person, or a human person, or both, if you love magical realism, and / or really love to be horrified while also laughing, this is the film for YOU.  ME LIKE FILM SEE FILM MOVIE GOOD END OF ERUDITE REVIEW.

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TRUTH

October 22nd, 2014 by Bekah Brunstetter

Woman falls in love with pizza despite herself; forgets she loves pizza; remembers she loves pizza. SEQUEL REWRITE? REWRITE SEQUEL?

Posted in awesome, food, le film | No Comments »

tell me what I think

October 12th, 2014 by Bekah Brunstetter

Sometimes a good OpEd helps me figure out what I think, when my Gemini brain is straight up split down the middle, hovering over both sides of an argument. This morning: Gone Girl: brilliant or misogynistic, or both? (It’s hard to talk about this book  – which I RAVENOUSLY DEVOURED LIKE I DID NOT SLEEP FOR A WEEK last year —  and movie, without spoiler-alerting, but I will do my best.) The lady protagonist of this book / movie is an evil, beautiful lunatic. What of this portrayal of a woman? Is this book / movie (written by a woman) hellbent on portraying women as psychos who cannot be trusted?

In an article in the  Times this AM, Maureen Dowd quotes the novelist, Gillian Flynn: “Dark sides are important. They should be nurtured like nasty black orchids.” I have to agree, especially when it comes to storytelling. How’re we meant to tell stories, if everyone is on their best behavior all the time? As long as dark behavior is motivated by human and relatable impulses, I’m good to go (and personally, in a sort of terrifying way — I find Amy, the Gone Girl,  relatable.) Maureen goes on to  tell me what I think: “Given my choice between allowing portrayals of women who are sexually manipulative, erotically aggressive, fearless in a deranged sort of way, completely true to their own temperament, desperately vital, or the alternative — wallowing in a feminist propaganda and succumbing to the niceness plague (I love that) — I’ll take the former.”  It all comes back ’round to this biased against things written by women / things featuring women: women are supposed to be good. Kind. They are the Nurturing Mother or Medea or the insane girlfriend and there is little room for flaws in-between. Gone Girl is deeply uncomfortable, but I don’t think it’s because she’s a black orchid of a gal —  it’s because she gets away with it. That’s what we can’t stand.

Posted in le film | No Comments »

the funnest of games

October 11th, 2014 by Bekah Brunstetter

I’m supposed to be starting a new feature script, to have something to pimp out, as it were, now that The Secret script is being circulated. My agent sent me a list of public domain figures, characters and places from folklore, from dusty literature, from the Bible, from Mythology, that are fair game, in terms of adaptations. It is a fantastic list. Raggedy Anne and Andy! Goldilocks! Mother Earth!  Daniel Boone! Father Time! Currently I’m turning it into a game of how to shove things together in a Rom Com, like Satan falls for Mother Earth, or perhaps a Dystopian thriller, global warming ravaged heat town, where an IRKSOMELY OPTIMISTIC LITTLE GIRL TEACHES THEM ALL THE ‘GLAD GAME.’ It’s basically just robbing some deceased writer of their thinking but it’s at least a fun place to start, when currently my most profound Saturday thoughts include ‘….bagel?’ and ‘fingernails!’ and ‘OH RIGHT, OIL CHANGE.’

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