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

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!

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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?

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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.

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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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Love is so Short, Forgetting is so Long

September 5th, 2014 by Bekah Brunstetter

Everyone drop your pressing life commitments and watch Stories we tell on Netflix for a beautiful, subtly surprising story about family secrets and memory. Why is it that when I read or watch something about a family with deep secrets, with turmoil, I weirdly long for my own, for material? What is that? Shouldn’t I just be appreciating the cuddly warm stasis that has been the bulk of my life? PERHAPS THAT COULD BE A (THE MOST BORING) DOCUMENTARY?

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Sympathy: the Blog post: the Film

August 12th, 2014 by Bekah Brunstetter

Remember that time I blogged about how I am irksomely overly sympathetic to baristas because I used to be one? My remarkable friend Olli made it into a short film and last night we made it starring he and the lovely Virginia Kull because sometimes you have an idea to make something and then THE THING ACTUALLY GETS MADE! COMING SOON TO PROBABLY FACEBOOK, VIMEO AND VARIOUS FESTIVALS!

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Photojournalism?

July 9th, 2014 by Bekah Brunstetter

Behold: Oak Island at Sunset, few days post hurricane:

So, the Secret the movie takes place here,  where I am currently family reunioning, which, believe you me, is very much a verb. My relateds are concerned that the movie could bring too much attention to our Secret little island, though year after year, we find more and more evidence that apparently, the island does not belong to us. But also, when the movie gets made (note: if I will not say if, I will say when) the place will most likely be fictionalized.

Yesterday, my mom and I took the truck out and drove around and took pictures of various houses and stores that I had in mind when creating the various houses and stores in the movie.  We were determined, mildly suspicious, and forced to eat ice cream and fudge in each charming store we entered, you know, so as to not be rude. Here a few of my favorites AM I A PHOTOJOURNALIST NOW?

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This Really Happened

March 31st, 2014 by Bekah Brunstetter

Sometimes life seems equal parts depressing and absurd and rote, but then I remember — and this happens way more often than it should, that I think of this fine film, like perhaps weekly —  that there’s a movie in which Arnold Schwarzenegger carries and gives birth to a baby, like is pregnant with a human person, and Emma Thompson is its Mom (Dad?) and then he births it,  and then suddenly everything is shockingly A Okay.

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Ahmed

March 7th, 2014 by Bekah Brunstetter

Today, on I Watched a Documentary and now I am an expert on Insert Subject of Documentary: I had the horror / pleasure of viewing The Square, which follows 2 years of Arab Spring protests in Egypt:  the occupation of Tahrir Square by peaceful protestors in Cairo, which, of course, turned violent and bloody. It’s beautifully shot,  (nominated for Best Doc, lost to the Backup Singers Doc, see side conversation, is the Best Doc category about which Issue is most significant, or is it actually about the execution of the film?.) It really puts you There, and captures a divided nation coming together for a shared goal (but then, also, their re-division after an election of a Muslim President.)  Amidst all of this, my most unshakable takeaway is this guy, Ahmed, one of our spirit guides through the story:

We see him lament, weep for his country, rally friends, inspire hoards, shout until he looses his voice, run through the street towards bullets, get shot in the head, survive, wrap a scarf around the wound as to not disturb his mother, grow out his hair,  keeping fighting. His passion and conviction are deep and poetic as if he was Written. I now feel weirdly attached to him, like he’s a boy I once kissed who in that tiny moment changed me completely. Is it weird that  I want to make him dinner  as he declares and rants? And then I realize I’ve run out of tea, and I kind of freak out a little bit, and he says that is your problem? and I say yes, yes Ahmed, that, right now, is my problem and he pauses, smiles: well, that is a very big problem.

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