Episode #14 — First Man (2018)

We conclude our series on the films of Damien Chazelle with ‘First Man’, written by Josh Singer. One of the most accurately-researched biopic screenplays, ‘First Man’ captures the essence of Neil Armstrong’s life, highlighting his struggle to overcome the death of his infant daughter and how that marked his character even as the years passed, and he steadily persevered at his career until ultimately becoming the first human being to walk on the lunar surface.

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All these protocols and procedures to make it seem like you have it ‘under control’. But you’re a bunch of boys making models out of balsa wood, you don’t have anything under control.
— Janet Armstrong
 

Episode #13 — La La Land (2016)

In the second part of our series on the films of Damien Chazelle, we look at the evolution of the screenplay for La La Land, from its conception as a long-shot musical to the huge hit starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone that it became. It’s truly a story for the ones who dream. We talk about the key changes that were made to Mia and Sebastian’s storylines, as well as the dialogue and the surprising difference in length for a musical screenplay that by necessity encourages a writer to make sure that every scene counts.

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That’s LA! They worship everything and they value nothing.
— Sebastian
 

Episode #12 — Whiplash (2014)

They say that every good screenplay needs conflict, and Damien Chazelle’s first story ‘Whiplash’ delivers it on every page. In this episode The 21st Rewrite is looking at the tale of the teacher who goes too far, and asks if Terrence Fletcher is a well-meaning character with flawed methods or a true villain? The discussion also touches upon details about what was removed from the screenplay: Andrew taking drugs, some more details about Fletcher’s personal life, and a fascinating commentary on what Hungarian psychologist László Polgár has to do with all of this.

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There are no two words in the English language more harmful than ‘good job’
— Terrence Fletcher