6D - New Student Edition - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 6, 2000
SO YOU WANT TO WRITE MOVIES?
a spiritual 'Ladder
By Erin Podoisky
Daily Arts Writer
Fugitive' writer talks
Cinema CEO and U
In 1990, two films were released hot on the heels of one another Robert Shaye and
with only a few slight similarities to tie them together: they both dealt Foundation.
with the supernatural and they were both written by the same man. The James Gind
One, armed with three name-brand stars, you've probably heard of. Series invites variou
One, starring an actor whom has been consistently robbed of j' and filmmakers in t
nominations and awards over the past to the University to
ten years, you probably haven't. Joel Rubin students and facult
"Ghost" opened to audience raves Screenplays include : seminars, screen fil
and box office adoration a few short Jacob's Ladder es and readings, an
months before the darker, less straight- Ghost provide their persor
forward "Jacob's Ladder." Screenwriter Deep Impact those interested inI
Bruce Joel Rubin penned both. He won - Visited coa mpis in writing and ftmmal
an Academy Award for his screenplay October 1999. Alpl Atos ccurtj
for "Ghost." In addition to being made
at the same time, "'Ghost' and 'Jacob's
Ladder' were actually shot at the same°
studio, so I just had a bike on the lot
and would go back and forth1
between them," Rubin said in an
interview with The Michigan Daily. S re
"Jacob's Ladder" was a project
that Rubin had been fascinated
with from the
start. "I had a Patricia Rozema
dream of a man Screenplays include:
being trapped Jfanslield Park
under a sub- I Heard the
Visited ca singing
That was mere- Jan uurv 2000.
ly the begin-
ning. He pumped out the screenplay, filled
with spiritual musings and a devastating
final twist that rivals the recent film "The Sixth| .
Sense" for potency. Audiences did not respond in Ne LiR
kind, instead opting for the more viewer-friendly, campus on Oc
feel-good Rubin offering of "Ghost." 7,.999to att
"Jacob's Ladder" was directed by Adrian Lynn dedication oft
("Fatal Attraction"). Rubin credits Lyne with properly Ars SeriesV
taking Rubin's inferno-like blueprint the Donald Ha
sicript and creating the visuals that Toby imnrich- ScreenwritiOg
the story required. There were the Screenplay: second of the
occasional arguments, though, par- Frequency Bldg. next to
ticularly over a climactic scene thati df a il Film and Vide
ended up a little more subdued in the -.Visite camp fc
film than was originally planned (a April 2000.
low-quality version of the original scene can ne iound on the "Jacob's Ladder" DVD).
Rubin has also written such films as "My Life" (which he also directed and produced) and "Deep Impact." While "Deep
impact" may seem on the surface like an odd choice for a man whose work had previously been nothing if not personal,
See RUBIN, Page 8D
Screenwriter Jeb Stuart, never one to lie but certainly not above putting a
spin on something, finally came clean on the origin of the classic Bruce
Willis line, "Yippee ki-yay motherfucker!" from "Die Hard."
"I think a lot of people take credit for it and that's usually the way it
goes in the movies. It was not originally in the script, per se. I think
Bruce added a little touch to it but there
Jeb Stuart was something very similar to that in the
screenplays include: script," Stuart, who wrote the film, said in
The Fugi ti Ve an interview with The Michigan Daily.
Die Rard "That's the way it goes. What I will d
48 Hours is I always take credit for something that
- Vis ite d c amp us in turns out great and I distance myself from
April 2000. it and blame it on the actor when it screws
up," he said, chuckling.
Primarily known for his work on
action movies, Stuart had an interesting
entry into Hollywood's ranks. "I went
through a sort of academic course to
get to screenwriting, which is kind
of unusual. I did a masters at Chap
Hill in communications, and off o
that masters I
spike Lee was then
Screenplays include; accepted intoa
Summer of Sam program ..at
Jlalcola X Stanford Uni-
Do the Right Thing versity and did
-Visited camp~us in another mas-
Febraarv 2000. ters in commu-
focused only on screenwriting," Stuart said.
He then did a year-long fellowship througl
Stanford, although the program is now adminis-
tered through the Academy of Motion Picture Arts
and Sciences. "It allowed me to write a screenplay
which I then sold to a studio in Hollywood and got on
the other side of the fence," he said.
"It was kind of an unusual way to get into the business.
Most people get in sort of non-academically."
That first screenplay knocked around for 12 years before
finally getting made and released in 1997 as "Switchback."
"That was from what they call a 'calling card' script and it wa
optioned at Columbia Pictures. It was cast and all ready to g
hnd then it never was made,"Stuart said.
"But on the strength of that script I was offered a five-script
:ontract at Disney, which was just getting reorganized. This
vas 1985 and that's when Michael Eisner and Jeffrey
Katzenberg came in and took over the studio. They were
See STUART, Page 7D
.o main .......
Actress alum gets 'Down'
Look for our
and edgy in younger genre
R ESTA U R A NT 'iU IDE
to be inserted into
The Michigan Daily's
By Christopher Cousino
Daily Arts Writer
Who can say they've shared a liplock with handsome hotty
Ryan Phillipe, the goofy, cute Freddie Prinze, Jr. and the
heartstopping Jared Leto? None other than 1995 University
graduate Selma Blair. And she's not complaining.
"That seems to be all I do these days and God bless it. It's
not a bad way to make a living,"jokes Blair. Her most recent
peck on the lips comes with. Prinze, Jr. in this past winter's
teen flick "Down To You."
"Down To You" is a stbrt of firsklove between Al
(Prinze, Jr.) and Imogen £Julia Stiles) set during the
college years in New York<City. Blair, however, doesn't
consider this a teen movie.
"This one's growing up a little. This one's college. I really
wouldn't consider this a teen movie. It's just. very sweet
honest story about first love and going back to first love if it
falls apart,"Blair said.
In "Down To You," Blair plays Cyrus, "kinda the
other womai," she described. "Actually what's boiled
down to a pretty small part because, as usual, I didn't
facilitate anyone'else's storyline. If Freddie fell for me,
you wouldn't like him so much. You really want to like
Freddie and Julia, so I'm the bad seed that wound up a
little bit on the cutting room floor, which is a OK
because I had a great time working on it anyhow."
Things may have been different had Blair been in the cast-
ing position. "I originally wanted Freddie's part and that just
didn't work out,"joked Blair.
Blair credits much of the on-set fun to Prinze, Jr., whom
she considers "such a dear friend." "Right away, we hit it off.
We were always goofy with each other. And I read in some
magazine that he wrote, 'Selma's me with breasts.' I guess
he's never seen me naked because that's not my body type,"
laughed Blair. "He left this message on my machine before
we started shooting and said, 'Hi Selma. I don't know if you
know me, my name is Freddie Prinze, Jr. and I'm going to be
doing your next movie,' and I was like, 'My NEXT movie?,'
I have a bit part in his next movie. So I walked into that
knowing it was going to be a really great set."
After wrapping "Down To You," Blair jumped sets onto a
yet-to-be-released film called "A Leonard Cohen After-
world," featuring a "fairy tale love story" with Leto. "It's so
clearly a not a teen movie," warned Blair, "because it's very
edgy. It's a guy road trip movie. It's got drugs and it's got sex.
I play a girl from Michigan who goes out to L.A. to find star-
dom and it fails. She's kind of down and out, and they pick
her up on her way back from hooking in Vegas."
With "Leonard Cohen," Blair sees herself breaking away
from the teen genre. "It was amazing to get that part, a twist
I^ f% Imes
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Actress Selma Blair in this past winter's "Down to You."
of luck. I was actually playing a 25-year-old, so it was great to
breakout of the whole David Cassidy type.
The film, directed by James Cox and written by: Scott
Rosenberg, has already received a share of criticism dui tp its
connection to the late Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain.: u
"We've been attacked a couple times because 'Oh no, a
movie exploiting Kurt Cobain,' and it's nothing like that.
The movie is called 'A Leonard Cohen Afterworld,': but
the lyrics are from 'Pennyroyal Tea,' which is a Kurt
Cobain song, obviously. But it's about a time. It:takes
place in the time when Kurt Cobain died and the end cul-
minates at his vigil. But he's not portrayed in the movie,"
Blair said. "It's just talking about a time in life where he
definitely was a huge influence in the early '90s."
In talking about whether the success or failure of
movies makes or breaks her, Blair takes it in stride: "ml
either be Dana Plato or doing okay."
L _ i
ecial during the
th of September
D with purchase
A . U h