Perhaps the greatest satire of the 1970s, Sidney Lumet’s thoroughly entertaining and interest-peaking dark comedy focuses on a television network’s struggle to increase its ratings, and the ridiculous and surprisingly successful attempts to reach that goal.
Network should be watched for inspiration when writing a script because it’s smart, witty, and the dialogue is some of the best in American cinema. Like any great film, Network created its own world in which the characters inhibit that is just as relevant today as it was upon its release. In addition, it will make you laugh, feel uncomfortable, and keep you glued to the screen. If you’re writing a satire and looking for inspiration, look no further than Network.
Before Director Roman Polanski fled to Europe to escape a sexual assault charge, he sure knew how to make a film. Chinatown is perhaps the most cynical, and entertaining homage to Film Noir ever created. It centers on a private detective, adultery, murder, lies, and 1930s Los Angeles in which it encompasses. By the end, the audience is left like the protagonist: powerless.
Chinatown should be watched for inspiration when writing a script because it boasts a complex and intriguing mystery, the pacing is perfect, and it was created from one of the best screenplays in Hollywood’s illustrious history. Added inspiration can be found especially if the script you’re writing is a period piece, as Polanski and his team seamlessly re-created 1930s Los Angeles with historical accuracy and authenticity. Lastly, if your script is in the genres of mystery or thriller, give Chinatown a viewing.
8. Annie Hall
In this simple, yet brilliant 1977 romantic comedy about a neurotic comedian who falls in love with a delightful Midwestern girl, Woody Allen, who was already a writer before he got into the film industry, flexes his verbal muscles with memorable lines and unique moments. Although it may seem neurotic, at its core Annie Hall shares humanity’s desire to be loved.
Annie Hall is about relationships, so watching it for inspiration when writing a romantic or comedy script would make the viewing experience even better, although it’s simply a great film in its own right.
Like Network, Pulp Fiction, and The Social Network, Annie Hall’s dialogue is memorable and spot on with the characters and moment, whether in a comedic scene or a simple conversation. In addition, it proves that breaking the fourth wall can be just as intriguing and beneficial to the story as a traditional narrative structure.
9. Wild Strawberries
Perhaps legendary Swedish director Ingmar Bergman’s most intimate picture, Wild Strawberries examines life, death, dreams, and the family structure. It follows a retired professor as he travels to Stockholm to accept a prestigious academic award at his old university. Along the way, he picks up youthful hitchhikers, stops by his childhood home, and learns that his son is making the same marital mistakes he made.
Wild Strawberries is a lyrical masterpiece and should be watched for inspiration when writing a script because it can bring out the sentimentalities in anyone, encourage imaginative thinking, and remind us of why we write.
It successfully and almost miraculously maintains the odd balance between philosophy and simplicity where the greatest films ever made thrive. If you’re writing a script that aspires to be philosophical, nostalgic, or art in the truest sense of the word, watching Wild Strawberries can be a good source of inspiration.
Spike Jonze’s second endeavor into the world of cinema is perhaps the most inspiring film on this list for screenwriting. Adaptation is a dark and anxious comedy about a screenwriter who attempts to successfully adapt a book into a script, all the while maintaining artistic integrity. With all of the unexpected twists and turns that unfold before him, he learns a plethora of lessons along the way, and we do too.
Adaptation is inspiring to watch when scriptwriting because most of the film consists of writing, re-writing, and the struggles of the creative process. In addition, it’s a realistic portrayal of screenwriting in general. Lastly, small bits of subtle screenwriting references and advice are sprinkled throughout. If you’re writing a script of any genre, watch Adaptation.
Author Bio: Kyle Bagdonas is an aspiring Writer/Director currently enrolled in Film School. As far back as he can remember, he’s wanted to be a filmmaker and hopes to experience great success in his artistic endevours. You can find his original content on YouTube by simply searching his name.