The shooting script and original novella for the film Brick
October 2, 2006 8:36 PM   Subscribe

Some of you may have seen the feature film Brick; I thought it one of the best of the year and among the better debuts I've seen in a long time. Writer-Director Rian Johnson offers up the shooting script and original novella for free on his site. Fun for fans of noir, high school flicks, or MeFites gaggle of screenwriters.
posted by dobbs (29 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
posted by dobbs at 8:41 PM on October 2, 2006

Hey, this is really cool. Great find!

I managed to see this a while back. Really spectacular movie, definitely in my top ten this year.
posted by Drunken_munky at 9:03 PM on October 2, 2006

I thought the movie was mostly style with little substance, and I got tired with the style halfway through.
posted by Gyan at 9:11 PM on October 2, 2006

Excellent film. Captured the essence of being a teenager much more accurately than any Larry Clark-esque gritfest, much as I like Larry Clark.
posted by stammer at 9:24 PM on October 2, 2006

posted by kenko at 9:24 PM on October 2, 2006

So that's what she whispers at the end!

One of my top five movies, all-time.
posted by rafter at 9:38 PM on October 2, 2006

Really excellent film, debut or not. That just makes it all the more exceptional.
posted by chance at 9:59 PM on October 2, 2006

hey that novella's pretty neat. I might have to track down the movie.
posted by juv3nal at 10:05 PM on October 2, 2006

It's a gimmick, but what a great gimmick. And that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is going to be a huge star some day. Having seen him in this, Manic, and Mysterious Skin, he's got a shot at being the next, say, Ed Norton.

(Especially since he's got a knack of putting great performances into bad movies, like in the awful Havoc).

Thanks for the links.
posted by Bookhouse at 10:09 PM on October 2, 2006

I'm going to have to agree with Gyan and say that, although the movie was interesting and I'll probably give Johnson another try, the film for me was more annoying than anything else. I found the writing and directing to be stylish, yes, but to parrot Gyan, lacked substance, or clear focus, or something that I can't put my full two cents on. And I'm a fan of Noir, so it wasn't that aspect that bugged me. The concept for the most part I liked, the "gimmick" though didn't seem great to me. There were some really good scenes, but it didn't hold the rest of it together my opinion.
posted by Sir BoBoMonkey Pooflinger Esquire III at 11:07 PM on October 2, 2006

So that's what she whispers at the end!

And what a massive non-event to have had that riddle answered. Disappointing.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:27 AM on October 3, 2006

I thought the film was overblown, and most of the dialogue inaudible...
posted by runkelfinker at 12:49 AM on October 3, 2006

I really loved Brick. Been meaning to pick up the DVD since it came out on Monday to check out the commentary and some of the special features exclusive to the UK release. Won't talk too much about it, as I've only seen the once. (And I blogged about it when I had just seen it.) The director interviews are definitely worth reading. The shooting schedule on the film was crazy...
posted by slimepuppy at 2:44 AM on October 3, 2006

I so want to see this now

thanks d.
posted by matteo at 4:56 AM on October 3, 2006

I really liked it, but it definitely went from "holy crap!" for the first half to "hey, quirky" in the second. a friend puts the defining moment at the first scene in the van with Lucas- as soon as you think "that's a silly [object redacted for people who haven't seen it]", it's gone over the swing set.
posted by paul_smatatoes at 5:53 AM on October 3, 2006

I agree with Gyan as well, but I will say that the style was pulled off impeccably. What I really liked was how the writer wove all of the noir cliches seamlessly into the high school environment, particularly the 50's noir standard of the detective meeting the nightclub siren, imitated here with the drama club queen.

I think I was disappointed because the trailer made the movie seem more like a puzzle, a la Twin Peaks or Memento, than a straightforward noir pic, which is what it was. Frankly, this would have made a fantastic one season TV show (like 24).

Great writing, and I'm looking forward to his next film.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:04 AM on October 3, 2006

as soon as you think "that's a silly [object redacted for people who haven't seen it]", it's gone over the swing set.

paul - I'm confused. I saw the movie twice. Which swingsets? What went over the swing set?

Maybe a link with text SPOILER or something, because I'm completely confused.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:14 AM on October 3, 2006

Pastabagel, I assume he's using "over the swingset" like "jumped the shark" but I could be wrong.
posted by dobbs at 7:54 AM on October 3, 2006

Ahh, ok. Thx. I've never heard that expression before...
posted by Pastabagel at 8:01 AM on October 3, 2006

Nice find, thanks. Here's my review of Brick.
posted by muckster at 8:24 AM on October 3, 2006

I was surprised none of the reviewers cited Altman's The Long Goodbye in their remarks. It's far closer to Brick's feeling than anything else I can think of.

Has anyone bought the score? I quite like it but it ain't in the online shops and I've not seen it in the bins up here in Toronto. Terrific music.

Nice find, thanks.

I didn't actually find it. I emailed Rian after seeing the flick earlier in the year to tell him how much I enjoyed it and then when I rewatched it on dvd (with and without commentary), I emailed again asking if he'd mind sharing the script with me and he sent me that link as he'd already had others asking.

In the commentary he reveals that the film was made for $450K, which I think is pretty astonishing in this day and age for a movie shot on 35.
posted by dobbs at 8:37 AM on October 3, 2006

dobbs - it's not. I know a few films that were shot on 35mm for under 30 grand. As long as you aren't building sets or paying actors ridiculous advances, you can keep things pretty cheap.

See also Primer. (shot on 16, but for $7k)
posted by Pastabagel at 10:10 AM on October 3, 2006

As far as great movies go this year so far, Brick is definitely on the shortlist for the top ten, along with Shortbus, The Queen, Lemming, Scanner Darkly, Road to Guantanamo, Le Petit Lieutenant, Pan's Labyrinth and Inland Empire.
posted by muckster at 12:04 PM on October 3, 2006

Pastabagel, yeah, but there's a huge diff between 16 and 35. I shot a feature on 16 in 1994 for $12k Canadian. Primer, imo, had absolutely *horrible* sound. I saw it at the Toronto film fest and thought it was an early print and that they'd fix the sound--apparently they didn't.

If I remember correctly, one of the most significant plot points in the movie takes place (for no reason whatsoever) in the middle of a public fountain. You can't hear shit. I mean, what was the guy thinking?

Anyway, I should have qualified my statement: I'm amazed someone shot a feature for $450k on 35 that was actually good enough to release--so good that numerous people list it among the best of the year. Anyone can shoot 90 mins of footage on 35 that are crap. ;)

I know cheaper films have been done numerous times but it's still relatively rare in the grand scheme of things.
posted by dobbs at 12:23 PM on October 3, 2006

from muckster's review: That the whole enterprise doesn't just seem like an especially laughable episode of Veronica Mars...

What's wrong with "Veronica Mars?"
posted by Iridic at 3:46 PM on October 3, 2006

In the one episode of Veronica Mars I've seen, the teenagers all talked and acted with unbelievable self-confidence. Brick's teenagers are unrealistic, too, but it's a deliberate stylistic choice. Veronica Mars just didn't seem to know any better--the kids acted just like adults because that's what the story called for. I can't say I've kept up with the show, but at the time it seemed laughable to me.
posted by muckster at 4:17 PM on October 3, 2006

I haven't seen the film, but I just finished the novella and was astounded at how well Philip Marlow fit into a high school setting. Seriously, very good writing.
posted by voltairemodern at 5:28 PM on October 3, 2006

or gregg araki's nowhere ;P

btw, watch 'em if you got 'em!
posted by kliuless at 7:52 PM on October 4, 2006

The guys at Filmspotting (my one never-skip podcast) did a 30 minute interview with Rian Johnson. They are also big fans of the movie.

My favorite line: "I gave him to you to see him eaten, not to see you fed." It's such borderline poetry that sometimes it pops into my head for no apparent reason.
posted by phearlez at 7:29 AM on October 5, 2006

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