Do you speak Spago?
Do you speak Spago? -- A Cynic's cinema glossary
Staggering pre-production expenses mainly for big-name talent, as in Macaulay Culkin’s post-Home Alone salary (current asking price: $1 million).
French term for a director with a domineering personal vision. Ex: ”Gee, since I won my Oscar, I feel like an auteur.”
The pittance left over after above-the-line costs for actual filming.
Lead assistant to head electrician. Not as weird as you thought, huh?
1950s Hollywood sees red, turns yellow.
Snide reference to audience-pleasing sentimentality done best by Frank Capra, as in It’s a Wonderful Life.
1: Somebody too convincing to be a lead. 2: A Broadway actor skylarking. 3: Michael J. Fox if he doesn’t get a big part for five years.
Creates great photography so the director can win the Oscar.
Concept for every Liza Minnelli project.
1: A shot with predominantly blue tones. 2: Something Johnny Depp has. 3: Something Richard Grieco wants.
A movie loved with evangelical passion by fans terrified that other people will find out about it.
1: Status of a film before a studio agrees to make it. 2: Hollywood purgatory.
1: Hollywood species recognized by baseball cap. 2: What every actor wants to be. Ex: ”I enjoy my role on One Day at a Time, but I really want to direct.”
1: Film industry slang for ”special effects.” 2: Silly name for the 1986 movie, since nobody outside the film industry understood the term.
1: What a director says he’s doing when he’s ripping off another director’s style. 2: Anything by Brian De Palma.
1: A film’s staying power at the box office. 2. Kathleen Turner’s power base.
1. G, PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17. 2. Classification system that alerts teenagers to flicks that have $7 worth of sex and violence.
No such thing.
Late-1950s movement featuring existential themes, anti-professional technique, and naked French chicks.
Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Stagecoach, Wuthering Heights, Ninotchka…the last time the Oscars were really worth watching.
1: A lot more dollars at the box office. 2: What you can’t remember who won last year.
1: Shares of box-office profits guaranteed to big-shot stars. 2: Why Dustin Hoffman will never have to work again if Hook, due next winter, is a success.
Rendered obsolete by power breakfast.
1. A film’s prerelease screenings. 2. The final word on Hollywood status, depending on how early you attend one.
Hollywood species distinguished by Giorgio Armani suits with ”I Survived Kim Basinger” buttons worn on the lapels.
1: Overall look of sets, costumes, props, makeup, et cetera. 2: Substitute for plot and characters. 3: Dick Tracy.
Initial distribution of movie prints. Wide release: Reserved for blockbusters. Platform release: Goes to major markets for trial run. Limited release: It’s a dog; to be followed soon by a video release.
Major motif in Citizen Kane, which cannot be divulged to those who haven’t seen the film. Sorry.
In Los Angeles, anything with opposable thumbs.
What happens after something makes money.
Los Angeles chef Wolfgang Puck’s cooled-down hot spot, specializing in duck-sausage pizza and actors pretending to dodge paparazzi.
The plot — but with a car phone.
Hollywood’s creative elite.
Subtle plot underpinning that became outmoded when Hollywood realized the average moviegoer is 18 years old.