At its best, movie dialogue can be so iconic that it slips effortlessly into the pop culture collective consciousness and, in some extraordinary cases, it can even evolve to become a commonly used colloquialism. I can’t count the numerous times people have quoted Pretty in Pink or even Wayne’s World to reference a scene that is similarly manifesting in their own lives (“she will be mine, oh yes, she will be mine”), while my best friend and I obnoxiously cite seemingly meaningless scenes from David Lynch’s tale of tragic romance Wild at Heart, which we use to sum up life’s inconceivable moments. On the flip side, movie conversation can be obnoxious, poorly written superfluous crap. This latter kind of dialogue can ruin a movie, leaving the audience feeling like they could have written a better script. On Saturday, July 7, that’s exactly what Mission-based Artists’ Television Access has set out to do with their film event and screening “New Talkies: Hijacking Hollywood” where seven writers will reinterpret scenes from well-known cinema favorites. In the tradition of film benshi or “film-teller,” which is a person who acted as a narrator and recounted the action on-screen during the silent film era in Japan and Korea, these “neo-benshis” will manipulate scenes from films through words alone, exemplifying the almighty and transformative power of dialogue. Come watch films like creepy ’80s movie Firestarter and the Coen brother’s noir flick The Man Who Wasn’t There get reconfigured, making plots twisted and genres defied.
“New Talkies: Hijacking Hollywood” Saturday, July 7, at 8 p.m. $10
Artists’ Television Access 992 Valencia St., 415-824-3890