Scour Through the 2011 Black List

A lot of movies come out every year. Some of them are quite good. Some of them are quite bad! There’s a lot in between, of course, and still more that never get made. No one will blame you if you can’t follow along, but fortunately, Franklin Leonard is here to do it for you. Every year, he curates the Black List, a collection of unmade and underappreciated screenplays that gets passed around buy-now studios like herpes simplex II. 

This year’s list, released today, is chockful of all types. There’s would-be Oscar collectors like The Imitation Game, "the story of British WWII cryptographer Alan Turing, who cracked the German Enigma code and later poisoned himself after being criminally prosecuted for being a homosexual." There’s quick hits to capture the zombie craze like Maggie, the story of " a farm family [who] helps their eldest daughter come to terms with her infection as she slowly becomes a flesh-eating zombie." There’s a Grace Kelly biopic, a Pinocchio prequel, more zombie stuff and more. You can scan the top 10 below, or click here for the full list.

1. The Imitation Game
by Graham Moore
The story of British WWII cryptographer Alan Turing, who cracked the German Enigma code and later poisoned himself after being criminally prosecuted for being a homosexual.
 
2. When The Street Lights Go On
by Chris Hutton, Eddie O’Keefe  
In the early 1980s, a town suffers through the aftermath of a brutal murder of a high school girl and a teacher.
 
3. Chewie
by Evan Susser, Van Robichaux
A satirical behind the scenes look at the making of Star Wars through the eyes of Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca.
 
4. The Outsider
by Andrew Baldwin
In post-World War II Japan, an American former prisoner-of-war rises in the yakuza.
 
5. Father Daughter Time: A Tale of Armed Robbery and Eskimo Kisses 
by Matthew Aldrich
A man goes on a three-state crime spree with an accomplice: his 11-year-old daughter.
 
6. In the Event of a Moon Disaster
by Mike Jones
An alternate telling of the historic APOLLO 11 mission to land on the moon that examines what might have happened if the astronauts had crash-landed there.
 
7. The Current War
by Michael Mitnick
Based on the true story of the race between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse to develop a practical system of electricity and sell their respective inventions to the country and the world.
 
8. Maggie 
by John Scott 3
As a “walking dead” virus spreads across the country, a farm family helps their eldest daughter come to terms with her infection as she slowly becomes a flesh-eating zombie.
 
9. The End
by Aron Eli Coleite
Four people — a veteran broadcaster in London, a 16-year-old girl and her boyfriend in Ann Arbor, and a devoted family man in Shanghai — each try to make peace with their lives before an interstellar event ends the world in six hours.
 
10. Beyond the Pale
by Chad Feehan
Teenage siblings suspect they’ve been ripped off by the town undertaker, but what they discover is much more sinister than either imagined.

10 Things Taylor Momsen Hates About Life on the Road

Last fall, after flipping off most of the Upper East Side, Gossip Girl’s Taylor Momsen toured the country in support of Light Me Up, her surprisingly accomplished debut album with The Pretty Reckless. Well, yesterday it was confirmed that Momsen (and former costar Jessica Szohr) won’t be returning to the show that made her famous enough to have a music career in the first place. Now that she’s a full-time rock star, we wanted to find out how she likes life on the road. Let’s just say, Little J. wouldn’t last an hour.

1. I hate many things about touring, but the worst is the lack of showering. The guys I’m on the road with start to smell like moldy cheese a er a week.

2. I hate playing shows outside during the daytime. Rock music needs lights!

3. I hate when they forget the Red Bull on our catering rider. How else am I supposed to work on no sleep?

4. I hate when the bus driver stops abruptly and I fall out of my bunk. I still have a bruise from the last time.

5. I hate Porta-Pottys. Umm… no thanks. If the town dump smells better than the bathroom facilities, that’s a problem!

6. I hate fast food. (Although I will make an exception for Del Taco.)

7. I hate syncing period cycles with the other women on tour. It’s not necessarily bad for me, but I’m sure the guys don’t appreciate it.

8. I hate when my dog, Petal, can’t come on the road with me. Ever since the “incident” that took place in our guitar player’s shoes, she hasn’t really been embraced by the guys.

9. I hate going through customs, especially at 4am when we were sleeping!

10. I hate when my manager tries to make me wear pants.

Photo by Lauren Dukoff.

The Black List: Ten Things Shannen Doherty Hates

Although she recently cut a rug on Dancing with the Stars, 90210 alum Shannen Doherty is more famous for putting up her dukes, which is why we asked the writer of this month’s Badass: A Hard-Earned Guide to Living Life with Style and (the Right) Attitude to take aim at 10 things she hates.

1. People who judge me for what I did when I was 20. I grew up—shouldn’t you?

2. People who don’t use deodorant, especially on a warm day. The odor lingers.

3. Obama.

4. People who don’t wash their hands after they use the bathroom. I’ve read that this is the leading cause of pink eye.

5. Rain and humidity, together. It makes me never want to leave my house, let alone my bed.

6. Pseudo-celebrities who walk around with bodyguards. I mean, really? Who are you afraid of?

7. Having to take my shoes off at airport security. We’re in the year 2010—there has to be a better way.

8. Insurance companies. You pay good money to have insurance and you’re told you need it, but what do they actually cover?

9. The tabloids and their made-up stories, especially when they claim a “source” filled them in. Yeah, okay, it’s the guy sitting next to you in the office.

10. Ignorance. Just educate yourself.

The Black List: The Ten Things Alan Cumming Hates About Celebrity

Writer, director, and actor Alan Cumming will soon appear in two new films—Burlesque, with Cher, and Julie Taymor’s The Tempest—but it’s his website, It’s A Sickness, “an obsession network for an obsessive culture,” that makes the star of The Good Wife (for which he recently received an Emmy nod) the perfect man to lash out against the ravenous cult of celebrity. This is what we call a true Hollywood story.

1. I hate that kids get older and weirder. When kids know you from a film, they are genuine and open in the way they approach you. Then they get older and jaded, and you have to deal with their new adult shit, and they come up to you and say things like, “I don’t know who the fuck you are but my friend thinks you’re kind of hot.” Then they let slip something about a film you’ve been in and of course they do know you, and actually quite respect you, but they are unable to betray that level of emotion and you wish they’d just stayed age 9.

2. Celebrities are not deaf. We can hear you when you talk about us.

3. Twitter is the devil. Not only does it mean that people will grow up unable to experience something without instantly commenting on it, but it is also a hideous invasion of normal human interaction to watch someone you are talking to in a bar go to the loo, and then be told later that they did so to tweet about you. Or how about when someone witnesses a fender bender and tweets about it rather than asking if you’re okay, or if they can help? This happened to me, and a friend of mine saw the tweet and freaked out thinking I was hurt because, of course, the tweeter didn’t bother to follow up and say that I was fine. But worst of all are people who tweet their comments during a play or a movie! I mean, come on! What ever happened to analysis, or allowing an experience to actually be just that?

4. I hate, hate, hate people who come up to you and ask if you remember them, revealing that they slept with you a long time ago. Why would you put yourself in a place of potential humiliation? If the celeb doesn’t remember you it will only make you angry and upset, and make you feel like you weren’t that good of a shag in the first place. Also, didn’t you ever consider the fact that you would never have remembered the celeb either had you not seen his face again and again on TV and in magazines? Wouldn’t it be nicer to gently remind your former shag of where and when you met, subtly and with decorum, and allow you both to have a nice little flashback to why you wanted to get into each other’s pants in the first place?

5. I hate the existential dilemma that magazines and websites deliver: if there isn’t a photo of me in US Weekly or on the latest vacuous blog, was I really at the party/premiere/awards ceremony? Do I even exist if I am not in those publications and on those sites? Is there an alternate reality where outmoded celebrities go to die or exist in a timeless zone waiting to be reborn or reinvented in a Betty White sort of manner?

6. I hate that celebrities are asked our opinion on every inane aspect of society and culture, some recent examples being, “What do you think of Kate Gosselin’s new hairdo?” and, “Are you a Gleek?” and, “Can you do a George Clooney impression?” But we’re supposed to shut up and say nothing about things that actually matter.

7. I hate that we are called “talent.” Not even the talent. My publicist shouted out of a car window recently: “You have to let us through! I have talent!” At first I thought she was referring to herself and was rather excited about what her hitherto unrevealed talent might be, but then I realized it was me, and talent was a noun by which I have come to be known. I am not talented, I am talent. One of the most vivid memories I have about a crazy, embittered ex of mine (and on reflection, probably what precipitated the beginning of the end) was him having to wear a lanyard at an event that was attached to a plastic card emblazoned with the phrase “Guest of Talent.” Ouch.

8. I hate very, very much when people recognize me enough to stop me and sometimes physically prevent me from moving on with my life, yet do not exactly know who I am and so feel entitled to ask me a series of questions about things they might have seen me in. I hate that when I say, “Well, I don’t know, because I wasn’t there when you saw it,” they don’t suddenly realize what an annoying and rude twat they are being. Ditto when, after more questions (and them still clinging onto my arm to disable my flight), I say, Why don’t you Google me?—and they still persevere. What is the solution? Should I try to become more famous to ensure that everyone, everywhere will automatically know me and I will avoid this sort of exchange? But won’t that mean that more and more people will want to stop and talk to me, and take my photo and try to drag me through bars to meet their cousins who are visiting from Arkansas?

9. I hate that people assume that being famous means you’re an asshole; that you’ll be rude to bar staff, waiters, and anyone further down the totem pole than you (which, when you’re a celebrity, is pretty much everyone, with the exception of bigger celebrities); that you will demand loads of expensive booze, clothes, and drugs, and not expect to pay for it. This is utter transference. I am always asking people to stop being total bitches on my behalf and trying to explain that it would be a nice change for me to have a conversation that isn’t about me, my work, how fabulous I am, or how I can help someone get a start as an actor, model, screenwriter, agent, publicist, or my assistant. I think it’s a real test of someone’s character if they choose to be mean to people they can be mean to. Some celebrities do this—but then, some celebrities are revolting shits. There are, however, many more revolting shits who are celebrity hangers-on.

10. I hate that I am even writing this, because it will be misinterpreted, and weird blogs and British newspapers will take lines from it and make up articles that will make me look like a spoiled, frothy dick, and there will be that “Oh, poor you to have so many problems because you’re famous” reaction from people I know and even like. But you know what? I don’t hate the fact that I still notice these things, because it means that I have not hidden myself away from the world, and I am glad about that. Also, as ambivalent as I am about my own fame, it is a byproduct—unwelcome as it may be—of me getting to do the work I love, and be the person I am, so, hooray for that.

The Paz de la Huerta Black List: Choke on This

Actor Paz de la Huerta tangles with her share of deadbeats in Gaspar Noé’s Enter the Void and as a gangster’s Girl Friday in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. But it’s the characters from her life in fashion that really get under her skin. Since when do models have to wear clothes?

1. I hate all the hipster stylists who wear, like, dildos on their heads and think it looks good. They always end up looking like Orgazmo’s sidekick, Choda Boy. 2. I hate being asked “my sign” by hairstylists every time I do a shoot. No matter what I tell them, they always say, “Oh, my god, we’re gonna be best friends!” 3. I hate that I have to be up on astrology all the time, because that’s all models talk about. 4. I hate when stylists try to put clothes on me. They should just shoot me naked, next to the clothes on the hangers. I’m obviously much happier naked. 5. I hate when I’m not the only model on a shoot, hello. 6. I hate when the photographer’s wife comes to the shoot. It’s like having my leading man’s wife show up to a film set in the middle of a love scene. 7. I hate being air kissed because I don’t wear any makeup, and I’d sure like to rub my cheeks against a bunch of hotties like Josie Maran and Christy Turlington (who is hotter than ever and just made No Woman, No Cry, a dope documentary about women around the world giving birth). Actually, I’d like to do a lot more than rub cheeks with them! 8. I hate that the male models I’ve dated completely conform to stereotypes. I had one who asked me, after three months of dating, if he was just my “boy toy.” 9. I hate when I ask a model what book they’re reading and they show me their portfolio. 10. I hate that the guys who were going out 20 years ago to screw models are still doing the same old shtick. They’re still “actors,” except they have no hair and no money. Thanks to their friend, the party promoter, they still get free drinks and try to impress the poor, young immigrant model—who doesn’t know anyone—by talking about all the famous asses they’ve kissed.

The Luke Wilson Black List: Texas Massacre

Sure, he looks sweet enough, but deep down, southern charmer Luke Wilson is one Texan you don’t want to mess with. Here, the star of this summer’s porn-caper comedy, Middle Men, rattles off the things that stoke his ire.

1. I’m trying to keep it positive these days, so maybe I could say that I dislike most of these things. That said—I hate leaf blowers. They might be the primary reason I moved out of Los Angeles to Texas Hill Country. 2. I hate that Buddy Holly died so young. He was a recording genius. To watch and listen to him grow older would have been unreal. 3. I don’t like having a bad dream, waking up from it, going back to sleep, and then being right back in the dream. 4. I’m not a fan of heartbreak. 5. I hate rude guys—shoot, I thought I was a Playboy Playmate for a minute there. 6. I dislike the time I waste watching television. 7. I do not like the fact that I grew up in the town where JFK was killed and then moved to the town where RFK was killed. 8. I don’t like the loss of small-town America. I understand growth and its part in America’s history, but it’s too bad that chains like Walmart seem to have hurt those towns. 9. I hate that I’ll write a letter and not send it because, in the back of my mind, I never believe it will get there. 10. I hate that Ed, the old guy from across the street, died at the Veterans Affairs hospital alone and that I didn’t know. 11. Hell, let’s end it upbeat: I hate that I don’t have Jeff Bridges’ hair.

The Black List: Joan Rivers, Working Girl

Grand dame of comedy Joan Rivers, the subject of next month’s documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, opens the floodgates with a list of 10 things that get her all hot and bothered (and not in a good way).

1. Postcoital chitchat. I have absolutely nothing to say to my cousin Natalie.

2. Faking orgasm. What’s the point when I’m always alone? 3. The cleanup. They never have enough paper towels in those church confessionals. 4. Talking during sex. Bus drivers always complain that I’m distracting them. 5. Guys who hate when I smoke after sex. Do you know how many times I’ve been fined by subway cops? 6. My sex life is like the Soviet Union: it ended 19 years ago. 7. Uncle Sam is screwing me. This year, my tax return came with a tube of Astroglide. 8. My bank account is a lot like the men I date. There’s absolutely no interest. 9. I was going to say that “money is the root of all evil,” but it’s actually wearing white after Labor Day. 10. Money is like Botox. I never have enough.

The Black List: Harmony Korine’s Escape From New York

Filmmaker Harmony Korine now lives in Nashville, but for a time he was Big Apple to the core. The director of Gummo and next month’s Trash Humpers tells New Yorkers—and their big feet—what he doesn’t miss about the city.

1. Crowded whorehouses. I don’t like when the line spills out into the street. In Jackson Heights, I saw a Puerto Rican man in a karate suit get run over by a taxicab while waiting in line. As he was being put in the ambulance, I heard him say, “After karate class, I always need to bust my nut off. This wasn’t supposed to happen to me. Not like this.” I heard he died shortly after.

2. Dishonest oyster bars. I went to an oyster bar in the summer of 1982 that served cat meat instead of real oysters. Somehow they made the cat meat look and taste nearly identical to the type of mediocre synthetic oysters that you can find growing in the tanks of Sheepshead Bay. I remember that the horseradish was a strange fluorescent orange color. I should have known something was wrong when they were only charging five cents an oyster and everyone eating looked like they had throat cancer. 3. The Nigerian rat salesmen of 14th Street. Those guys are relentless. 4. White supremacists disguised as stockbrokers. 5. Cheap hotels that charge by the minute to accommodate the growing American trend of premature ejaculators. 6. Elementary school boys with facial hair. 7. Shoe stores that carry only huge sizes for massive feet. I’m not sure why so many of these places are popping up now. Maybe it has to do with the increase in juvenile steroid use? 8. There’s a drugstore uptown, by a church, which has two full rows of douche bottles. On Sundays, the owner rents the place out for mock gay weddings, and once a month they throw an underground rave for pampered dykes. In the mornings, it always smells of tuna fish and lime juice. 9. The influx of Finnish hand-job parlors is a nuisance and an eyesore. It reminds me of Prohibition. We need to close down these places before they rot our collective moral fabric and corrupt our beautiful, wayward children. 10. There are way too many incarcerated people now. Death row is bursting at the seams. We need to set the prisoners free. We need to give each of them a healthy mule and a gift certificate to Starbucks. We need to legalize arson and turn toward communism.

The Black List: Alexa Chung

Oh, it’s on all right. MTV canned her talk show late last year, but don’t expect Alexa Chung to take the news lying down. We asked the model, television host and indie fashion goddess — who recently teamed up with Madewell to design her debut clothing line — to purge her angst with a list of things she simply cannot abide.

1. I hate that bad reality TV is so incredibly gripping. 2. I hate online bullying. Those little comment boxes can brim with the most vicious, acidic and pointless remarks. 3. That I have a far-from-pretty voice. This, coupled with the fact that karaoke is basically my favorite activity, makes for some very sad evenings. 4. That I can’t seem to work out my shoe size in America. In England, I’m a size 6. (Yes, I’ve tried an 8.) 5. Surprise encounters. I immediately turn red when I bump into someone I wasn’t expecting to see. 6. Meat. 7. A lot of the music that dominates the charts. 8. Bad manners. 9. When people talk about The Wire beyond season one. I haven’t finished it yet! 10. That I’ve already read Lolita for the first time.