INTERVIEW: ‘Contagion’ screenwriter Scott Z. Burns

Posted by · 9:08 am · August 31st, 2011

There’s a scene in 2009’s “The Informant!,” Steven Soderbergh’s tongue-in-cheek look at corporate malfeasance written by Scott Z. Burns, when Matt Damon’s pathological liar Mark Whitacre rants internally about the spread of a virus, spurred by a sneeze from co-star Scott Bakula. By the time the film was complete, Soderbergh had built a solid working […]

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Filed in: Interviews

11/24 Oscarweb Round-up

Posted by · 8:09 am · November 24th, 2009

• Pete Hammond, with box office ammunition in hand, keeps banging the gong for Sandra Bullock in a bad movie.  And it just might happen. [Notes on a Season] • Speaking of “The Blind Side,” Patrick Goldstein dedicates a great many words to the film’s director, John Lee Hancock. [The Big Picture] • “Nine,” the […]

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Filed in: Daily

OFF THE CARPET: Field of adaptations

Posted by · 8:34 am · November 23rd, 2009

As always, the year’s adapted screenplay race is much more competitive than the original screenplay race. But what’s intriguing to note is that of the anticipated “big four” still to be widely screened, three of them are right in the thick of this discussion. In the case of “Nine,” there is a chance for Anthony […]

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Filed in: Off the Carpet

INTERVIEW: ‘The Informant!’ writer Scott Z. Burns

Posted by · 1:26 pm · October 30th, 2009

For Scott Z. Burns, the best way to tell the story of a compulsive liar was to take some liberties with the truth himself. “I’ve always been fascinated by lies … we all are,” the cheerfully forthright screenwriter tells me of his attraction to the story behind “The Informant!,” Steven Soderbergh’s playfully comic biopic of […]

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SHORT TAKE: “The Informant!” (***)

Posted by · 5:00 am · September 7th, 2009

Venice Film Festival That jaunty exclamation mark handily sets the tone for Steven Soderbergh’s “The Informant!,” a flip, frisky entertainment that may well represent the year’s most audacious feat of adaptation. Of course, the trailer already (and unavoidably) pulled the covers from the film’s biggest trick: that writer Scott Z. Burns (“The Bourne Ultimatum”) has […]

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Filed in: Reviews