domingo, 16 de noviembre de 2014

10 películas de emprendedorismo que no te podés perder

10 Movies Every Entrepreneur Needs to Watch
John Rampton - Entrepreneur

No one ever said being an entrepreneur would be easy. A million obstacles seem to stand in the way each and every day. The naysayers and budget woes can be enough for the average person to start waving the white flag.

But you are not an average person: You’re an entrepreneur. That means that even when times are tough, you’re still going to march forward.

Yet when this whole entrepreneur thing becomes overwhelming, take a break and look for some much needed motivation. And what better way to find inspiration than watching movies?

Whether it’s a heartwarming adventure, irreverent comedy or thought-provoking documentary, a film can inspire and motivate a weary business owner.

With that in mind, here are 10 movies that every entrepreneur needs to watch:

Related: Why 'Ghostbusters' Should Be Every Entrepreneur's Favorite Movie

1. The Social Network: It was no surprise that The Social Network was a blockbuster when it was released in 2010. After all, everyone wanted to see how Mark Zuckerberg became transformed from a Harvard student to launching the most popular social-media network in the world.

Why watch it? Never mind if this was overdramatized. The film gives viewers a better understanding of how to make a startup succeed by exhibiting such qualities as being flexible and resilient. Every time I watch this movie it motivates me to be a better entrepreneur.

2. Glengarry Glen Ross: Based on David Mamet's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, this film explores the cutthroat world of Chicago real estate. Glengarry Glen Ross takes a closer look at the lies and betrayals people endure  just to succeed in business.

Why watch it? Unfortunately, the business world can be brutal, something you’ll learn even as a salesperson. This 1992 film illustrates just how vicious it can be.

3. Pirates of Silicon Valley: This was a made-for-TV movie released in 1999 that covers the early days of the country's leading technology hub and the eventual rise of both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. The documentary-style movie provides an interesting take on the lives of the founders of Microsoft and Apple.

Why watch it? Entrepreneurs are still looking for inspiration from these two iconic “pirates.” It definitely provides pointers to learn from.

4. Citizen Kane: Even if you’re not an entrepreneur, watch Orson Welles’ 1941 masterpiece. The film revolves around the life of a fictitious Charles Foster Kane, a newspaper tycoon loosely based on William Randolph Hearst and his quest for fortune and power. In the end, however, Kane comes to understand what’s really important in life.

Why watch it? While launching a successful business is a goal of every entrepreneur, it’s not the only goal in life.

Related: Need Inspiration? Surprising Movies, Books and More to Motivate Success

5. The Pursuit of Happyness: Based on the true story of Chris Gardner, this 2006 Will Smith vehicle is one of the most heartwarming and motivational films for entrepreneurs. If you’re not moved by watching Chris and his son struggle to follow a dream, then I am truly puzzled.

Why watch it? Even though he became homeless and struggled to provide for his son, Chris never gave up on his dream. That passion and sacrifice is something every entrepreneur should be willing to embrace.

6. Moneyball: You don’t have to be a baseball fan to enjoy Brad Pitt’s portrayal of Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A’s. Because the team didn't have the finances to spend on players, Beane had to discover a unique way to compete.

Why watch it? Beane had to be innovative. And that’s one of the most-well known traits of entrepreneurs: figuring out how to make something better. Also, Beane never listened to the naysayers and never backed down from his vision.

Related: How 'The Wolf of Wall Street' Helped Me Increase My Sales by 50 Percent

7. Rocky: This is another film that everyone has to watch at least once. Sylvester Stallone wrote and starred in this ultimate underdog tale of Rocky Balboa going the distance with boxing heavyweight champion Apollo Creed.

Why watch it? Even when the world tells you that you'll never have a chance to succeed, keep fighting. That competitive spirit can take you a long way. And I dare you to listen to the classic score from Bill Conti and not become motivated.

8. Wall Street: In 1987, director Oliver Stone made Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) one of the most infamous characters in cinema history with his motto “greed is good.” The film centers on the illegal and unethical decisions made by Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) to become filthy rich like Gekko, a corporate raider.

What watch it? Don’t sell yourself out just for the sake of money. Remember, being an entrepreneur isn’t just about becoming rich and famous.

Related: 10 Must-See Documentaries for Entrepreneurs

9. Jerry Maguire: The protagonist, Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise), had it all: a great career, lots of friends and a beautiful fiancé. One day, however, he has an epiphany: Sports agents shouldn’t just be looking at the money scenes but how to take care of their clients. Jerry loses everything and goes on journey to regain everything he’s lost.

Why watch it? When you’re following your dream, everything else will fall into place both professionally and personally. Jerry Maguire eventually learns this valuable lesson.

10. Office Space: This 1999 comedy from Mike Judge focuses on Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston), who eventually discovers how much he hates sitting inside a cubicle taking orders from his creepy boss Bill Lumbergh (Gary Cole).

Why watch it? Every entrepreneur hates working for someone else and will even sometimes go to extremes to get fired: I'm not condoning that you embezzle, though: it could result in jail time.

I'm sure I missed a couple. What movie do you think every entrepreneur has to watch?

martes, 15 de julio de 2014

8 películas que enseñan economía

Flickonomics: eight movies that teach us how money works
From The Full Monty to The Matrix, films have a lot to say on economics. Mary Poppins teaches us that banking is about confidence, and Some Like it Hot lays bare the trouble with capitalism

The Guardian

Michael Douglas as Gordon 'Greed is good' Gekko in Wall Street Photograph: SNAP/Rex Features

Wall Street (1987): beware the corporate raiders

Co-written and directed by Oliver Stone, and starring Michael Douglas, Wall Street documents the rise of modern "shareholder capitalism". From the 1930s to the 70s, "managerial capitalism" (ie capitalism managed by professional managers with little influence from shareholders), had prevailed in the advanced economies. However, by the 80s, floating shareholders driven by short-term financial gains started to get the upper hand.

Douglas plays Gordon "Greed is Good" Gekko, a ruthless corporate raider who wins the support of the shareholders managing a takeover bid for a company by pointing out the inefficiencies of corporate bureaucracy – the company has 33 vice-presidents, doing God knows what. Of course, his real intention is to asset-strip the company – sell off the valuable assets and close it down – rather than develop it.

The movie depicts a fundamental dilemma at the heart of modern capitalism. You cannot leave companies at the mercy of short-term-oriented financiers such as Gekko; but without pressure from shareholders, it is difficult to restrain inefficiency. In the quarter of a century since the film appeared, the balance has shifted too much in the direction of short-term shareholders, prompting criticisms of "quarterly capitalism". Under pressure from impatient shareholders, many companies, especially in the US and the UK, have become far too short-term-oriented and stopped investing in machines and technologies that only offer long-term returns. Ha-Joon Chang

Some Like It Hot (1959): the trouble with rentier capitalism

Some Like It Hot: Tony Curtis, Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon expose rentier capitalism. Photograph: United Artists/EPA

Some Like It Hot is rightly acclaimed as a brilliant, quirky comedy. It has cross-dressing and shtick so rapid that even after 10 viewings you are still finding new things funny. But it is also a brilliant portrayal of what's wrong with rentier capitalism. Consider the world of the movie: Chicago, in which the main players are organised criminals and inept cops, and in which even talented musicians have to live on loans from their girlfriends and on the proceeds of gambling. Then Florida, in which elderly millionaires, before the Wall Street Crash, squander their money on leisure, yachts and chorus girls. In between there is the world of the train, which seems to have no workers aboard it, only the female band, where the hierarchical structures of mid-20th-century work and gender are lovingly replicated. Sweet Sue does not reprimand Sugar directly but has to get her underling, Beanstalk, to do it for her. The movie was made by people who remembered the Depression, so for all its crazy humour it is also a sombre lesson in the futility of boom-time societies in which the sources of income are gambling, speculation and casual sex work, but never actual work for wages and production. For me, the utter brilliance of the movie is only possible because it creates this unreal cosmos around speculation, crime and the brainless rich. Paul Mason

The Matrix (1999): you can't trust happiness

Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss in The Matrix. But are they happy? Photograph: Allstar/Cinetext/WARNER BROS

It is increasingly accepted that income, the economists' traditional measure of human welfare, is not a good indicator of wellbeing. There are at least two reasons: first, because money is only one of the things we want in our lives; and second, because even when it comes to money, we often make poor decisions as consumers, influenced by advertising or driven by our desire to keep up with the Joneses.

As a result, some economists have tried to measure wellbeing by asking people directly how happy they are. But even ignoring the issue of whether happiness is something that can be measured, we can't really trust "happiness studies" because we cannot totally trust people's judgments on their own happiness.

First of all, there are all kinds of "adaptive preferences", in which people reinterpret bad situations to make them more bearable: "sour grapes" – deciding that what you could not get is actually not as good as you had thought – is a classic example. Moreover, many people who are oppressed, exploited or discriminated against, say that they are happy. Some even oppose changes that would improve their lot: many European women, for example, opposed the introduction of female suffrage in the early 20th century. These people think they are happy because they have come to accept – "internalise" is the fancy word here – the values of their oppressors. Marxists used to call it "false consciousness". The most perfected form of it is found in The Matrix, the Wachowskis' 1999 sci-fi movie in which people don't even know they are being used as organic batteries to power their machine overlords. HJC

Mary Poppins (1964): why banking is all about confidence

The Banks family in Mary Poppins. Young Michael accidentally starts a run on the family bank. Photograph: Disney/Sportsphoto Ltd./Allstar

Few people would associate this Disney movie, based on the books of the Australian-British writer PL Travers, with economics. But it contains a scene that gives an excellent summary of the nature of modern banking, one that opens with young Michael Banks visiting the Dawes, Tomes, Mousley, Grubbs Fidelity Fiduciary Bank, where his father works. Mr Dawes, the chairman (played by Dick van Dyke, who also plays Bert, the cockney jack-of-all-trades) tries to persuade the boy (with a song) to deposit his tuppence in the bank so that it can be invested in railways through Africa, dams across the Nile, and other fantastical investment projects.

Michael is not convinced and doesn't want to give up his coin; but mesmerised by the singing, he loses concentration and Mr Dawes is able to snatch it. "Give me back my money!" Michael shouts, prompting other customers to fear there is something wrong and demand their deposits back, creating a run on the bank – just as we saw at Northern Rock branches in 2007.

The scene illustrates how banks depend on maintaining the confidence of their depositors. Like all other banks, the Fidelity Fiduciary had made a promise it could not keep: it had promised its depositors that they would be paid in cash upon demand, when actually it had enough cash to pay only a proportion of them. This is usually not a problem. At any given time only a small proportion of depositors would want to withdraw their money, so it is safe for the bank to hold in cash only a fraction of the amount in its deposit accounts. But if a depositor begins to doubt the bank's ability to pay her back, she has the incentive to withdraw her money as soon as possible. Even if the doubts are totally unfounded (as in Mary Poppins), it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy if enough account holders think and act in this way.

This "confidence problem" has led to the development of central banks (such as the Bank of England), which can lend to banks in trouble, and of public deposit insurance: measures intended to give depositors more confidence in the banks, thus stabilising the banking system. Of course, the 2008 financial crisis has shown the limitations of these measures, because today deposit banking is overshadowed by other segments of the financial industry, such as investment banking, trading in derivatives and other "structured" financial products. HJC

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005): the value of the welfare state

Freddie Highmore as Charlie Bucket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: what if his father had been able to claim unemployment benefit? Photograph: Ho/REUTERS

In the 2005 movie version of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie's father loses his job as a toothpaste cap-screwer because someone has invented a machine that can do it much faster.

This kind of unemployment is known as "technological unemployment" and has been a constant feature of capitalism – just think about some of the professions that have all but disappeared except in name – chandler, weaver, miller, etc. Without constantly destroying old jobs and creating new jobs through technological innovations, capitalism cannot develop.

But the inevitability of technological unemployment does not mean that unemployed people should be left in the dustbin of history. Had Charlie's family lived in a country with a welfare state, which would provide unemployment benefit for the unemployed worker and income support for his family as well as subsidising his retraining, they would not have had to endure penury and that continuous diet of cabbage soup. HJC

Erin Brockovich (2000): how to measure environmental cost

Julia Roberts explores environmental cost in Erin Brockovich. Photograph: Sportsphoto/Allstar/Cinetext Collection

Erin Brockovich, which was a hit in 2000, stars Julia Roberts, who won an Oscar for her role as an unemployed single mother of two who manages to get a job as a legal assistant in a California law firm. There, she stumbles on files about the unethical behaviour of a power company that was buying up land it had contaminated by the illegal dumping of hexavalent chromium. This was poisoning the water supply of residents and making them seriously ill. Albert Finney plays the hard-up boss of the law firm who agrees to take the case on. Against all odds they end up winning a class action lawsuit against Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) on behalf of their ill clients.

We all love conspiracy movies, but this was no Hollywood fiction. Erin exists, and indeed she won $333m from PG&E for her clients in 1996. And she has clearly not given up. Reportedly, she has just launched an attack on the pharmaceutical giant Bayer, which, she claims, is endangering the lives of thousands of women through its birth control drug Essure.

The film highlighted a real economic issue: the difficulty that markets have in putting a price on the impact of a company's core activity on the wider environment. In economics speak, this is the problem of measuring "externalities". Pollution, medical consequences, congestion, noise, climate change, community displacement and unrest fall into that category. What isn't measured tends to be ignored.

Some progress in this area has been made. In the decade that followed the film's release, companies have come under increased scrutiny for their business ethics. Corporate social responsibility has become something that companies espouse, at least publicly. A lot more needs to be done. But the business imperative is clear. Today, thanks to social media and 24/7 news, allegations of a company's failure to meet required standards travels instantly round the world. It can result in global boycotts of products, falls in share values, chief executives losing their jobs and, at times, companies that have been around for decades if not centuries going under. Think Enron, think Arthur Andersen – and many more. Vicky Pryce, whose latest book, Greekonomics, is published by Biteback Publishing

The Sound of Music (1965): how to handle success

The Sound of Music: just because one musical is a hit, it doesn't follow that another one will be. Photograph: 20th Century Fox/Sportsphoto Ltd/Allstar

A musical about an errant trainee nun in the Austrian Alps, starring Julie Andrews, The Sound of Music was a gargantuan commercial success, rescuing 20th Century Fox from the $40m wounds inflicted two years earlier by Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor's Cleopatra. It remains, in inflation-adjusted dollars, the third-biggest-grossing film of all time.

Producer Richard Zanuck was 30 years old, and this was his first big hit. So what did he do next? Understandably, he tried to repeat what he'd just done."I was convinced that the musical was back, and a lot of people, a lot of other studio heads, were convinced that this was the way to go," he told me when we had lunch just days before he died in July 2012. He commissioned three more musicals, all in a similar sugary vein. All three were box-office flops.

First, Doctor Dolittle, an adaptation of the children's books by Hugh Lofting, contributed to 20th Century Fox posting a staggering $37m loss in 1967. The next, Star!, released in 1968, which starred Julie Andrews and had the same director, producer and choreographer as The Sound of Music, also bombed: box-office receipts in the US were just $4m, and losses were pegged at $15m. The third, Hello, Dolly!, released in 1969 and starring Barbra Streisand, did equally badly, losing $16m, bringing to a close a disastrous few years for the studio, and prompting Zanuck to lose his job as production chief.

It's not that the past is never a good predictor of what lies ahead. There are of course many examples we could cite of times when looking backwards, consciously or not, has helped people reach the right decisions. The key, though, is not to be wedded to our past successes and failures, or our experience-based instincts, so that shifting tides or new information are ignored. Nor should we assume a linear trajectory – more so now than ever, as we attempt to navigate today's uncertain and unpredictable digital world, in which things are changing with an ever greater rapidity.

Zanuck explained to me that his movie strategy immediately after The Sound of Music fell victim to a fast-changing world, and a shift in cultural mores. When The Sound of Music hit movie screens, the appeal of singing nuns and the lush Technicolor greenery of the Austrian hills made sense against the backdrop of the early 1960s. But by the time the back-to-back movie flops were released, things had moved on. The Vietnam war and the civil rights movement had politicised the American public, Martin Luther King had been assassinated, pop and rock music were dominant, and saccharine-sweet family productions had lost their appeal.

Success does not necessarily breed success. Just because we haven't seen a snake today or yesterday, it doesn't mean that we won't see one tomorrow. And just because a certain set of ingredients once worked, it doesn't mean they always will.

It is a testament to Zanuck's creative energy and willingness to introspect that he came back from these harsh experiences to produce Jaws, Driving Miss Daisy, Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland and many other great movies. Noreena Hertz (Extracted from Eyes Wide Open: How to Make Smart Decisions in a Confusing World. Out in paperback on 17 July, priced £8.99)

The Full Monty (1997): the reality of unemployment

The Full Monty, in which unemployed stel workers turn to stripping, rather than inevstment banking, to bay the bills. Photograph: c.20thC.Fox/Everett/REX

This hit British movie, starring Robert Carlyle and Tom Wilkinson, is mainly remembered for its exuberant male stripping act. However, the road the six protagonists travel to reach that final scene is a troubled one.

In Sheffield in the mid-90s, industrial decline, particularly in the steel industry, had led to widespread unemployment. In the film, six jobless workers form a stripping troupe, after a long period of frustration, indignity, and deprivation.

In standard economic theory, this kind of unemployment should not exist. If the British steel industry goes into decline because of competition from, say, South Korea, the industry will shrink and release the capital (machines) and the labour (workers) that it used to employ. The capital and labour thus released will be absorbed by industries in which Britain is relatively more efficient, but, then, how many former steel workers do you know who have been re-employed by Goldman Sachs as an investment banker?

The point is that workers cannot freely move across different jobs, because their experience is specific to their line of work – there are few skills that are equally valuable in all industries. The alternative that most unemployed workers face is to get a new job that does not require much skill – in this case, stripping – that pays far less. HJC.

miércoles, 25 de diciembre de 2013

Cine: Trading Places (1983)

An Oral History Of 'Trading Places,' The Greatest Christmas Movie Ever Made

In June of 1983, “Trading Places” was released in theaters. It remains the greatest Wall Street movie ever made.
Thirty years later, most regard it as part of the canon of American comedies, having launched, revived, or defined the careers of many of its cast and crew.
We also argue it's the greatest Christmas movie ever made.
If you haven’t seen it yet, you should probably repent to your local pastor, then log into your nearest Netflix account.
But as a courtesy, we’ll summarize the plot: Two septuagenarian brothers who run a successful commodities brokerage in Philadelphia get into an argument about whether a person’s character is shaped by nature or nurture. They decide to make a bet: They will frame a top executive (Dan Aykroyd) with drug possession and soliciting a prostitute (Jamie Lee Curtis). Meanwhile, they will promote a street beggar (Eddie Murphy) to the executive’s former role. They will then observe whether the beggar and executive still act like their old selves.
To celebrate the 30-year anniversary of this film, we reached out to some key principals behind the film — sadly, many are no longer with us, though their collective experience at the time of the shooting helped make the movie as good as it was — to talk to us about how it got made and what it means today.


JOHN LANDIS, director: I got a call from Jeff Katzenberg, the executive at Paramount at that time, asking if I would read a script called ‘Black And White,’ which I thought was a lousy title — ironically black or white was something I did with Michael Jackson several years later.
It was very old fashioned, a social comedy very much like the screwball stuff done in the '30s. Hollywood made a series of movies — Preston Sturges, Frank Capra — these comedies that really were about society at the time, and were fairly political, but wonderfully funny and with strong characters.
TIM HARRIS, co-writer: There were these two brothers who were both doctors who I would play tennis with on a fairly regular basis, and they were incredibly irritating to play with because they had a major sibling rivalry going, all the time about everything.
There were these two brothers who were both doctors who I would play tennis with on a fairly regular basis, and they were incredibly irritating to play with because they had a major sibling rivalry going, all the time about everything. — Tim Harris, co-writer
So they always had to be separated, you know, play on the other team.
And they were very wealthy but also incredibly cheap — we would play on public courts where it was like a couple of bucks for four guys for an hour.
And they’d have arguments about who was coming up with 50 cents, and I think one very hot day I played with them, and I just came home and was fed up with it, and I just thought, ‘God, I just don’t want to play with these people, they’re awful.’
And I had the idea of them betting on a nature/nurture situation with somebody in their company, and I’d pretty much worked out the whole thing, and went over to Herschel’s and told it to him and he thought it was fabulous.
At the time I was living in what was a fairly run-down part of L.A. near Fairfax Avenue that was completely crime ridden. I lived in an apartment complex where everybody either had a gun held to their head or been raped or whatever — just a very criminal environment — that was part of it I suppose as well.
trading places
Eddie Murphy as homeless Billy Ray Valentine
HERSCHEL WEINGROD, co-writer: The truth is that the only way that a screenplay can really be judged, by definition, isn't on the page, it's by watching the film that was made from it. It can certainly be read and enjoyed, but the inescapable fact is that it was written in order to be seen.


LANDIS: The script was developed for Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor. And when I was sent the script, Richard Pryor, unfortunately, had his accident where he burnt himself rather badly, and they sent it to me and said, ‘What do you think?’
‘48 Hours’ hadn't come out yet, but they’d previewed it, and Eddie Murphy had previewed very well, and they thought, ‘Ah this kid's going to be a star,’ So they said, ‘What do you think about Eddie Murphy playing the Billy Ray Valentine part?’ And I of course said, ‘Who’s Eddie Murphy?’
So they said, ‘What do you think about Eddie Murphy playing the Billy Ray Valentine part?’ And I of course said, ‘Who’s Eddie Murphy?’ — John Landis, director
Because I didn’t watch Saturday Night Live since John [Belushi] had died.
So I read the script, and I saw Eddie's tapes, and went to New York and met with Eddie. And they wanted — I won't tell you who they wanted me to cast — but the studio was very unhappy with almost everybody they wanted me to cast.
John Belushi had died, and [Dan Aykroyd’s] movie without John was called ‘Dr. Detroit,’ which was a failure, so conventional wisdom was that Aykroyd without Belushi was like Abbott without Costello, and that his career was over.
Now I knew Danny well, having worked with him, and I knew Danny was a fine actor, and he could easily play this guy. Danny, he's an actor: You tell him what you want, and he delivers. And I thought he'd be wonderful. So he reduced his price quite a bit, and I got him, so I had Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy, and they were upset because Danny hadn't — his last couple of pictures hadn't done well, and Eddie was still an unknown really. ‘48 Hours’ came out while we were shooting...
trading places
Dan Aykroyd as Louis Winthorpe III, after losing his job and girlfriend.
The only character in the script I had a problem with, because she's such a fantasy, is Ophelia. The classic ‘hooker with a heart of gold’  — she's such a fantasy that I thought how the fuck am I going to get away with this?’ I had met Jamie Lee Curtis — I shot a documentary on horror stuff, and she was host of it — she was a ‘scream queen.’ And I met her and she was so funny and smart and sexy, and I thought, ‘Oh she'd be terrific.’  
She had just made ‘Halloween 2,’ for which she'd been paid I think a $1 million, and we paid her probably $70,000. When I cast her the studio went nuts. I was called into the head of the studio’s office and he said, ‘This woman's a B-movie actress,’ and I said, ‘Not after this movie!’ But boy they really didn't like the fact that I cast Danny and Jamie.
JAMIE LEE CURTIS, ‘Ophelia’: I had made a conscious effort to actually stop doing [horror movies]. I knew that that would not allow me a full career — that at a certain point it would get limiting. And I met John when he was doing a short — a documentary about horror movie trailers from the '50s called ‘Coming Soon.’ He needed somebody to narrate, so he hired me for that; that's when I first met him. And during the course of that, he must have had some sense that I would be good. So he handed me that part.
He clearly went against every one of the studios. The casting people all thought he was crazy, and he single-handedly changed the course of my life by giving me that part.
trading places
Jamie Lee Curtis as Ophelia, a prostitute; Denholm Elliott as Coleman, Winthorpe's butler; and Murphy and Aykroyd as they plot revenge.
He single-handedly changed the course of my life by giving me that part. — Jamie Lee Curtis
HARRIS: The casting is very much to John’s credit, he just cast the movie brilliantly, and all the minor parts really shine. It’s actually one of those movies, where it changes a lot of the participants’ careers forever. It got Jamie Lee Curtis out of horror movies. It got Herschel and I to a much more prominent level. The two old guys — it completely revived their careers. It catapulted everybody’s careers in a positive way.
LANDIS: The most remarkable story, casting wise: I thought, ‘Well, I need someone who was a movie star in the ‘40s, who never has never really played a villain, and I was thinking, ‘Hey, what about Don Ameche?’ And the casting woman said, ‘Don Ameche’s dead.’ And I said, ‘I don't think so, I would know if Don Ameche is dead.’
And so we called the Screen Actor’s Guild, and his residuals were being sent to his son in Phoenix, Arizona. And I thought, ‘Well that's not a good sign.’ And he didn't have an agent, and I thought, ‘Shit, goddamm, who else could we get?’ when one of the  secretaries said, ‘I heard you're looking for Don Ameche.’ We said ‘Ya.’ She said, ‘I see him all the time walking on San Vicente in Santa Monica.’
trading places
Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche as the Duke brothers, hatching their scheme.
So I called information, and I said, ‘I there a Don or D Ameche on San Vicente in Santa Monica?’ And there was! So I called him. And you know he has that unmistakable voice, and you realize, Don was a huge star, in the late ’30s, definitely a big star in the ’40s — I mean he was Alexander Graham Bell for chrissakes! — a major star in the ’50s, Broadway star, radio star, movie star, television star.
And I said, ‘Mr. Ameche?’ ‘Yeeessss...?’ ‘My name is John Landis, I’m with Paramount Studios, and I'm making a film and I’d like you to consider a part.’ So I had a script sent over. ‘And could you please read this and can you come in tomorrow?’ And he said, ‘Yes.’ Would you like us to send a car?’ He said, ‘No no, I can drive.’ I said, ‘Great.’
And he came in and was prepared to read for me. I was so shocked. I said ‘You don't have to read for me.’
He hadn't made a movie in 14 years, he'd been doing dinner theater.
While we were shooting later in Philadelphia — he was so wonderful — I said, ‘Don, may I ask a question? How come you haven't worked in 14 years?’ And he said, ‘Well, nobody called!’
The great upshot of this is after Trading Places came out, the next movie he was in was ‘Cocoon,’  which he won an Oscar for. He never stopped working the rest of his life — he made like 10 more movies — I worked with him twice more.


HARRIS: [Philadelphia] has a connection with the founding of the country, the constitution, everybody being entitled to the pursuit of happiness, all the idealism that’s built into America. I thought it was a good way to highlight that, especially in the opening scene when you see the legless black guy.
trading places
The Heritage Club scene was actually shot inside an abandoned New York City building.
LANDIS: A lot of the interiors that are supposed to be in Philadelphia are actually New York. The exterior and interior of Duke Brothers, the big floor, was Philadelphia. But the offices were upstairs at the Park Avenue Armory, they had these beautiful Stanford White interiors. In fact, there was a real Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington — I said ‘Can I use that?’
[The Heritage Club location] was an amazing find. It's an old Chamber of Commerce building, it was empty — a spectacular room, we just put the table in there.


LANDIS: It took me a long time just to understand the con, what was going on. It's just so funny, it's so long ago now, the chicanery is so much more arcane now. At least in ‘Trading Places,’ at the end of the day, there was the commodity.
HARRIS: I asked some people who were in that business to kind of walk me me through it, and when I was writing it — it was like studying for an exam, you know, you kind of understand it the day of, and then 24 hours later you can’t remember how anything works.
trading places
Murphy and Aykroyd go long orange juice futures.
LANDIS: It was actually in the script that the final scenes were in Chicago at the commodities exchange, but they would not let us shoot there. We really had tried every which way to get permission to shoot there, and I think truthfully once they saw we had a clear understanding of how it worked, it was like, ‘No!’
So we ended up at the commodities exchange in New York which was at the World Trade Center at the time.
About 90% [of the floor traders in the movie] were actual traders, and a great deal of it I shot during actual trading hours. They were into it — if anything they were less rough. I was quite taken aback at how physically rough it was — they really elbowed one another ... It was like a contact sport.
I was quite taken aback at how physically rough it was. It was like a contact sport. — John Landis
They were basically trading like 8 or 9 hours a day, so we were in there for 3 to 4 hours on two days between opening and closing, and we got a lot done. I actually shot some ‘guerrilla’ stuff there that I used in the movie.
I also remember that the commodities market, it was in one of the towers at the World Trade Center on the 50th or 60th floor — no windows, and 3 to 4 stories high. That was very strange, to take an elevator up 50 or 60 floors, and then you thought you were underground.


WEINGROD: The film got extremely good reviews from the major film critics at the time - Vincent Canby at the New York Times; Siskel & Ebert, both on their TV show and in the Chicago Sun-Times; Richard Schicikel in Time Magazine; Sheila Benson in the L.A. Times; even People magazine. There were some negative reviews as well, but we were hopeful that the good ones would help audiences go and see the film. They did and, fortunately, they liked it a lot. I just looked it up, and it was the fourth highest grossing film in a year where ‘Return Of The Jedi’ and ‘Tootsie’ were first and second.
HARRIS: It didn’t have a huge opening, but it just kept going and going and going.  I had a call from an agent saying he was getting calls asking if it was true that the whole film had actually been the producer Aaron Russo’s idea, and that he’d just paid us to write it. Then I got another call saying Jeffrey Katzenberg at Paramount was going around saying it had all been his idea. Being by then already a Hollywood cynic, I knew it was a hit, because people were trying to steal credit for it already.
CURTIS: Some people will pretend they knew it. Paramount maybe felt like it had something. In the middle of the process, you never anticipate that it’s going to be off the charts. ... It's just a really funny movie. ‘Motherfucker? Moi?’
WEINGROD: If you write an original screenplay that becomes a commercial and critical success, you suddenly have a certain amount of legitimacy. No one's risking their job hiring you to do a writing assignment or even making another of your original scripts because you've already made money for a studio; you're in the club, as it were. ... Hiring writers whose films have been successful helps mitigate this essential absurdity of the screenwriting process for the buyer.
LANDIS: Movies have a life of their own.


HARRIS: It was probably just on the cusp of it becoming incredibly trendy to be absolutely rich. We played into that at the end of film: Tdream is achieved because these two guys, a black guy and white guy, both got filthy rich. I think that’s why the film is successful — it’s a satire on greed and social conventions, but it had a satisfying happy ending. They both got what they wanted.
trading places 16
Randolph Duke reacts to getting a margin call.
CURTIS: Old money still has the power — nothing has changed. It’s shocking to me, but it’s not surprising. It’s shocking that you would think people would be held accountable, but I just don't think that's reality today.
LANDIS: The sheer enormity of the dishonesty that's rampant in the banking industry and securities business ... This all extends from deregulation — just the cowardice and corruption of the Senate, it's just ... you can't exaggerate this stuff. You really can't.
HARRIS: Somebody came up to me recently and said it was because of ‘Trading Places’ that he’d gone into the world of finance, which is like a huge paradigm turn — that a film written as satire of that world ends up inspiring somebody to go into that world and make a lot of money. But it just shows how times change since that film was made.
WEINGROD: Bernard Madoff, former chairman of NASDAQ, had been investigated by the SEC since 1999, but the scandal didn't break until 2008. 'Nuff said.


HARRIS: The movies that have come out about Wall Street, none of them are funny. They’re all melodramas, they take themselves very seriously. I think they’re constrained, they have to be automatically liberal in their disapproval of it.
I was sort of disappointed with that. ‘Trading Places’ is a sort of backward-looking film, that owed more to the films of the ’40s and ’50s than it does to anything that was going on at the time it was made.
‘Brewster’s Millions’ was a social comedy about money and greed and what it does to people, but after that, there were no films like that being made anymore.
There were no films like that being made anymore. — Tim Harris
Comedies were being directed at a specific groups of kids — teenagers — and that seemed to take over a great deal. 
I think it’s probably an American thing — they’re not interested in looking at that stuff particularly. I don’t think Hollywood is either — it’s awkward for them. The important people in Hollywood are really, really, filthy rich. They don’t want to see that made fun of particularly, I don’t think.
CURTIS: Comedy is all about character and conflict. There’s certainly enough conflict in banking, and there are certainly enough characters. Someone who's clever could come up with a good hook.
trading places
Elliott and Murphy celebrate their triumph with some friends.

Business Insider

domingo, 4 de agosto de 2013

The insider / El Informante (1999)

El Informante

El Informante es una película de 1999 dirigida por Michael Mann basada en la historia real de un segmento de 60 minutes sobre el denunciante de la industria del tabaco Jeffrey Wigand.  La historia de 60 minutes se transmitió originalmente en noviembre de 1995, en una forma alterada debido a las objeciones de CBS ', por el entonces propietario, Laurence Tisch, que también controla el Lorillard Tobacco Company. La historia fue más tarde emitida el 4 de febrero de 1996.
La película está protagonizada por Al Pacino y Russell Crowe, con Christopher Plummer, Bruce McGill, Diane Venora, Michael Gambon, Philip Baker Hall, Lindsay Crouse, Gina Gershon, Debi Mazar, y Colm Feore en papeles secundarios.
El guión fue adaptado por Eric Roth y Mann artículo de Vanity Fair de Marie Brenner "El hombre que sabía demasiado".
Fue nominado al Oscar al Mejor Actor en un Papel Protagónico (Russell Crowe), Mejor Fotografía, Mejor Director, Mejor Montaje, Mejor Película, Mejor Sonido y Mejor guión basado en material previamente producido o publicado.


domingo, 28 de julio de 2013

Documental: Firewall the Financial Crisis of 2007-2013

Firewall the Financial Crisis of 2007-2013 - Full Documentary 

The history of the current crisis and what MUST be done to save us. Original film tile: (Firewall: In Defense Of The Nation-State ) by

Glass-Steagall is the indispensable first step to global economic recovery. It will immediately halt the onset of hyperinflation, remove government commitment from bailing out toxic debts, end too-big-to-fail banks, and force a separation of commercial banking functions from investment banking functions, and the return to prudent Banking Act of 2011.

The U.S. government have committed themselves to rewarding criminal banking institutions through unconstitutional bail outs, and in doing so, have committed the United States to its own destruction.

I AM NOT THE OWNER OR CREATOR OF THIS VIDEO Copyright and Ownership rights by LaRouchePAC

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lunes, 24 de junio de 2013

Documental: Sobredosis: La próxima crisis financiera / Overdose: The Next Financial Crisis

‘Overdose’: documental sobre la próxima crisis financiera
‘Overdose’ (Sobredosis) es un interesante documental de 46 minutos dirigido por el director sueco Martin Borgs basado en el libro ‘Financial Fiasco’ de Johan Norberg.
‘Overdose’ describe y analiza la historia de la mayor crisis económica de nuestra época: la que aún está por venir.
Cuando estalló la crisis financiera global, la solución aplicada fue bajar las tasas de interés e inyectar miles de millones de dólares sin respaldo a un sistema bancario enfermo. Esa solución lo único que ha generado es un problema mayor, y por eso la próxima crisis será peor aún. 

Oro y Finanzas

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jueves, 20 de septiembre de 2012

Concursante (2006)

Concursante (2006)

DIRECTORRodrigo Cortés
GUIÓNRodrigo Cortés
MÚSICAVíctor Reyes
REPARTOLeonardo SbaragliaChete LeraMiryam GallegoFernando CayoMyriam de MaeztuLuis Zahera

Ácida sátira de la sociedad actual. Martín Circo Martín, el afortunado ganador del mayor concurso de la historia de la televisión, recibe un premio valorado en tres millones de euros. Sin embargo, el golpe de suerte de Martín dará un vuelco a su vida convirtiéndola en una auténtica pesadilla. “Un golpe de suerte… puede arruinar tu vida”. (FILMAFFINITY)

"Una película de narrativa cocainómana, scorsesiana, avasalladora, conspiranoica y laberíntica (...) una de esas raras películas que estallan (de energía, inteligencia y talento) en la pantalla." (Jordi Costa: Diario El País) 
"Con brillantez y osadía novata, Cortés recubre el argumento con un flambeado estilístico tan radical y agobiante como, paradójicamente, 'entorpecedor'. (...) Puntuación: ** (sobre 5)." (Javier Cortijo: Diario ABC)