Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Happy End

Happy End is as sparse, cold, and detached as anything Michale Haneke has made. If you’re familiar with the Austrian director’s body of work, you know that means Happy End is one hell of an emotionally detached movie. If you haven’t seen any of Haneke’s films, then I honestly cannot think of a single good reason for you to begin by watching Happy End.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Top 108 Things I Love About Casino (that no one talks about)

I love everything about Martin Scorsese’s crime saga, Casino. So much, in fact, that this is the longest “No One Talks About” post I’ve done yet. And that’s for a few reasons: one, the movie is nearly 3 hours long, two, I really do love everything about it, and finally, I don’t think people talk about Casino enough. Casino is one of the most compulsively rewatchable films I’ve ever seen, because it’s one of the fastest paced long movies ever released. This film, in all its profane, violent, gaudy sensibilities, has me. Here are several reasons why. (Please note that I give away every major plot detail about Casino in this post.)

Friday, March 9, 2018

In Character: Marisa Tomei

What a long, great, twisty career Marisa Tomei has had. She started in the sitcom world, took a while to find her footing in film, won an Oscar, hit the indie film scene, refound her footing, got nominated for more Oscars, and has now transitioned to wonderful character roles in which she steals scenes from some of best people in the business. I’ve always been a great admirer of her work; no matter what she’s in or when she’s in it, I’m there.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Who Will Win the Oscar for Best Cinematography?

This article ran as part of this year’s LAMB Devours the Oscars series.

In a rare change of pace for Oscar discussion, a technical award is one of the most talked about races this year. When the Oscar nominations were announced last month, people were ecstatic when cinematographer Rachel Morrison became the first woman ever nominated for Best Cinematography. Morrison has some very strong competition, as nearly every nominee has an honest chance of winning. Let’s dive into each nominee by discussing their chances this year, their past work, and how Oscar politics could play a part in who wins.

Friday, February 16, 2018

In Character: John Malkovich

John Malkovich is a name so synonymous with strange, or disturbed, or grotesque characters, that simply evoking the actor’s name is enough to help people understand what kind of performance you’re about to watch. John Malkovich. It’s a name that speaks for itself. An actor whose skills, and inadvertent amusement, are impossible to ignore.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Breaking Down Cinematographer Roger Deakins’ 14 Oscar Nominations

Roger Deakins is one of the finest cinematographers to ever work in film. He’s a master of isolating blues, unyielding yellows, dangerous silhouettes, and deep shadows. He also has an incredible knack for capturing sunrises and sunsets, consistently proving that in order to be a great director of photography, you have to bend with the elements.

For the purposes of this post, I’m highlighting a painful reality about Deakins’ career: the man has been nominated for 14 Oscars, and never won. Now, of course, I’d love to tell you how absurd it is that Roger Deakins doesn’t have an Academy Award. But in analyzing all of his nominations, it became clear that, despite how great a Roger Deakins film looks (and they all look great), he shoots movies in insanely competitive years.

This year, Deakins is nominated for shooting Blade Runner 2049, and, like every other year he’s been nominated, he has a damn good shot at winning. One can only hope. Because if there’s a year he deserves it, it is truly this one.

Monday, January 29, 2018

In Character: 2018 Oscar Nominees

Following the announcement of the Oscar nominations last week, I offer my thoughts on my favorite work each nominee has delivered. Be sure to share your favorite roles from all the nominees as well!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Top 20 Female Performances of 2017

As I said in my list of my favorite male performances of the year, I saw more great performances in 2017 than I did great movies. That is especially true of female performances, which is why I’ve cheated a little here, as a way of including more than 20. Enjoy!

Friday, January 19, 2018

Top 20 Male Performances of 2017

I saw more great performances in 2017 than I did great movies, so I’ve decided to bulk up this annual list to include (at least) 20 stellar male performances of the year. My favorite female performances of the year will be listed Monday. Enjoy!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Top 10 Films of 2017

This was a strange year for me. I found myself not fully appreciating a lot of films most people loved in 2017, while loving a handful of movies few people talked about. Ultimately, originality won out for me. And the most truly original films I saw in 2017 were challenging works that demanded my attention, and never left my mind. Some even begged me to brave them again with another viewing. If I could handle it.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Top 5 “Rotten” Movies of 2017

I usually conclude my yearly wrap-up posts with a list of my favorite films that received a “rotten” score from Rotten Tomatoes, but I’m forced to do things differently this year. I’m a few days away from seeing my final films of 2017, so my Top 10 Films of 2017 list is forthcoming.

Now, unlike most years, where I list my 10 favorite “rotten” films of the year, I’m only listing five this year. I saw the same amount of good, bad and ugly movies in 2017 as I did for any other year, so either the movies are getting better, or critics are getting softer. Hmm. (Note: I’m using the Rotten Tomatoes scores each film had on December 31, 2017.)

Friday, December 22, 2017

Top 65 Things I Love About Eyes Wide Shut (that no one talks about)

Eyes Wide Shut is second to 2001: A Space Odyssey as my favorite Stanley Kubrick film. Which is to say, it is one of my all-time favorite movies. It is also a film set near Christmas, a fact often overlooked when recalling great Christmas films. He’s my breakdown of some things I love about the movie that are often overlooked. Please be advised that five of the screenshots in this post feature nude women. My intention of using these shots was not to objectify, but rather, to break down other aspects of the film that are featured in the those specific frames.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

the Directors: Jean-Pierre Melville

Everyone has directors they haven’t gotten to. Even a film freak like myself has gaps. For me, Jean-Pierre Melville was one such gap. In August, I started my FilmStruck subscription, and the first film I put on was Melville’s Le Samouraï. When the film was finished, I sat in a daze, completely transformed by what I had just watched. The film was a game changer; I hadn’t experienced such strong cinematic impact in years. I kept going. Army of Shadows was next. Another classic. More. And more, and more. Within a week, I had watched every available Melville film. And now, I can confidently tell you that the man is one of my all-time favorite directors.

Friday, December 1, 2017

How I Made a Microbudget Feature Film, Part 9: Expectations

The purpose of this series is to share my experience of making my microbudget feature film, Wait, while being as transparent as possible. This series is specific to my experience only. Please do not take these posts as universal How-Tos. Also know, this series is intended to shed light on the process of making a film, not on the quality of the film itself. 

This is my final post detailing how I made my microbudget feature film, Wait. I’ve used 20,094 words in this series to explain how I made Wait, and this post is a final chance to hammer home the most important points.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

How I Made a Microbudget Feature Film, Part 8: Distribution

The purpose of this series is to share my experience of making my microbudget feature film, Wait, while being as transparent as possible. This series is specific to my experience only. Please do not take these posts as universal How-Tos. Also know, this series is intended to shed light on the process of making a film, not on the quality of the film itself. 

How do you know when your film has completed its festival run? As mentioned in my previous post, your film will likely get rejected from more festivals than it’s accepted to. This level of rejection could motivate you to keep submitting your film to new festivals. I have to get into one more. This is the last one. It HAS to get in here. But, at some point, you have to call it and move on.