Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy is the best surrealist fever dream mind fuck of a film I’ve seen since Mulholland Dr. No hyperbole. No bullshit. Really, it’s that good. The film is a mystery wrapped in an enigma, buried within a magic trick. Many will spend countless hours attempting to dissect it. They’ll ask questions that have no answers, and offer opinions based on distorted information. That’s not my style. I’ve never appreciated film as a medium to pick apart. Examining what it all means doesn’t appeal to me. It’s the experience of a film that I specifically desire. What is a film telling me, and how does that make me feel? Experience. Emotion. These are a few of the things that make my world go round.
Sunday, March 9, 2014
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Monday, March 3, 2014
I love the Oscars. Always have, always will. I love staring dumbfounded at the random montages. I love rolling my eyes at the lame jokes. I love the giddy anticipation right before the show begins (in my movie-freaked world, the final countdown to the Oscar telecast is infinitely more thrilling than watching the ball drop every New Year’s Eve.) But you know what I love most? That inexplicable joy as I watch a completely astonished, newly victorious Oscar winner take the stage to collect their award. An award that no one saw coming.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
So here we are, the day of the big show. Here are a few things I’d like to see tonight – from predicted wins to hopeful snubs. Be sure to share your last minute predictions in the comments. Have a great Oscar day everyone!
Saturday, March 1, 2014
The Film Independent Spirit Awards are my favorite awards show. Sure, the Golden Globes are often an entertaining train wreck, and the Oscars will always carry more prestige, but there’s something about the freedom of the Spirit Awards that I absolutely love. You can always count on the Spirits to deliver hilarity, but the awards have paved way for many touching moments as well. Below are a handful of reasons why I’ll be watching tonight.
Friday, February 28, 2014
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Singers and painters, journalists and activists, killers and the killed – this year’s five nominees for Best Documentary Feature are all bold explorations into some of the darkest aspects of human nature. And while the harsh life truths the subjects of these films face vary in terms of emotional weight, each film depicts said hardships in a wondrously compelling way.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Two days ago, as I watched the final frames of The Broken Circle Breakdown, an Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film this year, I became transfixed by what I was watching. The final shot of that film contains so much power – it literally made me rethink everything else in the film, and left me in a state of stunned amazement. And that’s something all of the Oscar-winning films below share with The Broken Circle Breakdown – that notion of utter transcendence. I hope you enjoy my picks, and do feel free to share yours as well!
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
This year’s Oscar nominees for Best Documentary are a fine crop of films boasting themes as varied as political activism, criminal dread, and struggling artistry, all with equal weight. Below are a handful of Oscar-winning docs that have yet to leave my mind, and, like whatever film wins this year, will surely be remembered for years to come.
Monday, February 24, 2014
The Oscars haven’t even taken place yet, but they’ll already be remembered for the rescinding of Best Original Song nominee “Alone Yet Not Alone.” Late last month, the Academy revoked the sole nomination garnered by the Christian film of the same name. The reason? The Academy said nominee Bruce Broughton had used his influence as a former Academy governor and committee member to influence voters to nominate his song. So while this year’s Best Original Song category has already gathered its fair share of infamy, I thought it be fun to look back at my favorite tracks that actually did win the Best Song Oscar. Hope you enjoy giving my picks a spin, and do feel free to share yours as well!
A friend recently asked me why death was such a prevalent theme in my own filmmaking. After attempting to form an articulate way to respond, I finally told him that death doesn’t interest me at all. What interests me is how people deal with the loss of someone they love. That notion of ceaseless loneliness and dark isolation, that’s what I love to explore.
So when Andrew Kendall of Encore’s World of Film asked me if I’d like to be part of his annual Motifs in Cinema blogathon, I was eager to expand on why I think 2013 was a great year for loneliness in cinema.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Two weeks ago, I met up with Micah, the co-lead of my new film, Wait, at a bar in North Hollywood. A few drinks into our conversation, he asked me if I would help edit the 48 Hour Film Festival short he was about to make with his friends. I said I was game, and a few minutes later (around 8 p.m. on Friday Feb. 7), Micah and three of his friends attended the opening ceremony of a 48 Hour Film Festival, where several teams of eager filmmakers were given the rules.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
If anyone was to compile of list of Matthew McConaughey’s finest performances, I’m safe in assuming that the majority of the films on that list would have been released after 2011. In 2009, McConaughey decided to take two years off to transform his career, ultimately coming back to the scene with a vengeance. Today, he’s an Oscar front-runner for Best Actor and the most intriguing character on television (via HBO’s True Detective), just to name two feats of many.
So, far a bit of a change, I thought it’d be interesting to list my favorite McConaughey performances prior to his self-imposed career resurgence. Be sure to share yours as well!
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
I love noticing an actor early on, and tracking the steady rise of their career. So describes my fascination with Walton Goggins, who first caught my eye as a racist cop on The Shield, and has steadily developed an excellent career ever since. Following his star making turn on The Shield, it would’ve been easy for Goggins to be typecast as a bigoted country bumpkin, but thankfully, he’s managed to create unique, new characters, while cleverly never turning his back on the persona that made him famous. No matter the role, there’s a fierce honesty that Goggins brings to his characters that I find immensely appealing.
Friday, February 14, 2014
Sex scenes aren’t my thing. To generalize why: in dramas, thrillers and action films, sex is treated as nothing more than a bridge between two scenes. The scenes are often uninteresting in their coyness, or laughable in their intended salaciousness. And, most importantly, sex in these kinds of films tends to say nothing about the characters involved, and rarely has anything whatsoever to do with the film’s overall plot. In romance films (particularly romantic comedies), sex between people for the first time often implies that those two people are now in love, which is rarely the case outside of PG-13 romcom fantasyland.
Basically, I think sex in film is lazy storytelling. When a sex scene begins during a film, I’m almost always wondering when we’re actually going to get back to the story. However, as always, there are exceptions to my school of thought, like the 10 scenes I have listed below. These sex scenes are essential to their respective films – they actually say something about their characters, and prove to be a necessary element to the overall film.