Monday, July 29, 2013
Saturday, July 27, 2013
I spent one year of my life making Earrings. From development to distribution – one year. I put myself through tremendous physical exhaustion (relating mostly to sleep deprivation), absorbed a chunk of my savings, and on and on. But I had you. My faithful readers who stuck with me throughout. My dear digital family who cared, watched, and lent a kind word. You helped me make it through, and for that, I will be forever grateful. Whether you left a blog comment, sent a tweet, liked a Facebook status, sent me a kind email, or simply clicked ‘Play’ on the movie: thank you. Truly, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Friday, July 26, 2013
Thursday, July 25, 2013
In honor of Allen’s new film, I thought it’d be fun to list my favorite performances from his movies. The fellas are up first, with the ladies dropping tomorrow. Enjoy!
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
We all have our ghost stories. Tales of encounters with the other side. Moving drapes in our bedroom, light bulbs that mysteriously flicker on, picture frames that are somehow moved. If we don’t have stories of our own, then we know someone who knows someone who has a great one. I have one myself; an irrefutable event that I (an admitted skeptic to all things paranormal) have never been able to find a logical explanation for. But I’m not going to share it here because, quite frankly, it’s too personal.
The point is, everyone has a ghost story to tell, including the Perron family, who claimed that their Harrisville, Rhode Island farmhouse was haunted by ghosts of century’s past. One of the Perron daughters, Andrea, wrote three novels that documented her family’s horrific experience. In Perron’s text, she mentions how supernatural investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren, helped rid her house of paranormal activity. And it is the accounts of both of these families that act as the basis for James Wan’s The Conjuring.
I was fortunate enough to speak with the young actress/model a few days ago, and here’s what she had to tell me about modeling as an education, the dynamics of the Glee set, and what it feels like to be the POV of a found footage film.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Dennis Farina was a guy we all knew. With his consistent tan, permanent mustache, trademark Chicagoan voice, and perfect comedic timing, I’d be hard pressed to find a single fan of contemporary cinema that didn’t recognize his talents.
While I love bringing attention to excellent character actors in this column, I hate when such sad circumstances are the motivating factor for me writing about a particular actor. Yesterday morning, Dennis Farina died after suffering a blood clot in his lung. He was 69 years old, but his impact will certainly last longer.
Monday, July 22, 2013
In that regard, not only does Refn’s latest, Only God Forgives, fit snuggly into his familiar vision, but it is perhaps the most daring portrait of hell the director has ever put on screen. Relentless in its pace, tone and aggressive material, Only God Forgives is an aesthetically gorgeous look of inferno amidst fury.
Friday, July 19, 2013
Below are 10 great performances from well-known child stars. The catch: all of these roles were the first time the already-famous actors appeared in an R-rated film. If an R-rated movie was a child actor’s first role (think Natalie Portman, The Professional or Johnny Depp, A Nightmare on Elm Street) then they weren’t considered. This list is about youthful stars who branched out superbly into more risqué material.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Tormented. Conflicted. Those are my words for Barry Pepper. When I look at the best of his work, I see men who are tormented by their circumstances, conflicted by the actions around them. Conflicted by war, by fame, by justice, and jealousy. Conflicted about themselves, about why they’ve done what they’ve done, and how they can atone. Barry Pepper hit strong in the late ‘90s-early 2000s, but, sadly, has taken a step back as of late. I frankly don’t feel he’s given enough roles that fully encapsulate his skill, but the six performances below are perfect exceptions. Some tormented men are to follow.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
The film is inarguably notorious for two sequences: Edward Norton’s extended, lacerating, appropriate “Fuck You” monologue to himself, and the brutal “I need you to make me ugly” testament of friendship. Those scenes are locked; forever imprinted as classic moments of contemporary cinema. As is, in my opinion, Barry Pepper and Philip Seymour Hoffman verbally dismantling their friend and each other for four unbroken minutes as a gutted Ground Zero rests below them.
Unforgettable moments of an unforgettable film. But they’re far from my favorite.
Monday, July 15, 2013
Saturday, July 13, 2013
Thursday, July 11, 2013
Barnes and Noble sale), I’m not getting much more out of a DVD than the movie itself. Yet special features are an added bonus and as a young filmmaker, something I always watch closely. Problem is, with studios chiefly concerned about how quickly they can release a film on DVD, it seems as though little attention is given toward special features.
So, when I picked up the Spring Breakers Blu-Ray on Tuesday, I was elated to find that it was packed with extras. Instead of reviewing Harmony Korine’s masterful film again (you can read my initial review here), this post is dedicated to the special features on the DVD/Blu-Ray. (Note: the special features on the DVD and Blu-Ray versions of Spring Breakers are identical.)
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Sunday, July 7, 2013
For Visual Parallels, Sati chooses two movies (or occasionally, a TV show) and compares them with a series of still shots from each. Previous Visual Parallels include the similarly themed Rosemary’s Baby and Repulsion, or films as varied as Mulholland Dr. and Young Adult. Know what they all have in common? They are universally remarkable. (Look at all of them here.)
Today’s Visual Parallels is especially rewarding, as Sati has compared Sofia Coppola’s masterful film, Somewhere, with my own short film, Earrings. The result left me speechless.
That was HBO’s slogan for nearly 15 in the late ‘90s/early 2000s (they’ve since opted for the bolder, “It’s HBO.”). And, to a degree, it’s a cutesy, but mostly accurate statement. HBO’s television programing has been consistently remarkable for decades, and, occasionally, their made-for-HBO movies highly impress as well. Below are my 10 favorite films made exclusively for HBO – no miniseries, no theatrical releases, straight films. HBO films, that is.
Thursday, July 4, 2013
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
If you watch Gabriel Byrne’s work closely, there is almost always a moment when his characters doubt themselves. Through his strong, Irish accent, Byrne will often deliver a loud, imposing monologue in which he cements his point. And then he’ll look away. For a half a second, his eyes dart to the side. He’s wondering if he’s actually right, or trying to convince himself that he’s right. It’s a little moment, the slightest of gestures, but it’s almost always there.
In those brief moments of panic, I want nothing more than to follow whatever Byrne character I’m watching. I want that man to expose his insecurities and make me believe what he believes. Which, more often than not, Byrne does quite easily.