Thursday, November 28, 2013

Oldboy

A movie like Spike Lee’s Oldboy is destined to accrue a healthy amount of haters long before the film is released. Lee’s Oldboy is a remake of Park Chan-wook’s legendary Korean film of the same name, and in the decade since its release, Chan-wook’s film has developed cult classic-like status. The film has a loyal fan base who made it clear from the announcement of Lee’s remake that they simply were not interested.

And I get it. I fully understand the uproar over Lee’s film. Chan-wook’s Oldboy is a marvelous mystery thriller that needn’t be tampered with. But first off, it’s important to explain how Lee wants his film to be perceived. He’s stated many times (including when I heard him speak in person last February) that Oldboy was not a remake of Chan-wook’s film, but rather a reinterpretation of Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi’s source material, the Japanese manga, “Old Boy.” Interesting then, that in the opening credits for Lee’s film, we’re presented with a title card reading: “Based on the Korean film Oldboy.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Top 29 Things I Love About American Psycho (that no one talks about)

Before we begin, I most concede that I’m sure every aspect about the cult classic American Psycho has been discussed. But I’m here to highlight a few things that I feel aren’t talked about enough. I hope you enjoy this close look into the uniquely warped world of American Psycho.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

WAIT: Filming, Part 1

This isn’t going to be a pleasant story. At least not the majority of it. It isn’t going inspire young filmmakers to get out there and create. This story isn’t going to encourage or motivate. This story will convey that other side of independent filmmaking. That side in which Murphy’s Law takes hold and doesn’t dare let go. It’s the kind of story that mars almost every film production, and I intend to present it in all its ugly glory. Bear with me through the pain, and I hope you’ll understand why I shared this story with you. But before the heartbreak, a brief tale of beauty.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

My Next Film: WAIT

As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a filmmaker. I’ve simply never envisioned anything else for myself. At the end of July, I moved from Virginia to Los Angeles to fulfill my dream. The final push in me moving here was the drive of a few film producers who saw my last short film, Earrings, and expressed interest in working with me. When I spoke to these producers for the first time in early 2013, I told them about this script I had just written. This raw and unconventional examination of love, and the things it motivates us to do. I sent them the script, and they quickly agreed to help me finance it. My girlfriend and I got in the car, headed west, and in five short days, announced ourselves as citizens of the City of Angels.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Top 10 Black and White Films Released Since 2000

With Alexander Payne’s patient and oddly mystical new film, Nebraska, out this weekend, I thought it’d be fun to list my favorite contemporary films that were released entirely in black and white. Much of Nebraska’s minimalist charm is that it was captured through cinematographer Phedon Papamichael’s stark lens. Here are a handful of other films that took risks by telling their tales in sharp monochrome.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

In Character: Denis O’Hare

Denis O’Hare is that specific type of one scene wonder. He routinely appears in a film for a handful of scenes (or just one) and completely steals the show. Whether he’s screaming at George Clooney or berating Angelina Jolie, O’Hare has proven he can stand with cinema’s most recognizable faces, dishing it out like the best of them. On stage and television, O’Hare has been given longer opportunities to flex his raw talent. But really, the length of his roles matter little. Because when this guy is on, he’s on full tilt, no looking back.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Blue is the Warmest Color

It’s happened to all of us. We pass someone on the street – we look at them and they look at us, but we both keep walking, wondering What If. That moment of chance hits Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) when she passes by a captivating blue-haired woman early in Blue is the Warmest Color. They look at each other, and Adèle becomes immediately intoxicated. Confusion sets in. Suddenly, boys giving her warm looks in class don’t produce the same thrill they used to. Female friends talking about their sexual conquests are no longer amusing. But Adèle can’t place it. She can’t understand these new, conflicted feelings of passion and love.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Top 15 Music Moments in Cameron Crowe Films

Few contemporary filmmakers appreciate rock music as much as Cameron Crowe. When you watch Crowe’s films, you are really watching a passionate appreciation for both film and music. Crowe is responsible for some of the most iconic musical moments in film history, along with several other memorable scenes that help make his films so great.

(Note: many of these scenes were not embeddable via YouTube. I’ve linked to them where I could.)

Friday, November 8, 2013

My Favorite Scene: Boogie Nights

Boogie Nights is one of the fastest movies ever made. The breakneck pace of its story, as scripted by Paul Thomas Anderson, is more than enough to motivate such movement. But its propelled significantly by Robert Elswit’s gorgeous, free-roaming cinematography, a soundtrack of many of the era’s most bitchin’ tunes, and, of course, confident acting from an ensemble who went all in for their specific roles.

In short, the film just moves, ya dig? It’s as if Anderson attempted to cut a film with the same unrestrained, rapid sentiment of many of his cocaine-empowered characters. So, at two hours and 35 minutes long, Boogie Nights makes for one hell of a trip.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

In Character: Parker Posey

Attempting to catalogue Parker Posey’s best performances is no easy feat. Posey is responsible for giving American independent cinema clout when it needed it most. Throughout the ‘90s, she was featured in more than 30 films, many of which are remembered as some of this country’s finest indie offerings. And yet, despite working in a business in which age works against females, Posey has remained a standout. From making “freshmen bitches” do air raids in Dazed and Confused to giving Louie C.K. the night of his life on FX last year, there’s no stopping this Queen of the Indies.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Can the Words “Based on a True Story” Ruin a Film?

When Paul Greengrass’ Captain Phillips was released last month, it was quickly accompanied with allegations that much of the film was made up. A handful of the men from Phillips’ own crew claimed that Greengrass’ film glamorized the real Captain Richard Phillips. In real life, the crewmen say, Phillips “wasn’t the big leader,” and was “real arrogant,” bordering on dangerous. Soon after these allegations were reported in major media outlets, film enthusiasts began penning essays asking readers the very question I’m asking in the headline of this post.