Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Oscars Breakdown: Best Director

My Oscar binge continues, this time with thoughts on every Best Director Oscar. Best Director and Best Picture have gone to different films 26 times in Oscar history, and I was interested to find that I far prefer the Best Director winners.

Please enjoy my thoughts and the trivia below, and be sure to share any opinions you have about these races as well!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Oscars Breakdown: Best Picture

I’m been making use of my COVID-19 quarantine the best way I know how, by watching a ton of movies and writing about them.

When I was a teenager, I watched every movie that won the Oscar for Best Picture, and when the pandemic hit, I figured I’d try to watch as many additional Oscar movies as possible, just for the hell. Below are thoughts on every Best Picture winner, along with tons of fun trivia. Other category breakdowns will follow soon!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Montgomery Clift: A Career Appreciation

Montgomery Clift is my favorite performer to ever appear in film. He had a magnetism to him, a pain and vulnerability that still pours out of the screen. In 1948, most all American leading men were stuck in the alpha-male, tough guy persona. They delivered their lines stoically, they slapped their women, they robbed, they killed, they were “men.” And then a quiet, assertive young man from Omaha, Nebraska graced the screen for the first time, and film acting was never the same.

That year, Montgomery Clift appeared in Fred Zinnemann’s The Search, and Clift was simply... human. He played his character as kind, supportive, mildly sarcastic, and vulnerable. With this performance and subsequent roles, Clift pioneered the “method” style of acting, which completely changed the art form. It was an acting style that let men be real people, in all their flaws and sadness. Clift’s acting style helped inform Marlon Brando’s craft, which helped inform James Dean, then Paul Newman, Pacino, De Niro, Keitel, Nicholson, and on and on. Because of this, I’ve always considered Montgomery Clift one of the most important figures in cinema history. His acting influence is damn near without equal.

Monday, February 24, 2020

In Character: 2019 Oscar Nominees

I know, I know. The 2019 Oscars have come and gone, and I didn’t make time to post my annual In Character Oscar piece. Still wanting to keep up the tradition, I present you with my favorite roles from each recent acting Oscar nominee. Be sure to share your favorites as well!

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Top 5 “Rotten” Films of 2019

Every year, I like to call attention to a handful of movies that are deemed “rotten” by Rotten Tomatoes. I found value in each of the films below, and would love to know your picks as well. (Note: The RT scores below are from Dec. 31, 2019.)


Saturday, February 1, 2020

Top 10 Actor Performances of 2019

For old timers and newcomers alike, 2019 was a banner year for film acting. Some of the performances below were so strong because they subverted expectations, while others leaned directly into the actor’s respective strengths. Be sure to share your favorite roles as well!

Monday, January 20, 2020

Top 10 Actress Performances of 2019

Because 2019 was a great year for film, it was undoubtedly a great year for performances as well. I love that four of the performers below were unknown to me as 2019 began, while others have careers that I’ve followed for decades. Be sure to share your favorites as well!

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Top 10 Films of 2019

For the past few years, it has been hard for me to come up with a handful of films worth listing as the year’s best. But that certainly wasn’t the case for 2019. Truly, in any other year, any of the top six movies ranked below could be hailed as my favorite of the year. I thought 2019 was a fantastic year for film, and of the 141 new theatrical releases I saw this year, here were a few of my favorites.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Top 20 Films of 1999

So far in my lifetime, I can confidently say that there hasn’t been a movie year more impactful than 1999. Veteran filmmakers and young auteurs alike released bold, independent, experimental films that continue to hugely influence pop culture. And as we close out one decade, I thought it be fun to jump back two decades and list my favorite flicks from a truly great film year.

Friday, December 20, 2019

In Character: The Cast of The Irishman

As of this writing, I am currently on my fourth viewing of The Irishman. I love everything about this movie; it’s demanding, singularly paced, and expertly acted. To highlight many of the performers involved, I thought it’d be fun to dedicate an entire In Character post to them. Please note that because seemingly everyone is in The Irishman, not all of the actors are listed here.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Waves

I watch movies as someone who desperately wants to make more movies. I try to find inspiration in everything I watch, whether that inspiration motivates me to create something similar, or cautions me to avoid themes and techniques completely. In real life, I’m constantly putting images into aspect ratios; I’m listening to songs on repeat and creating montages around them. There is a mechanism in my brain that does not allow me to experience situations idly. I am always trying to frame my experiences into a film.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

I Am Alive: Watch Now

It’s been one hell of a long journey to get to this point, and I’m so grateful to anyone who spends some time watching my latest film, I Am Alive.

Time to pull back the curtain and let it all play out.


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

I Am Alive: Official Trailer

Ahead of the release of my new short film, I Am Alive, on October 19, I’m thrilled to share the film’s official trailer.

Memory. Pain. Sadness. I wasn’t interested in pulling punches with this film. The exercise was to tell a very specific story and push it as far as it could go.

If you’re familiar with my work (which, by the way, thank you!), you may see some friendly faces in the trailer. Nick Dostal, whose film, There I Go, I shot and edited in 2016, and Andrew Bongornio, who gave a devastating performance in my film, Wait, are absolute powerhouses. Mikki Hernandez is new to my troupe, but after witnessing what she did in I Am Alive, you can bet we’ll be working together again.

Monday, October 14, 2019

WAIT: Watch Now for Free

With my new film, I Am Alive, coming out this Saturday, a few people have asked me how they can see my previous film, Wait. Until now, Wait has been behind iTunes, Amazon, and Vimeo pay walls, but I figured it was time to finally make the movie more easily accessible. 

Wait was my first feature film; a labor of pure love that was equally rewarding and grueling to make. If you’d like to give the movie a look, it is embedded below, along with the film’s trailer. And if you’re a crazy person, and want to read my exhaustive breakdown of Wait’s genesis, production, and release, you can scroll through that series here.

Thanks so much for watching and reading! I’m so thrilled to share I Am Alive on October 19!

Saturday, October 5, 2019

My New Film: I Am Alive

Here we go! I’ve been a little quiet on this blog and social media lately, and that’s because for the past 12 months, I have been working steadily on my new film, I Am Alive.

And after a year of writing, producing, shooting, editing, and mixing, the movie will be released for free on my Vimeo page on October 19, 2019.

I Am Alive is a short film about love, loss, and family. I was lucky enough to make it with some very talented people who mean the world to me, and I am so excited to share it with you all in a few weeks.

I’m trying a somewhat different distribution approach this time. In the past, I detailed the making of my films, Earrings and Wait, while I was actively producing them. For I Am Alive, I’ll reserve my comments about the film’s production (which went great!) until after the film is released. But look out for more pictures and a trailer for I Am Alive before its release on October 19. Stay tuned!