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!

Monday, September 23, 2019

My Favorite Scene: Jarhead

My grandfather died a few weeks ago. His name was Robert Withrow, he was 94 years old. Robert was known as “Whitey” to everyone who knew him, a nickname he acquired early in life due to the jet-white hair he had from his birth until his passing day. But his grandchildren knew him as Pap, and Pap was a very good man.

Monday, August 26, 2019

In Character: Michael Madsen

Michael Madsen doesn’t like to stand still. At least not for very long. His characters move, they assess, they act. And whether Madsen is playing a shit kicker, cow puncher, mob boss, or psycho thief, there’s an unpredictability to his characters that is so appealing. Michael Madsen inhabits his roles with a unique persona that is equal parts charm, menace, vulnerability and rage. Madsen’s imposing figure makes him a suitable choice for the many antagonists he’s played so well, but his capacity for emotional openness is something that has helped make many of his roles so memorable.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Top 56 Things I Love About The Hateful Eight (that no one talks about)

I’m fresh off a first viewing of Quentin Tarantino’s masterful new film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and while I wait until I can marvel at that film again, I thought it’d be fun to highlight a few things I love about Tarantino’s previous film, The Hateful Eight.

There are three versions of this film: The Roadshow Version that Tarantino displayed in 70mm in select cinemas, the somewhat shorter Standard Cut that was widely released in theaters and on Blu-Ray, and the Extended Version currently on Netflix. I’ll be covering the Standard Cut for this post, but if you’re a fan of this film, check out the Extended Version on Netflix. Tarantino oversaw the assembly of it, and it’s a really cool narrative experiment.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Top 10 Darius Khondji Films

Looking at cinematographer Darius Khondji’s entire career, it’s interesting how he’s been able to balance classic with experimental, muted with neon. He can shoot one of the most visually dark crime thrillers ever made one year, then turn around and land an Oscar nomination for shooting a traditional biopic the next year. As we wait to see what visual wonder he brings to the Safdie Brothers’ Uncut Gems later this year, here’s a look at some of Khondji’s finest work to date.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Too Old to Die Young

Nicolas Winding Refn’s new Amazon series, Too Old to Die Young, is a lot of things, many of which are equally maddening and fascinating. It takes just a few minutes into the first episode to realize how the show is going handle the passage of time, which proves to be one of the most telling things about the entire series.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Top 10 Films of 2019 (so far)

We’re halfway through 2019, and while I haven’t seen everything, I mostly feel good about what I have seen, and I’m excited for what’s to come. Feel free to share your favorites so far this year as well!