Saturday, August 29, 2015

In Character: Bruno Kirby

Leonard Maltin once described the late, great Bruno Kirby as “the quintessential New Yorker.” A fitting title, given that many of Kirby’s most iconic roles were men who effortlessly inhabited that city. Much of Kirby’s career saw him juggling a balance in his characters. Men who were scary and funny, threatening and charming, all at the same time. Kirby didn’t play one-note. He gave his characters depth and notoriety. Yet, for some reason, Kirby’s acclaim still isn’t what it deserves to be. This man should be remembered with the greats, period.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Top 10 Matthew Libatique Films

Cinematographer Matthew Libatique knows how to make a movie move. The films he shoots are energetic, vibrant, alive – they move. Whether opting for a modern and handheld approach, or traditional and elegant compositions, Libatique’s films have a vigor that is undeniable. Perhaps best known for his frequent collaborations with Darren Aronofsky (all of which are listed below), Libatique is a stylish cinematographer with a great command of his craft. Certainly one of the finest American DPs in the game.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

In Defense of the Real Time Movie

Unfriended, a new movie in real time
Last night I watched two movies that, unbeknownst to me going in, were films that took place in real time. The first film was Cop Car, a thriller about two young boys who find an abandoned cop car in the middle of the woods, and do what most young boys would do in such a situation. The second movie was Unfriended, a digital thriller about a group of millennials who are harassed online, possibly by the ghost of a girl they bullied to death a year ago.

Friday, August 14, 2015

In Character: Jennifer Jason Leigh

From the onset of her film career, Jennifer Jason Leigh has played roles most actresses (of any age) would be terrified to play. Her characters are raw, addicted, abused, as naked emotionally as they are physically. Many of these roles are familiar character parts – The Town Slut, The High School Virgin – but Leigh has made these women unforgettable. In addition to the dangerous characters she inhabits, credit must be given to the arc of Leigh’s career. Very rarely do you see a non-independent film pop up in her filmography, let alone a major blockbuster. She’s carved her own path, done it her own way, and turned herself into one of the finest talents of hers or any generation.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Top 15 Songs that Should Be Retired From Movies

Some songs are used so well in certain movies, that filmmakers should write those tracks off, as they will never be able to use it better. With this list, I’m not highlighting tracks that are obnoxiously overplayed in films and TV shows, but rather, songs that were used to perfection in one movie, and should thereby be banned from every other film. I also chose songs that, despite being used flawlessly once, they are still used often today.

Example: after “Tiny Dancer” appeared in Almost Famous, it’s almost as if the song was retired from movies. It’s popped up on a few TV shows, but I can’t recall hearing it in a movie since 2000 (yeah, except you, Ted 2). Same with “Then He Kissed Me.” Adventures in Babysitting and Goodfellas had their way with it, and for the most part, the track has been left alone.

I hope you enjoy the list, and do feel free to share the tracks you think should be retired from films.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

In Character: Cara Seymour

Whoever Cara Seymour is playing – a scantly clad New York woman of the night, a turn of the century nun, a lowly London housewife – she’s playing it damn well. Seymour falls into her roles, adopting a look, a voice, a persona, that is different from any she’s played before. I’ve loved discovering her work over the past several years, with the roles below being among my favorites.