Enough Said is not a flashy piece of cinema designed to captivate and intrigue. Nor is it the type of movie where actors are given a lot of room to chew the furniture and hit all those notes. It does not adhere to a certain philosophy of cinema like a Dogme 95 film. It is not designed for any particular demographic or have an agenda, political or commercial. It is about watching people go through the trials and tribulations of life. Nothing more and nothing less. Enough Said is the perfect example of the “nothing’s easy” phrase. Why should it be? … Continue reading ENOUGH SAID
“Of course, all films are surrealist. They are because they are making something that looks like a real world but isn’t.” “Seventy years ago there were men like D.W. Griffith and seventy years later – now – there are not many men like Martin Scorsese. But so long as there is one there will be others, and the art of the cinema will survive.” –Michael Powell “One, we owe allegiance to nobody except the financial interests which provide our money; and, to them, the sole responsibility of ensuring them a profit, not a loss. Two, every single foot in our … Continue reading Born On This Day – September 30
“I don’t know anything about the way a film is born, nothing about the manner of it, the lying-in, the ‘big bang’, the first three minutes. Whether the images in those first three minutes are born out of their author’s deep desire, or if – in an ontological sense – they merely are what they are. I wake up one morning with my head full of images. I don’t know where they come from, or how or why. They recur in the following days and months; I can’t do anything about them, and I do nothing to drive them away. … Continue reading Born On This Day – September 29
Salinger is the new documentary from Shane Salerno that attempts to recreate the life of novelist J.D. Salinger. That is a difficult proposal considering that Salinger wasn’t keen on others knowing his personal life, was famously reclusive, and left the public with only two novels, a dozen or so short stories, and a handful of pictures of himself. That’s it. Going into this documentary I thought, “It will be interesting to see what Salerno can accomplish with so little.” Turns out, it’s not very interesting at all. When I call Salinger a “documentary”, I mean to use the term lightly. … Continue reading SALINGER
Short Term 12 derives its name from the place of business where the characters work. Short Term 12 is a halfway house of sorts for juvenile delinquents that are assigned there while the courts and families figure out what to do with them. Three months is the average stay, but some of the kids live there for years, waiting to turn eighteen, where they are released upon the world and have to find a way to fend for themselves. Writer/direction Destin Daniel Cretton adapts his own short film of the same name and follows the staff and residents of Short Term 12 in this emotionally draining movie.
Short Term 12 is bookended with two stories, both told by Mason (John Gallagher Jr.) with great relish. The first describes an instance where Mason defecated in his pants in front of one of the kids and the second one is about one of the kids and his success post his stay at Short Term 12. These two stories show the success of Short Term 12, as it’s focus moves from the staff to the residents. We begins by watching the staff deal with the residents and their own problems, but as the movie progresses, we realize that they may be beyond help. They’re not, but they are at an age where starting again and forgiveness is much more difficult to come by. The salvation of these people, and indeed all people, lies with the children. Life may have dealt them a bum hand, but they have the ability to rise above it and change the situation.
“I want to direct films that no one else is going to make. I know if I don’t make them, I’m never going to see them. Of course, I hope some people will want to see my movies as well, but I won’t pander to the public. I won’t try to second guess what a Hollywood studio would like to see in a low-budget film, so that they will hire me the next time around. I know I will always do better work if I do projects in which I really believe. And if I never get to direct again, … Continue reading Born On This Day – September 28
As I Lay Dying – William Faulkner is one of America’s greatest treasures. His words dance across the page with like a hot summer breeze on a muggy summer evening. Can these words be transcribed to the screen? Possibly in meaning and spirit, maybe not in the literal sense. Writer-director-star-art project enthusiast James Franco is certainly going to give it a shot. Adapting one of Faulkner’s novels about brothers taking their mother to her final resting place and the difficulties before them and the secrets behind them. Tim Blake Nelson, Jim Parrack, Danny McBride, Ahna O’Reilly, and Logan Marshall-Green co-star … Continue reading Movie Beat – 09.27.13
“A film is not a spectacle, it is in the first place a style.” –Robert Bresson Continue reading Born On This Day – September 25
Thanks for Sharing begins with a man praying before breakfast. Next, he is seated at the breakfast table, almost in the same prayer position as before. Filmed from overhead, we see his watch, tie, and belt laid out before him in a very meticulous and exact manner. In another movie, he might be a samurai warrior preparing for battle. Instead, he is Adam (Mark Ruffalo) a normal businessman in New York City and he is preparing battle, but of a very personal nature. Adam is a sex addict. To traverse one of the busiest cities in the world, Adam will … Continue reading THANKS FOR SHARING
“My school and the cinema were only a few buildings apart on the same street. The bad education I received at school was rectified when I went to the cinema. My religion became the cinema. Of course one could create one’s own belief system, and anything that helps or supports you in life can be seen as covering the function of religion. In that sense you could consider cinema my religion, because it is one of my major stimuli that I have for living. Cinema has that aspect of devotion to saints and idolatry as well. In that sense it … Continue reading Born On This Day – September 24