Born On This Day – November 30

“Working as a screenwriter, I always thought that ‘Film is a collaborative business’ only constituted half of the actual phrase. From a screenwriter’s point-of-view, the correct rendering should be ‘Film is a collaborative business: bend over’.” –David Mamet “I’m a yarnteller. My job is to engage you as much as I can and as often as I can. I love the process and still continue to adore the process, actually. I don’t get attached to anything. I’m like a good antique dealer. I’m prepared to sell my most valuable table.” –Ridley Scott “Normally, people tend to shut off their ambitions … Continue reading Born On This Day – November 30

Movie Beat – 11.29.13

The End of Time – Is time finite? What will come after time ends? What came before time began? Why do all of these questions hurt my head? Director Peter Mettler (and co-writer Alexandra Gill) combine the documentary, the essay, and the experimental film to answer said questions. Of course, questions like these only lead to more questions, and those questions lead to more questions, and in the end, we are all left wanting a cheeseburger. Come explore the wonders of the world with Mettler and spend a little time thinking outside the box. Out in limited release from First … Continue reading Movie Beat – 11.29.13

Born On This Day – November 29

“In an era of breadlines, depression and wars, I tried to help people get away from all the misery… to turn their minds to something else. I wanted to make people happy, if only for an hour.” –Busby Berkeley “It’s a funny thing; people sometimes accuse us of condescending to our characters somehow — that to me is kind of inexplicable.” –Joel Coen   Continue reading Born On This Day – November 29

Movie Beat – 11.27.13

Black Nativity – It’s time for holiday movies, and that means focus on the family and focus on the faith. In Black Nativity, the road to both of these runs right through the church, which allows for a good deal of musical numbers. Langston (Jacob Latimore) and his mother, Naima (Jennifer Hudson), have run across hard times, and Langston is sent to his grandparents, the Reverend (Forest Whitaker) and Aretha (Angela Bassett). They are going to try and steer Langston in the right direction, if only he will let them. Adapted from the play by Langston Hughes and directed by … Continue reading Movie Beat – 11.27.13

Born On This Day – November 27

“If you hold a mirror up to society, and you don’t like what you see, you can’t fault the mirror. It’s a mirror. […] The environment still needs reexamination so you don’t forget it when the lights come up.”  “Once you’ve opened the window on topical material, its very hard to close it. Holding up a contemporary mirror is more attractive to me now than ever.” –Kathryn Bigelow “I try not to make a big deal about the camera, to let it get between me and them. I’ve seen a lot of cameramen go in and treat the subjects like … Continue reading Born On This Day – November 27

Movie Beat – 11.22.13

Bettie Page Reveals All – She was the original pin-up girl. That magnificent cocktail of beauty, innocence, naughty and nice. What was so compelling about a picture of Betty Page was her joyous approach to sexuality. Anyone looking at her picture would immediately let their mind wander to possibilities and what a good time it would be. Of course, the notorious Mrs. Page came along in a very reserved and conservative time, and she disappeared from view, but her image and legacy lived on. Writer/producer/director Mark Mori found Mrs. Page and got her to narrate her life story, and here … Continue reading Movie Beat – 11.22.13

Born On This Day – November 22

  “I don’t know how a film is born. It’s an idea that comes; I then begin to work on it—while cooking, while getting dressed, while bathing, everywhere I went… I have always felt that a film belongs to the public… One need not explain her conceptualization, her process. The film—either one likes it or not. The story—you like it or you don’t… My sense of creativity, though, is to let the audience imagine what the images signify. It is not necessary to make everything explicit for the audience. They have to think. Creativity invites such thinking; that is why … Continue reading Born On This Day – November 22

PHILOMENA

It was only a few days ago that Lindsay and I were discussing religion and identity. Namely, what happens to a person who defines themselves by their religion, then suffers a blow that runs counter to their belief? The example I used was of my Grandmother, a woman who chose and chooses to define herself as a Catholic. When her son committed suicide, she was faced with a very difficult decision, go on identifying as a Catholic-even if that meant damned her son to hell for committing a mortal sin, or cast off her beliefs and save her son’s soul. … Continue reading PHILOMENA