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Showing posts from 2015

THE MARTIAN Snapchat

In an interview discussing his freewheeling and challenging film Goodbye to Language, Jean-Luc Godard made some comments on our current dependency to smartphones and, more specifically, text messaging. He questioned if anyone actually knew what the "SMS" in the phrase 'SMS text messaging' actually stood for. Godard insisted it meant "Save My Soul."
It's that very idea, that notion of being alone in the universe, that drives the dramatic weight of Ridley Scott's latest film The Martian. Much of the film involves the protagonist Mark Watney (Matt Damon) sending video selfies to NASA--and in parallel fashion to the audience in the movie auditorium. While watching the film (which is fairly conventional in regards to its plot) I was provoked by its accidental (or maybe intentional) role as a "selfie space opera."
Stimulated by this idea, I went ahead and created this video that re-imagines the film (which runs around two and a half hours) as a…

BLACK MASS-feratu: A Symphony of Gangster Horror

Matt Zoller Seitzon Black Mass:

"With his dead eyes, ashy skin, slicked-back grey hair, dingy track suits and sagging slacks, Bulger might be a gangster ghoul. The film treats him as a literal monster, often silhouetting him or veiling him in darkness or partial shadow. One shot pictures Bulger from overhead, lying on a couch and staring unblinkingly up at the ceiling while the camera zooms out slowly: it's the way you'd photograph Dracula chilling in his coffin [...] Touches like these make "Black Mass" feel less realistic than expressionistic—like Scorsese's remake of Cape Fear which envisioned ordinary people being terrorized by a diabolical ex-convict who seemed as unstoppable as Michael Myers in Halloween or the Terminator, or the original silent-film bloodsucker Nosferatu, who could paralyze mortals by looking into their eyes."

The allusions to Dracula and F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu in Seitz's review inspired me to create this video…

VIDEO ESSAY: Pathways and Pathos: The Internalization of TRUE DETECTIVE Season 2

Coming on the heels of its majestic, Gothic and subtly supernatural debut season, the sophomore year of HBO's True Detective was met with eager disdain by many TV critics and quick-to-finger-point viewers. Which is a shame, because this second season, when looked at as a whole, eclipses the first season with its raw power, carnality and searing depiction of inner turmoil. Where the first season miraculously finds its two protagonists surviving horrific hatchet and stab wounds (and only to have them to gaze up at the stars outside of a hospital), this new season follows its lead characters down their individual doomed highways; the passages to their fate.

The inspiration behind my latest VIDEO ESSAY Pathways and Pathos: The Internalization of TRUE DETECTIVE Season 2 comes from the second season's successful depiction of the physical streets and highways (i.e. pathways) of the fictional city of Vinci as being living, breathing, pulsating veins of some grand metropolis organ--on…

The 25 Best Films of 2014

Under The Skin - Directed by Jonathan GlazerWhiplash - Directed by Damien ChazelleSelma - Directed by Ava DuVernayJoe - Directed by David Gordon GreenA Most Violent Year - Directed by J.C. ChandorThe Immigrant - Directed by James GrayGoodbye To Language - Directed by Jean-Luc GodardInterstellar - Directed by Christopher NolanInherent Vice - Directed by Paul Thomas AndersonNightcrawler - Directed by Dan GilroyBirdman - Directed by Alejandro González IñárrituFoxcatcher - Directed by Bennett MillerGone Girl - Directed by David FincherLife Itself - Directed by Steve JamesDawn of the Planet of the Apes - Directed by Matt ReevesBoyhood - Directed by Richard LinklaterSnowpiercer - Directed by Bong Joon-hoIda - Directed by Peter PawlikowsiAmerican Sniper - Directed by Clint Eastwood