Tuesday, September 29, 2009


keep going back and forth on this one. love the idea and i liked the actors but i don't love the whole (for lack of better term) mumblecore-y aesthetic. there's something about design to me that feels fundamental, elevating things from a mere recitation of character on a stage w/ a video camera rolling - call it heft, call it a seriousness of purpose, call it gravitas. these films (the bujalskis, the duplass, the swanbergs etc) sometimes feel like a director called two friends and said let's shoot this wknd and just see what happens and cut together the most interesting bits. the only 1 of the mumblecore-y movies i've seen that could be classified as 'designed' would be a. katz dance party usa, which i loved. i don't know. humpday is a pretty innocuous and sometimes funny thing so i should probably just let it off the hook. still, there's a part of me that wishes for a different tech approach. back and forth...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


no interest in flogging something for the thrill of it, but after witnessing the train-wreck spectacle that is (500) Days of Summer, we found we could not stop discussing every level of its ghastly and abhorrent putridity. From casting to script to editing to music every single department seems to misfire leaving a sort of dim, sputtering thing onscreen that attempts to use staggered chronology and pop-culture to gloss over the glaring fact that this is a movie about nothing. There's nothing wrong w/ a film slight in scope but unlike say 'annie hall' or 'the graduate' (two films this seems desperate to be put in the same company with) there is no appeal to the characters or situation. It feels like we're watching a 21 year old's take on how hard love is. To make matters worse, it attempts to parody persona and the seventh seal to mind-bendingly unfunny and purposeless degree. Bad. Wow bad.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

kore-eda, hirokazu

not enough superlatives available for hirokazu kore-eda's 2nd narrative feature. it's 10 yrs old now but 110 yrs from now it will still work. the matter-of-fact approach and tone - making afterlife events the purview of the civil servant rather than the winged cherub - solidifies, seals, and underscores the frame and focus of the film's reach.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

new short

the last short i directed is still being edited (by the skilled and charming evonne moritz) as i write this but it was designed to allow for mistakes; that is to say that as opposed to going all in on something that i loved dearly and keeping fingers crossed that it wouldn't crash i instead opted to write something that would be of less emotional consequence (at least to me) which would allow me the freedom to make mistakes, which i did. oceans worth. this is not to imply i didn't care about last short in the least, i cared a lot - only to say that w/ a slight topic (a sandwich) to build narrative around my failures, shortcomings, errors would hopefully be buried in the slightness or maybe washed away if the short was funny.

now, moving into a new one. there is still some comedy in it, but less of a cloaking device. this one is a step up narratively, in heft and scope, though the plot is quite basic. [i co-wrote it with margaret malone, an up and coming new writer of great talents with whom i share the hometown of portland]. title: "i'm your man"

currently looking at dp reels. lots of talent in the nw for sure. any progress or inroads or stumbling blocks i'll be sure to note here.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Lorna's Silence

another amazing work by jean-pierre & luc dardenne, the belgian brothers of international acclaim (except, as ao scott points out, in the united states - no surprise there really). in the past couple mos i've rewatched 'la promesse' and watched 'l'enfant' (both of which - like lorna's silence - feature jeremie renier). it's hard to classify their importance in any original fashion - some intersection of world-view and aesthetic, engineered and verite-grimy all at once. Lorna's is a simple plot (built on a gnarl of moral complexity) but told in such a manner so as to subvert expectation; just when i thought i knew where this was headed it jumped the tracks and moved into different terrain, more than once.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

a beginning

this is the first post for the blog of northern flicker films.
thank you and godbless