Struggling with the notion that it's life not film
oldfilmsflicker:

Happy 77th Birthday Jack!

oldfilmsflicker:

Happy 77th Birthday Jack!


91. Martin (1976) Dir. George A. Romero

This was fantastic. It’s not often you get to say you’ve seen something genuinely original in genre cinema but Romero’s take on vampire lore is totally fresh and piercing. Even today it feels like a re-invention and I’m shocked it didn’t pave the way for a wave of imitators. Martin, the title character, is a teenager who goes to live with his vampire-obsessed uncle and in his spare time he drugs women before drinking their blood, raping and murdering them. It’s a very unnerving idea and it’s never explicitly explained if Martin is just a very troubled young man influenced by his Uncle’s claims and movies or a genuine vampire. I also liked the use of stylised flashbacks and the whole subplot of Martin ringing a radio station to confess his sins under the name ‘The Count’ and unexpectedly becoming a hit staple of the show in the process. In much the same way Romero turned the idea of a cinematic zombie inside out in Night of the Living Dead, in Martin his presents us with maybe the most fascinating exploration of vampirism I’ve ever seen on screen.

91. Martin (1976) Dir. George A. Romero

This was fantastic. It’s not often you get to say you’ve seen something genuinely original in genre cinema but Romero’s take on vampire lore is totally fresh and piercing. Even today it feels like a re-invention and I’m shocked it didn’t pave the way for a wave of imitators. Martin, the title character, is a teenager who goes to live with his vampire-obsessed uncle and in his spare time he drugs women before drinking their blood, raping and murdering them. It’s a very unnerving idea and it’s never explicitly explained if Martin is just a very troubled young man influenced by his Uncle’s claims and movies or a genuine vampire. I also liked the use of stylised flashbacks and the whole subplot of Martin ringing a radio station to confess his sins under the name ‘The Count’ and unexpectedly becoming a hit staple of the show in the process. In much the same way Romero turned the idea of a cinematic zombie inside out in Night of the Living Dead, in Martin his presents us with maybe the most fascinating exploration of vampirism I’ve ever seen on screen.

The latest music video I directed was released yesterday and we’ve just cracked 1,000 views in less than 24 hours which is pretty great. Check it out to keep them rising! Feedback and reblogs are welcome too :)


90. Nebraska (2013) Dir. Alexander Payne

I looove Alexander Payne and think pretty much every film he’s made before this is near-perfect. Now I liked Nebraska a lot. It’s a touching family drama with a biting sense of humour. But overall I didn’t really flip out over it. It’s very sedate and laid back. A casual little road trip that covers some of the same territory Payne previously tackled in About Schmidt. Where the film really shines though is in it’s cast. It’s a wonderful ensemble full of familiar faces given meatier material than they’re used to and they all bring their A-game. Whether it’s June Squibb shouting obscenities in a graveyard or Bob Odenkirk getting into a pathetic scrap with two meat-heads, there’s lots of entertaining little episodes. Nebraska totally belongs to Bruce Dern though. It’s as much a celebration of him as an actor as it is a story about his character Woody Grant. He’s a living legend, one of the finest and most reliable American actors to emerge in the 60s and 70s. Usually playing second fiddle to Jack Nicholson, he came to define a certain style of acting, full of passion and fire. Now well into his 70s that fire might have turned into smoke but the embers are still alight. Payne does the right thing by simply sitting back and letting him shine. The black and white photography lends the film a nostalgic tinge too that’s romanticized with just the right amount of haggard charm. This is sweet, poignant little film that might just be a tad too breezy to be ultimately great. As a love letter to Bruce Dern however, it’s a resounding success.

90. Nebraska (2013) Dir. Alexander Payne

I looove Alexander Payne and think pretty much every film he’s made before this is near-perfect. Now I liked Nebraska a lot. It’s a touching family drama with a biting sense of humour. But overall I didn’t really flip out over it. It’s very sedate and laid back. A casual little road trip that covers some of the same territory Payne previously tackled in About Schmidt. Where the film really shines though is in it’s cast. It’s a wonderful ensemble full of familiar faces given meatier material than they’re used to and they all bring their A-game. Whether it’s June Squibb shouting obscenities in a graveyard or Bob Odenkirk getting into a pathetic scrap with two meat-heads, there’s lots of entertaining little episodes. Nebraska totally belongs to Bruce Dern though. It’s as much a celebration of him as an actor as it is a story about his character Woody Grant. He’s a living legend, one of the finest and most reliable American actors to emerge in the 60s and 70s. Usually playing second fiddle to Jack Nicholson, he came to define a certain style of acting, full of passion and fire. Now well into his 70s that fire might have turned into smoke but the embers are still alight. Payne does the right thing by simply sitting back and letting him shine. The black and white photography lends the film a nostalgic tinge too that’s romanticized with just the right amount of haggard charm. This is sweet, poignant little film that might just be a tad too breezy to be ultimately great. As a love letter to Bruce Dern however, it’s a resounding success.

rossbirks:

So this is the latest music video I’ve directed/edited! Please give it a watch and let me know what you think!

The latest thing I’ve directed. Check it out!

What advice would you give to an aspiring actress or writer?
Brit Marling on Reel Life, Real Stories [x]

But now I think I’m finally going to sit down and watch Nebraska.

William Friedkin’s Sorcerer finally hits blu-ray in America tomorrow. Might actually have to import that badboy as opposed to downloading it because I’ve been waiting to see that goddamn movie for years.

I finished reading The Hateful Eight and thought it was fucking great. I think a lot of people forget how insanely good a writer Tarantino is. I mean, everyone knows he’s a great writer but I think with all the hullabaloo that goes on around all of his movies, his inventiveness and skill with dialogue, characterisation and plotting gets a bit lost in the mix. I don’t read a lot of scripts unless I’ve seen the movie first so it was a wonderful experience to picture this yet-to-be-made Tarantino adventure in my head just from the script itself. It’s so visually rich that it really isn’t hard to picture how he’s going to make it. The cast who did the live read makes that easier too. Like these roles are so clearly written for Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Walton Goggins, Bruce Dern and Tim Roth. It’s really bold and different to his other movies too, confined to only two locations and extremely reliant on dialogue for tension. The total flip side of Django Unchained. The reason I love Inglourious Basterds so much is because of the way it will suddenly stop for twenty minutes and have all the characters sit down and converse in an extremely tense way before blowing it all up into violence. That’s what The Hateful Eight is, just stretched out to a full movie. I only let myself read the script after hearing Tarantino is totally re-writing the final chapter so at least there will be some surprises left for me when it finally hits the screen. But damn, what a great read. It makes me want to get my head down into a notepad and get writing myself.

So this is the latest music video I’ve directed/edited! Please give it a watch and let me know what you think!

photographs of american teenagers taken by joseph szabo, 1969-1988.


Gena Rowlands, early 60s.

Gena Rowlands, early 60s.


89. Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel (2011) Dir. Alex Stapleton

I’m really educating myself on all things Roger Corman at the minute and this documentary is a nice, quick overview of his career and exploits. A lot of this information can be found elsewhere but it’s lovely to see these stories told from the actual people involved. There’s an especially touching moment at the end when Jack Nicholson is reduced to tears as he lovingly remembers how Corman gave him a career.

89. Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel (2011) Dir. Alex Stapleton

I’m really educating myself on all things Roger Corman at the minute and this documentary is a nice, quick overview of his career and exploits. A lot of this information can be found elsewhere but it’s lovely to see these stories told from the actual people involved. There’s an especially touching moment at the end when Jack Nicholson is reduced to tears as he lovingly remembers how Corman gave him a career.


88. Coffy (1973) Dir. Jack Hill

Since I started checking off Jack Hill’s movies last year Coffy is the one I’ve been most excited to get to. I’ve seen Pam Grier do this kind of thing in the quasi-sequel Foxy Brown but she’s even better here. No-one can deny how much of a commanding, overpoweringly sexy screen presence she is. I mean Coffy is just a great character, a total icon. She’s a nurse who goes on a revenge spree against drug-pushers to avenge her young sister who is in hospital after receiving a lethal dose of heroin. She’s vulnerable and feminine but still totally independent. You’re with her on her journey right from the start. It’s not an easy one but seeing her navigate the web of corrupt officials, hoods and pimps with her wits and her physique is a real delight. Jack Hill is a brilliant director and maybe an even better writer. He’s so efficient as a storyteller, straight to the point. Regular Hill collaborator and favourite of mine Sid Haig crops up yet again as a second-tier villain. I love seeing him and Grier go up against each other, it’s so much fun and no-one sinks their teeth into villainy quite as deliciously as Haig does. Coffy is a seminal blaxpoitation movie and an early career highlight for all those involved. If you don’t find yourself bopping along to Roy Ayers’ funk score and cheering Coffy’s name by the end then you’re probably dead inside.

88. Coffy (1973) Dir. Jack Hill

Since I started checking off Jack Hill’s movies last year Coffy is the one I’ve been most excited to get to. I’ve seen Pam Grier do this kind of thing in the quasi-sequel Foxy Brown but she’s even better here. No-one can deny how much of a commanding, overpoweringly sexy screen presence she is. I mean Coffy is just a great character, a total icon. She’s a nurse who goes on a revenge spree against drug-pushers to avenge her young sister who is in hospital after receiving a lethal dose of heroin. She’s vulnerable and feminine but still totally independent. You’re with her on her journey right from the start. It’s not an easy one but seeing her navigate the web of corrupt officials, hoods and pimps with her wits and her physique is a real delight. Jack Hill is a brilliant director and maybe an even better writer. He’s so efficient as a storyteller, straight to the point. Regular Hill collaborator and favourite of mine Sid Haig crops up yet again as a second-tier villain. I love seeing him and Grier go up against each other, it’s so much fun and no-one sinks their teeth into villainy quite as deliciously as Haig does. Coffy is a seminal blaxpoitation movie and an early career highlight for all those involved. If you don’t find yourself bopping along to Roy Ayers’ funk score and cheering Coffy’s name by the end then you’re probably dead inside.


87. The Long Riders (1980) Dir. Walter Hill

This is the fourth Walter Hill movie I’ve seen this year and maybe the best. It’s a terrific western about the Jesse James gang with a real mythical tinge. It’s contemplative and sparse but rich with meaty nuance. Hill actually cast four sets of brothers in the cast, the Keach’s, the Carradine’s, the Guest’s and the Quaid’s. It really adds to the brotherly camaraderie which is so central to film’s themes. I thought it was interesting in the way it deals with the passage of time. The film apparently unfolds over many months, maybe even years, but the transitions are invisible and only register through the exchanges of dialogue and the way relationships between certain characters alter from scene to scene. The character work here is really great. They’re all so well defined and established. I loved how the film explores all of their individual relationships with the women in their lives, whether it be prostitutes or wives. There’s a brilliant tension bubbling beneath it all too, like a noose hanging over the film’s neck. It finally comes to fruition in the thunderous final shoot-out which puts Hill’s knack as an action director on full-display. It’s a blood-soaked ballet of slow-mo and exploding flesh, one of the best shoot-outs I’ve ever seen. The score by Ry Cooder is fantastic too.

87. The Long Riders (1980) Dir. Walter Hill

This is the fourth Walter Hill movie I’ve seen this year and maybe the best. It’s a terrific western about the Jesse James gang with a real mythical tinge. It’s contemplative and sparse but rich with meaty nuance. Hill actually cast four sets of brothers in the cast, the Keach’s, the Carradine’s, the Guest’s and the Quaid’s. It really adds to the brotherly camaraderie which is so central to film’s themes. I thought it was interesting in the way it deals with the passage of time. The film apparently unfolds over many months, maybe even years, but the transitions are invisible and only register through the exchanges of dialogue and the way relationships between certain characters alter from scene to scene. The character work here is really great. They’re all so well defined and established. I loved how the film explores all of their individual relationships with the women in their lives, whether it be prostitutes or wives. There’s a brilliant tension bubbling beneath it all too, like a noose hanging over the film’s neck. It finally comes to fruition in the thunderous final shoot-out which puts Hill’s knack as an action director on full-display. It’s a blood-soaked ballet of slow-mo and exploding flesh, one of the best shoot-outs I’ve ever seen. The score by Ry Cooder is fantastic too.