The importance of composition and silence: ‘Ida’




(2014 – Director: Pawel Pawlikowski   Cast: Agata Trzebuchowska, Agata Kulesza)

Ida has a crazy gravitational pull. Every image is so poetic, so breathtaking, that I continually got lost while trying to soak it in with my eyes. If a coffee table book containing each shot from this film existed, I would buy it in a heartbeat. Read More…

Performances and ambition lift ‘Birdman’




(2014 – Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu   Cast: Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Andrea Riseborough, Emma Stone)

What impresses me most about Birdman is its fluidity amongst the never-ending on-screen brokenness. Every character is fragile and fighting perceptions of self-worth, confidence, validation, reality, and truth. So what better way to underlay the present than to give the illusion that the entire film is done in one two-hour take. In a film that is all about risk and truth, the single take approach brings clarity to a film in the riskiest way possible. We glide from one character to the next with no break, no cut, and no chance to catch one’s breath. Read More…

Pod, James Pod Podcast: Episode 0016 – ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’


Carlin and I get into the meat of the Pierce Brosnan Sandwich as we discuss Tomorrow Never Dies on the newest episode of the Pod, James Pod Podcast. Renard takes note of Elliott Carver, Ricky Jay tries to be the new cameraman, the stealth boat makes a special appearance, and Jack Wade keeps on annoying Bond.

Click below to listen or visit us on iTunes or Stitcher.

‘Interstellar': A rarity in today’s film world




(2014 – Director: Christopher Nolan   Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain)

I have problems with Interstellar. Several, actually. A few plot points, lack of character building, dialogue heavy with exposition, and a script that would, at times, expedite things simply to keep the plot moving. This is a film that’s easy to nitpick. It’s a hyped up intergalactic science fiction film – there are bound to be question marks. But by golly, Christopher Nolan just landed one of the most dynamic, emotional, and ambitious films I have ever seen.

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