Monthly Archives: July 2012

Indies Unchained!

I respect Beasts of the Southern Wild and its director, Benh Zeitlin. The film’s 16mm photography is absolutely beautiful, and the effect work is unbelievable. The immense amount of time he spent finding Hushpuppy is worth it because Quvenzhané Wallis is an amazing breath of fresh air. She’s raw and honest. It never feels like she’s acting, she’s simply Hushpuppy. The film is insanely ambitious (maybe too ambitious?), especially for a feature debut. As a filmmaker, Beasts is very inspiring. The film is about characters Hollywood doesn’t acknowledge and is definitely saying something about the world we live in.

This is exactly what I want to do with my films. Zeitlin also moved to New Orleans and helped create a filmmaking community, Court 13. They made many shorts together and finally made this tiny film that went on to win the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance 2012. But after…

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Indies Unchained!

What happened in Colorado on Friday morning was an absolute tragedy. I was riding the bus to work Friday morning, oblivious. As I began scrolling through twitter I began to feel numb. It broke my heart to think about the families that lost some one they loved. As the media quickly transitioned from mourning victims to revealing details and trying to find a reason for the acts of this 24-year-old man I couldn’t help but think about the other tragic shooting in Colorado. Dave Cullen, the author of the tragic but must read Columbine, spent 10 years trying to figure out why Eric and Dylan did what they did, and after all that time he didn’t have an answer. 

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Indies Unchained!

The fifth and final season of the best show on television premiered on Sunday. Like season two’s infamous teddy bear, this season’s cold opening gave us a glimpse of what’s to come before immediately returning to where we left off. The episode was dramatic, darkly funny, intense, visually interesting, brilliantly paced, and full of characters making decisions that propel the story forward. It looks like we’re in for another brilliant season of television. As the Breaking Bad hype was building someone asked Bryan Cranston if he thought Breaking Bad could be a good movie. His answer? No. Wait, What? He went on to say something I’ve heard over and over again the last few years, “Television has usurped movies’ standing as the home for serious storytelling for adults.” With brilliant shows like The Wire, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and Homeland it’s easy to understand where he’s coming from, but…

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Indies Unchained!

I’ve been a huge Spider-Man fan my entire life. As a kid, my brother and I watched the cartoons every chance we had. Spider-Man always resonated with me more than Batman or Superman. I never knew why, and honestly I didn’t really care. When the first Spider-Man movie came out I felt like I was on the moon. I’ll assume teenage Sean anticipated the release as much as college Sean longed to see Black Swan and post-grad Sean is dying to see Gravity. I loved the first film, and loved the second one even more. The third one left a bad taste in my mouth (I haven’t even watched it since it’s initial release). But there are a lot of stories behind that third film. The studios forced Sam Raimi to include Venom and created a situation where the were three separate bad guys. The film was a mess…

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Indies Unchained!

Who is Film Crit Hulk, you ask? Well at first, I thought he was a zany film kid with a really bad habit of typing movie reviews with the caps lock on. Fellow contributor Sean is a big fan, but I just didn’t get the appeal. When Hulk got recruited by Badass Digest, a well-known cinema blog, I started thinking maybe this wasn’t just a gimmick at all. So I began to follow him on Twitter and often found his comments insightful and even got used to the all caps text.

There was one single tweet last week that full cemented my admiration for the big green guy. A post simply titled “WHAT MAKES A MOVIE GOOD?“. I usually bookmark interesting Twitter finds to read later on my computer, but instead read the whole thing on my phone during my lunch break. And it was of course…

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Indies Unchained!

I live in Boston, and last week one of the local “art house” theaters, Kendall Square Cinema, had 3 films that featured Mark Duplass. Including: Safety Not Guaranteed, Your Sister’s Sister, and People Like Us. I have absolutely no interest in People Like Us (from the writer of Transformers 2… no thank you) but I did get to see the other two. For those who don’t know, Mark Duplass started off writing and directing no-budget films with his brother Jay. They became a leader in the mumblecore film making movement. Eventually the Duplass brothers became pretty successful (they’ve gone on to direct Hollywood produced films like Cyrus) and other filmmakers started coming to them for help because they knew the Duplass brothers could make a movie for almost nothing. As an executive producer I assume Mark began acting as a way to save productions money, he also happens…

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