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18 Nights of Dario Argento Films (1970 – 2012)

Thanks to our residential expert on all-things-Dario Argento we now have a trustworthy place to visit in order to weed out the good Argento films from the awful ones. Writer, ...

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7 Lesser-Known San Francisco Films

I recently wrote an article for the magazine 7×7 on some lesser-known classic films that San Francisco has to offer. (The article could be read in full by clicking anywhere ...

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Check out Jason Boyce’s Latest Documentary “Ferguson: No Justice, No Peace”

“On August 9th, Mike Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black man was shot and killed by officer Darren Wilson. This documentary follows the next few days as protests grip the town ...

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Podcast Episode 2 – “Nightcrawler” and “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night”

000037.2766.AGirlWalksHomeAloneAtNight_still2_SheilaVand_MarshallManesh__byLyleVincent_2013-11-27_10-56-59AMJoin us for our latest podcast discussion in where we talk about two films that both should have been called Nightcrawler, and where one of us experiences a form of slow motion sickness.

Tread with caution however, because THERE ARE SPOILERS, lots of them. Show notes below player.

Opening Music: “Night Time is the Right Time” by Ray Charles
2:00 – Nightcrawler
22:22 – A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
1:01:36 – Outro Music: “Death” by White Lies

Erik Skjoldbjærg’s “Pioneer”

3There are certain conventions that one must adhere to when making a genre type film. For example, if one is doing comedy the look of the film should be light with a dayglo. Even in dark comedy films there is a tinge of light somewhere begging to be seen. If one is making a horror film there are certain things that go bump in the night; things we come to expect from a film, for example, the music choices, the lighting, etc. When I viewed the film Pioneer by Erik Skjoldbjærg, I gotta admit I was a bit skewed by the trailer, making me believe that this would be an action packed film with twists and turns. But under this guise I was sorely disappointed. Read More…

Catching up with Cassavetes: #10 – “Gloria” (1980)

gloria-1980-03-gOh no. What is going on here? For Cassavetes’ 10th film he left the independent route in favor of a studio film (Columbia Pictures), and the results, contrary to what IMDB’s high 7.1 rating and Rotten Tomatoes whopping 95% would lead me to believe, are disappointing at best.

Gloria is a gritty – though I prefer the word sloppy – cat and mouse scenario movie in where our eponymous leading lady (Gena Rowlands) plays a tough-as-nails New Yorker who has unwillingly been given the task of helping a young – and extremely annoying – Puerto Rican kid avoid being gunned down from the gangsters who are trying to exterminate his family. Read More…

Help Filmbalaya’s Tom Ellis make his short film, Adrift!

tumblr_ng6dch9kZE1rjjbx4o1_1280Hi all!

I’m putting the theory and criticism into practice and making a short film of my own.  Any help will go far, from pennies to that extra thousand you have gathering dust under your loveseat next to your no-longer-working fireplace (you know who you are).

Check out the following link to our Indiegogo video in which I, producer Kwame, and actor Brett prostrate ourselves, begging for dinars: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/adrift-a-short-film-by-tom-ellis#home

Thank you in advance!

NOW STREAMING: Joshua Moore’s “Keep a Tidy Soul”

PageImage-507317-3671170-_MG_9959How can I convince others, especially those who are fans of the French New Wave style of filmmaking (think early François Truffaut) and even certain Wes Anderson esthetics, that Joshua Moore‘s 11 minute film in where a young woman struggles to find her soul is one of the smartest and funniest shorts I have seen all year? I know, I’ll attach it to this post and let you see for yourself. Enjoy.

Podcast Episode 1 – Birdman

birdman-movie-poster-12or How Adam Cuttler and Writer/Director Joshua Moore (Josh’s profile page) learned to Accept Michael Keaton in Spite of Him NOT Being Nicolas Cage.

Tread with caution however, because THERE ARE SPOILERS, lots of them.

Catching up with Cassavetes: #9 – “Opening Night” (1977)

snip5When are we not acting, How am I not myself, and Why has it taken me so long to finally see the best film to tackle these questions of reality in such a quiet meta and self aware kinda way? Yes, I realize that using the word “meta” followed by the words “self aware” is either an oxymoron or just plain moronic, but I don’t care. Correct use of grammar be damned. I LOVE THIS FILM! Read More…

Film Movement: Thierry de Peretti’s “Les Apaches” & Alejandro Fernández Almendras’ “To Kill a Man”

AP 7If there’s one thing to be learned from Film Movement’s latest two releases it’s that guns are dangerous. Whether they’re being shot by an inexperienced child (Les Apaches), or by a bullied father protecting his family (To Kill a Man), the consequences of firing one at another human will inevitably be a dramatic one.

Read More…

Catching up with Cassavetes: #8 – “The Killing of a Chinese Bookie” (1976)

bookie34There are two versions of this film; the 1976 long version (135 minutes) and the more widely seen 1978 trimmed down re-release (108 minutes). As a first time viewer I chose to watch the longer cut, a decision made not for reasons of exclusivity – as in “nanny-nanny poo poo, I saw something you didn’t see” – but rather because I was excited at the prospect of once again getting lost in a gritty no-holds-barred street film; a film where the alcohol never stops flowing, the cigarettes stay lit, and the dialogue is more harsh than it is pretty. In other words, a film wholly and uniquely John Cassavetes. Turns out, I got what I came for. Now, if only there was an even longer cut… Read More…