Movie Mondays: THE ONE I LOVE review

I have a love/hate relationship with what is considered “indie” film.

On the one hand, the fact that the tools to make films and to experiment with that medium are cheaper and more prevalent than ever before and that is an amazing and exciting development that allows for diversity in visual story-telling. I love the energy of independent films: it’s walking a tightrope without a safety net. Everything is on the line. Everyone is putting in their all on the prayer that their film gets noticed in a big enough way that they can break even, get another job, or better yet make money and launch a career. Indie films are often intimate stories that often focus on the real and dirty parts of the human existence in a realistic or honest or even scathing way.

On the other hand, many of the films I’ve seen or read about that come out of the festival circuit with lots of buzz are just plain weird. For a while there was a cinematography “style” where shots were never fully in focus. A lot of the festival favorites are so myopic in their “slice of life” tale that the audience has no idea how the characters got themselves into their particular situation or how it will all resolve even after the credits roll.

But what I truly hate about independent films is that I often don’t feel a damn thing once I’ve watched it. The film might be thought-provoking, even interesting, but more often than not, indie films follow completely unlikable characters and use odd plot devices to get their characters into a strange situation and I don’t end up enjoying the ride. I feel nothing except the confusion that I spent an hour and a half watching good actors and beautiful cinematography and good editing/sound design and I felt no connection to the characters, to their dilemma, and when it ended I couldn’t care less.

That was my experience of THE ONE I LOVE.

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Foto Fridays: Going Meta

It’s a digital photograph of analog photography equipment…how meta.  A couple of months ago, I was home in DC to visit my parents and was advised to pack up all my books and things from the attic.  Now that I have a house of my  own, this was not only a good idea, but I missed my books.  They are old friends that trace a very turbulent part of my history.  The books I read in middle school and high school were a crucial part of my self-discovery.  And while they did hold meaning sitting on the bookshelves of their birth – in a museum kind of way where I could go and look upon the space of my youth, they truly belonged with me. Among the double-packed books was another old, but not forgotten, friend: my Canon FTb Ql camera.

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Writing Wednesdays: Back to Screenplays

After the HBO Access Fellowship debacle where Withoutabox.com crashed in the mad rush to upload applications before the 1000-entry cap was met, I got so upset and depressed about missing an opportunity that I realized I was still searching for some kind of validation and permission.  Well, screw that.  One of the best things I walked out of USC with was an ability to pick up a camera and make a film without a need for anyone’s permission.  It was liberating, because I had needed this external approval for so long.  A day or so after, I received an email from the Writer’s Store about a screenplay contest where they provide the logline and you write the first 15 pages.  I thought – this sounds like fun.  I’m currently finished working on my novel, awaiting feedback from my Beta readers, so I wasn’t actively writing anything and I need that in my life.  I also decided I would write the full script for this logline and set it in Houston and write something that I could reasonably produce as an indie feature.  I don’t need no permission.

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Movie Mondays: INSURGENT Review

I would be remiss if I didn’t review INSURGENT, since I’ve posted before about reading the series by Veronica Roth and my admiration of some of her choices.  However, with time, the appeal of both the series and the movie franchise has lost some of its appeal. I’ll probably need to see INSURGENT again to have a clearer grasp on what I think, but my overall reaction was…eh.  For an action movie, this was pretty anti-climatic and undercut the major revelations that serve the books better.

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