Saturday, February 25, 2012

Predator is one of my favorite movies.

I'm a very serious fan of Arnold Shwarzenegger's movies from the 80s and 90s. There's never been another actor quite like him and I'm not sure if there ever will be one again. He totally MADE some of the movies he was in. Unfortunately, it seems the man's politics and treatment of women are downright repulsive. However - his performances have been so fun, exciting, and thrilling, that I'm one of the biggest fans there is. He's also chosen some of the best scripts EVER.

my favorite Arnold:
Total Recall
Kindergarten Cop
True Lies

I've gotta say I also really LOVE STALLONE!
He won my heart in CopLand, and the man also wrote and directed the iconic Rocky. He's also THE Rambo, and Demolition Man - where his comic abilities stole my heart again!

Aside from Arnold and Stallone, the 80s/90s had some other fantastic action heroes like Van Damme (who gave the performance of his lifetime as him self in 2008's JCVD), Dolph Lundgren and Steven Seagal - but none of them hold a candle to Stallone and Arnold, sorry. Bruce Willis isn't the same because, aside from Die Hard, he's more of an actor than an action star. I really loved young Bruce Willis' comic abilities in Moonlighting and from the same era, young Tom Hanks in Busom Buddies. Man, young Tom Hanks was a comic genius. That doesn't have anything to do with this topic. But this does: I don't think modern day action stars hold a candle to the Terminator or Rambo either. As a filmmaker I dream of finding the next Arnold. I'm thinking maybe Tilda Swinton? But she's already Tilda Swinton. Could be amazing if she ripped out some bad guys' aortas.

I also really love the aliens and bad guys of 80s action movies.

ALIEN with Sigourney Weaver? I mean come on?! Fuggetabout it - that's awesome times a million!
And the Predator from Predator? He's sooo cool! Of course they made AVP! It makes so much sense.

So far the best female action stars ever have been Linda Hamilton as T2's Sarah Connor, and Sigourney as Alien's Ripley.

The best character/story that I'd love to make is The Punisher as written by Garth Ennis - The Punisher has been made many times but nobody has gotten it right. What would be way more amazing is if I could adapt this genre for a female lead.

I just wrote about all of these things because they give me deep inner joy.

Peace out.

Friday, February 24, 2012

That's so Schizo

People are always romanticizing schizophrenia and it seems they mostly don't know what it is.
I just saw the haunting Take Shelter which got me thinking about Schizophrenia again.

Take Shelter Review: well acted, lovely, haunting - flawed dialogue, moments of overwraught angst when it could've used a stronger dose of realism. It's about a man and his relationship with schizophrenia ... in a nut shell. (pun) Would've been great if the dialogue was more naturalistic and less M Night Shyamn. I'm not looking that up right now. But this is a good film overall in its achievements vs failures.

And then there's A Beautiful Mind which does a really good job but makes the illness seem a lot more magical than it really is.
People constantly use the word "schizophrenia" descriptively to mean dual personality - they should stop. That's not what schizophrenic means so just go ahead and wikipedia that some time.

What haunted me in Take Shelter was seeing a child witness her father's mental illness.

My grandmother had schizophrenia and she lived with us while I was in high school and college. She had 4 sons. I think I've asked my dad questions about what that was like when he was little, and he'd mostly answer that she was quiet, or off doing something, and he always left and wondered on his own. I'm never sure what to think because there's so much mystery and uncertainly on that side of the family. Those who know me know I've never had much family in America, they are mostly in the Netherlands where my mom is from.

Are you related to this other "Fink"? I never know. We are disjointed.

I can't ask my dad questions anymore because with aphasia, even if he understands my questions, he can't speak and tell me a story.

I've always felt largely confused about myself and a sense that I don't fit in. This works out well when you're a creative and ambitious type, since we are told that many of the world's greatest people are misunderstood. That provides a reassurance that some day, while you may not be understood, perhaps you'll be embraced and appreciated for your talents and skills.

So here I am at 30, still with the feeling that if I embrace the elements of myself that don't fit, perhaps I'll find something especially valuable, worth cultivating. That's my security blanket. And in the moments of doubt that surely come - that perhaps I'm just a little 'off' ... and that oddness is simply odd, with no inherent social worth ... it's scary.

I'm going to keep trying. You should only be alarmed when I'm in khakis, because then you'll know I've given up.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ehrmann Yogurt Spec Commercial

Hi everybody! Watch this new thing I made!

We shot this as one of the weekly film exercises on the NYU Cinematography Soundstage in my Lighting Class.
The actors are my gracious sexy classmates, plus my buddy Kloke who is a pretty cool guy.
The handsome mens let me put baby oil on them so as to accentuate their innate sensuality. All in all it was fun.

Later, I edited the sound in my Protools class.

I hope you like it! I had fun. Dang.

"A Separation" = A pain in the ass to watch

yo wassup an oscar nom 2012 movie review:

I like a film that can give me something new and different - and if it's going to be something conventional then I want it to be fun.

What "A Seperation" does achieve in a unique way is its sense of energy and life. It's clearly well written and shot, and always engaging. The plot is very well constructed and the filmmaker is very good at telling the story in a sophisticated way - and that's why the film is getting so much attention.

However it's an annoying experience to go through this drama. So much of the film's conflict is because of female oppression in Iranian society - much conflict caused because a woman needs a husband's permission to do things (this is a problem for many of the characters). Witnessing tempers boil and strife arise from such irritating oppressive sexist realities is annoying. It's annoying to witness a bunch of people run around like chickens with their heads cut off because they have to live in some society where women need a man's permission to do things.

Now the conflict is more complex than that - the story is definitely not about female oppression - it's about some other shit that comes up that gets really complicated - and frustrating, and stressful - so no it's not such a great experience this film, and it's been done before: complex plot with multiple flawed characters. When this happens in blockbusters like Traffic and Babel it always gets awards. People respect this. It's definitely not easy to pull off.

What I wonder as a writer and director is why write this? Why would someone want to make films that are about arguments and conflicts without any joys?

I get that it's thought provoking and that there is potentially much to be gained from watching this film. BUT I just wonder about people who spend their time making a film about a bunch of people fighting ... for what? I want to make films that touch people's hearts, or are fun, or make them laugh. I'm totally down with being moved to tears by a film as well. But I'm not that into being aggravated and angered by the arts. At the end of an angry documentary, present a movement towards hope or inspire me. If you're going to piss me off, then at least give me a laugh or a cry. Some kind of healthy release.

Once again - this film is very well made.
It's just not enjoyable.