This Scene Is An Entire Movie (And Music Video)

You know how when you are too close to something you can't even see it?  Sometimes I find myself in a movie and I miss the true glory of a particular scene.  Taken out of context, some work shines even brighter.

I love this scene.

To me it is "Desire".  I watch it and I hear Bob Dylan's album and the whole Rolling Thunder tour (or at least the recordings of it that I have heard).  I love the longing, the inexplicability, the recognition, the silliness and the passion.  And the song is great too.

Good Stories Well Told: "The Square"

I find it very rare that I end up telling stories of movies, particularly short films. That is what happened when I first saw Nash Edgerton's SPIDER, perhaps my favorite short of recent history. I found myself doing it again when he started making videos for Bob Dylan. This is his most recent video and it, like Dylan's Christmas tunes, has a good sense of goofy fun -- although I miss Nash's signature mayhem.

I am relieved that Mr. Edgerton's finally made a feature, because there's too much story inside it for me to ever tell well. You just have to see it. With no stars, no fancy VFX, just talent in craft, he spins an excellent yarn. Discipline, the avoidance of the unnecessary, the commitment to the declared agenda, has long been one of my favorite attributes in cinema, and this man's got it. The NY Times agrees ("Mr. Edgerton, with crack timing in the editing room and a sure hand on the Steadicam, is a coldblooded professional. His craft is frightening.") so hopefully this film will prove that people do care for good movies, even without the hype and star trappings.

As some of you might know from my tweets when I first saw it, I dug this movie. Someone once complimented me for making many films that captured the awkwardness in sex on film as it is real life. Film history is filled with the fluff in both sex and violence. Nash stages fights as the mess they are and it does wonders for bringing us in to the movie and keeping us there. It's just one in a number of approaches that makes this film work. He makes it look easy -- and is not. Still, it makes me wonder why we can't get noir right. This is good pulpy fun played for real without winks and nods.

Check out the trailer below, and please see it soon, as we have to vote for the work we want with our dollars.

Two Greats Together: Bob Dylan & The Rolling Stones

Was it the semi-narrative, the accusatory question (How does it feel?!), the multiple meanings of the chorus, the propulsive rave up, or just the great tune over all, but how many songs manage not to just stick for decades but rise to the pinnacle of great rock songs? And then to get the namesake and the creator together in their fifties still rockin' it before multiple cameras and a giant swarm of fans loving every minute.

It's definitely entertainment:
(hat tip to Amos Poe for this one!)

Great Short Film, but "you always take things one step too far"

Thankfully, there are those among us who always take things one step too far.  It may be difficult for a relationship, but it is one of those things that the internet is really good for.  People always say, in terms of content, the web works for broad comedy and horror/gross out, but equally grabbing is the OMFG vein.

Nash Edgerton's SPIDER got a couple of exclamations out of me.  And it kept me away from my third cup of morning coffee -- which means it is a pretty strong dose.
I got turned onto SPIDER via Scott Macauley at FilmmakerMagBlog.  Or at least I thought I did -- Toni Collette actually got their first for me for the video he did of her.  But Scott's sourced other great work too, and gets full credit to turning me onto the work of Patrick Daughters long before he ever shot a music video.  It was Edgerton's recent clip for Bob Dylan that initiated Scott's posting.
Checking out Edgerton's work I was excited to see he is part of Blue Tongue Films in Sydney.  I had the good fortune of mentoring a feature project of theirs -- or maybe just related to them -- when I participated in the Aurora Screenwriting workshop earlier this year.  There's great new work popping up all over.  Here's hoping everyone keeps taking things one step too far.
P.S.  After I posted this I got a thank you note from my Mom who had just watched it and said that it had produced multiple screams from her.  She reminded me that I repeatedly placed a fake spider in our sugar bowl growing up.  I guess my connection to the work was even more primal than I recognized.