The Post: Interviews with 11 Famous Directors

December 3, 2012 at 9:54 am

The Post: Interviews with 11 Famous Directors

Have you watched a short film today?


Quentin Tarantino, Ben Affleck, Ang Lee, Tom Hooper, David O. Russell, and Gus Van Sant.  Just hit play.



XTRA | Review: Why HUGO to the movies



XTRA | Movies That Changed Everything: The Lord of the Rings


XTRA | Inside the Edit: Kill Bill Volume 1


XTRA | Star Wars Episode VII Story Round Up


A great speech about the merits of creating mysteries.

XTRA | A tribute to J.J Abrams

Why HUGO To The Movies

December 16, 2011 at 10:58 pm

Why HUGO To The Movies | Hugo Movie Review 2011


That term also happens to be a term associated with Georges Melier.  A filmmaking pioneer…

I have a confession to make.  While I’m a passionate fan of film, I’m quite far from a film historian.  There are so many classics out there that I have yet to see.  And so I must confess that until I saw Hugo, I had never thought to seek out La Voyage Dans La Lune.  Having said that, the second I got home from the theater, I went straight to YouTube and found it:

Hugo is a brilliant film about an orphan boy who spends his days tending the clocks in a Paris train station.  At night, every ounce of the boy’s effort is poured into fixing an old automaton he believes carries a message from his father.  His journey leads him to Georges Melier, who has long since abandoned his legendary filmmaking career.  Now running a toy shop in the train station, Melier is a broken man who feels his life’s work was for nothing.  Together they learn that everyone has a purpose and things that are broken can be fixed.

Why HUGO To The Movies | Hugo Movie Review 2011

The story itself is fantastic but what resonated with me was a scene in the middle of the film.  Hugo tells the story of his father’s first experience at the movies and how La Voyage Dans La Lune was like nothing he had every seen before.  It got me thinking about my own experiences with movies and how they’ve inspired me.

Like I said, I’m no film historian, so I don’t think of Georges Melier when I think about my special movie memories.  When I go back to my childhood, I think about artists like Walt Disney and Steven Spielberg.  I think about Alladin and E.T.  I think about Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Robin Hood, The Neverending Story, The Sandlot and more…  When I began watching movies on my own, I discovered my own cinemagician in Martin Scorsese.  Goodfellas, Casino, Gangs of New York, The Departed, Cape Fear, The Aviator…  Someday, I’ll be the one with the shocked expression when someone says they’ve never seen a Scorsese picture. I’ll be the one talking about the classics I grew up with much like the film buffs out there with a soft spot for Melier.

“Movies are where your dreams come from.”

While watching Hugo, I thought a lot about what it was like to experience some of my favorite films for the first time.  I’ve been in love with the movies since I was a boy and that will never change.  But I don’t take enough time to truly appreciate the work that goes into the stories I adore.  I love the idea that someone’s passion and dedication can have a profound impact on my life without them ever knowing it.  I connect to their life’s work on a deep and personal level and there is no better fuel in my own filmmaking pursuits.

My experience with Hugo went far beyond a 2 hour movie about a young boy’s journey to find his place in the world.  It eclipsed the care Mr. Scorsese put into this wonderful love letter to the cinema.  For me, I connected to Hugo as a young boy who watched a movie, rewound the tape and watched it again without hesitation.  A boy who regularly circled listings in the TV guide and crammed 2 or 3 movies on every VHS tape within reach.  That was the birth of my obsession with movies.

Any film that reminds me of that time in my life is okay in my books.


All Time Best: Movie Based On A True Story

November 23, 2010 at 10:16 am

All Time Best: Movie Based On A True Story

This edition of All Time Best was one of the hardest of…  all time.

What’s the best movie based on a true story?

Tough one.  How many amazing movies out there are based on true events?  Sometimes, movies are infinitely more fascinating when you know they actually happened.

I found a pretty great list on Wikipedia and while I scanned it, I couldn’t help but marvel at how many incredible true stories have been made into films.

My first instinct was to go with one of my favorite actors and his brilliant portrayal of Jim Lovell in:

Apollo 13

Tom Hanks.  I really can’t think of any movies he’s done that I didn’t enjoy on some level.

They broke down in space! How can you resist this amazing story of astronauts in peril on their way to the moon?  It’s the moon?

Think of it realistically.  Can you think of a crazier place to get stuck?  It’s space!

Not only that, the way the world rallied around the men to bring them back safely makes me wish I could have watched the events unfold live myself.

The power of the human spirit.  Nice.

Now, I have to admit that my winning pick BARELY edged out Apollo 13. It’s a completely different movie but you can’t argue that it’s an amazing story.

The story of Henry Hill.


What more can I say?  Goodfellas will always be one of the greatest films of all time let alone the greatest based on a true story. Martin Scorsese’s remarkable masterpiece unites the talents of some of the best actors the world has ever seen.

The result is one hell of an entertaining story.

While my first instinct was to go with Apollo 13, I’m admittedly bias because GoodFellas also happens to be one of my favorites.

What’s your favorite movie based on a true story?

Can The Film Industry Learn From The Miami Heat?

July 16, 2010 at 1:21 am

Can The Film Industry Learn From The Miami Heat?

In a historic off season, the NBA has been changed forever.  7 years ago, when they first entered the league, no one could have predicted that we would all witness a team that boasted Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Lebron James.

Are you kidding me?

These three superstars put ego and money aside to join forces and win a championship.  The Miami Heat have since become the most talked about franchise in professional sports.

Even a few years ago people would never have guessed that we would see Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen together.  We all saw the success they had.

It got me thinking…

What if a few superstar filmmakers got together and created a movie?

We have definitely seen some amazing filmmaking teams over the years but I’m thinking bigger.

We’ve seen Spielberg and Lucas team ups in the past but what if Scorsese or Coppola joined in to create something new? Can you imagine how many people would follow that movie?  The hype would be enormous. What magical project would unite these titans?

Can the film industry learn from the Miami Heat?

Is their enough shots to go around? (I suppose that works for both basketball and film doesn’t it? Nice.)

I think it’s all about the greater good and knowing each others strengths.  You HAVE to be a team player to pull it off.

The Three Kings of Miami have the entire sports world talking about whether or not they can pull it off.  Some people doubt they will be able to win a title right away but nobody is doubting the enormous amount of talent they bring to the table.

James, Wade and Bosh may not have the supporting cast yet but they are united in a common goal.  To win NBA championships.  I think it’s fantastic to see 3 superstars willing to share the spotlight to achieve their collective goals.

Why not film? Is it possible?

Imagine that it was for a moment…

What team ups would you like to see?

  • What if Christopher Nolan, Zak Snyder and J.J Abrams decided to lock themselves in a room and work on a secret project together.
  • What if Peter Jackson, Quentin Tarantino and Ridley Scott were planning an epic war drama? Written by Tarantino and Jackson with Ridley Scott directing.  Bring in Weta Digital to do the visual effects.
  • How about M. Night Shyamalan (Sixth Sense Night, not The Happening Night.) hooked up with George Romero and created a project that enticed David Fincher to come on board?
  • What if James Cameron created a brand new sci fi love story and worked closely with Cameron Crowe and Michael Mann?

The possibilities are endless!

I can’t decide whether it’s wishful thinking or sheer curiosity but I think the trend has already begun.

We’ve seen some pretty incredible casts come together already.  Insane amounts of talent in one place. Take The Expendables for example.  Did you ever think you would see those action legends in one movie?

We’ve even seen some directors teaming up with one producing but I’m thinking much, much bigger.

What I’m talking about here is a GIANT team up with a specific goal in mind.  To create the absolute best movie possible.  To win the championship.

It’s an interesting thought.

Obviously, like the NBA, you can’t win a title without a supporting cast and the film world is no different.

You can’t just bring 3 incredible directors on board and then skimp out on key technical and artistic positions. There are a ton of loose ends that need to be tied up before a team can achieve success.  You need the right group of people in the right creative atmosphere for it to work.

I can’t help but wonder what could be possible if the stars aligned someday.

Is there a dream team out there willing to put aside money and ego to achieve creative immortality?

Would it even lead to creative immortality?

It’s a reality in the sports world.  Look at the Celtics and Heat.  I really don’t think we’ve seen the last of this incredible new trend.  What crazy team up will happen next?  Maybe the Heat will succeed and another super team forms to defeat them.  Time will tell.

As for the filmmaking super awesome team?

We can hope can’t we?

Would the film be able to live up to the hype? What kind of film would it be?

Anything is possible.