Films I Love

The Lobster

Last night I finally got a chance to see Cannes Jury Prize winning film, THE LOBSTER. I'd watched the trailer and a friend had insisted on showing me the opening scene on his phone (thanks, Bill) but I still wasn't prepared for exactly how weird and wonderful the film is.

It's quite unlike anything I've ever seen before. Plus, I'm a huge Rachel Weisz fan from way back.

Highly recommended.

A Bigger Splash

Last week I tagged along with some friends from VCA to see A BIGGER SPLASH. We made the plans at the last minute and I really didn't know anything about the film so I went in with no expectations.

It was sumptuous and spectacular, unpredictable with odd and jarring stylistic choices throughout. And the performances from Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Dakota Johnson and Matthias Schoenaerts were terrific—Fiennes in particular, whose dancing is a thing to behold. 

 It had an unwieldy and chaotic energy that I really enjoy.

Sofia Coppola

I've always been inspired by the work of Sofia Coppola.

Back in 2013 when THE BLING RING first came out, a friend posted on Facebook that, despite usually loving Sofia Coppola's films, she'd found this one to be vapid. I'd loved it so this surprised me. I realised that what I'd experienced while watching it was a strong sense of recognition: I know those kids. I went to school with them.

Months later as I was writing the monologue that inspired MEAT, I thought a lot about that film and the idea that, privileged or not, a teenager left up to their own devices, unchecked and uncared for, will get into trouble.

A few weeks ago we read a scene from LOST IN TRANSLATION in a screenwriting class at VCA. I went home and read the whole screenplay. Some feature scripts are hard reads and require enormous concentration and will—this is not one of them. It's beautifully written; a masterclass in evocative big print. I'm not surprised it won the Oscar.

I've been struggling a lot in the weeks since to find the core of my current project, which I think in some ways is about being lost and searching for happiness. So I decided to revisit the opening of LOST IN TRANSLATION. Character, world, theme—it's all there.

It never gets easier...

I'm yet to watch ONLY GOD FORGIVES but Liv Corfixen's behind-the-scenes documentary about director Nicolas Winding Refn (her husband), is absolutely fascinating.

As a filmmaker, I really appreciate how candid and revealing MY LIFE DIRECTED BY NICOLAS WINDING REFN is. Surprisingly so, for a director of his standing.

It never gets easier... and that's a powerful thing to know.

What I loved about 'The Big Short'

I've been thinking a lot about THE BIG SHORT since I saw it last week. It's witty and smart and fun. And the editing is sexy as hell.

It makes me think of a David O. Russell quote I came across recently:

"You wanna make it seem alive and effortless and fun, but that's an art that took me 25 years to really learn. I wanted to do it very much 25 years ago, but I didn't know how."

In THE BIG SHORT, I liked that they acknowledged the act of storytelling – the points where they strayed from the truth, or really just needed to convey a piece of exposition.

And the crafted sense of anarchy. That I really loved.

Now let's make more films like this – but with diverse casts.