Friday, December 31, 2010

Les Inrockuptibles - Top 20 Films of 2010

One of my favorite film perspectives, Les Inrockuptibles, publishes its top 20 films of 2010.  Here it is:

Monday, December 27, 2010

Les Inrockuptibles - Top 50 Albums of 2010

One of my guilty pleasures, the French cultural mag "Les Inrockuptibles", just released their top 50 albums of the year.  I've been a bit out of the loop, music-wise, but their list will provide a decent guide as I attempt to play catch up a little.  

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Favorite (four), part seven

Just like in my other six posts thus far in this series, I want to take a second to single out the highlights of my recent film viewing.  I'm trying right now to take in almost a film a day.  Most have been first-time viewings.  And most I have been glad to finally see, but only very few have stayed with me.  This series is my filter for those (and hopefully one or two of these will be good to someone else, too).

Yasujiro Ozu's Late Spring

Another extraordinarily tender and wise film about  life, relationships, and personal growth and evolution.  Ozu keeps things minimal and spare, as usual.  But whenever he goes outside he reminds us of his strong connection to nature and tremendous feeling and eye for the outdoors.  Soft but packs a punch.

Vittorio De Sica's Umberto D.

Perhaps the film if you want to understand the bond between a dog and its owner.  Moving, realistic, wise, and full of heart.  A movie with a huge reputation, and rightfully so.  

Craig Brewer's Hustle & Flow

Brewer brings both a tremendous vitality and heart to the film.  And Howard's performance is delivered with such an amazing amount of conviction.  Perhaps slightly messy and overwrought at times.  But a film that deserved to put Brewer firmly on the map.  It's also a film that hits on things such as the incredible vulnerability and anxiety that come with trying to be discovered and the grit and hustle necessary to achieve success in a creative profession.  

John Ford's Mogambo
A flawed film, certainly.  But a fever dream of a flick, with the painfully beautiful Grace Kelly, and some of the most suspenseful scenes in the history of cinema involving animals and humans.  Nice to see Ford taking a break from the Irish thing and delivering this complex tale.  

Monday, December 6, 2010

Mysteries of Lisbon (Raul Ruiz)

I skipped 2010 because there are too many key films from that year that I've yet to see.  But I hope to have an entry soon.  I will report here, in red, as I catch up with films from this year.  

12/6/10 I watched Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer.  Polanski keeps things moving in this fun, little witty confection.  And Desplat adds tremendous mood, as he seems to always do when scoring pieces. The production design is also quite note-worthy.  But all in all, a few too many implausible plot points for me and a pace that's almost so chipper as to completely discourage contemplation.  

12/7/10 I watched Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island.  A real mind-bender with many marvelous things to recommend - the acting, the camerawork, Scorsese's ear for music, the production design.  But it left me cold by the end.  I liked many of the ideas at work.  I just felt that the film would have benefitted from a few more polishes, and perhaps a trim here and there.  

12/20/10 I watched Banksy's Exit Through the Gift Shop.  A bit too ironic and clever for my tastes.  But I did enjoy Barrow's music much of the time. 

1/12/11 I watched Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right.  There are so really wonderful moments.  At times, I was watching and felt that Cholodenko was going into territory so sophisticated, so human, so delicate, and so rarely explored.  But I rarely felt that she went all the way with these opportunities.  Much of the resolutions did not feel earned, and some of it just felt downright trite.  Bening of all of them felt most rooted in some reality and convinced me again that she's quite the interesting talent.  

1/12/11 I watched David Fincher's The Social Network.  So much is so compelling, and it's told in an almost manic reverse to Fincher's deliberate Zodiac.  Eisenberg is perfectly cast, and Sorkin's script is often effortlessly sharp, breezy, and funny.  All in all though, I had some issues, mainly Fincher's insistence on an overly controlled look and the fact that it all was pitched at such a brisk clip.  

2/1/11 I watched Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman's Catfish.  The first half or so I found very smart, breezy, effortlessly compelling and topical. But just like Angela couldn't really untangle herself, I didn't feel like the filmmakers really knew what to do once the story changed.  All in all, just leaves you feeling cold and empty, and not very humanistic, in spite of the filmmakers' efforts.  

2/4/11 I watched Derek Cianfrance's Blue Valentine.  Ryan Gosling convinced me again that he's one of the most talented of his generation, and Cianfrance definitely convinces that he can write the hell out of certain scenes.  I enjoyed it much more than I expected and only felt a little let down by the ending.  The cross-cutting there seemed a little excessive and the final feelings all a bit anti-climatic.  

2/4/11 I watched Mike Leigh's Another Year.  Lesley Manville's Mary is among the richest characters I've seen in a long while, and Leigh delivers another human and finely observed tale.  At times, I felt like Leigh's timing was off a little, dwelling too long on moments already ripe.  But otherwise a strong outing for him.

2/11/11 I watched Tom Hooper's The King's Speech.  Firth and Rush of course are excellent.  And we can use some heroes right now, which the movie strongly delivers.  But it's not a very artful movie.  It's all kinda calculated and uninspired in terms of the filmmaking.   

2/11/11 I watched David O. Russell's The Fighter.  Bale proves that he's part Day-Lewis, part De Niro.  The guy is an incredible talent.  But the movie's not all that interesting really on any level.  

2/16/11 I watched Davis Guggenheim's Waiting for 'Superman'.  It's an important message, and I was glad to see the film.  But Guggenheim's technique is sprawling and all feels a little disjointed and messy. Probably would have been more successful for me if he had chosen fewer kids to follow.  

2/22/11 I watched Emmanuel Laurent's Two in the Wave.  Not the most marvelous film ever.  But it is a documentary about my favorite period in the history of cinema, The French New Wave, and it covers aspect of this wonderful movement that I've rarely seen on film, including Leaud's screen test for The 400 Blows.  I consider the film's two main subjects, Godard and Truffaut, to be among the most passionate of anyone that has ever worked in the medium, and to this day for me they're both still huge influences and inspirations.  

4/15/11 I watched Olivier Assayas' Carlos.  There's some tremendous stuff on display here, like Edgar Ramirez's fearless performance and Assayas' introduction of post-punk to the crime film score conversation.  But, as I often feel about Assayas, he needs a tripod at times and an editor always.  It's just too long and can't truly sustain a 5 1/2 hour arc.  That said, there are at least two or three scenes that are among Assayas' best ever, including the best action set piece I've seen in years, when Carlos shoots himself out of a small apartment arrest, killing five or six people in the process. 

5/17/11 I watched Charles Ferguson's Inside Job.  It's a powerful and utterly disturbing portrait of the events that led to 2008's global recession.  Ferguson explains some of the chief causes in a very lucid manner, and he presents a very passionate attack on America's financial services industry.  Whether or not you agree with all that he has to say, I would say this is a must-see, simply for the opportunity to get a further look at many of the chief players.  

9/5/11 I watched Lee Chang-dong's Poetry.  Another film that makes me feel that the two countries with the most interesting cinema right now are South Korea and Romania.  By no means an easy work, this film ambles around, so soft and subtle in its approach that the viewer has to forge a different kind of relationship within the experience.  My first Chang-dong viewing tells me that he's an incredibly patient filmmaker, unusually adept with actors and a humanist in the vein of the Dardennes and Rossellini.  A bit too vague at times in his ramblings but a filmmaker employing methods of the highest rigor and truth.

9/30/11 I watched Apitchatpong Weerasethakul's Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives.  I've struggled with the celebrated Thai director in the past, and this one is no exception.  Although for the first time I can see a little bit what all the fuss is about.  His films are incredibly distancing for me, slow without the visual penetration of Tarkovski or Hou Hsiao-hsien. This one has its lyrical moments though and flights of real poetry.  It's just those other parts that really bog it down.  W's naturalism, in particular, strikes me more as just ugly than expressive.  

10/31/11 I watched Xavier Beauvois' Of Gods and Men.  The first Beauvois film I've seen since N'oublie pas que tu vas mourir, and it's impressive to see how his style has evolved and matured.  Terrific filmmaking with surprising austerity and restraint.  I just wish the overall subject matter interested me a little more.  

11/5/11 I watched Kelly Reichardt's Meek's Cutoff.  A western somewhat in the vein of what Monte Hellman did with the genre.  But Reichardt's cinema continues to frustrate me.  Here my problems are extremely dark night-shooting and an ending that is as anti-climatic as the rest of the work. There's some nice mood at times here, but Reichardt is so defiantly lo-fi and lacking the transcendent touch of Ozu, Jarmusch, and Bresson, that her work makes me feel flat and unsinspired by the time it's over.  

12/17/11 I watched Josh and Benny Safdie's Daddy Longlegs.  Though I thought it a marked improvement from Safdie's previous feature, there's a defeatism at work here that I find pretty unappealing.  Plus the fact that Bronstein's character never changes one inch during the entire piece ultimately leaves you hollow and wanting a narrative arc of any kind.  

1/21/12 I watched Jean-Luc Godard's Film Socialisme.  Among the most vital and visceral films of Godard's later period.  It really feels intimate and personal, and you can feel Godard roaming through all the images (cinematic and lived) of his life.  

4/1/12 I watched Manoel de Oliveira's The Strange Case of Angelika.  My first experience with a de Oliveira film so I can't frame it alongside the rest of his work.  But what I can say is that I found it masterful - one of these late films by a great filmmaker that is deceptively simple (think Gertrud) where the formal simplicity belies a specificity and depth that are the true signs of greatness.  Most shocking to me was the vitality of the editing, always cutting away seconds earlier than expected, to produce a level of restraint so vital to the heavyweight feeling the film ends up producing on the part of the viewer.  I could go on and on about the brilliance of metaphor here, de Oliveira's wonderful visual tics, and a cinema that is as mannered as Hartley's but as weighty as Dreyer's, but I'll wait to elaborate on those things once I have the pleasure of seeing a few more from this great Portuguese filmmaker.  

6/12/12 I watched David Robert Mitchell's The Myth of the American Sleepover.  Best in its whimsy and Nouvelle Vague-isms but devolves into something a bit fey and frustrating.  

6/13/12 I watched Abbas Kiarostami's Certified Copy.  Part Rossellini (Stromboli, Voyage in Italy), part Vertigo, and part Linklater Before Sunrise flicks.  A different register for Kiarostami with a stellar Binoche but slightly too oblique for my tastes.  

6/14/12 I watched Lena Dunham's Tiny Furniture.  A bit of a frustrating watch for me that came with just a tiny bit of heart at the very end.  And too overtly indy for me with its score and dialogue.
10/3/12 I watched Asif Kapadia's Senna.  The footage makes this one pretty extraordinary at times, and it's the way that Kapadia choreographs the races that really shows his talents as an entertainer but also as a succinct storyteller.  By the end, there are moments that I wish the filmmakers chose not to telegraph, but all in all, a very enjoyable doc about a subject matter of which I knew little to nothing.

8/8/14 I watched David O'Connor's Upside Down: The Creation Records Story. A fascinating doc and required viewing for fans (of which I include myself) of Ride, My Bloody Valentine, Primal Scream, The House of Love, and The Jesus and Mary Chain. I had no idea Creation had been so influential or how it all started or ended.

6/18/16 I watched Monte Hellman's Road to Nowhere.  A Hellman love letter to movies that is interesting at times as it balances between fact and fiction.  It never quite moved me or fully connected though in spite of my affection for Hellman's filmmaking.  

9/18/16 I watched Hong Sang-soo's HaHaHa.  Hong's laconic approach to the medium continues to impress, particularly because it is also mixed with an incredibly consistent logic and rigor.  Not my favorite of his work but I find him probably the worthiest of all right now in keeping with the Rohmerian way of telling dialogue-driven stories loosely but to profound effect.  

10/8/16 I watched Hong Sang-soo's Oki's Movie.  Structurally it is one of the more complex films I  have seen from Hong.  In fact I am not entirely sure of its structure.  Triptych or something else.  It also was one of Hong's films that moved me the least as its structure made it difficult to fully invest in anyone or anything. 

10/8/16 I watched David Robert Mitchell's The Myth of the American Sleepover.  Impressive in its treatment of an ensemble.  But Mitchell's most effective stylistic strategy (cross-cutting) also becomes the film's greatest weakness as certain scenes refuse to go longer, deeper.  Strange to read that I had seen this before as I had little to no recollection.

10/17/16 I watched James L Brooks' How Do You Know.  Brooks successfully channels and is able to tap into the charm of the great American romantic comedies of the 30s and 40s.   Rudd is no Grant or Stewart but Witherspoon proves to have the strength and charm of some of the era's female heavyweights like Rosalind Russell and Katherine Hepburn.   

10/30/16 I watched Raul Ruiz's Mysteries of Lisbon.  Ruiz's film is a display of filmmaking class with every shot meticulously framed and every movement of the camera elegant and graceful.  The prior film or two of Ruiz's that I had seen left me completely unprepared for the force and effect of this extraordinary achievement.  It might have been shot on digital but it leaves no doubt that a sort of classicism in filmmaking (beautiful acting, immaculate set design, repetitive, symphonic score) when done in the highest manner can reach the soul every bit (if not more) than any of the more contemporary techniques.  

1/8/18 I watched Gereon Wetzel's El Bulli: Cooking in Progress.  Adria's process is on clear display and is a true inspiration for anyone pursuing the artist life.  

10/22/18 I watched Frederick Wiseman's Boxing Gym.  Perhaps my favorite of all of the Wiseman films I have seen to date.  Wiseman is pure cinema, devoid of non-diegetic music and devoid of anything that feels put on, forced, unnatural or basking in cinematic artifice.  Aside from feeling so human and so real, what impressed me the most about this work were its rhythms.  You could close your eyes and be mesmerized for almost 120 minutes by the musical sounds of its voices, words and movements.

3/18/19 I watched Tamra Davis' Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child.  I am a big fan of Basquiat's work and it was interesting to get a little window into more of his life.  

4/20/20 I watched Jerzy Skolimowski's Essential Killing.  My first experience with the acclaimed Polish director neither thrilled nor disappointed.  I was impressed by the locations, Skolimowski's willingness to take certain scenes to places of raw realism in spite of the discomfort it may cause and the echoes of different works that came to mind while watching (McCarthy's The Road, Rescue Dawn, Dead Man and Jeremiah Johnson).

6/20/21 I watched Mahamat Saleh Haroun's A Screaming Man.  An interesting character study from an unexpected place, Chad.  It gets at some powerful ideas and feelings around father and son but the filmmaking never seems to rise off the page.  

12/17/21 I watched Kent Jones and Martin Scorsese's A Letter to Elia.  Not as stylistically interesting as Scorsese's solo-directed docs and not as entertaining as Jones' film on Lewton.

2/12/24 I watched Thom Andersen's Get Out of the Car.  Andersen tells the history of a city, Los Angeles, through its billboards and commercial signs.  More than anything one admires how a city can lose a part of itself yet continue to forge ahead.  

Police, Adjective (Corneliu Porumboiu)

I skipped 2009 because there are too many key films from that year that I've yet to see.  But I hope to have an entry soon.  I will report here, in red, as I catch up with films from this year.  From this year I do really like Werner Herzog's Bad Lieutenant.

12/8/10 I watched Oren Peli's Paranormal Activity.  I was impressed, most of all, by its level of restraint, particularly the fact that Peli uses little to no music at all in the film.  And, of course, I'm impressed by the tremendous amount of financial success the film was able to find.  But, I can't say I found it neither very scary nor very compelling.  

12/12/10 I watched Jane Campion's Bright Star.  No shortage of beauty here.  Campion proves once again that she's among the most poetic of all directors.  Just look at the way she deals with small moments, colors, nature, music, clothes, texture, and movement.  I never fully connected to this one emotionally.   But I did admire Campion's formal talents yet again.  

12/25/10 I watched Bradley Rust Gray's The Exploding Girl.  I greatly admire Gray's rigor - fixed frames, absence of music, and overall spareness.  But ultimately its austerity, mixed with Kazan's somewhat limited expressiveness, kept me at an undesirable distance.  

1/15/11 I watched Maren Ade's Everyone Else.  Ade's to be commended for taking a very adult and patient look at a thirty something relationship.  Much of it feels finely observed and at times, Ade really feels like she's getting into some particularly astute but rarely seen territory, for instance, the feelings of awkardness and inferiority that Gitti has towards Hans and his wife.  But the end felt a little forced, and there were other times where I felt that either the film was overlong or directionless.  

1/16/11 I watched Marco Bellocchio's Vincere.  Formally, it's the kind of big, somewhat impersonal period piece that I find a little distancing. But the acting's tremendous, and Bellocchio definitely keeps you engaged, trying to keep up with the story and where it might possibly be unfolding.  

1/16/11 I watched Fatih Akin's Soul Kitchen.  Had me laughing out loud at times, and has a decent amount of spunk and nice energy.  But after awhile, its insistence on straight entertainment had me a little bored. 

1/18/11 I watched Stephane Brize's Mademoiselle Chambon.  It's an adult, sophisticated film that puts you through, along with its characters, some uncomfortable situations and emotions.  Interesting in some of the ground it covers, and its approach to these delicate, human quandaries.  But some of it felt unrealistic, particularly the wife's complete unwillingness to challenge or question Jean.  And the music also at times was a bit heavy and ever-present for me.  

1/22/11 I watched Ilisa Barbash's and Lucien Castaing-Taylor's Sweetgrass.  Beautifully filmed and fairly interesting to see this subculture at work.  But I found the film to have little to no shape and a distance that after awhile grew a little tiresome.  

1/23/11 I watched Sebastian Silva's The Maid.  I liked how it never went where I was expecting, and the warmth is a nice addition in the last third of the movie.  Unfortunately though, the first half or so is so unrelentingly rough that I never fully recovered.  

1/25/11 I watched Lone Scherfig's An Education.  The camera loves Mulligan, and the script often takes you in places unexpected.  A bit anti-climatic at the end though and at times its lightness can almost be so trivial as to offend. 

1/29/11 I watched Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds.  I rewatched this as I had seen it when it came out in the theater and wasn't as blown away by it as many of my peers.  There are some fantastic moments, no doubt.  But I still fail to see its towering greatness.  It's very cold, at times not very entertaining, and simply not as satisfying as his first three features to me.  Still I prefer it to everything since Jackie Brown.

3/20/11 I watched Rebecca Cammisa's Which Way Home.  I was excited to see it as it bears some relationship to Peril.  It's heartbreaking, for sure, but could use a little more structure and clarity. Some of it felt repetitious, while other sections were slightly confusing.  

3/22/11 I watched Frazer Bradshaw's Everything Strange and New. Lackadaisical to the point of mostly feeling lifeless.  I loved the scene where the two main characters watch the porno film.  But otherwise, the monotonous tone left me feeling extremely detached.  

4/20/11 I watched Corneliu Porumboiu's Police, Adjective.  The new Romanian cinema has gotten much recent acclaim, and after seeing 4 Months... and this film it's easy to see why.  What I find so striking about this film is its naturalism that runs in quite a different direction from the cinema of the Dardenne brothers.  Porumboiu keeps the camera fixed in wide frames, as opposed to the handheld close-ups that seem to populate the work of the Dardenne brothers.  Porumboiu also favors long takes in a way that we rarely see in the work of the Belgian filmmakers.  The sense of humor of Porumboiu is quite effective and unexpected and other than perhaps the final ten minutes, I would have no hesitation declaring this one of the greatest of recent films, and a full-blown masterpiece.  

5/12/11 I watched Damien Chazelle's Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench.  It captures the playfulness and regard for beauty of the French New Wave, but without the depth of feeling. The two leads are charming, but when almost anyone else is on screen, it becomes a little grating.

6/15/11 I watched Mia Hansen Love's Father of My Children.  I really loved the naturalism and seeming effortlessness of the first act, but then once the family tried to keep the father's business going, it all felt a little more forced.  Will be an interesting filmmaker to watch, as will the young actress playing Clemence. 

8/26/11 I watched Ben Steinbauer's Winnebago Man.  Surpisingly thoughtful about the cult of new celebrity being created by the likes of the internet and YouTube.  And exactly the kind of brave filmmaking I want to find in the indy world.  A filmmaker following his instinct and finding a moving, complex subject along the way.  

10/14/11 I watched Pedro Almodovar's Broken Embraces.  There are some interesting moments, and it's fairly obvious we're in a great filmmaker's hands.  But I just wish Almodovar's style wasn't so slick and glossy; it seems to run counter to his noir ambitions.  

10/5/12 I watched David Pomes' Cook County.  I think it's one of the more impressive indies from my contemporaries.  The twists at the end feel both unique and disturbing while all the time organic to what Pomes has laid out before.  Mount is extremely impressive, and for the most part, this all feels quite lived-in.  And that's about as big as any compliment I can pay. 

6/8/14 I watched Mark Cousins' The Story of Film: An Odyssey: Cinema Today and the Future.  Perhaps not as impressive as one would expect from the epic's final episode but I did enjoy his discussions on Lynch, Andersson, and Weerasethakul.

10/22/17 I wathed R.J. Cutler's The September Issue.  It was fairly interesting to get a glimpse into Wintour and Vogue.  Wintour seems like a person with very good instincts and real confidence but also a bit miserable in her own skin.  The filmmaking is all serviceable but nothing more.  

4/14/18 I watched Judd Apatow's Funny People.  I think Apatow's movies are funny and somewhat fun but their overabundance of pop culture references and rampant materialism end up numbing my soul by the time they are over.  

Quarry is back!

I just got word from Max Allan Collins that his first five Quarry novels are back in print from a little house called Perfect Crime.  You can find them all on Amazon -- QUARRY, QUARRY'S LIST, QUARRY'S DEAL, QUARRY'S CUT, and QUARRY'S VOTE.  Quarry is one of my favorite noir characters and the inspiration for Price in THE LAST LULLABY. He has a laugh out loud sense of humor and is as smooth and clever as they come.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Last Lullaby (in screenshot)

The Last Lullaby has been honored by the wonderful screenshot series at the even more wonderful Moon in the Gutter blog.  Very awesome. Thanks so much, Jeremy Richey:

Thursday, December 2, 2010

2011 Spirit Award Nominations

Kinda like the independent film "Oscars", I always like to see what's being nominated for the Spirit Awards.  Here's this year's list.  I also always enjoy opening up Netflix and adding those films that I've yet to see:


BEST FEATURE (Award given to the Producer, Executive Producers are not listed)
127 Hours
Producers: Danny Boyle, Christian Colson, John Smithson
Black Swan
Producers: Scott Franklin, Mike Medavoy, Arnold W. Messer, Brian Oliver
Producers: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Scott Rudin
The Kids Are All Right
Producers: Gary Gilbert, Philippe Hellmann, Jordan Horowitz, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, Celine Rattray, Daniela Taplin Lundberg
Winter’s Bone
Producers: Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Anne Rosellini

Darren Aronofsky - Black Swan
Danny Boyle - 127 Hours
Lisa Cholodenko - The Kids Are All Right
Debra Granik - Winter’s Bone
John Cameron Mitchell - Rabbit Hole

Stuart Blumberg, Lisa Cholodenko - The Kids Are All Right
Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini - Winter’s Bone
Nicole Holofcener - Please Give
David Lindsay-Abaire - Rabbit Hole
Todd Solondz - Life During Wartime

BEST FIRST FEATURE (Award given to the director and producer)
Everything Strange and New - Director: Frazer Bradshaw, Producers: A.D. Liano, Laura Techera Francia
Get Low - Director: Aaron Schneider
, Producers: David Gundlach, Dean Zanuck
Night Catches Us - Director: Tanya Hamilton
, Producers: Sean Costello, Jason Orans, Ronald Simons
The Last Exorcism - Director: Daniel Stamm
, Producers: Marc Abraham, Tom Bliss, Eric Newman, Eli Roth
Tiny Furniture - Director: Lena Dunham
, Producers: Kyle Martin, Alicia Van Couvering

Diane Bell - Obselidia
Lena Dunham - Tiny Furniture
Nik Fackler - Lovely, Still
Bob Glaudini - Jack Goes Boating
Dana Adam Shapiro, Evan M. Wiener - Monogamy

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD - Given to the best feature made for under $500,000.  Award given to the writer, director, and producer.  Executive Producers are not listed
Daddy Longlegs
Writer/Directors: Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie
Producers: Casey Neistat, Tom Scott
Director: Matthew Bonifacio
Writer/Producers: Matthew Bonifacio, Carmine Famiglietti
Lovers of Hate
Writer/Director: Bryan Poyser
Producer: Megan Gilbride
Writer/Director: Diane Bell
Producers: Chris Byrne, Mathew Medlin
The Exploding Girl
Writer/Director: Bradley Rust Gray
Producers: Karin Chien, Ben Howe, So Yong Kim

Annette Bening - The Kids Are All Right
Greta Gerwig - Greenberg
Nicole Kidman - Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence - Winter’s Bone
Natalie Portman - Black Swan
Michelle Williams - Blue Valentine

Ronald Bronstein - Daddy Longlegs
Aaron Eckhart - Rabbit Hole
James Franco - 127 Hours
John C. Reilly - Cyrus
Ben Stiller - Greenberg

Ashley Bell - The Last Exorcism
Dale Dickey - Winter’s Bone
Allison Janney - Life During Wartime
Daphne Rubin-Vega - Jack Goes Boating
Naomi Watts - Mother and Child

John Hawkes - Winter’s Bone
Samuel L. Jackson - Mother and Child
Bill Murray - Get Low
John Ortiz - Jack Goes Boating
Mark Ruffalo - The Kids Are All Right

Adam Kimmel - Never Let Me Go
Matthew Libatique - Black Swan
Jody Lee Lipes - Tiny Furniture
Michael McDonough - Winter’s Bone
Harris Savides - Greenberg

BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director)
Exit Through the Gift Shop
Director: Banksy
Director: Jeff Malmberg
Directors: Tim Hetherington, Sebastian Junger
Directors: Ilisa Barbash, Lucien Castaing-Taylor
Thunder Soul
Director: Mark Landsman

BEST FOREIGN FILM (Award given to the director)
Director: Lance Daly
Mademoiselle Chambon
Director: Stéphane Brizé
Of Gods and Men
Director: Xavier Beauvois
The King’s Speech
(United Kingdom)
Director: Tom Hooper
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul

ACURA SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD – The 17th annual Acura Someone to Watch Award recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition.  The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Acura.
Hossein Keshavarz
Dog Sweat
Laurel Nakadate
The Wolf Knife
Mike Ott

PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD – The 14th annual Piaget Producers Award honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources demonstrate the creativity, tenacity, and vision required to produce quality, independent films.  The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget.
In-Ah Lee
Au Revoir Taipei
Adele Romanski
The Myth of the American Sleepover
Anish Savjani
Meek’s Cutoff

AVEENO® TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – The 16th annual AVEENO® Truer Than Fiction Award is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition.  The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by AVEENO®.
Ilisa Barbash, Lucien Castaing-Taylor - Sweetgrass
Jeff Malmberg - Marwencol
Lynn True, Nelson Walker - Summer Pasture

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD - (Given to one film’s director, casting director, and its ensemble cast)
Please Give
Director: Nicole Holofcener

Casting Director: Jeanne McCarthy

Ensemble Cast: Ann Guilbert, Rebecca Hall, Catherine Keener, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Lois Smith, Sarah Steele

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

latest LULLABY (and) PERIL update

About once a month, I send out e-mail updates on my two feature-length films, The Last Lullaby (and) Peril.  If you would like to receive these, just send an e-mail to either or

Here's the most recent update:

November 20, 2010

Thank you all for taking time to register for 

our updates.  Today I will cover four topics:

- News

- Five-Year Area Film Industry Report

- Facebook Fan Pages!

- Other Fun Stuff


A few nice things have happened in the last
couple of months.  Sasha Alexander's new TV 
show, Rizzoli & Isles, continues to create 
a new buzz and audience around The Last Lullaby.  
Almost every day someone in the blogosphere or 
Twitter is talking about our film.  Recently, 
one of these great sites approached me and asked 
me to do an interview.  Here it is.  I thought 
they did a really fantastic job with it:

I also recently did an audio interview with the 
great Clinton Stark on Stark Insider.  As 
always, Clinton hits the right notes and keeps 
the interview smart and moving along:

Finally, I'm happy to announce that my 
MovieMaker blog, "I Found It At The Movies", 
has re-started after a six-month hiatus.  
You can follow it here:

Five-Year Area Film Industry Report

I have been back in Louisiana since early 2005, 
and the film industry has been in the northern 
part of the state, in a significant way, since 
early September 2005.  This area's film industry 
is about five years old now, and I thought it 
was time to put a report together.  I am 
delivering this talk in several venues throughout 
north Louisiana.  If you are part of an 
organization that would be interested in hearing 
this report, please let me know.  I think it's 
the most important talk I've put together to date.

Facebook Fan Pages!

I am currently putting the money together for my 
next film, Peril.  Things are progressing very 
well with it.  And even though I don't know 
exactly when we will start pre-production, 
significant progress is being made every month.  

In the meantime, I am continuing to grow the 
audience around both Peril and The Last Lullaby.  
If you haven't already, please take a second to 
join our Facebook Fan Pages for Peril and 

Just click on the links above and then click 

Other Fun Stuff

Over at the LULLABY/PERIL blog, I am writing 

more than ever about the films I'm watching as 
I prepare for Peril and the films ahead.  I'm 
really enjoying this blog and think that some 
of you might enjoy some of the posts, as well.  
Come visit me and drop me a comment if you want 
to discuss anything.    

Also, as mentioned in previous updates, I have 

created several other places for people to begin 
following PERIL.  Here are all the different places 
we have so far.  I hope that many of you will 
join us:
e-mail updates 
(simply send an e-mail to

I want to thank you all for your incredible 

support.  I really couldn't be more 
excited about the road ahead.

As always, if you have any questions, hit 

reply and your e-mail will come to me.  
Please keep spreading the word!  You guys 
are the best.

Jeffrey Goodman
Chaillot Films

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Kinks

I've never owned an album by The Kinks, and am now determined to take the plunge.  But I need your help.  Where would you start?  What would be the first album you'd buy if you were looking to get into The Kinks and learn more about all the fuss?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

MovieMaker's back, and a great, new LULLABY interview

After an almost six-month hiatus, I'm excited to announce that my blog for MovieMaker is back.  It will probably be published a couple of times a week:

Also, of note, is a wonderful new interview about Sasha Alexander and The Last Lullaby by some great fans of Sasha's new TV show, Rizzoli & Isles:

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Favorite (four), part six

Just like in my other five posts thus far in this series, I want to take a second to single out the highlights of my recent film viewing.  I'm trying right now to take in almost a film a day.  Most have been first-time viewings.  And most I have been glad to finally see, but only very few have stayed with me.  This series is my filter for those (and hopefully one or two of these will be good to someone else, too).

Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's The Red Shoes

Powell believed in beauty.  And Powell believed in art.  And this is about as beautiful a film about art, creation, and the artist's life as any I've ever seen.  Walbrook and Shearer's performances are otherworldly.  

Joseph L. Mankiewicz's House of Strangers

Richard Conte's great and so is Edward G. Robinson (in fact, they both deliver two of their more memorable performances).  Another key to The Godfather and Mean Streets, and at times, downright classic.

Nicholas Ray's They Live by Night

Finally, I understand all the fuss.  It's an incredible debut and now up there among my favorite noirs.  Bowie and Keechie's chemistry is amazing, and there's something tremendously compelling about both Granger and O'Donnell.  Ray keeps things moving and shows off his inventive eye in a number of different scenes.  And he demonstrates that he has a real poetic connection and understanding of the outdoors.  A wonderful fatalistic build-up near the end rounds up a very, very good film.  

Samuel Fuller's The Steel Helmet
Fuller's expressionistic style and inventiveness under constrained circumstances (apparently a ten day shooting schedule) elevate this film to great interest.  Raw and full of engaged subtext, an incredibly original work for its time.  And with at least one classic line, "If you die, I'll kill you."