Editorial

TheForceAwakensTitle

There are many, many, many, things you can fault the prequel trilogy (Episodes I, II, and III) of Star Wars with. The one thing you absolutely can’t say about them is that they in any way, shape, or form resemble the original trilogy (Episodes IV, V, and VI) of films, despite having quite a few of the same heroes and villains. The prequels are largely flawed and had they stuck a bit closer to the originals I think they would still have been seen as a failure for those same reasons.  However, they are so completely, wildly different from general plot to planets to aliens to technology that most fans felt they had gone too far and were too different from the movies they all knew and loved.

Did The Force Awakens then over correct and cater too much to the “old guard” of fans? Well, yes and no. Continue Reading

In 2002, writer-director Richard Linklater made what I believe to be a decision driven purely by madness. In his mind he must have thought “How can I make filmmaking a real challenge. What constraints can I lower upon myself that would ensure one single slip up would cause me to lose days, months, and possibly years worth of work?”

The answer, apparently, was to spend the next 12 years filming Ellar Coltrane, Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, and his own daughter Lorelei Linklater living out what I now think is the truest ever paradigm of the “coming of age” movie.

For one or two weeks every year between 2002 and 2013, Linklater, cast, and crew would gather and literally film a day in the life of these characters. The sheer audacity of this can’t be overstated. So much could have gone wrong . I don’t think I have ever seen a braver, ballsier effort from a director. The cast could not be signed to contracts because of a California labor law that prevents contracts of longer than 7 years. The script was not complete when shooting began and Linklater actually would rewrite entire sections of script based on the real lives of the players as well as the footage shot from the previous years filming installment. What if somebody was hurt or injured and couldn’t complete their part? What if somebody was horribly disfigured? What if Ellar Coltrane, 7 years old when filming began, just decided he didn’t want to act anymore?

What if somebody died?

Apparently Linklater told Ethan Hawke to finish the film for him if he died during production. How many movies have to make plans for something like that happening?

Oh and by the way, it’s an incredible film. While so much of the buzz around it is, rightfully, placed on the production, the film itself is nothing short of a masterpiece for Linklater and Co. The “day in the life” storytelling style perfectly fits the narrative. The performances are rock solid across the board. Particularly Hawke and Arquette in somewhat thankless roles as parents who can’t always seem to get their shit together. Y’know, just like real life.

I won’t spoil too much of the story as I think it’s best to go into Boyhood with as little advance knowledge as possible and just let the subtle and well told narrative take you where it may. The film and cast always give us exactly what we need, never too much. When Arquette’s character remarries partway through the film and then divorces later on, it’s never spelled out for us, there’s no offhand remark about that character that isn’t around any more. We as the audience are expected to extrapolate all we need from the information given. It is immensely refreshing not to be handheld through a story.

I completely love the representation of the modern American family. As a single child of an adopted single mother, I’m not always interested in the traditional movie ideal that boy has to meet girl and they must be in love and stay together forever. A lot of times life doesn’t work that way. People grow up, people grow apart. Parents divorce and remarry and then sometimes do it all over again. The really strong families find a way to thrive and succeed despite all that shit and Boyhood succeeds at depicting this in a way I don’t think any other film ever has.

Boyhood was stuck in my brain for days after watching it. Even writing about it now has me wanting to experience it all over again. I think “experience” is a perfect term for Boyhood. Love it or hate it I think it’s important that everybody experience this film. Hopefully you’ll grow a little bit along with it. I know I did.

@movingpicpod

Hey folks.

Normally this is the point where I would talk about the podcast episode you are (hopefully) about to listen to and why I like or dislike the film in question. But I have other things to talk about today.

Before I get to that let me just say thank you to everybody who has listened, shared, linked, liked, commented, retweeted, etc. any of my stuff since October of last year when I launched this endeavor. It’s surreal to think that there are somewhere near 50 hours of my voice floating around on the internet and I have you guy and gals to thank for that.

Now onto business.

It turns out that scheduling recording sessions for these podcasts has been quite a bit more difficult than I had originally hoped. All of the guests that have appeared on the podcast have been more than gracious in giving up their time to sit down and record. However it’s gotten to the point where I’m having to badger and harangue my friends to schedule a recording or even just pick a movie to watch. I don’t really want to do that. I want people to sit down and talk to me because they want to do so, not because I asked them so many times that they finally just gave in and said yes.

So where does that leave us? Well, I could continue to record when and where I can and push out one or two podcasts every month. Or I could take a brief hiatus from posting podcasts, build up a good bank of them and then have a sizable chunk of weekly content for 2 or 3 months solid.

I’ve decided to go with the second option. I think it’s much better to say “Hey, we’ll have podcasts once a week for the next 8 weeks.” than “There might be a podcast next week, maybe.”

I can’t make any guarantees on a timeline for posting new episodes. It all just depends on when and how often my friends are willing to sit down and record with me.

In the interim I am going to make a concerted effort to write for the website more often. I know it’s been relatively spotty for the most part and I’d like to get something a little more structured in place, though I don’t know what form that will take yet. And of course you can like/slash follow us on Facebook and Twitter where I post and share items regularly.

I’m also toying with a few ideas for other forums and outlets but I’ll keep those to myself for the time being.

So that’s it. I hope you will all continue to peruse the site while the podcast is on hiatus and I will do my best to make sure there’s good content to keep you coming back. Also as usual please feel from to reach out via the aforementioned Twitter or Facebook. As well as e-mail or even leaving comments on individual posts.

Mike_Otto

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks.