upstream color

upstream_color There are films that are good and there are films that speak to you on another level. Upstream Color is one of those films. It was my most anticipated film of Sundance this year and it did not disappoint. Somehow I knew that it couldn’t. The story has too many facets to summarize with any fairness, so I’ll point you in the direction of the below trailer which touches on enough of it, without spoiling anything.

There are a few things about Upstream Color that make it so utterly wonderful. For one, it has a perfect balance of romance, mystery and science; a combination that makes all the parts of my mind perfectly content. Beyond that, I was really impressed by the way the story was told, with intriguing visuals and complementary dialogue. It’s all too common these days for films to over explain things or show you as well as tell you what is going on. Film is a visual medium and should be used as such. Tiny gaps in a story, like with memory, allow your imagination to connect the pieces to make a broader picture.

All the elements come together at top form to make this film work. Amy Seimetz gives a stellar performance. The sound design, an integral element in the film, is also superb. I could go on singing praise for this film for days. I’ve been a fan of Primer, director Shane Carruth’s first film, since I saw it back in 2005 and Upstream Color just builds on the filmic principles he set up back then.

I know Upstream Color won’t be for everyone, but it is certainly for me. I recommend you see it, when it is released in April. Or if you’re in Austin, check it out at SXSW this year. I personally can’t wait to see it again.


CREEPER from Shawn Bannon on Vimeo.

I’m pleased to share one of Shawn’s most recent short films, CREEPER, which premiered at AFI Fest last November. I was immediately intrigued from the moment he first told me the idea for this film, inspired by the announcement of the Google glasses. I am a big fan of social media, obviously I have this blog, but I worry things are going in a dangerous direction and CREEPER really illustrates that darkness.

return to the future

Beautiful road trip

We’re home from Sundance 2013. We just escaped before the snowstorm on Sunday that left so many stranded. I’ve also brought home with me the dreaded Sundance flu. At the moment, my brain is still a little foggy and I’m not quite ready to do anything I can’t do in bed.

The ten days of the festival were ultra busy but I did manage to see quite a few films and meet some really cool people, including a handful of internet acquaintances, which was a treat. Thankfully I didn’t get altitude sickness (although I was pretty woozy the first day). I grew quite fond of the cold weather and snow. I saw the most films in the Library theater, the most uncomfortable of all theaters, and ate so many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner so I could make it to screenings on time.

I’ll be back to share some thoughts on a few of the films I saw later in the week, but for now, here is just a list of what I was able to see.

1. Crystal Fairy
2. The Spectacular Now
3. We Are What We Are
4. Blackfish
5. S-VHS
6. C.O.G.
7. Hell Baby
8. Upstream Color
9. Pit Stop
10. Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
11. Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer
12. After Tiller
13. In A World
14. The Way Way Back

It’s not possible to see everything, there were so many others that I wish I could have seen. Hopefully there will be another opportunity somewhere down the line.

In the mean time, here are a few of the shorts that I really liked.





off to sundance

Snowy day

It’s that time of year again and we’ll soon be heading up to Park City, Utah for Sundance 2013. I can’t wait to see this year’s crop of films. It’s colder than any year we’ve been before so I’m a little nervous, but I’m really looking forward to going to Vertical Diner again.

I’ll be sure to report on any favorite films I see while I’m there (if you don’t already follow me on twitter now might be a good time to start). Plus, be sure to check out Sundance coverage from the Vegan Movie Mafia.

As I mentioned, I can’t wait to see UPSTREAM COLOR and AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS among others. I also really want to see TOP OF THE LAKE, but clocking in at 6 hours I’m not sure I’ll be able to make it. Any films you’re particularly interested in or curious about?

2012 Movies

2012 movies

This year I kept track of every single film I watched and a few details along with them. I was really excited today to compile my list and see how everything totaled up. I think I’ll do the same this year.

The first film I watched in 2012: TINY FURNITURE
The last film I watched in 2012: TAXI DRIVER