The name's William. This is just an avenue in order to exhibit my cinephelia. If you have a bone to pick with me, an interesting story, or a strong opinion please send it in. I hope you enjoy these films as much as I do.
  • All About My Mother (1999)

    Written & Directed By: Pedro Almodóvar

    Shot By: Affonso Beato

    Almodovar is another one of those self taught masters. He is able to create something so beautiful and unique with this film. 

    - WA

  • Marty (1955)

    Directed By: Delbert Mann

    Shot By: Joseph LaShelle

    Written By: Paddy Cheyefsky

    This proclaimed screenplay is written by the one and only Paddy Cheyefsky. I heard about htis movie from a Tarantino interview. He comments on how the movie had a large effect on him discovering he could write and began to create films rather than prusue acting. As a student in an acting class, he was required to rehearse scenes with classmates. From memory, he wrote out the famous monologue Marty. While there were small portion in which he filled in on his own, the classmate he worked with picked it up and read it. He turned to Quenting and said, “You know, you’re a really good writer.” It was from that point Quentin tried his hand at writing rather than trying to be an actor. The film is quite good. And the direction by Mann hangs right up there with Borgnine’s Oscar winning performance and the forcefully subtle writing of Cheyefsky. 

    - WA

  • Gimme Shelter (1970)

    Directed By: Albert Maysles, David Maysles, & Charlotte Zwerin

    This documentary captures the tragic concert the Rolling Stones put on for free at the Altamont Speedway in 1969. Inspired by Woodstock, the Stones wanted to put on a free show for all to enjoy. The Maysles brothers covered it because of the attention Woodstock had received months prior. What they captured on camera is disturbing to say the least. What is the worst part is that you can’t walk out away from this film and say “Well it’s based on a true story so they probably exaggerated this and that…” The credits roll and hat you’ve seen is undeniable truth. A must-see.

    - WA

  • The Fisher King (1991)

    Directed By: Terry Gilliam

    Shot By: Roger Pratt

    Written By: Richard LaGravenese

         This movie has been on my to-watch list for some time. Craig Mazin commented on how much he enjoyed a particular sequence in the film. I love Jeff and Robin and then I saw that Terry Gilliam was the director. What an all star lineup. Sold. Like I expected the movie is simply amazing on all levels. Acting, cinematography, art decoration, and the story all remain strong throughout the films entire 2 hours and 13 minutes. I am more impressed as this is an original screenplay. It is incredible that one can just create from thin air a story like this. While inspirations derive from many places from the many that have touched a film, this one somehow retains a gleaming originality. Robin if you left us in another ten years it would still be too soon. You’re presence is unparalleled. 

    - WA

  • The Big Chill (1983)

    Directed By: Lawrence Kasdan

    Shot By: John Bailey

    Written By: Lawrence Kasdan & Barbara Benedek

    The Big Chill focuses on a group of friends who are brought back together when one from their group kills himself. This is a movie that is purely driven by its characters. Proof that strong characters can take hold of a movie until the end, even if they are in the same location for the duration of the film. Excellent flick, a must see.

  • Mr Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

    Directed By: Frank Capra

    Shot By: Joseph Walker

    Written By: Sidney Buckman (screenplay), Lewis R. Foster (story), & Myles Connolly (uncredited)

    Jimmy Stewart is good in everything he has cast in. However, in this performance he surpasses this in giving a riveting Jefferson Smith. This story follows a head of a boys camp model American. Finding himself appointed into office as a state senator out of the blue he falls into the midst of the corrupted political machine. Capra has one particular shot that I thought was genius. It involves Jimmy and his hat.

    - WA

  • Sanshiro Sugata (1943)

    Written and Directed By: Akira Kurosawa

    Based on the novel by Tsuneo Tomita

    Akira Kurosawa’s directorial debut is a tale of judo versus jiujitsu. From the onset one can see his camera logic at a high and it only gets better. Trying to do him in chronological order.

    - WA

  • Les Infantes Terribles (1950)

    Directed By: Jean-Pierre Melville

    Shot By: Henri Decaë

    Written By: Jean Cocteau

    Based on the novel by Jean Cocteau

    Highlight of this film was the way in which Melville shot dialogue with direct address. Each conversation of importance was shot in a different manner than the one before. Wes Anderson said this movie partly inspired the style of The Royal Tenenbaums. Specifically the omniscient narration and one other gleaming similarity.

    - WA

  • The Red Shoes (1948)

    Written & Directed By: Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger

    Shot By: Jack Cardiff

    Based on the story “The Red Shoes” by Hans Christian Anderson

         Recently revisiting Taxi Driver, Scorsese’s list of top ten films on the Criterion website came across my attention. Not being able to find it anywhere I gave in and paid Amazon instant to rent it. $2.99 seems like a fair price to watch one of Marty’s favorites. While I knew from the onset that I would enjoy it because of Scorsese’s taste, I was not prepared for the beauty this film possesses on all fronts. With its extraordinary use of 3 strip technicolor, Powell and Pressburger drape their cast and setting in vibrant colors covering the area of the color wheel 10 times over. Each blocked scene presents a unique palette that in itself makes each frame of film a work of art.This pairs with a remarkable story structure to give an example of film’s true power when all the elements are executed to the best of their abilities.

    - WA

  • The White Stripes Under Great White Northern Lights (2009)

    Directed By: Emmett Malloy

    Jack White is a living icon. This documentary gives insight to the period of his career where he had gone from underground indie blues rock into the mainstream. Following the two around their long awaited tour in Canada, Jack and Meg are seen in a different light. Through performances you see what it was like to be at a show during the height of the band’s success. But through interviews, Jack and Meg get to settle and reveal many of the questions that have been posed since their rise to fame. This will only make you appreciate the fact that we are living in a time where Jack White is in his prime. 

    - WA

  • Slacker (1991)

    Written, Directed, & Produced By: Richard Linklater

    Shot By: Lee Daniel

    This movie is a series of vignettes that tie together various individuals in order to show what it looks like to be a dropout in college. Linklater kicks off this excellent debut feature with a bomb-ass long take.  This picture is riddled with intriguing dialogue. On netlfix instant.

    - WA

  • Broken Flowers (2005)

    Written and Directed By: Jim Jarmusch

    Shot By: Frederick Elmes

    Inspired by an idea from Bill Raden & Sara Driver

    Bill Murray has said that this performance made him feel as though he had done all he could with acting. While I never want to see Bill stop acting he has a good argument. Excellent film.

    - WA

  • The Blue Angel (1930)

    Directed By: Josef von Sternberg

    Shot By: Günther Rittau

    Written By: Carl Zuckmayer, Karl Vollmöller, Robert Liebmann, & Josef von Sternberg

    Based on the novel “Professor Unrat” by Heinrich Mann

    This is the film that thrust Marlene Deitrich into the national spotlight. While her performance is noteworthy is it not to overshadow the story Sternberg modified himself to fit his needs. 

    - WA

  • Underworld (1927)

    Directed By: Josef von Sternberg

    Shot By: Bert Glennon

    Written By: Charles Furthman & Robert N. Lee

    (Ben Hecht and Howard Hawks did story and scenario)

    Sternberg is growing on me. He is a guy who made a name for himself from nothing. Underworld is arguably the first gangster picture as it has come out a few years before the crazily popular Scarface (Hawks). 

    - WA

  • Enough Said (2013)

    Written & Directed By: Nicole Holofcener

    Shot By: Xavier Grobet