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Noah Forrest

By Noah Forrest Forrest@moviecitynews.com

Making a List, Checking it Twice

I’m making my preliminary list for my annual “Top Ten Films to See This Fall” column and it’s going to be awfully hard to whittle it down to ten.  It’s also going to be hard to figure out which movies are actually going to be released this year.  Films like Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life and Peter Weir’s The Way Back are currently scheduled to be released sometime this year, but they are both without a firm date.  In the case of the Malick film, it’s unclear whether the film is even finished yet and it’s been on the last few of my “Top Ten Films to See” lists.  But even if one takes those two out of the running, we’re talking about filmmakers like David Fincher, Darren Aronofsky, David O. Russell, James L. Brooks, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, Anton Corbijn, Oliver Stone, Ben Affleck, Julian Schnabel, Robert Rodriguez, Clint Eastwood, Danny Boyle, Julie Taymor, The Coen Brothers, Mike Leigh, and many others I’m forgetting.  All of them releasing films this fall.  And that’s not counting films like Jackass 3-D, Due Date, the new Harry Potter flick, and Love and Other Drugs, which I’m looking forward to seeing as well.  Here’s hoping this is a fine fall, because we all know it’s been a miserable summer.

One Response to “Making a List, Checking it Twice”

  1. Great article! I can’t say the last time I read so much valuable information all in one place. You make strong points that I agree with and comprehend. You’ve done a great job on this.

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“A shot is a story. A shot on its own should be a piece of a story. Which is why I talk a lot about watching films, even the films we’re working on, with the sound off. Just to analyze how the film works, because a film should work for an audience without any sound. The biggest problem I see is that someone may have a superficial understanding of what a shot is propositionally, but they don’t have an understanding of how all of these shots are part of a family that needs to connect, and so you’ll get something that’s like a sentence arranged poorly with six nouns in a row. That surprises me, because I think that’s something that can be learned. Some things can’t be, but that can. It’s a grammar. In a classroom I could walk somebody through the difference between a sequence in which the filmmaker has a deep understanding of how images connect, and someone who doesn’t. It’s not really an intellectual process. Some people are just born with it and are just sort of savants at that deep mathematical understanding of shot construction.  I’m better than I used to be, but there are some people I’m just never going to catch. Spielberg. His staging ability. I’m never going to catch him. But when you’re trying to figure out how to get better—I’m not competitive in the sense of looking around at other filmmakers and comparing myself to them. What I do have to think about in trying to navigate myself through a career is: what can I get better at, and what do I have that I can enhance that somebody else doesn’t have?”
~ Steven Soderbergh

“It’s not going to be huge. He and I had been corresponding for a while. When I finally met him, he said, ‘We should collaborate.’ When John Ashbery says that to you, you don’t say when, you just say yes. It has not been easy to conjure this out of nothing. Sean Price Williams and I spent time with him, and it will appear on FilmStruck before the year is out…. I have figured out how to streamline things. I still have dreams of making movies with bigger budgets, and they might be considered to have more of a voice in pop culture. I don’t want to let go of that. I also realize that you grow up a lot of your life with wishful thinking and waiting. I have figured out ways to avoid doing that. I am working on a bigger movie about Nikola Tesla, set in the past, so it is not an easy film to make. I am also working on an adaptation of Don DeLillo’s ‘White Noise.’ That seems more likely to catch fire.”
Michael Almereyda Steps It Up