Note: Done for Jonah Ross’ Road Movie course at Portland State University, this exercise focuses on a single frame from the film The Darjeeling Limited (2007).
This frame occurs at the funeral of the young Indian boy Peter (Adrien Brody) fails to save from drowning (1:00:49). Continue reading
Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now (1979) has, over the decades, attained the stature of not merely a great war film, but a sort of mythic masterpiece of American cinema. At the time, however, it was considered a “troubled production” – the vision of a director run amok; with money (having cost at least $31 million), with stars (an extravagant $1 million of the budget went to an overweight, almost unrecognizable and underprepared Marlon Brando), and with time (the film was shot over the course of a few years in the Philippines). Continue reading
In his original review of Robert Altman’s Nashville (1975), film critic Roger Ebert referred to the relationships of its two dozen characters as a “microcosm of who we were and what we were up to in the 1970s.” In the half dozen or so times I’ve seen it it has revealed itself to me as this and so much more. The film could’ve been about a particular time and place, sure (five days and nights in the country music capital of the world during a political campaign), and so it is, but it’s about more than that. It’s about men and women. It’s about dreams, ambitions and varying degrees of success. It’s about America. Continue reading
This frame occurs in the car after the temper tantrum by Tenoch (Diego Luna) when Luisa (Maribel Verdu) has sex with Julio (Gael Garcia Bernal) in the car, much like she did with Tenoch at the hotel. In a moment of (however fact-based) sexual gamesmanship, Tenoch has just revealed that he too had sex with Julio’s girlfriend just as Julio did with his – leading to Julio slamming on the breaks, getting out and raging at Tenoch through the window. (1:08:37) Continue reading
Robert Altman’s McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971) is an astonishingly unusual and original entry in one of the most quintessentially American genres from one of America’s all-time greatest filmmakers. Continue reading
Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye (1973) is – in a sense – more about style than it is about story. Rather than recreate the tightly-wound, meticulously-constructed plot of the Raymond Chandler novel on which Leigh Brackett’s screenplay is based, Altman is content to wander, roaming the world of Phillip Marlowe (Elliott Gould) with a kind of lackadaisical attitude toward the labyrinthine material. Continue reading