The If I Had An Orchard 20: My Favorite Film, TV, and Music of 2017

As shows and movies pile up on my Netflix queue and I have less time to get to the theaters these days, I decided against doing a year-end Top 10 Movies or Top 10 TV Shows of 2017. It wouldn’t make a ton of sense if half the shows or movies I saw this year … Continue reading The If I Had An Orchard 20: My Favorite Film, TV, and Music of 2017

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Do We Really Need Another One of These? Or, My Top 10 Films of 2014

Why are we so obsessed with year-end top 10 lists? Well, for one, we love to rank things, especially subjective things that we can savagely argue about. I think another, more optimistic reason is that it's an excuse to pause and reflect. In our present, culture comes at us rapidly. There's always something new for … Continue reading Do We Really Need Another One of These? Or, My Top 10 Films of 2014

How Interstellar and Birdman Challenge Today’s Cinema

Some of the best movies directly critique the filmmaking of their day. 1950's Sunset Blvd. is considered one of American film's great entries, but it still may be underrated for its exploration of Hollywood's empty vanity, via fully faded (and delusional) Silent Era starlet Norma Desmond. It's a difficult task, to make an entertaining movie … Continue reading How Interstellar and Birdman Challenge Today’s Cinema

Auteur Debuts: Comparing Nolan’s Following and Aronofsky’s Pi

Filmmaking auteurs (writer-directors who are considered the "authors" of their films) are sometimes known for their stunning debuts. Terrence Malick had Badlands (1973), Jean-Luc Godard had Breathless (1960), and Quentin Tarantino had Reservoir Dogs (1992). These are movies that broke onto the scene with fresh, captivating vigor. They broke ground with their original style, announced … Continue reading Auteur Debuts: Comparing Nolan’s Following and Aronofsky’s Pi