Prince of Broadway

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

Sean Baker has to be one of the most underrated young American indie filmmakers working today. After Four Letter Words (2000), he reinvented himself with two stellar features, namely Take Out (2004), which took years to screen theatrically, and PrinceRead More

Cold Weather

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

Aaron Katz’s Dance Party USA (2006) and Quiet City (2007) established his career as one of the best young independent American directors. Quiet City abandoned a written screenplay in favor of structured improvisation, allowing his actors – Cris Lankenau andRead More

Meek’s Cutoff

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

As a filmmaker, Kelly Reichardt is obviously on a roll. Following the critical successes of Old Joy (2006) and Wendy and Lucy (2008), expectations were enormously high for her latest film Meek’s Cutoff (2010), a period piece shot on 35mmRead More

The Kids Are All Right

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

It seems an accepted truism that family secrets need to be explored, especially if it involves children tracking down biological or estranged parents. No one ever considers that there might be negative consequences – a proverbial monster lurking in theRead More

Journal of Screenwriting #2

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

In the most recent issue of The Journal of Screenwriting (which unfortunately isn’t available online), Kathryn Millard has written a really terrific review of Paul Wells’s screenwriting book Basic Animation: Scripting. In her review, she also cites my book MeRead More

Greenberg

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

It was inevitable that if the young filmmakers associated with mumblecore couldn’t capitalize on the phenomenon at the box office someone else would. Films like The Puffy Chair (2006), Baghead (2008), and Humpday (2009) were all expected to become commercialRead More

Fish Tank

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

Andrea Arnold’s disturbing second feature, Fish Tank (2009), tells the story of a disaffected fifteen-year-old girl named Mia, who’s stuck in a dead-end life. She lives with her single mom, Joanne (Kierston Wareing), who constantly parties and drinks too much,Read More

Daddy Longlegs

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

Josh Safdie’s French New Wave-inflected debut feature The Pleasure of Being Robbed (2008) centers on a sociopathic protagonist named Eléonore (Eleonore Hendricks) and played at the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes. Eléonore robs people – purses, credit cards, cars, as wellRead More