Light From Light

Paul Harrill’s second feature, Light From Light (2019) is an even stronger, more assured work than his marvelous first feature Something, Anything (2014). The film played at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival where it received very positive reviews from bothRead More

Red Rocket

I was given the opportunity to write about any American indie film for the new “21st Century Film Essentials” series from UT Press. I chose The Florida Project (2017) because I believe that Sean Baker is simply one of theRead More

Sean Baker Book: The Florida Project

Sean Baker’s latest film Red Rocket opens in LA and NYC this weekend, so you might imagine how busy he is at the moment. Yet he found the time to post a video about my recently published book on TheRead More

The Florida Project Book

At long last, my new book on Sean Baker’s indie film The Florida Project (2017) was published last week. It’s the 3rd book in a series entitled 21st Century Film Essentials from University of Texas Press, and the 4th filmRead More

I’ll Come Running

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

Although many indie filmmakers—Gus Van Sant, Matthew Porterfield and Joe Swanberg, among others—have used more minimal forms of scripts, such as outlines and treatments, Spencer Parsons and Line Langebek [Knudsen] have argued in favor of a more detailed and “overwritten”Read More

Young Bodies Heal Quickly

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

Andrew T. Betzer’s debut feature Young Bodies Heal Quickly (2014), a bizarre road movie about two brothers on the lam, might not be the most legible film, but it more than compensates through its weirdness, unpredictability, and sheer visceral impact.Read More

Butter on the Latch

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

Josephine Decker’s evocative feature Butter on the Latch (2013) manages to create and sustain a palpable sense of anxiety, dread, and foreboding throughout its riveting 72 minutes. Using a five-page treatment rather than a traditional script and employing improvised dialogueRead More

Stand Clear of the Closing Doors

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

Sam Fleischner’s Stand Clear of the Closing Doors (2014) tells the story of a thirteen-year-old autistic boy who gets lost in the New York subways in the period leading up to Hurricane Sandy. Although the film employs a dramatic frameworkRead More