Best Movie Moments of 2017

When writing about movies, I often use the term “cinematic.” Movies are obviously cinematic, but sometimes a film takes an idea or a moment and pushes it to the fore. It can capitalize on the experience of the film, or transcend the film entirely where it becomes the thing audiences rave about. I live for these moments. 2017 was chock full of them and I’ve handpicked ten that entertained and enraptured me. This may or may not be an indicator of what will end up on my upcoming best film list. While I am still busy catching up on the movies I’ve missed, here are my favorite movie moments of 2017.  Continue reading

Nobody Puts ‘Baby Driver’ in a Corner

When Baby and Debora first meet, they fret about who’s got more songs based off their name. “You’ve got us beat,” Debora remarks of Baby. “You’re in all the songs!” She’s not wrong. Baby Driver takes its name from a Simon & Garfunkel song, while Debora, referencing a 90’s Beck song, notes that the track isn’t even about her, but a sister named Jenny, the lead singer wanting to get with the two of them. Neither Baby nor Debora need to spin themselves in circles about their namesake because writer-director Edgar Wright spins an ode to genre cinema and jukebox nostalgia, one so rhythmic and catchy that we’ll be singing to the tune of Baby and Debora while gleefully soaring down the highway. At a reasonable speed, of course.  Continue reading

‘La La Land’: Someone In The Crowd

One of the most iconic shots in La La Land (and there are plenty of them) comes early on during Mia’s melancholy walk home. A walk of shame. Her car’s been towed, she’s living in the city of her dreams – a city that shuns her – and finds herself doubting whether she’s good enough. It’s an all-too-familiar road, one she embarks on after each failed audition. On this particular stroll, she finds music that suits her mood and follows the bread crumbs of the melody to find Sebastian. Continue reading

‘La La Land’: A Bit of Madness is Key

What is it about dreams that make them so unbearably cinematic? Perhaps it’s the chase, the song and dance of it. The grandiosity, vividness. Or its proximity. How close it seems once we’ve projected the idealized versions of ourselves in the cinema of our subconscious. I suppose the real question is what makes us want to chase our dreams when the world tells us otherwise. When we’ve faced rejection, tasted failure. How long do we go on chasing something until we realize we’re just making a fool of ourselves?  Continue reading

The Lost Art of Secrecy

christopher-nolan-interstellar-filming

When was the last time you walked into a movie theater completely unaware of the film you were about to see? For me, it was the summer of 2010. The movie: Inception. The earliest trailers for the film displayed a number of staggering visuals. A rotating hallway, a city folding on itself, and a train charging through the rain. This merely whet the appetites of countless filmgoers like myself. Soon, we were standing in line for the film’s release, not knowing a single detail of the plot. Even on the day of, all we had to go on were the film’s cryptic tagline (“Your mind is the scene of the crime”) and a tiny bit of description from director Christopher Nolan himself (“a heist movie set within the architecture of the mind”). Some could argue we already had more than enough to go on. But compared to today’s films, where entire movies are given away in a two-minute trailer, Nolan’s film barely left a trail of breadcrumbs. It was a refreshing change of pace that allowed audiences to experience the film in its rightful place – the movie theater, of course.  Continue reading