What a year, eh folks? I can't wait for it to be over. Myself, I did all right. Didn't make much money, but made more than I could have. Didn't get sick. Shot a couple of short films, got some interesting jobs. But the economy tanked, lots of people everywhere lost a lot of money, and there's nowhere to go… read more!
This list is explicitly a tie-in with my new short comedy Party Pooper, now available for viewing at Funny Or Die. Now that the film's out, I must reveal myself as a proud fan and practitioner of potty humor. And a running joke in our household has been to take classic pop songs with "love" in the title or lyrics… read more!
"Well, she was just 17, you know what I mean." No, Beatles, what do you mean? To be fair, the UK's age of consent is 16, making this song's 17-year-old subject fair game for the Liverpool lads. But here in California, she'd be jailbait. This list is tongue-in-cheek, of course; pop music is aimed at teenagers, and as such, songwriters… read more!
In these bleak economic times, when companies are losing billions and unemployment is on the rise, I can't help but wonder how so many businesses keep going even in a good economy. Sure, we all need food, shelter and transportation. But how do tanning salons, travel agents, expensive boutiques and pet therapists make any money? Who uses them? Who needs… read more!
This week I finally finished up my Spanish classes after two years and four months. I feel like I've learned all I can for now, even though there is still clearly much more to learn. (In other words, I'm nowhere near fluent, but I'm pretty well-versed for a tourist.) Learning a language makes me think about English, too, and how strange,… read more!
In honor of Oliver Stone's dramatization of the life of George W. Bush, entitled W., I bring to you pretty much all the notable theatrical features that dared to use just one letter for their titles. W., Oliver Stone, 2008. The aforementioned Bushography. Purists who quibble about that extra "." in the title will note that there was a 1974… read more!
I've been thinking about the past a lot lately. Mainly because my 20-year high school reunion is coming up, but also because I had recently put most of my old CalArts films online, which took me back to 1992. That was the year I graduated college, moved into the city of Los Angeles, and started spending most Saturday afternoons watching matinees (while I… read more!
Hurricane Gustav hit the Gulf Coast of the United States today, and while the storm was thankfully not as destructive as once feared, it did make me think about the name Gustav, and the notable men named Gustav (or variations thereof). This is a quickie list; I have more in-depth lists on the way. Gustav Holst. British composer, 1874-1934. Best… read more!
Although the rest of the world loves to hate Los Angeles, we still get hordes of tourists every year, most hoping to see a movie star in real life. These tourists book expensive meals at The Ivy and Spago and mostly only see each other. Meanwhile, West Hollywood's vegan restaurant Real Food Daily is often packed with health-conscious celebrities. My… read more!
While any given 12-month period will have its share of good and bad movies, songs, and other cultural touchstones, I grimly recall one particular year in which almost everything was really, really bad. Worthless, unmemorable, cynically made... just bad. And that year was 1987. Behold: Movies: Apart from cult favorites like RoboCop, Full Metal Jacket, The Princess Bride, and The… read more!
First of all, I'm sorry that I've been slacking off on the lists. It's been a combination of not having enough time, due to a plethora of freelance work, and not having enough complete lists to include (though I have many works-in-progress). This list, in fact, could probably stand a bit more research, and if any of you have some… read more!
1967 marked the death of the black and white era when the TV networks delivered this mandate: they would only buy new films from the studios if they were in color. Back then, network TV was the largest ancillary market for a motion picture, so the studios immediately acquiesced and the black and white film died almost overnight. Even the… read more!
True, Earth Day was last month - but every day is Earth Day, right? Since green is the new black, I present to you my suggestions for what you can do to save our suffering planet from total environmental destruction. Why is this list different from the others? Because whereas most mainstream tips are all about sounding hip (organic gardening,… read more!
Every month I say to myself, "Oh no! I can't come up with any new List of 9 ideas!" - and then magically, a few days later, I do. Even if it's a totally irrelevant list like this one. That said, whenever I start off convinced that I'm compiling the most random assortment of pointless trivia, I often discover during… read more!
When I was finishing up my film Claustrophobia in 2003, I noticed that, on the IMDb, a short film of the same title was also in production. For a time, our two films accidentally merged and I found cast and crew members associated with my film who I never even met. The problem was soon sorted out, but it was… read more!
There's not much point in writing this list, but I do hope it will inspire you to go out to the movies when you are on vacation. I really enjoy doing this, even though it seems counter-intuitive to the whole point of traveling, since you can see the same movie back home... right? Well, maybe, but seeing a film in… read more!
Recently I was having a chat with my composer Christopher Farrell about film length. He had mentioned one filmmaker whose films tended to be a little long. I joked that my own films seem to turn out much shorter than I had intended (namely Claustrophobia). It got me thinking about the longest movies I'd ever seen. Here they are, from… read more!
I know it's not cool to like the Oscars. Hollywood's out of touch with America, it's just a bunch of phonies congratulating each other, blah blah blah. I write this one day after the 80th Academy Awards and already the event's been forgotten. Look, I won't defend the show. But I've watched it every year since I was six or… read more!
It's hardly arguable that Alfred Hitchcock, one of the greatest film directors who ever lived (if not the greatest), was also the one with the most recognizable and charismatic onscreen personality. To wit: "Good eeevening." What a shame that "Hitch" never really took up acting - apart from his famous cameos and TV show introductions, that is. If he had,… read more!
I used to do this "overrated" list every year. But over the last few years, despite (in my opinion) the decreasing quality of new films and filmmakers, I had no reason to write such a list - mainly because other critics agreed that the cinematic output of Hollywood, the independent scene, and mainstream foreign films (which is to say, the… read more!