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I find it very rare that I end up telling stories of movies, particularly short films. That is what happened when I first saw Nash Edgerton’s SPIDER, perhaps my favorite short of recent history. I found myself doing it again when he started making videos for Bob Dylan. This is his most recent video and it, like Dylan’s Christmas tunes, has a good sense of goofy fun — although I miss Nash’s signature mayhem.
I am relieved that Mr. Edgerton’s finally made a feature, because there’s too much story inside it for me to ever tell well. You just have to see it. With no stars, no fancy VFX, just talent in craft, he spins an excellent yarn. Discipline, the avoidance of the unnecessary, the commitment to the declared agenda, has long been one of my favorite attributes in cinema, and this man’s got it. The NY Times agrees (“Mr. Edgerton, with crack timing in the editing room and a sure hand on the Steadicam, is a coldblooded professional. His craft is frightening.”) so hopefully this film will prove that people do care for good movies, even without the hype and star trappings.
As some of you might know from my tweets when I first saw it, I dug this movie. Someone once complimented me for making many films that captured the awkwardness in sex on film as it is real life. Film history is filled with the fluff in both sex and violence. Nash stages fights as the mess they are and it does wonders for bringing us in to the movie and keeping us there. It’s just one in a number of approaches that makes this film work. He makes it look easy — and is not. Still, it makes me wonder why we can’t get noir right. This is good pulpy fun played for real without winks and nods.
Check out the trailer below, and please see it soon, as we have to vote for the work we want with our dollars.
I met Babak Jalali in the summer of 2006 when we were both accepted into the Cannes Residence. We then spent close to 5 months living in a glorious Parisian apartment working on our scripts, me on Afterschool, Alexis Dos Santos on Unmade Beds, Fien Troch on Unspoken, Sebastian Lelio on Navidad, and Babak on Frontier Blues. Though we are all very supportive of one another in the Residence, we were all nervous about showing one another our scripts until the very end. I think both Babak and I both had the feeling that we liked one another’s scripts but weren’t sure how it was all going to translate to screen. And when did see each other’s films, we were all pleasantly blown away. [...]