Friday, June 19, 2020


Since the beginning of 2017 we’ve become increasingly fascinated with the films of Patrick Horvath & Dallas Hallam so it only seems right that we get them on the show.

Listen as we talk about their careers, influences, Stephen King, and unloved Hal Hartley movies.

You can follow Patrick on twitter at
And check out his artwork at:

SOUTHBOUND is currently free to stream on Hulu, while ENTRANCE & THE PACT 2 can be found at:

reach out if you are bored/struggling both or neither
We are virtually around


Monday, June 15, 2020


God. I’ve known her for a long time. I guess I see her differently...

Breaking up with or separating yourself from a longtime childhood friend is complicated and incredibly difficult. Some might say it’s more difficult than breaking up with a romantic partner (although I imagine marriage/divorce can make things incredibly difficult from a legal standpoint). Even though you may grow close with a long time lover or spouse, there’s still a strong chance that you haven’t known that person as long or as intimately as a childhood friend (I know there’s a difference between a relationship with a romantic partner and a platonic friend but you do put in a lot of personal & intimate time with both which makes the comparison somewhat fair in my book). And I’m not trying to downplay romantic breakups or divorces but rarely has an ex been with you since childhood. A long time friend has watched you essentially become/find yourself. Transitioning with them from grade school in to (early) adulthood is a long time and a lot happens in between. It gets to the point where you’ve been through so much with each other and you’ve become accustomed to so many things that they’ve just essentially become a part of your life. The idea of no longer being friends is the farthest thing from your mind. But it happens.

That’s pretty much the case in Dan Sallitt’s Fourteen.

In the film we follow the declining friendship of “Jo” (Norma Kuhling) & “Mara” (Talliee Medel). Mara is slightly more stable and is trying to manage her career, her love life and her uneven friendship with Jo. Jo is more of a “free spirit”. Mara definitely gives the most and receives the least. Early on we get the sense that’s always how it’s been. But after years of this dynamic it’s starting to exhaust Mara because she’s become more like a parent to the unstable Jo and less like a friend/mutual. As the film unfolds we learn some of the source of Jo’s instability and why it’s important for Mara to remove herself from their relationship (it's important to note that while Jo is definitely a lot to deal with at times, she's not a bad person).

You need something all the time. It gets difficult. - Mara

Fourteen is an important film because it shows multiple sides of depression, addiction & mental illness. We see the depressed character's side of things (in one very heartfelt moment in particular) but we also see how depression & mental instability can affect those that try to help. Throughout the film Mara makes countless sacrifices and drops what she’s doing on multiples occasions to tend to Jo and the situations that she creates. Now...part of being a (good) friend is the ability to be there for others when times are tough. But when someone else’s needs take priority over your own all the time - perhaps it’s time to change the dynamic or, in Mara's case, slowly step away.
There’s only so much you can do for self-destructive/self-sabotaging people. As the film unfolds we see that Mara has her own life, career and other important life decisions that have to take precedent over constantly helping Jo. And Jo does need help. But it isn’t Mara’s job to help her (and it certainly starts to feel like a job).

This may sound weird to those that have seen Fourteen but there’s a soulful Bressonian style of delivery from the actors that really intrigued me. I say “Bressonian” because through most of the film there is somewhat of an intentional deadpan/calming style of delivery from the actors that really fascinated me. I added “soulful” because unlike Robert Bresson’s use of his characters as almost machines or predetermined game pieces (that’s not a criticism), Sallitt’s characters in Fourteen are more humanistic & relatable. Loving a director’s work isn’t always synonymous with being overtly influenced by them but it should be noted that Sallitt has at least one Bresson film included in every one of his (extensive) best of the decade lists on his own personal film site (click here). That has to count for some sort of subconscious influence...

Note the similar tone in delivery between Charles in Bresson's The Devil Probably (top) and Mara in Fourteen (below)...
The Devil Probably


The characters in both Sallitt & Bresson's films talk about more serious subject matter in a similar tone...

The Unspeakable Act (Sallitt)

Fourteen would make for nice triple bill with Hal Hartley’s Flirt & Kevin Smith’s Clerks (two other films that come from the school of Bresson in a sort of indirect way). Some of the conversations between the characters in Fourteen reminded me of Randall & Dante in Clerks. The only difference is the characters in Fourteen are a bit more mature in my opinion and have more ambition (especially in Mara’s case).

Clerks /

There are also a few really cool Akerman-esque moments as well (long unbroken shots, a camera set in one place following a character around a room, etc). In my opinion Chantal Akerman is another filmmaker in the same lane an Bresson so these comparisons & similarities make a lot of sense to me...
Toute Une Nuit /
Les Rendezvous D'Anna /

I enjoyed Fourteen very much. If you’re a completist of Sallitt’s work it makes for the perfect follow-up to his previous feature. We see actress Tallie Medel play a young woman (Mara) that has to make an incredibly tough decision much like the character she played in The Unspeakable Act (2012). Perhaps the team of Sallitt & Medel can work together on another project a few years down the road and make an unofficial trilogy of films that takes us from high school (The Unspeakable Act), through the 20's/early 30's (Fourteen) and in to our 40's and possibly beyond...

It’s important to stream & support movies like this in a time when filmmaking & film distribution is on uncertain & shakey grounds. That’s not to say major studio films aren’t in trouble but there has to be a place for independent movies like Fourteen to exist. Click here to rent/stream it virtually...

Friday, June 12, 2020


7L is an award winning dj and producer, a member of legendary Massachusetts rap group 7L and Esoteric and with Esoteric is a member of Czarface, a super group with Wu Tang Legend, Inspecta Deck. We talked for a while about movies, music, wrestling, culture, why Soderbergh’s Solaris might be the better one, and more.
- Scott

Wednesday, June 10, 2020


I hate to be that critic to relate serious real life/current events to a movie, but in a strange way Abel Ferrara’s Tommaso makes for an interesting companion to all this covid/isolation stuff we’re currently facing. While there are plenty of outside scenes or moments where we see Willem Dafoe’s Tommaso riding on a crowded public train (there’s also a subplot regarding an experimental actor’s workshop where people are in close proximity to each other) a lot of the key scenes take place inside cars, tiny European-style apartments or between two people on mostly empty streets. Plus the overall tone & ambiance of Tommaso is quite beautifully “blah” and (intentionally) aimless at times. I don’t know about you all, but “blah” & “aimless” are the two biggest feelings that come to mind these days (the movie is also set in Italy which was hit the hardest by Covid). 
Much like the character Tommaso I find myself zoning out, looking out of my window for extended periods of time and going through all kinds of strange insecure thoughts & weird memories that may or may not have happened.

I think the main reason I loved Tommaso so much is because it reminded me of Terrence Malick’s Knight Of Cups. These two films would make for a hell of a double feature. Both movies are semi-autobiographical stories about filmmakers/artists in the midst of an existential crisis. A lot of the camera movements are the same and they use voiceover narration in a similar fashion as well.
There’s also just that same general sense of intentional aimlessness in both movies that I love so much when done right. This is very much a personal preference so if you aren’t in to slightly aimless narratives this one may not be for you (I keep saying aimless but I assure you there is a plot). But at the same time - Dafoe‘s performance is so great that it’s worth sitting through even if movies like Tommaso aren’t your thing...

Knight Of Cups / Tommaso

Knight Of Cups /

Knight Of Cups /

I feel even more attached to this pairing because Abel Ferrara & Terrence Malick have an additional connection. Their previous films - Tree Of Life & Welcome To New York - have a subconscious bond as well. Both movies are semi-autobiographical to Malick & Ferrara and have similar scenes of self-reflection and existential dread combined with the same filmmaking style in certain moments...

Tree Of Life / Welcome To New York

Welcome To New York is similar to Tommaso in that both movies have identical layers. Even though Welcome To New York is loosely based on the Dominique Strauss Khan sexual assault case, Gerard Depardieu’s lead performance has pieces of himself as well as Ferrara sprinkled throughout (while this movie has a lot of Abel Ferrara's personal life, there are a lot of elements that relate to Dafoe's real life as well).

What sets Tommaso a part from Knight Of Cups is that Christian Bale’s portrayal of Malick is going through an artistic & family crisis whereas Willem Dafoe’s portrayal of Abel Ferrara (“Tommaso”) is struggling with all the aforementioned issues along with staying sober and haunting suspicions that his wife is unfaithful (it should be noted that Tommaso’s wife & children in the film are played by Ferrara’s real life wife & child).
This is hardly the first time Abel Ferrara has made an autobiographical/semi-autobiographical film. Harvey Keitel (Dangerous Game), Matthew Modine (Mary), Lili Taylor (The Addiction) & Willem Dafoe (Go Go Tales) have all played characters loosely based on Ferrara at different points in his life. Taylor represented the drug-addicted side of Ferrara while Keitel, Modine & Dafoe have all portrayed Ferrara as a filmmaker at different points in his career.
I just feel like Tommaso is the autobiographical film he’s always wanted to make up til now. Ferrara seemed to take his time with this one.
What’s interesting is that from a religious & spiritual standpoint, you can follow Abel Ferrara’s journey from a conflicted & haunted catholic (Ms. 45, Bad Lieutenant, The Addiction, etc) to his transition in to Buddhism (4:44) right back to the catholic imagery with a mix of Buddhism in Tommaso (I won’t give away the ending but the final shot is quite on the nose). While all the aforementioned films are excellent as far as I’m concerned, there’s a sense of light experimentation in Tommaso that the others don’t have. Not to take anything away from stuff like Dangerous Game or The Addiction but Tommaso doesn’t really have a traditional structure like the others. There’s no real beginning or middle. There is certainly a (powerful) ending but how Ferrara guides us to that end is kind of unexpected. Tommaso is more of a collage of anxious thoughts, fears & flashbacks that Ferrara has been struggling with. This film is an expression of all those things.

Sunday, June 7, 2020


The 2010s were a very pivotal decade in my life, I ended my 20s and entered my 30s, moved to and then left New York, ended two long term relationships, and also began discover who I really was as human and a filmmaker. I made my first feature, and a couple of shorts that I’m proud of. I continue to evolve, but I certainly feel I know myself better at the end of the decade than I did when it began. I am grateful to everyone who helped me grow along the way, you know who you are.

These are the movies that were significant to me during this pivotal time, they inspired me, made me feel creatively engaged, reinvigorated. They’re not ranked per se, as we who obsess over our lists know that their order can change at any given day. But I will say that the ones closer to the top are probably more significant.

Paterson may be the most conventional movie at the top, but seeing it was the right movie at right time. It came out at the very end of 2016, which was a disastrous year for me, and Paterson was just what I needed. I saw it at the now defunct Landmark Sunshine, went back to see it again just to make sure what I had seen was truly great, and then came back a third time with a date (she loved it, but unfortunately it didn’t work out between us.); and after three viewings, I knew it was something special. It inspired me to write poetry, I went on trips to Paterson, NJ to visit the locations of the film, tried to do recreations of some of the images from the film and do side-by-side comparisons. The central relationship in Paterson is one I aspire to, yet I’m not quite sure if it’s even possible. The film’s assured calm, ambient mood make it the perfect film to have playing in the background, and then I end up watching it all the way through. The biggest take away for me, though, is how important it is to make work that is personally significant to you, even if you don’t end up sharing it with the world.

The next few films are closer to what I aspire to achieve cinematically: they are pushing the limits of the possibilities of the moving image, they’re ambitious, take risks, and make you feel like you won’t ever be the same after seeing them for the first time. And there’s some fun entertaining ones in there, too. I also avoided some of the more obvious choices that I knew would be ubiquitous on other people’s lists, I made this list in the hopes that there would be some discoveries for you, some stuff you may have missed, or had come across but never quite gave a chance to. Happy hunting!


Paterson (Jim Jarmusch, 2016)

Hill of Freedom (Hong Sang-soo, 2014)

Twenty Cigarettes James Benning (2011)

Holy Motors (Leos Carax, 2012)

Tape (Li Ning, 2010)

Street (James Nares, 2011)

Happy Hour (Ryusuke Hamaguchi, 2015)

Jauja (Lisandro Alonso, 2014)

The Measures (Jacqueline Goss, Jenny Perlin, 2014)

Small Roads (James Benning, 2011)

Knight of Cups (Terrence Malick, 2015)

We Have an Anchor (Jem Cohen, 2012)

All These Sleepless Nights (Michal Marczak, 2016)

The Clock (Christian Marclay, 2010)

Silence (Pat Collins, 2012)

Trypps #7 (Ben Russell, 2011)

The Observers (Jacqueline Goss, 2011)

Love in a Puff (Pang Ho-cheung, 2010)

A Matter of Interpretation (Lee Kwang-kuk, 2014) 

Don’t Go Breaking My Heart Diptych (Johnnie To, 2011, 2014)

Margaret (Kenneth Lonergan, 2006/2011)

The Rider (Chloe Zhao, 2017)

The Killing of a Sacred Deer (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2017)

A Spell to Ward Off The Darkness (Ben Russell & Ben Rivers, 2013)

Ponce De Leon (Ben Russell, Jim Drain 2012)

L. Cohen (James Benning, 2018)

Goodbye to Language 3D (Jean-Luc Godard, 2014)

Voyage of Time (Terrence Malick, 2016)

Sound That (Kevin Jerome Everson, 2013)

Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)

It’s Such a Beautiful Day (Don Herzfeldt, 2012)

List (Hong Sang-soo, 2011)

Sun Song (Joel Wanek, 2013)

Coming Attractions (Peter Tscherkassky, 2010)

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (Edgar Wright, 2010) 

Destination Wedding (Victor Levin, 2018)

La Flor (Mariano Llinás, 2018)

Moneyball (Bennett Miller, 2011)

Detention (Joseph Kahn, 2011)

Entertainment (Rick Alverson, 2015)

Burning (Lee Chang-Dong, 2018)

Our Day Will Come (Romain Gavras, 2010)

The Passage (Kitao Sakurai, 2018)


Eden (Mia Hansen-Løve, 2014)

Museum Hours (Jem Cohen, 2012)

Celeste and Jesse Forever (Lee Toland Krieger, 2012)

The Mole Song: Undercover Agent Reiji (Takashi Miike, 2013)

As The Gods Will (Takashi Miike, 2014)

Hunt for the Wilderpeople (Taika Waititi, 2016)

The Raid Diptych (Gareth Evans, 2011, 2014)

Personal Shopper (Olivier Assayas, 2016)

Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes, 2017)

Camera/Film Tests for Phantom Thread and The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2017, 2012)

Park Lanes (Kevin Jerome Everson, 2015)

The Midnight After (Fruit Chan, 2014)

SPL 2 (Cheang Pou-soi, 2015)

The Emperor Visits the Hell (Li Luo, 2012)

Kaili Blues (Bi Gan, 2015)

Enemy (Denis Villeneuve, 2013)

Premium Rush (David Koepp, 2012)

Tour de Pharmacy (Jake Szymanski, 2017)

A Running Jump (Mike Leigh, 2012)

Clapping For The Wrong Reasons (Hiro Murai, 2012)

Nervous Translation (Shireen Seno, 2018)

Goon (Michael Dowse, 2011)

Dredd (Pete Travis, 2012)


The Souvenir (Joanna Hogg, 2019)

The Mountain (Rick Alverson, 2019)

Parasite (Bong Joon-Ho, 2019)

Redoubt (Matthew Barney, 2019)

I also wanted to briefly highlight what a great decade for music it was, this list nowhere as comprehensive as the movies, but the music I listed was very impactful for me. Although he didn’t release any new music in the past decade, Ornette Coleman’s passing affected me quite a bit, as his music was a big influence on my filmmaking, probably more than other film or filmmaker.

In terms of my favorite current living artists, Autechre and Lightning Bolt continue to make vital music that inspires me. Autechre, in particular, had an incredible run from Exai (2013) to NTS Sessions (2018), with each release becoming longer and expansive (Exai was 4 LPs and NTS Sessions was 12 LPs!), taking you to places most musicians can’t even touch. They are pushing the boundaries what can be considered music, similar to the filmmakers I admire, yet it seems like the boundaries are infinite, since they can’t be seen. The 2010s also witnessed the emergence of two of the more unique voices in rap, Milo (who now goes by R.A.P. Ferreira) and Mach-Hommy. Milo’s words, in particular, really resonated with me, he has become my favorite rapper.

Autechre—Exai and NTS Sessions and elseq and L-Event

Lightning Bolt—Sonic Citadel and Fantasy Empire

Milo—So Flies Don’t Come and Things That Happen at Day, Things That Happen At Night


Westside Gunn—Flygod

MIKE—War in My Pen

Mach-Hommy—Dollar Menu 2

Alessandro Cortini—Risveglio and Sonno

Godspeed You! Black Emperor—‘Allelujah! Ascend! Don’t Bend!

Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions—Until The Hunter

Max Richter—Sleep


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