Andrew Anthony

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Writing

  • TV SPEC

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    Kate is experienceing bizarre PTSD "episodes" amidst a week of crisis at work. She must diffuse a PR nightmare, and doubly find time to address/identify the mysterious source of her emotional/psychological turmoil.

    Frankie adapts to a post-COVID real estate market with very little grace and confidence - all of which is captured by a producer looking to make her the focus of a new reality series.

    Hijinks; An emotional throughline; some laughs and tears.

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  • TV SPEC

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    "...For the time being, he will think only of himself along a journey of in fact many selves. Stalked by the unknown; directed backward through the dark - and slowly seduced by the faint, distant shimmering...of the Twilight Zone."

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  • TV SPEC

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    Our lively dead are held up during quarantine, and struggle to find healthy outlets to spare them from cabin fever.

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  • TV SPEC

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    The ship's highest ranking officers are stranded on a mysterious planet during a geostorm - Meanwhile, Discovery's security and life support systems have been sabotaged/compromised by an unjknown force...

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  • TV SPEC

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    Charlie tries to help Mac talk to his comatose father by way of "Flat Lining" a la the method from Keifer Sutherland's 1990 movie..

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  • Originals (Stage/Screen)

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    Maude is a black-balled Ghostwriter working on her biggest project yet - one to fast track her to a life she longs to rebuild.

    Her journey to write with truth becomes life-threatening as she pieces together the mysterious, buried past of her reclusive, high-profile client.

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  • Originals (Stage/Screen)

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    A feature about a 1% gang nearing the end of their halcyon days and relevance. It's a revenge/coming of age story.

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  • Originals (Stage/Screen)

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    Unlikely strangers discover a wide-spread quiet, sinister invasion.

    They shatter the boundaries of time, space, and gender as they fight for the future of our world.

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  • Originals (Stage/Screen)

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    A dystopian future that examines the nature of original sin, innocence, and immortality.

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  • Originals (Stage/Screen)

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    A group of strangers must survive the unforgiving sea as they journey to a new world and life - with their past in hot pursuit.

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  • Originals (Stage/Screen)

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    A 1hr Drama that examines the nature of interrogation and torture without fetishizing or aiming to shock.

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Top 50 Favourite Films

  • #1 Road to Perdition

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    Director: Same Mendes
    Cinematographer: Conrad Hall

    This is a coming of age story/road movie adapted from a graphic novel and told as a visual poem. Every component of this film strikes me as exceptional - The colour palette of green wrapped in a dark shadowy fist; the captured era; the score and performances - this is a world to sit down with.
  • #2 A Fish Called Wanda

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    Screenplay: John Cleese

    Beneath the surface of this heist-comedy is a romance about the effect one woman has on three archetypes of men. Kevin Kline is supremely hilarious, and plays a testosterone-fuelled masculine man who gets hard smelling his own arm pit; John Cleese is the intellect yearning to express and thrive, and Michael Palin is 160lbs of neurotic, anxious emotion - the sensitive lover.

    It's engaging, the score is transportive and wholesome, and the performances/comedy hit the nail on the head.

    A classic.
  • #3 Punch-Drunk Love

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    Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

    P.T Anderson wanted to do two things: Make a 90 minute movie, and work with Adam Sandler.

    The symphony of pace between the sound design and the cinematography stir your anxiety as a viewer and help you share Barry's neurosis and social discomfort. I relate to this character, and the romance and celebration of expression and colour; the vibrance of life dynamic rather than dying static - it all reduces me to tears every time I watch.
  • #4 Le Fabuleux Destin D'Amelie

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    Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

    The colour, the romance, and the distinct European cinematography. This movie had a vibrance and motion that would later attract me to fast, hip directors like Edgar Wright and Baz Luhrmann.

    This movie sensationalizes nuance. Many characters have legitimate OCD; they take pleasure and experience agony over nuanced sensory stimulation (cleaning, organizing, crunching, popping, breaking)
  • #5 Wonder Boys

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    Director: Curtis Hanson
    Story By: Michael Chabon

    A movie from a writer responsible for one of my favourite novels (The Adventures of Cavalier and Klay).

    This movie feels like a sluggish weekend bender. I love to watch it outright, I love to write with it on in the background; I just find the tone and narrative so comforting. It's a story about story-telling, and it doesn't let that meta element rob you of incredibly rich characters.
  • #6 Lethal Weapon

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    Director: Richard Donner
    Story By: Shane Black

    A lot of my favourites are incidentally perfectly structured stories - They delighted me, entertained me, but also educated me when I went back to read them.

    The dynamic is now, stereotypically "opposites as a team" but how one classifies Martin and Murtaugh differs amongst critics.

    Personally, I think it's a story about a man who has everything to lose being partnered with a man who has nothing to lose - and then by the end they have each other

    Action; A classic; and enjoyable beginning to end.
  • #7 Keeping the Faith

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    Director: Edward Norton

    This one is a bit of a nostalgia entry for me, but as far as evergreen relevance: It's the directorial debut of Edward Norton, the romantic leads have excellent chemistry; the cinematography winks to French nouveaux, and the general vibe of the film captures the rawness and "Classic New York story" aesthetic in a way I regard films like The Graduate to be important, or the early works of Woody Allen. The pacing, the soundtrack, the artistic choices made - it felt like it belonged in the 60's/70's.

    It's romantic, it's wholesome, and it's worth your time!

    Watch this with your mother!
  • #8 Pulp Fiction

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    Director: Quentin Tarantino
    Written by: Quentin Tarantino & Roger Avery

    I once heard Simon Pegg in a movie, remark, "He thinks cinema history began with Pulp Fiction!" And while it made me laugh…

    I appreciate the classics; but Pulp fiction did so much to cinematic history when it came out; to how we were telling stories, and structuring them - In a way, it was a contemporary mashup of material and ideas that came long before it!

    Every bit of this movie was cool, creative, and aware of its roots. You really can't make a definitive list of movies without including Pulp Fiction.
  • #9 Great Expectations

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    Director: Alfonso Cauron

    Alfonso is amongst my favourite directors because he tries to make his movies push the boundaries of how the story is told - In Children of Men a camera was invented to achieve one of their many long-running take scenes, for instance.

    Great Expectations applies shrewd use of colour to establish a world made up of dreams and memory - some of my favourite films coincidentally use green very effectively.

  • #10 The Departed

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    Director: Martin Scrorsese

    I think in this movie, we see Scorsese delivering on everything that would have made this slot just as easily Taxi Driver, or Goodfellas.

    The master of the dolly shot does his thing; the cast is stocked, the film moves so fast out the gate. This crime drama/thriller blurs the lines of good/bad, criminal/hero.

    As usual - what a soundtrack!
  • #11 Se7en

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    Director: David Fincher

    I fell in love with film noir before I knew what it was. I was ten classics into the genre before the internet was the kind of place where I could easily Google what the common denominator was.

    Of those many entires into noir, this was the first. The mood, the shades of gray protagonist; the dutch angles, the shadows and tension - this move made me want to tell stories!

    Like Scorsese and Cauron, you could put 90% of Fincher's filmography in the top ten slots of this list - but for me, this was a profound and impactful entry.
  • #12 Gangs of New York

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    Director: Martin Scorsese

    This epic, period tale is transportive.

    The gangs and factions; the set and costume design; the violence, tension, relationships, and peripheral windows to actual bits of New York history make this a rich and dense story. It's long enough to necessitate an intermission, so pick a day off and enjoy!
  • #13 Sin City

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    Director: Robert Rodriguez

    You sometimes don't know what you're seeing until someone emphasizes or sends it up. Film Noir gripped me in my formative years, and internet deep dives coupled with this movie compounded my love and fascination with devouring and producing it.

    When I saw this in the cinema with my best friend, we slowly exited the screening - diverted away from the flow of people - and casually crossed the hall to enter a new screen and immediately see it again.

    This was a cinematic anthology story that delivered a pastiche of everything we've loved about cinema of old; and the hip structure of new cinema (a la Tarantino and Rodriguez)

    This movie is a true-to-it's source love letter to Film Noir, and the graphic novel that sent up all it's qualities. This is a must-watch!
  • #14 Snatch

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    Director: Guy Ritchie

    For the same reason I picked my earlier Scorcese entry: This movie encapsulates a phrase in Guy Ritchie's career perfectly. I could easily have put Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels but this movie captures his style and atmosphere so perfect, why bother?

    It's gritty, stylized; has great music - it's a proper English crime film that set a standard through followed imitation the same way Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction had on the industry.

  • #15 Payback

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    Written/Directed: Brian Helgeland

    I loved Helgeland's work on LA Confidential, and this Neo-Noir revenge film is a nostalgia instalment for me. The opening ten minutes is a great portrait of a criminal creature who goes from a bleeding gunshot wound to a well dressed man shrouded in cigar smoke. It has the early tones of John Wick 20 years in advance - it's a movie that says "This character isn't becoming the badass - this character IS a badass; he got wronged, and now we get to see the world around him react to that"

    The posters were right, and I'll say it here: Get ready to root for the bad guy!
  • #16 Fight Club

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    Director: David Fincher

    Is it that I love Fincher? Or is it Brad Pitt knowing how to pick good cinema that he's in my list this much? I don't know. But this is entered for more than college bro dorm room poster phase - it's here because it's a fast paced narrative that tells an original story and delivers a satisfying twist.

    It's philosophical, visceral, and just plain cool. The first two rules are not to talk about it, so I'll say no more!
  • #17 Shakespeare In Love

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    Director: John Madden
    Written by: Tom Stoppard

    The theatre student in me loved this for the dialogue, content, and design. In my formative years, I sat with this movie a lot! The chemistry is red hot, the love is tasteful, the comedy consistent and cheeky - and it's got a very small but scene stealing role in there for Ben Afleck!

    This is a great date movie that delivers more than Hallmark romance, so your beaux will be engaged, worry not!
  • #18 Dogma

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    Written and Directed by: Kevin Smith

    I think when you're first getting into screenplay writing, you try to find your "voice" and style in dialogue first. The reason being, is most of what you write in the early days, you might just be the only person producing: So you want something on a budget, and great dialogue does that.

    High concept - Lowe budget - Kevin Smith at his best!
  • #19 Brick

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    Written and Directed by: Rian Johnson

    This movie is an education on film noir and hard-boiled slang - it uses so much of it, that I would almost say throw the subtitles on and read along like it's a foreign film.

    It's a hard boiled noir in high school that put some reviewers off and made them feel like they were watching small children play dress up in dad's closet - wearing his too-big fedora, trench coat and shoes in the mirror.

    But I disagree - this is an honest story, well performed, and the musical score is haunting and minimal; a death rattle, but pretty - it's almost certainly a score inspired by the original "Get Carter" with Michael Caine.

    Watch this movie.
  • #20 Boogie Nights

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    Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

    Anderson reminds me of painters like Norman Rockwell. He manages to let all his frames exist as works of art that yes, include textured people and nuance, but he's otherwise showing us a forest instead of zooming in on the trees. I'm not just watching these people, making choices and interacting with ecstasy, rage, and paranoia - I'm watching a snapshot of an era, and of an industry - and how it all aged.
  • #21 Brazil

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    Director: Terry Gilliam

    Whenever I add a great director to this list, you may have noticed how my rationale is "Out of their body of work, this one captures/harnesses what we know them for"

    Gilliam has had incredible bad luck on productions to the point where he's been jokingly referred to as cursed. This movie, is a championship win for him.

    I *LOVE* his use of wide angles that capture desolate, filthy worlds. His set design is always so extreme - and they seem all the more real because of how dirty/falling apart/make-shift it all is.

    This was a beautiful, at times morbid tale - It makes you feel, it makes you think.
  • #22 The Testament of Dr. Mabuse

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    Director: Fritz Lang

    This 1933 classic is the portrait of a mastermind villain, and it is effective nearly 100 years later! If I could remake a movie, it would be this one. It's eerie, ambitious, clear, and well-produced.

    A network of crime; hypnosis and the supernatural; explosions, romance, gunfire and men behind curtains and doors ready to kill.

    This is a superb film!
  • #23 The Third Man

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    Director: Carol Reed

    Among the final films to be made during the "Golden Era" of Film Noir is this "fish out of water" classic.

    Cast against a convergence of jurisdiction lines and borders in a post-WWII Vienna - we dive into the seedy underworld of a black market to investigate a death.

    It's one of the best British-made films in cinematic history - it's at times terrifying and lets you see neutral people and places as contorted and sinister in shadows.
  • #24 The Duellists

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    Director: Ridley Scott

    This film is basically a series of duels fought between two men over the course of many years - it's nothing but action, excellent choreography, and an immersive and rich tapestry of a historical backdrop.

    The movie is a poem, and the final shot of this film is a true achievement in beauty and art - I would hang a print of it on my wall.
  • #25 The Big Lebowski

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    Written and Directed by The Cohen Brothers

    I would classify this film as a "Stoner Noir", and it's done by the best western/noir storytellers in the business. The adjustments they did to the formula were delightful - for instance: A Noir detective often gets knocked out and the story includes blackouts and visions - in this story, our detective has frequent acid flashbacks.

    The movie is hilarious, and never commits the sin of being boring.
  • #26 L.A. Confidential

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    Director: Curtis Hanson
    Writer: Brian Helgeland
    Based on Novel by: James Elroy

    The creatives behind this basically assure a hit - this quality noir is meticulously written; Guy Pearce and Russell Crowe are the true stars of the film, so don't let hate for Spacey dissuade you.

    Bullets, booze, dames and darkness. Dive on into LA Confidential
  • #27 The Thomas Crown Affair

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    Director: John McTiernan

    I trust nobody more than Richard Donner or John McTiernan behind the camera for action or thrills. When this movie moves, it does so like a dance you're swept up and part of - and between antics and fun and games, your'e left with two charismatic leads with hot chemistry.

    This is the first movie I tell people to watch when they want a "date movie" without succumbing to what you'd chalk up as a chick or dude flick.
  • #28 The Royal Tenenbaums

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    Director: Wes Anderson

    This is where I feel an esteemed director was most himself, at his most clear style - He came to fruition here for me.

    Anderson gives us wide, proscenium stage flat images that make us feel like we're being lead through an enchanting storybook. Many of his films do this, some better than others, but this movie was him hitting a moment of perfection along the way.
  • #29 Magnolia

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    Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

    There's a challenge that comes with this film. P.T Anderson insists it is not a large scale story about unrelated people being somehow intertwined.

    It will resemble it - and you may insist it is so - but if you resist that idea, and try to pay attention to what else is connection the stories you're watching - to what else the common denominators could be - you'll appreciate this very differently.

    Ensemble cast - excellent editing - nice soundtrack, and a guaranteed catharsis.
  • #30 Down By Law

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    Written and Directed by Jim Jarmusch

    If you want even slower and weirder than this, I'd direct you to Johnny Depp in Jarmusch's "Dead Man" - but this? A cool, straight forward story about three interesting men, and their journey to prison, each other, and freedom.

    I think the "I scream for Ice Cream" scene should be preserved in a vault for eternity.
  • #31 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

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    Director: Michel Gondry
    Writer: Andy Kauffman

    Gondry, if you've somehow noticed, is the fourth director in this list who got his start sinking his teeth into music videos.

    Music video directors are at the frontline of experimental cinematography and new ideas behind editing and how many beats to tell a story in (ie. Bas Luhrmann reducing the traditional rule of editing 5 down to cuts of 3) - Music videos have to do a lot of storytelling in less time, so you have to be more creative about how you tell!

    In Gondry's case, he's most creative not in the cuts or narrative, but in the set dressing and practical effects. They make his world's visceral and dream-like - hand made like with crafts.

    This, paired with the abstract mind of Kauffman, made for lightning in a bottle. This movie is original, and the transitions and effects are whimsical and enchanting.
  • #32 Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

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    Director: Peter Weir

    This movie is for you if you love adventure. Nautical stories are road movies; they're buddy romances - Star Trek is a nautical adventure in space.

    There has been a lot of outcry for sequels, and we may some day get it - but until then, this movie compiles several of the best written nautical adventures, and brings you on board with men at the epic age of sail.

    The cinematography and sound design are incredible - they lost academy awards only to Lord of the Rings in an Oscar year that felt favoured toward those films anyway.
  • #33 The Reckoning

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    Director: Paul McGuigan
    Based on "Morality Play" by Barry Unsworth

    This is an incredible crime thriller that shows us what kind of POWER story-telling had in our history of varied education and enlightenment.

    Theatre was religion; theatre was politics, theatre controlled the people who mostly couldn't read; it encouraged obedience and national pride and discouraged thought when it had to. Theatre is a rebel, a tool, and art - This play takes you back in time, and gives you and edge-of-your seat investigation in a story about theatre effecting a fight for truth.
  • #34 Die Hard

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    Director: John Mctiernan

    Surely you were wondering why it wasn't listed already. This movie doesn't waste a single beat; scene, or line of dialogue. It's a perfect heroes journey, and it's carried out by competency on both sides of the camera. It's efficiency merits studying.

    Historically significant, and a great watch on Christmas (though I'd wager Lethal Weapon a stronger Christmas joint - basically anything Shane Black)
  • #35 Children of Men

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    Director: Alfonso Cauron

    An achievement!

    It's accessible sci/fi, the cinematography is cutting edge and immersive, and it's a story with a clear path that matters.

    I also appreciate that the world is well-defined without being spoon fed to us. It's a road story, a bit bleak, but the optimism and beauty serve as a candle in the wind that you excruciate over praying for the cupped hand to protect it from going out before the credits.
  • #36 Billy Elliot

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    Director Steven Daldry
    Writer Lee Hall

    This is an instance where the property alone is what I'm drawn to most, I don't follow the careers of the creatives behind the scenes beyond this.

    Coming of age; a portrait of a specific era in blue-collar England - and a terrific young artist performance.

    The film will take your breath away!
  • #37 Teenage. Mutant Ninja Turtles

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    Director: Steve Barron

    From the guy who directed the Aha Take on Me and Michael Jackson Billy Jean music videos!

    This movie is so daring! What a risk project. And a huge nostalgia piece for any kid for the late 80's early 90's.

    This film is a story about family, specifically fatherhood. And as my best friend phrased it: "This isn't just a kids movie; this is a film, and it's a film that takes a pitstop midway through where the turtles just hang out and feel BAD at a cottage because that's what you do when someone they love is hurt, and it's okay to feel bad sometime"
  • #38 Ghostbusters

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    Director: Ivan Reitman
    Written by: Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd

    The highest grossing comedy of all time when it was released; a truly original and out there concept, and a film so historic it can only be remembered as "lightning in a bottle"

    The story structure is PERFECT; the characters are distinct, fleshed out and believable - and what's more is their chemistry together is a thing to behold unto itself! They don't waste a minute or a single line of dialogue.
  • #39 Back to the Future

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    Director: Robert Zemeckis

    As we get farther from my top ten and twenty, we're really just entering territory where everything holds equal weight, and these numbers are just numbers. Nostalgia is a huge contribution to their inclusion, but these films managed to remain in the zeitgeist long enough to be nostalgia pieces at all because of how tremendous they are!

    This is a definitive movie in Time Travel lore - and I hope it ironically continues to stand the test of time!
  • #40 Batman Returns

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    Director: Tim Burton

    Blade and Batman - two early, dark contributions to cinematic takes on our comic book properties long before we used the internet to demand producers get it right.

    I grew up loving the first Batman, but THIS was the first time I experienced a sequel as a little boy. I would later feel the same shot of adrenaline with sequels to Ninja Turtles and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, and Back to the Future - In the 90's, a lot of VHS movie collections were pirated tapes that held three movies scribbled per, and back in the hayday of sequels: I remember the ecstatic joy from watching the credits roll off something I loved, only to see OPENING credits begin for more of the initial meal!!
  • #41 Beetlejuice

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    Director: Tim Burton

    I can't mention the director without his most creative story to date (a point made in ridicule on South Park) - I think Burton is capable of great cinema, and he's made wonderful movies since (Big Fish belongs on this list beyond the 50 count)

    Style, design, and creativity through the roof. Beetlejuice is unparalleled in cinema history.
  • #42 Rififi

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    Director: Jules Dassin

    This heist classic is inspiring to watch. And the 27 minute heist has no score or dialogue; you'll be on the edge of your seat.

    This film went through so much editing and censorship because there was fear that the specificity of the depicted crime would inspire copycats…And it DID.

    This heist noir is powerful, heartbreaking, and ahead of its time.
  • #43 Leon: The Professional

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    Written and Directed by Lucy Besson

    When I saw this, I immediately confronted a blank page and got writing - this film inspired me! It's a basic Buddy Love story that you see in cop movies and actual romance: Two people are changed forever because of knowing one another.

    You, like them, will be changed.

    Amazing story, unforgettable villains, and Besson at his best.
  • #44 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

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    Director: Peter Jackson

    Content has elongated. Television is no longer short and serial, interrupted by ads: It's dragged out and long, it's bing-worthy with product placement and subtlety.

    I think this same elongation happened for cinema. Movies could be blockbusters, and sequels were treats we felt spoiled with when they came, but nowadays? It's all about cinematic universes and a series of films - we've elongated. Universes over sequels - longer formats.

    I think the catalyst was Titanic - it made going to the movies in the late 20th century an "event"; and later, Lord of the Rings hand in hand with Harry Potter made epic cinematic EVENTS out of going to the theatre - we expected to return next year, same time same place, for MORE

    Out of the series, this one holds the most magic for me.
  • #45 In The Bleak Midwinter

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    Director: Kenneth Branagh

    I like him as a director! And you should watch his Hamlet and an early 90's romance/noir mystery he did with his then wife Emma Thompson called Dead Again - GREAT date night movie.

    But this is here because it's a movie made for actors. It's about actors, theatre, and the life and turbulence in between. It's raw, black and white, and very distinctly "Indie of the 90s" - absolutely worth your time on a Sunday afternoon.
  • #46 Birdman (or the unexpected virtue of ignorance)

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    Director: Alejandroi G. Inarritu

    I went into this movie cold. It's a theatre movie, so the actor in me was delighted (the same way the previous entry satisfies my theatre geek side); but it was also an achievement in cinematography in its choice to emulate "The Live Event" by making the film seemingly one take.

    This would be beautifully achieved by Sam Mendes, later, with 1917 - but Birdman is a movie that demands your attention.

    What will we do to be loved? Relevant? Real?
  • #47 Chinatown

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    Director: Roman Polanski

    The golden age of noir closed its door with "A Touch of Evil" and I would say this instalment at a time when cinema was changing so much, felt magically out of time.

    It's gritty, it has twists and turns, and it's a classic.

    "Forget it, Jake…It's Chinatown"
  • #48 It's a Wonderful Life

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    Director: Frank Capra

    This story lifts my heart and brings me to tears every holiday. The only reason it was practically forced upon people (after actually being a box office FLOP) was that it was beloved by Rockefeller! He syndicated it on television every Christmas, and people learned to appreciate and love the film in a way they hadn't upon its initial release.
  • #49 Rashomon

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    Director: Akira Kurosawa
    Cinematographer: Kazuo Miyagawa

    The fallibility of humans; the way emotion and spirit affect how we both see, and remember the world around us. This film examines the human condition in an obsessive, varied way that we do in real life. It's unreliable, yet vivd; so fresh yet so far away.

    A cinematic classic in storytelling.
  • #50 Anatomy of a Murder

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    Director: Otto Preminger
    Screenplay: Wendell Mayes

    This. Movie. Will. Haunt you.

    It blurs the definition of justice; literal and that which we seek through the legal system - - and then it flips THAT definition on it's ear. You see the pitfalls of truth, honesty, and justice.

    The writing, directing, and performances - I enjoy this journey every time.