Hello Film Doctor friends.
Time has come for our end-of-week Fun Friday post.
Today we turn to Writer & Director Lynn Shelton (“Humpday”, “Your Sister’s Sister”), whose latest project, “Touchy Feely”, has been doing festival runs and is about to hit the UK screens on limited theatrical release.
What could possibly catch the eye of a Director equally capable of sustaining an auteur status and turning her hand at Golden Globes-tipped TV series (4 episodes of “New Girl”, as well as the “Hands and Knees” episode of “Mad Men”)?
- “Dog Day Afternoon” (1975, dir. Sidney Lumet) – “It is just this fantastic combination of extreme realism — it’s classic cinema verite — drama and comedy”. And on Pacino “He’s never winking or commenting on his character. He plays it straight,” “You always completely believe him. He is a flesh-and-blood human being on screen.”
- “Safe” (1995, dir. Todd Haynes)
- “Hunger” (2008, dir. Steve McQueen) – “There’s always so much more that can be conveyed on screen visually in the expressions of people’s faces, in their bodies, in their body language. And also with sound design, with music. Even just juxtaposing certain shots next to each other, you can convey so much in … purely cinematic language through pictures and sound, as opposed to with dialogue.” (L. Shelton, NPR.org. 2012)
Apparently, this is also the movie that got her “falling in love” with Michael Fassbender – “I’m a real actor geek” Shelton has admitted.
- “Code 46” (2003, dir. Michael Winterbottom)
- “The Passion of Joan of Arc” (1928, dir. Carl Dreyer) – “The thing that appealed to me about the film is the way that Dreyer tells the story — where he places the camera, how he frames the shots. A lot of the time it’s just unbelievably extreme closeups. He just fills the entire screen with these unbelievably, eminently watchable faces. Not just Joan, but even the judges. Every single face he puts on screen … your mind is blown.”
- “Nenette et Boni” (1996, dir. Claire Denis)
- “Harold and Maude” (1971, dir. Hal Ashby) – “The thing that’s amazing about the movie is that you believe in it! You believe that they could fall in love. The young man is such an oddball … and Ruth Gordon plays Maude as such a free spirit, and somebody who seems incredibly youthful and incredibly full of life despite the stage she’s at in her life, that I found it so liberating. […] To me, it told me that I can live my life however I want. I can connect with whoever I want to connect with in the world. And I can also write my own script. I don’t have to follow rules. I can sort of just be unconventional.” (L.Shelton, NPR.org, 2012)
She has also picked some “2013 Favourites” for a list compiled by “Paste Magazine”:
- “Ain’t Them Bodies Saint” (2013, dir. David Lowery) – “I went ga-ga for this film at Sundance last year. Writer/director David Lowery, together with his crew (including the crazy talented cinematographer Bradford Young) and actors (especially Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck, who weave an exquisite chemistry together), cast a poetic, honey-light-drenched spell that held me in its grasp for every one of its 96 minutes.” (L. Shelton, “Paste Magazine”, Dec 2013)
- “Short Term 12” (2013, dir. Destin Cretton) – “Lovely performances by Brie Larson, John Gallagher, Jr. and Kaitlyn Dever. Beautiful direction by Destin Cretton and elegant editing by Nat Sanders. A little piece of Must See Cinema pie.” (L. Shelton, “Paste Magazine”, Dec 2013)
- “Eden” (2012, dir. Megan Griffiths) – “Co-writer/director Megan Griffiths managed to take the hot button topic of human trafficking and create a character-based work of art that is extremely watchable but which somehow, miraculously, lacks even the barest hint of sensationalism or exploitation. Brilliant filmmaking.” (L. Shelton, “Paste Magazine”, Dec 2013)
- “Gimme The Loot” (2013, dir. Adam Leon)- “This film is a charmer. I loved hanging with these kids as they sallied forth (and sometimes back a few steps) on their passion-driven quest. I felt the pains of their losses and the joys of their triumphs. And I walked out of the theater with a big ole smile on my face.” (L. Shelton, “Paste Magazine”, Dec 2013)
- “The End of Love” (2012, dir. Mark Webber) – “I was completely compelled by the in-between place that this film occupies—not at all documentary but not quite pure fiction either, as it is built on an actual relationship between a father (sensitive, writer/director Mark Webber) and his son (luminous 2-year-old Isaac Love). The scenes between these two are rendered with a singular kind of intimate beauty that I have never witnessed onscreen before.” (L. Shelton, “Paste Magazine”, Dec 2013)
- “The World’s End” (2013, dir. Edgar Wright) –“It warms my heart to witness a family of collaborators succeed in sustaining a long-term relationship, especially when the family is as talented and kickass funny as Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost. Long live the Cornetto Trilogy in all of its delightfully novel, sly, genre-bending, awesomeness.” (L. Shelton, “Paste Magazine”, Dec 2013)
- “Drinking Buddies” (2013, dir. Joe Swanberg) – “It is so great to see director Joe Swanberg bring his loose, character-based style of filmmaking to a higher budget level. The talented actors (Jake Johnson, Olivia Wilde, Anna Kendrick, and Ron Livingston) were clearly having a ball creating this project and the film benefits enormously from it.” (L. Shelton, “Paste Magazine”, Dec 2013)
- “In A World…” (2013, dir. Lake Bell) – “I admit to being only tepidly charmed by this film at the start of it, but by the end, I was completely in—hook, line and sinker. Lake Bell’s directorial feature debut is chockfull of incredibly funny people who all do solid dramatic turns while still making us continuously laugh throughout.” (L. Shelton, “Paste Magazine”, Dec 2013)
- “Her” (2013, dir. Spike Jonze) – “I haven’t had such a visceral response to a film since Todd Haynes’ Safe. I walked out of the theater thrumming. And the film has stayed with me ever since. I want to eat Spike Jonze’s brain (or at least open his head and stare at it admiringly for a while.)” (L. Shelton, “Paste Magazine”, Dec 2013)