{ art & other musings }


Monday, August 6, 2018

Jean-Marc Vallée

Director, Editor, Producer

(From an interview with DNA; about directing process on Big Little Lies)

JMV... "the way we shoot – handheld with available light, not blocking the light, not reflecting it – it creates a space. There's a feeling of reality; we're doing fiction but it becomes about capturing. I'll shoot the first rehearsal and I don't tell the actors where to go. Sometimes it sucks, sometimes it's good and then I react to that. I do coverage depending on the [character's] perspective, what they look at and where they go. If she starts walking and then she stops and he looks at her, or she looks at him - I cut from her perspective and use her looks to tell me where to cut there. [...] to shoot with no rehearsal."

"when I saw the Pacific Ocean over there, it was f***ing angry and violent. I've never seen waves like that and the sunset was so incredible. I thought, this has to be a character. And the sound – it would be the sound of the series. I thought, let's find houses where these women will have a connection to the ocean. The ocean is the mother of humanity. It's so powerful, strong and mysterious and such a good symbol."

(source: DNA article, written by Rucha Sharma. Photo credit: Michael Watier)

Thursday, April 26, 2018


by Miles Davis
soundtrack album, Louis Malle film "Ascenseur Pour L'échafaud"

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Six Feet Under

Created by Alan Ball

Performances by Frances Conroy, Michael C. Hall, Peter Krause, Lauren Ambrose, Rachel Griffiths, Mathew St. Patrick, Freddy Rodríguez... / Written by Alan Ball, Nancy Oliver, Rick Cleveland, Kate Robin, Bruce Eric Kaplan, Scott Buck, Jill Soloway, Craig Wright, Laurence Andries, Christian Taylor, Christian Williams, Johnny Otto.

Our death is our wedding with eternity - Rumi

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Anne Frank

Anne Frank: "It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart. It’s utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death. I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more" - Diary excerpt - July 15, 1944

Vasudeo S. Gaitonde

"The study of Zen has helped me understand nature... and my paintings are nothing else but the reflection of nature. I want to say things in few words. I aim at directness and simplicity." - Vasudeo S. Gaitonde

(source: MOMA, New York City, Dec 2017)

Monday, January 2, 2017

Andrea Arnold

"My films don't give you an easy ride. I can see that. The sense I get is that people have quite a physical experience with them. They feel afterwards that they've really been through something." - A.A.

"I think the mystery in films is really important. And that if we try to explain things too much then you take out the fun of the film. [...] I think that [mystery] has to unravel in the film, and I leave room for people to put themselves - or to work it out or to go argue in the bar afterwards. But if I explain it, I feel like then we take the mystery of film away. And I feel like we overexplain everything in life, and I am desperate to leave it." - A.A.


Written & Directed by Andrea Arnold
Starring Sasha Lane, Shia LaBeouf, Riley Keough, Raymond Coalson, Chad McKenzie Cox, Verronikah Ezell, Arielle Holmes, Garry Howell, Crystal B. Ice, McCaul Lombardi, Shawna Rae Moseley, Dakota Powers, Isaiah Stone, Kenneth Kory Tucker, Christopher David Wright, Will Patton, Bruce Gregory,
"I take most of my inspiration for each film based on the world that I’m exploring. I do a lot of research and immerse myself in the places and with the people that I’m going to make the film about. That’s absolutely where I get my inspiration from. I find real life and real people really inspiring." - A.A.


(Sources: The Guardian Article Andrea Arnold: 'I don't do easy rides' by Ryan Gilbey / NPR Fresh Air Interview with Terry Gross / IndieWire, Graham Winfrey Cannes: Andrea Arnold on the 'Difficult Times' Making 'American Honey' on the Road in the U.S.)

Monday, June 27, 2016


Directed by Sebastian Schipper
Cinematography Sturla Brandth Grøvlen
Performances by Laia Costa, Frederick Lau,
Music composed by Nils Frahm

"The script was without dialogue, like a 20-page treatment. We knew the action but didn't necessarily know how the dialogue was going to develop. We split the film into ten parts, and rehearsed each part separately. This was in some ways script and character development. It was a great possibility for me to see what works and what doesn't. The actors were more or less free to do as they pleased. I didn't plan any specific camera moves, although I had ideas about how to get in and out of the car for the driving scene, and because I had rehearsed it my body kind of knew what to do. [...]

The camera is a fly on a wall, and an extra character. [...] The real-time aspect of it does something to the perception of the movie. You don't feel manipulated. It was important to me that it had poetry, and had a style. It wasn't just trying to catch the dialogue, but also trying to catch poetic moments. We did light the film and try to work with colours. But it doesn't feel like something that is put on top of it, it's something integrated."

- Sturla Brandth Grøvlen, Cinematographer
(source: Canon 2015, interviewed by CPN writer James Morris)


Written by Nic Pizolatto / Directed by Cary Fukunaga
Performances by Matthew McConaughey as Rust Cohle, Woody Harrelson as Martin Hart, Michelle Monaghan as Maggie Hart
Cinematography by Adam Arkapaw

"Just gotta look a man in his eyes. It's all there. Everybody wears their hunger and their haunt... Just gotta be honest about what can go on up here. The locked room." - Rust Cohle

Friday, March 25, 2016


Written & Directed by Robert Eggers
Performances by Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Ellie Grainger, and Lucas Dawson

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


"I’ve seen horrors, horrors that you’ve seen. But you have no right to call me a murderer. You have a right to kill me. You have a right to do that, but you have no right to judge me. It’s impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. ....Horror. Horror has a face...And you must make a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not then they are enemies to be feared. They are truly enemies. I remember when I was with Special Forces...Seems a thousand centuries ago...We went into a camp to innoculate the children. We left the camp after we had innoculated the children for Polio, and this old man came running after us and he was crying. He couldn't see. We went back there and they had come and hacked off every innoculated arm. There they were in a pile...A pile of little arms. And I remember...I...I...I cried...I wept like some grandmother. I wanted to tear my teeth out. I didn't know what I wanted to do. And I want to remember it. I never want to forget it. I never want to forget. And then I realized...like I was shot...Like I was shot with a diamond...a diamond bullet right through my forehead...And I thought: My God...the genius of that. The genius. The will to do that. Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. And then I realized they were stronger than we. Because they could stand that these were not monsters...These were men...trained cadres...these men who fought with their hearts, who had families, who had children, who were filled with love...but they had the strength...the strength...to do that. If I had ten divisions of those men our troubles here would be over very quickly. You have to have men who are moral...and at the same time who are able to utilize their primordal instincts to kill without feeling...without passion...without judgement...without judgement. Because it's judgement that defeats us."

- Marlon Brando, in Apocalypse Now
Written by John Milius and Francis Ford Coppola, Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, Adapted from Joseph Conrad's novel "Heart of Darkness"

It Follows

Directed by David Robert Mitchell

"But here I should imagine the most terrible part of the whole punishment is, not the bodily pain at all -but the certain knowledge that in an hour - then in ten minutes, then in half a minute, then now -this very instant- your soul must quit your body and that you will no longer be a man -and that this is certain" - Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Idiot

Friday, May 1, 2015

Ex Machina

Written & Directed by Alex Garland / Produced by Andrew Macdonald, Allon Reich / Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Sonoya Mizuno, Oscar Isaac / Music by Ben Salisbury, Geoff Barrow / Cinematography Rob Hardy / Edited by Mark Day

"Now I am become death, the destroyer of the worlds"
- Robert Oppenheimer quoting from the Bhagavad Gita (BhG.XI.32)

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Fault in Our Stars

Written by John Green (book)
Screenplay by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
Directed by Josh Boone
Performances by Shailene Woodley & Ansel Elgort

“There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There's .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I'm likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn't trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I'm grateful.” ― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Jim Gianopulos

USC School of Cinematic Arts 2014 Commencement Speech
A pretty smart guy once said, “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” That was Albert Einstein. Your questions will become the stories you’ll tell, because ultimately, filmmaking is story telling. And stories are told by people with a sense of wonder, a desire to explore new ways of looking at the world, to relate to what’s there and to explore what others don’t see. The best filmmakers I know are always the most curious. They’re travelers, readers, lovers of art and food and music, of new experiences. They’re the explorers, the searchers, the inventors. [...]

You’ve been given a great education in the art of story telling—the best in the world. And now you are being given a great opportunity to use your acquired skills to tell new stories in new ways. The questions you ask through your stories can be incredibly powerful. They can change the way people think and feel, alter the way they see themselves and others. If you assemble the right images and right words, sound, and music you can make something that changes the world through the boundless potential of creativity. And it all starts with the questions you ask. - J.G.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Jorge Luis Borges

"You think you are alone, and as the years go by, if the stars are on your side, you may discover, that you are at the center of a vast circle of invisible friends whom you'll never get to know, but who love you."
-Jorge Luis Borges

Friday, November 22, 2013

Breaking Bad

Created by Vince Gilligan
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Bob Odenkirk, Giancarlo Esposito, Jonathan Banks, Laura Fraser, Jesse Plemons
Writers: Vince Gilligan, Thomas Schnauz, Peter Gould, Moira Walley-Beckett, George Mastras, John Shiban, Sam Catlin, Gennifer Hutchison, Patty Lin

"I've come to realize that much of what I teach my students applies not only to what goes on in the classroom, but in life also. It's not as crazy as it sounds. You see, technically, chemistry is the study of matter, but I prefer to see it as the study of change: Electrons change their energy levels. Molecules change their bonds. Elements combine and change into compounds. But that's all of life, right? It's the constant, it's the cycle. It's solution, dissolution. Just over and over and over. It is growth, then decay, then transformation. It's fascinating really. It's a shame so many of us never take time to consider its implications." -- Walter White

"I loafe and invite my soul, I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass." -- Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Road

“Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. You could see them standing in the amber current where the white edges of their fins wimpled softly in the flow. They smelled of moss in your hand. Polished and muscular and torsional. On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery.”
― Cormac McCarthy

photo by Tim Flach

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

La Strada

Directed by Federico Fellini
Written by Federico Fellini, Tullio Pinelli, & Ennio Flaiano
Starring Anthony Quinn & Giulietta Masina

“If that pebble is useless, then so are the stars.”

Friday, August 23, 2013

Ryan Coogler

Story Teller
film director and screenwriter

"Being a filmmaker is about being a storyteller. [...] I think that storytelling is really the way that human beings have as a tool to trigger empathy for somebody that you don't know. [...] Cinema is a format of telling a story that is so immersive that it works like no other medium and through that storytelling process, human beings are able to connect with other people that they never would have come in contact with in their entire lives--that's why storytelling is so important." from Sundance.org

Oscar Grant mural in Oakland, CA. Photo by flickr.com/eliziao
Fruitvale Station

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Fish Tank

Written and Directed by Andrea Arnold
Starring Katie Jarvis, Michael Fassbender
Cinematography Robbie Ryan
Editing by Nicolas Chaudeurge
Produced by Nick Laws, Kees Kasander / (Executive) Christine Langan, David M. Thompson