Category Archives: Comedy

Continued Q&A: Team from Oscar-Nominated Film “Time Freak”

This is the continuation of a Q&A with the team from the Oscar-nominated short film “Time Freak” that I conducted for LimitéMagazine.com. For the first part of my interview with writer/director Andrew Bowler, producer Gigi Causey, and lead actor Michael Nathanson, click here.

Andrew, did you go to film school?

I went to NYU’s film school. I think I had a similar experience to most people who go there in that I met my best friends whom I would collaborate with for years and almost no one else. Geoffrey Richman, Michael McDermott, and Adam Fleischhacker are all accomplished filmmakers in their own right and they all worked really hard on “Time Freak.” The four of us all met in the same video class sophomore year. Geoffrey and Mike were producers [on “Time Freak”], as well as the editor and production designer, respectively.

Michael, how and when did you first catch the acting bug? What have been your biggest challenges in developing your style and rhythm as an actor?

I remember being in my first school play when I was in sixth grade, playing the comedic villain in a Gilbert and Sullivan musical, and getting in front of an audience and thinking, “Wow, this is what I want to do.” I was always a film buff, and I had the opportunity to see so many great films, growing up in NYC. It really wasn’t until I got to Northwestern in Chicago and studied theatre that it really hit me that this is what I’m going to be doing with my life. As an actor, kind of like the character in “Time Freak,” you’re always trying to get better, understand the craft more—sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I feel like I try, whether it’s stage or screen, to give the audience something edgy, something unexpected. I like when an audience is uncomfortable, and yet wants to know more. I think that’s when the most interesting work happens. There’s a fearlessness I admire in actors like Gary Oldman and in comedians like Bill Murray; they are so invested in their character work, you truly feel like anything can happen at any moment. I guess I would say I’m not into ever playing it safe.

Continue reading Continued Q&A: Team from Oscar-Nominated Film “Time Freak”

Review: The Artist

NOTE: This review contains spoilers.

Some time last year, I thought to myself, “Why doesn’t anyone make a silent film today? It would be interesting to see a contemporary filmmaker’s take on early cinema.” And then The Artist came along …

I had been looking forward to seeing The Artist since it screened at Cannes mid-last year. The film follows 1927 silent screen superstar George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) as he holds firmly onto his principles at the expense of his career in the wake of the emergence of “talkies.” Following a chance encounter with one of his fans, Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo), who bumps into him (literally), she is immediately bitten by the Hollywood bug. As her acting career takes off in the talking pictures, Valentin’s begins to flounder. It’s the stuff A Star Is Born is made of.

Typically, I’m a sucker for movies about movies, and being a classic film buff, I was excited about the prospects of watching a modern-day silent film set in the ’20s, a pivotal period in early cinema. Having just watched it, I can say that it’s a terrific film. As is the case with any great film, all elements come together to make one great picture—a reminder that the sum should always be greater than its parts. The film, much like its leading man Dujardin, is debonair, classy, and charming. The beautiful black-and-white cinematography by Guillaume Schiffman merges with some dazzling performances by Dujardin, Bejo, and John Goodman (who plays a Cecil B. DeMille-type studio executive).

Continue reading Review: The Artist

Short Film: “Signs” by Patrick Hughes

I first watched this short a couple of years ago and loved it. Watching it again, I like it, but it doesn’t have the magic that I seemed to remember the first time.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uy0HNWto0UY]