Looks like I made a spiritual sequel. Or, I wrote and directed one. Lots of people helped make my fanciful dream into an imaginative invention of reality. Thanks everybody.
Ghost Comb 2017
"It's like Myst directed by Alain Resnais." — Danny Kasman
Punishment Park 1971
The whole brutal text is an interview, an interrogation, a Platonic dialogue gone wrong in the round—it weaves so much reality it’s overwhelming—but it sings with a chorus of, say, 25 humans suffering in weird, horrible, ugly ways. Had to stop 20 minutes in to do some math on the mileage and I suppose it is possible to do 53 miles in 3 days, but that’s in ideal conditions, not walking through an open oven, and you’ve likely trained if…
Pōʻele Wai 2022
I forget when my friend Sebastian Galasso (producer, acting coach, magician) sent me a screener link, but the way this movie moves, the way it abjures the traditional, they way it bends form to tell its story in a different register than words allow (or constrict)—this stuck with me. And I’m happy for everybody involved that so many people get to see its magic.
West Side Story 2021
Exuberant Panavision filmmaking, outrageous tableaux of angles all moving, a perfect blend of artifice and ontology. Somehow Elgort’s body saves his performance, even if his face doesn’t live up to its possibilities the way Mike Faist is the whole package. Rachel Zegler may get there with a meatier, less symbolic, more specific role but "I Feel Pretty" is a perfect mise of dramaturgy. You think Tony Kushner has some ideas about who’s an American? “You forGET we’re in à-MER-i-ca.” Steve’s…
Drive My Car 2021
The Murakami winking is still there in certain monologs, tant pis, but Hamaguchi is very good at what he does: underplaying everything, editing as punctuation, characters smiling and actors believing it, performance/s as inherently multivalent, literally Chekov. Language as vessel for text, concept, rhythm, timing, understood across vocabularies and bodies. Weird flex but ok. Strange too to drop the “losing vision” thread dramaturgically, even if it sticks in your brain as another loss endured, lived with inside only—inside the text…