Six foot plus, Nick DeRuve looks a movie star. And although he’s done some acting, it’s on the other side of camera, as a screenwriter and director, that the young filmmaker is intent on making his mark. It’s been a long road for DeRuve, from Schenectady, in upstate New York, to LA, and longer still to Toronto, where his movie The Runaway was recently screened.
When I was younger and just starting to get into classic film, I found a copy of The General at a local DVD store. Watching it later, I still remember the exact moment when I was captivated by Buster Keaton's unique charm and screen presence. In the film's first extended action sequence, Keaton is chasing after a troupe of Union soldiers who had infiltrated and stolen his train, and in a series of fast-paced, whirring motions, he narrowly escapes one mishap after another.
You may not know her by name, but you’ve definitely seen her face and are familiar with her work. She’s been on your small screen and silver screen starring along side Angelina Jolie, Christina Ricci, Zachary Quinto, and Natasha Lyonne to name a few. She may not look as glamorous as your traditional Hollywood starlet and she doesn’t often play the leading role, but Clea DuVall’s natural beauty and talent first grabbed my attention about fifteen years ago on a day I vividly remember.
Though film is an inherently collaborative medium, requiring careful cooperation of dozens of individuals, there are two roles that get singled out as being most responsible for the final product. Representing the technical marvels behind the camera and the beauty in front of it, directors and actors are Hollywood's lifeblood, providing a face for the art that took the efforts of countless unseen. Sometimes, a director/actor tandem proves so gripping or successful, that a personal and professional bond is forged, and the two continue to work together; sometimes it's a brief burst, while other times it's a career-long relationship, but often the familiarity working teams have with one another results in a film of elevated artistic achievement.