I first discovered Jeff Nichols back in 2013, when I happened to catch Mud in theaters. Not knowing what to expect, I still remember distinctly how I felt walking out of the theater - I absolutely loved everything about the film. I was stunned by its raw, understated beauty, with characters that lived and breathed, and a coming-of-age story that was uniquely captivating.
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.
Watching Frank recently, it occurred to me how often the creative process is shown on-screen, and how frequently this process is shown in a hackneyed, unsubtle way. Too often directors attempt to over-romanticise the writing process, and feature endless montages of their artists receiving some form of divine inspiration, as if writing was truly that exciting and easy. Admittedly, showing such a process on-screen is problematic.