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.
Rarely is a filmmaker as entrenched in infamy as John Waters. Born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1946, the king of counterculture became known in the 1970s for his creative collaborations with the equally infamous Divine and his gang of Dreamlanders. He began work as a director with a series of experimental short films including Hag In A Black Leather Jacket (1964) and the Andy Warhol-inspired Roman Candles (1966).