Movie Review Blogging is about Momentum (2014)

ATLlineupmoviesTitleBarMomentum is the strength or force that something has when it is moving and the same can be said about routine.  Routine is about a steadfast desire to engage and master a process that is based on efficiency, simplicity and specificity.  I repeat this mantra every now and again before I set it aside, pause and get down to the process work of writing about movies.  It is work, by-the-way, work that I love, work that enriches my soul and drives me to keep going against every obstacle of reason, irrationality and contrariness.  That’s why I’m here after such a hiatus, such an unsatisfying distance.  I return with vigor in that old school British kind of vigor that was the television serial of the 1960’s.

theaterTrashATLThat is how one has to approach this or else it too will pass into the night, inevitably as much as unavoidably as all things with a story to be told.  From this beginning place we must have a clear line of sight to the requisite beginning, middle and end that informs as much as it takes us somewhere for a little while.  The goal of all stories (yes all stories you want or care to hear) is to take us somewhere and bring us back.  We want tactile experiences along the way, the crackle-snap of a Coney Island hot dog fresh first in the morning, the color of boots that don’t end with legs, the curve of an imperfect smile to earn approval or disrespect – all the stuff you want and need and have to have.

“The cumulative power of doing things the same way every day seems to be a way of saying to the mind: You’re going to be dreaming soon.” -Stephen King


The best stories instill in us a sensory connection with familiar and unknown experiences that don’t just end when the credits scroll – they send us back from whence we came with the possibility of new experiences manufactured from old.  Stories live and breathe in each of us, whether they are about an aging brute and busted father down on the road of glory that gets one last shot at the greatness of a personal relationship with his soul, or about a has-been and wanna-be again singer that got drunk and stayed that way too long hanging on the last time he felt alive before the golden rule of celebritydom cuts him off at the knees – the realization that it is better to have shined and lost the glow of popularity than to have burned out before your greatest personal shot at mediocrity.

ATL triptych2014

Take films like “The Wrestler“, “Crazy Heart” and “Warrior” – they put everything into the physical world of the stories so that these very specific characters are approachable and familiar, people like us or people we know or knew – Then take another kind of character driven film like “Rampart“.  While they don’t have similar goals it is obvious how they differ by the way that they end.  These first films I listed succeed in the ways that “Rampart” fails.  “Rampart” leaves us busted and bruised and unrewarded for having invested in the journey and consequently disappointed. It’s not about idealism or even happy endings but an ending that fits the mood and tone of the story and gives us a place to land and take off from. “Rampart” says I came I saw and I have but one single solitary end up ahead. You simply cannot end a film with but a single choice for your character. You can and it happens all the time but it’s miserable and short-sighted and uninspired.  This leads us to the film “I Melt With You” that I reviewed in March of 2013.

What I said then about “I Melt With You“…

“I Melt With You” warmly invites you in like an old friend, hangs on the shoulders of nostalgia and the togetherness of shared photo album remembering for a weekend of youthful abandon…

Like “Rampart” before it, and all heavy, inconsolable human tragedies throughout the history of cinema, “I Melt With You” stammers far too long on the bleak remains of damaged days where people with nothing to gain and everything to lose very often meet or exceed our need to watch misery played out in 90 minute intervals of truth and consequences.  This is not to say such films fail because they are heavy, only that they cannot tread the airy waters of hopefulness that carry each of us through the darkest, deepest oceans of our lives.  My original March 2013 review continues…

…Three days invariably becomes the tomorrow of hell’s high waters where excess begins and ends with a cornucopia of drugs, alcohol and bare bottoms cleansed by ocean waves and pit fires that ebb away the façade of grown ups masking lost boys that never survived their past…

Why do we watch films at all if not to escape, sometimes gingerly, almost all together brazenly into places familiar and not-so familiar to our own for minutes if not hours at a time of peaceful disinterest? Are we not consumed with the validating principle of our own misery as seen through the misery of others – or perhaps it is best thought of in slices at a time of confrontation, the way we live vicariously through close contact sports with the lives of others similarly distressed or otherwise purposefully impressed with pride, prejudice and privilege?  But what of the terrible toll such encounters takes on the soul, the weight of experience pressed down upon already weakened shoulders and brows, the consequences of being so very near the end of lives almost too close to our own to bear?  Such is the rub of true artistic merit, that which penetrates us as we attempt to penetrate it, peeling back the layers of the seen as the objects of our lives gaze disparaging upon us, silently judging us for our unwillingness to entertain change.

…Leading your audience into the bleak hells of our past with no way out can pretty much guarantee negative reviews.  And you can’t blame anyone…


[On Set of Once Beautiful Past, written/directed by Rory Dean]

Life is a multi-colored, many splendid thing with barbs and jagged edges that reward and wound without remorse or explanation. Why not portray such universal possibility in a film that strives for so much verisimilitude?  If the goal is to simply dash hope to pieces with an end that doesn’t end or worse – an end that severs all connections with the audience, then when the screen fades to black and credits scroll to thunderous disappointment shouldn’t the people who only want to get out of there and not talk about what they just regretted sitting through matter to the filmmakers?  To someone?

Certainly there are times in this life and the next when we hear the bullet and sometimes, despite our best intentions we act as though we don’t.  But what of the experience, the lasting echoes that return again and again to fuel our marked expectation of something more than this?  If our gain is the knowledge that we deserve to know the consequences of why it went off then certainly we are owed an explanation or a contrary justification for what bleak territory we are left with in an empty, unrequited denouement.

About rorydean

Rory Dean is a multi-medium artist, writer and new media strategist with a background as a creative consultant and technology liaison in the San Francisco Bay Area. His broad experiences and specialties include print-to-web publicity, promotions and design marketing using traditional and social media networks. As a motion pictures and television professional, his short films, productions and commercials have screened to domestic and international audiences. His connections to a diverse client base include artists, entertainers, corporations, non-profits and everyday people.. Dean is co-owner and founder of Dissave Pictures, a boutique production company focusing on audio, video, photography and multi-media designs. Dean's personal and professional background includes dreaming and avid notebook journaling, creative and copy writing, promotions and marketing, audio/video production, photography, videography, editing, web design and new media. He’s also a fan of collaboration and knows when to turn the reigns over, offer feedback, lead the team and step aside. His portfolio includes print, online, film, video, photography, graphic design and promotions. He’ll show you. He has a book and everything. "When not juggling various online worlds, I do a pretty good mime – but that’s another story."
This entry was posted in Essays on art, Essays on Film, Movie I've Seen, Movies You Should or Should Not See, philosophy and film, Rants & Raves, Speak-Freely and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Movie Review Blogging is about Momentum (2014)

  1. Lilian says:

    Well it has been awhile since I visited your blog but I can say without a doubt that you haven’t changed your personal take on the art of modern cinema. I don’t know if I ever sit down with such high hopes or expectations but what I can say for sure is that you are passionate about your movies. Thanks for writing this and for sharing your personal experiences. When are you going to make another movie??

  2. bleuravyn says:

    Thought provoking to the end, about the end. Well done, and have missed your reviews as of late. Welcome back!

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