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The High Sign (1921) Dir. Buster Keaton

I grew up more of a Chaplin fan, but thanks to my friend Stan Taffel I’ve been discovering the real genius that is Buster Keaton.  Keaton is the absolute master of comic timing.  Hell, he’s the master of comedy period.  I got to see this film The High Sign, and it’s absolutely one of the most brilliant comic shorts I’ve ever laid eyes on.  The gags are not only hilarious, but just watching how everything builds on one another.  The gags and situations are all in service to the story.  I can’t possibly go much further because I don’t want to ruin the amazing finale…I just can’t comprehend how they pulled it off.  If you have the time, it is a must see.  Check it out!:   Part 1
Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

Welcome to Moviecappa

Hey everyone, Well first off, I hope the blog title isn’t too cheesy for ya. The whole layout of this place is kind of a work in progress, but for now I suppose this will suffice. I wanted to create a place where I can talk about and critique movies that have recently come out or discuss films I’ve seen from the past that have caught my attention. And it’s a place to just talk about my general love of movies whenever the urge is calling me. I like writing about my opinions about films when they come out, and will discuss everything from shorts to classics to blockbuster event films. I’m a total geek lover of film, and generally I will have those moments of geek bliss. But I don’t like to freak out over event films, and I try to look at them with a more discerning eye. Those kinds of films rarely meet my expectations, and I don’t tend to get excited over them, but rather take them with a grain of salt. With the movies, as it is any art, I think it’s a search for the truth in the subject that matters most in storytelling. A big budget film can have all the special effects in the world, but it’s the search for that beating heart that inevitably can make it into a classic. It’s not the sensationalism of it that drives me, but more or less what is the film trying to say.

 That being said, I do enjoy my share of shitty cinema. I may be the only person in the world who holds Star Trek V with a place in my heart. I know it’s a train wreck…but for me…a wonderful spectacular train wreck…and the most brilliantly existential line in all of Trekdom: “What does God want with a Starship?” Classic.

 For this blog, with the image above, I dedicate to my hero, Brad Bird. While I don’t share much of the love for his latest works (Ratatouille, MI:Ghost Protocol), for me he will always have a special place for his creation of cinematic perfection, The Iron Giant. That serves to me as a reminder of an animated film that can break all barriers and be more than the sum of it’s parts. While we may have lost Brad to the world of live action, with The Iron Giant I’m still waiting for another American animated film to live up to its name. And it will happen one of these days, when all the expectations and cliches of animated films falls away and reveals an absolute masterpiece of filmmaking.

 I had the pleasure of corresponding with Brad through letters after The Iron Giant came out. When I became an Eagle Scout at 17, I put together a booklet with congratulatory cards and messages from people like The President of the United States, Congress men, etc. But my most treasured one was the one I asked Brad Bird to send, which he did along with a congratulatory letter that ended with a reminder of the sage advice from Hogarth Hughes: “You are who you choose to be”. About a year later I wrote to him again about wanting advice on becoming an animation director. Again he was generous enough to send a two page letter on the subject. This happened of course before he became the big Hollywood name he is today. I discovered Brads work all the way back to The Simpsons, with the classic episode “Krusty gets Busted” and saw a hint of his greatness with his short film Family Dog. While I hope Brad eventually gets back to both writing and directing (and I’m certain he will), I will forever be grateful to him for helping to guide me on my artistic path, through both his letters and his films…and I hope to one day become as great a filmmaker he is. So to this blog, I hereby dedicate. Thanks for everything Brad.

And Thank you for coming to my blog. Welcome.