BEST FILMS OF THE DECADE, PART ONE

This was a tough list to compile. When 2000 began, I was a seventeen year old high school senior, working at a movie theater in Virginia Beach, VA and fresh off seeing The Green Mile and thinking it was amazing. The first film I saw in the new decade was Next Friday on January 20, 2000 and according to my planner, I gave it a B-. Throughout the last ten years, I went to film school, became aware of and attended film festivals, made a film of my own, and made friends with a number of successful and non-successful filmmakers. My taste has twisted and turned and would be virtually unrecognizable to my 17 year old self. I wonder if this was the last time a decade will pass with such formative changes in my life taking place.

For the most part, it’s 27 year old Chad who this list represents, although a few films probably slipped through the cracks from previous incarnations. Some of the films I haven’t seen in years and have to trust my initial feelings on and some are recent additions that may sour in time. All of the films mean a great deal to me and are worth checking out if you haven’t seen. So without further ado….

100.

LA PIANISTE (2001)
Michael Haneke

A dynamite, international star-making performance from Isabelle Hupppert makes this romantic tragedy what it is. Taking a decidedly unlikeable character and forming someone unmistakably human, she and Haneke turn in a fascinating and indicting look at sexual repression.
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Jeffrey Ruggles

What’s up blogosphere? It’s been a long time. I have to say that blogging doesn’t hold the appeal it used to and I’m not sure how often I’ll check in with this wordpress jam. Instead, I twitter occasionally and started a Photo a Day project on tumblr so my presence on the internet is still alive and well. I’m breaking my silence to talk about a dude named Jeffrey W. Ruggles. Years back when I started work as the Office P.A. for a reality TV production company called Rocket Science Laboratories, Ruggles was the guy that trained me. He had previously held the position but was now promoted to logger and he spent 15 minutes telling me which coffees needed to be refilled and where to take the trash out to. I quit that job less than two months later and didn’t see Ruggles again until he showed up for the Zero Film Festival screening of Luke and Brie Are on a First Date. We found ourselves to have mutual appreciations for certain types of film and mutual ambitions in that world. He gave me a copy of his film, Bicycle Lane and I was very happy and relieved to find that it was totally great.

Now we are becoming fast friends and even collaborators. Ruggles has come on board as a producer for This is Martin Bonner and we are trying to get pre-production on that sucker moving along. He also celebrated the first Los Angeles screening of Bicycle Lane last week and his birthday a few days later so it’s been a Ruggles-centric month for me so far. Which is totally cool. Have a peek at the pictures below and become a friend to Bicycle Lane on facebook so you can find out if it’ll ever play near you.


Hollywood.
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On Demand

For the last two years and some change, I have been working on a movie called Luke and Brie Are on a First Date. It cost hardly any money and was one of the best experiences of my life and I always hoped that one day it could be seen by as many people as possible. That day has arrived people.

The good people at Cinetic Media and Amazon Video on Demand have made the film available to rent or purchase online starting now! What are you waiting for? Go-

Amazon Video On Demand

And here’s the trailer one last time-

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Vincent Gallo/Coldplay

Those two things don’t really have much in common, except this post, which finally brought me back to the world of blogging. Over at David Lowery’s blog, I saw a quote from Vincent Gallo regarding The Brown Bunny, which I thought was terrific enough to share.

“What, what exactly do I get out of making these films? I mean, I don’t make any money, I give up three years of my life on each one, I make a lot of enemies because I’m bossy and pushy and crotchety, and I get old and crabby and my back and my neck and everything hurts now, and I didn’t go on any dates. What do I get, this weird satisfaction that I was able to put something in the world that now exists that most people don’t like anyway? I don’t know, this is just a sick in the head move. But at the time it seemed like the most important thing.”

I don’t mean to imply that I feel the same way or that I can compare to Vincent Gallo in any way, but I’m certainly appreciative of his sacrifices so I could see his work.

I also wanted to link to the new Coldplay video, “Strawberry Swing”. I hardly ever see videos any more and if there are many more like this then I am missing out on some beautiful creations.

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Michael Jackson

This one hurts. Michael Jackson was the very first person I ever looked up to. I wore “Bad” out on tape. “Dangerous” was the first CD I bought for myself. I practiced the moonwalk until I could do it forwards and backwards. I watched Moonwalker fifty times. As an adult, I still sit back and listen in wonder to the amazing music he produced.

From I Want You to Back to You Rock My World, I can listen to the whole catalog without shame. And I am.

I work right next to UCLA so when I heard the news, I walked over to the hospital. I found a crowd of people taking pictures. Not sure what they were taking pictures of except each other, making up some crazy mob. It was depressing.

I always rooted for Michael, and believe he went to the grave with a clean conscience. He was a great person, second to none in global recognition and second maybe only to Bono in genuine concern for the Earth’s underprivileged among the music community. People just couldn’t understand how someone could genuinely love children the way he did and not want to fuck them. Says more about us than him. Wherever he is now, let’s hope he is better understood.

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Scandal!

Aaron Katz sent me a link to a The Pains of Being Pure at Heart music video with the message “sue these bums”. Specifically he said to watch at the 51 second mark. Here’s the video:

And here’s a music video I made for Keegan DeWitt in 2006.

Coincidence? Probably. No suit here.

And how good is that song? Definitely pick up their album if you don’t already have it.

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As it Stands

A distinct lack of blogging on my end has led to some introspection. What have I been doing with my life lately? I wish the answer was “Plenty!”, but that wouldn’t be entirely accurate. One thing I have done, is join twitter. So if you’re on there and want more updates on my existence, check me out.

As for Luke and Brie Are on a First Date, well, that movie still exists. We signed a deal with Cinetic Rights Management, who found us digital distribution through Amazon Video on Demand, but a glitch in the output has caused a rather lengthy delay in getting that available to the public. It’s been frustrating but hopefully that will be resolved very soon. In the meantime, a DVD of the movie is also for sale on Amazon if you’re into that sort of thing. We have one more festival screening coming up that I know of and I’ll mention that again when the time comes. It’s been a nice ride for that movie.

I’m ready to move on though and I’m working now on making This is Martin Bonner my next film. That’s a working title that made more sense when the film was just an idea but now that it’s a script, something better must be found. I had a meeting with an actor that I wrote a major part for and he’s interested so that’s one hurdle already crossed. Now if we can get some funding, we’ll really be somewhere. I’m aiming for a late March 2010 shoot so the countdown has begun.  Here’s a video with a clue as to what you can expect.

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