Hollywood

An Interview with Pasha Roberts, Director of ‘Silver Circle’

Snapper S. Ploen

Imagine a future where the dollar has lost its value. A future where the government has taken over housing and Americans riot in the streets over exorbitant gas prices. Considering the events of the past five years, this isn’t such a hard thing to conjure in the mind. Highbrow Magazine recently had the opportunity to review the new animated thriller, Silver Circle, by director Pasha Roberts. It’s a project that explores these economic pitfalls and how those of a certain controversial mindset might seek a resolution for those issues. 

‘Silver Circle’ Fails to Present a Compelling Storyline or Captivating Animation

Snapper S. Ploen

Although this synopsis sounds interesting and relevant to our country’s current socio-political discourse, this film is neither of those things. Director Pasha Roberts brings a potentially compelling Libertarian vision of rebellion to the screen but chooses to do so through an animation style that is too stunted for genuine emotional impact. In speaking with the director, he admits the budget was limited, but even South Park’s creators were able to deliver social commentary that was enlightening and entertaining with limited financial resources. In addition, the animation isn’t the only thing holding the film back. 

Filmmaker David Seth Cohen Pays Tribute to His Cinematic Idol, Adam Sandler

Alysia Stern

Growing up I used to watch Sandler as Opera Man on Saturday Night Live. I was really taken back by the Hanukkah song. Growing up as a Jewish child there weren’t really any Hanukah songs. So now Adam Sandler comes up with a song that is not only hilarious but it is brilliant. I respect him and admire him. My dream was always to have a production company and work with friends on my films, and that is what Adam does.

Hollywood Cinematographer Barry Markowitz Discusses Capturing the Soul of the South on Film

Charlene Oldham

It’s a lesson Markowitz now knows well after years of working with directors including Thornton, Robert Duvall and Nicholas Cage on Southern films such as Sling Blade, The Apostle and Sonny. He also served as director of photography for Thornton’s latest, Jayne Mansfield’s Car. So how did this New Yorker who earned a degree in Jewish history from Israel’s Hebrew University become the go-to cinematographer for Southern films for these Oscar-winning directors and actors? Markowitz is a self-professed stranger in a strange land populated – at least in films – by pickup trucks, hunting dogs and humidity levels higher than hell's. 

Neil Landau on the Art of Screenwriting

Christopher Karr

This is the kind of practical, well-articulated knowledge you can find in The Screenwriter's Roadmap. It's organized into 21 chapters that each focus on an essential aspect of the writing and re-writing process. Each chapter also includes a corresponding interview with a screenwriter currently in the business. The guidebook is clear, well-organized, and sometimes painfully academic and overly analytical. This is a common attribute of all screenwriting guidebooks, but Landau's prose is, at times, more readable than Field and McKee. 

A Slice of 'Pi' in India

Sandip Roy

The color and visual spendor of India tends to overwhelm any film that is set in India. And Life of Pi is no exception. Ang Lee pretty much admits as much to DNA when he says “the country overwhelms you, with the warmth, the culture and its beauty”. Even in the hands of a director as astute as him, India feels over saturated, wide-eyed and eye-popping, prone to fortune cookie maxim. It’s a striking contrast to the richly detailed but so much more atmospheric Shanghai he created for Lust, Caution. That felt epic and intimate at the same time. This India feels Amar Chitra Katha – bold colors without much shading.

Paul Thomas Anderson and the Perplexing Genius of ‘The Master’

Christopher Karr

Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest film, “The Master,” is his most consciously esoteric movie to date. As the scenes add up, you have a growing suspicion that you’re missing something. Or that something is missing. I’m still not completely sure which is the case. All I can say is that the movie invokes the same experience as a queasy-strange nightmare that gradually churns to a haunting, perplexing conclusion. 

Why Faulkner, Fitzgerald and Other Literary Luminaries Hated Hollywood

Christopher Karr

Faulkner wasn’t the only literary icon who went to Hollywood to make a bundle writing for the movies. In 1933, Nathanael West moved to California on a contract for Columbia pictures, as did Dorothy Parker the following year. In an interview with The Paris Review in 1956, Parker said she wasn’t capable of talking about her Hollywood experience: “It’s a horror to look back on. When I got away from it, I couldn’t even refer to the place by name….”

Where Have You Gone, Stanley Kubrick?

David Barwinski

The  much-admired (and emulated) Martin Scorsese, for one, is an outstanding auteur and easily one of the best directors  working today, yet he cannot rightly be ranked alongside the titans of the golden years when cinema was emerging as a serious art form: Akira Kurosawa, Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, Ingmar Bergman, Jean Renoir, and the list goes on.  These masters were, and remain, larger-than-life legends.

The Unfortunate Rise of Dumbed-Down Hollywood Comedies

Kurt Thurber

Knock, knock. Who’s there? Lowbrow comedy. Lowbrow comedy who? It’s lowbrow comedy everywhere because it’s easy to write and cheap to produce. The entertainment industry is bigger than ever. Therein lies the problem:  Hollywood has produced lowbrow comedy for every generation,  and it now has the capability to produce dumbed-down movies in every genre tenfold. 

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