Primer: A New Perspective

I enjoyed Shane Carruth’s “Upstream Color”, the followup to his excellent debut film “Primer” — but it mostly made me want to watch Primer again. If you’ve not yet seen it, you may want to stop reading as spoilers will abound below. None of this will make any sense if you’ve not seen it already anyways!

Continue reading “Primer: A New Perspective”

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Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Jiro Dreams of Sushi isn’t really a documentary about sushi. It’s a documentary about pursuing your passion. Jiro’s passion just happens to be sushi.

Watching the film, I couldn’t help but note striking similarities between Jiro’s approach to his craft, and Steven Pressfield’s concept of the professional mindset in “The War of Art“.

I’ve often discouraged myself from creating personal art projects with the defeatist attitude of “what’s the point?”. There really is no “point” to sushi. Why does Jiro care so much? What drives him? It’s not money or fame. It’s the relentless pursuit of perfecting his craft, or as he words it, his chosen profession. By honing his craft, he not only brings joy to his patrons who rave about his sushi, but he surrounds himself with like-minded experts that he works with — the seafood merchants, the rice merchant. Jiro’s sushi is so good, his rice guy will only sell his best rice to Jiro because “what’s the point of selling good rice to someone who doesn’t know how to cook it?”. Yes, rice.  Continue reading “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”

Argo

Ben Affleck’s “Argo” really surprised me. I was not all that interested in seeing it until a friend invited me to see it. I’m glad I did.

One of the things I loved most about the film was the restraint. Characters acted like real people. The drama arose from the circumstances, not from hyperinflated Hollywood dialogue designed to make scenes feel dramatic. There was no overacting and the characters were believable. Restraint in the cinematography was also well done. The film was able to maintain that “movie feel” without ever drawing attention to gimmicky camera sweeps or angles. The same can be said for the 1970s period clothes, props and environment — not once did you feel you were being hit over the head with bell-bottoms and sideburns with a wink-wink-nudge-nudge that they are doing a period piece.  Continue reading “Argo”