Asghar Farhadi continues to write and direct some of the most gripping dramas in all of cinema. His breakthrough film About Elly (2009) is a restrained, broiling drama that would go on to define his films. A Separation came out two years later, was nominated for a best foreign film Oscar and demonstrated that Farhadi had a captivating style of filmmaking. In 2013 he made The Past, a coproduction with France with a story of Iranian immigrants caught up in dark secrets being unearthed.
Coming off the dramatic, down-to-earth horror story of Rachel Rising, Motor Girl is not what I expected from writer/artist Terry Moore. Just looking at the cover of Motor Girl, the tone here couldn’t be more different than Rachel Rising. I initially worried that Moore would dip into the quirky humor of Images, but Motor Girl has a lot more going on than I expected.
1. Days of Heaven (1978)
James Gray is the most underrated director in America. He continues to make gorgeous, moving dramas while working with big-name actors in some of their best performances. His previous four films (The Yards, We Own the Night, Two Lovers, & The Immigrant) were all nominated for a Palme d’Or, giving him decent international clout, but in America his films have yet to receive an Oscar nomination.
I was never great at chess. I did decent, but I never had the intensity to get serious about chess. I loved the game, this modest board filled with endless possibilities and each game taught you a little bit more about how to play. But the chess world teaches you a lot about the people you play with and Searching for Bobby Fischer certainly captures a lot of my experience.