Tag Archives: performance

Dance Like Somebody’s Watching: Director Juanjo Giménez on His Short Film Timecode

mv5bodvkymrjm2qtnmy1os00zda1lthmzgety2u1mti0n2vhzde3xkeyxkfqcgdeqxvynti5njiymw-_v1_sy1000_cr007031000_al_With the 89th Academy Awards coming in just a few short days I’m grateful for the opportunity to interview director Juanjo Giménez and pick his brain about Timecode, which has been nominated for Best Short Film.

This comes roughly two weeks after my review, and I made the most of the occasion by trying to unpack so much of what I enjoyed about this particular piece of work. While I was only able to ask so many questions, I hope that Giménez’s answers help shine a little light on why Timecode was considered for this great honour, as well as why it might deserve it.


To start with, it’s almost no surprise that Timecode was nominated for both an Academy Award and a Goya Award given your impressive filmography. Has having written, directed, and produced so much award-winning work changed your approach with each new project?

I don’t think so. I think that no filmmaker thinks about awards or recognition when making a new film. In our case, financing every new project has always been difficult, even if the previous film has been a successful one. The only thing that is essential for approaching a new project is the need to make it.

 It’s notable that much of the work you’ve received the most attention for are your short films. What is it that appeals to you about that particular format?

Timecode is my ninth short film as director. I learned that short films usually fit the way I approach filmmaking better. And what’s more important, there’s nothing wrong with that! That doesn’t mean I won’t make a feature film again, but shorts provide a great platform for experimenting without the financial struggles that usually constrain a fiction feature. Even if I speak as a producer, in terms of financial results, my shorts have always been more profitable than my features.  Continue reading

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Timecode: A Short Film Review

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“Actions speak louder than words.”

That’s a difficult motto to live by on a blog, but a crucial one in regards to short films given their limited run time. Considering the fact that you could fit the dialogue in Juanjo Giménez’s Timecode on a single sheet of paper only elevates its importance.

With a handful of award-winning short films [including Rodilla and Maximum Penalty]
already to his name the Spanish director’s latest features two security guards who work in an underground parking garage, one taking the day shift and the other the night. Playing Luna and Diego are Lali Ayguadé and Nicolas Ricchini, respectively, and although their shared acting experience is limited there’s no question of their being talented performers.

Both Ayguadé and Ricchini have impressive careers as dancers and choreographers, and their remarkable control over their bodies causes them to imbue every movement with purpose, whether it’s stiffly brushing past each other or jogging back up a hallway to clock-in to work. This even extends to the corner of a mouth being raised ever so slightly. This largely wordless short film might collapse in on itself with different talent, but the duo make it look effortless. Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S6E10 “And the Himmicane”: A TV Review

himmicane

First thing’s first, let me just say that I love the title of this episode. It’s just such a ridiculously simplistic play on words, but one that suggests at a number of entertaining possibilities. Or, at the very least, everyone’s favourite song by the appropriately named Weather Girls. That said , it’s with great sadness that I must reveal that “And the Himmicane” does not live up to those hints at greatness.

For one thing, there are absolutely no references to it precipitating male individuals. There’s also no plot that revolves around what’s a very fitting male alternative to “bridezilla”, a man whose very presence is a force of nature. No, the focus of this particular episode is Max’s relationship with Randy. And an actual hurricane as well, I guess. Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S6E9 “And the About FaceTime”: A TV Review

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There are many things I expect from 2 Broke Girls. Off-colour humour and painfully bad puns number among them, of course, and as of this season solid jokes/gags as well. What I don’t tune into this CBS sitcom for, however, is a strong theme that is heavily featured throughout an episode. All that said, “And the About FaceTime” was a pleasant surprise, especially after having taken last week off.

A fairly successful cold open kicks things off, with the gang trapped inside the Williamsburg Diner due to aggressive canvassers blocking off both exits. Nobody wants to be confronted by the unnervingly gleeful young people, and it’s that same procrastination and fear of facing things head-on that will be experienced and dealt with by various members of the cast moving forward.

For Oleg it’s putting off selling his beloved Toyota Yaris, as Sophie wants them to become a minivan-owning family. For Caroline it’s the fact that she hasn’t had sex in two straight years, the implication being that she’s been too preoccupied with her business and the rest of her life to give it any attention. For Oleg it’s death [wow, making old people jokes really is that easy]. When it comes to Max, however, it’s not made explicitly clear until over halfway through the episode. Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S6E8 “And the Duck Stamp”: A TV Review

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While it’s certainly disappointing to have to write, a run of two decent consecutive 2 Broke Girls episodes is really not bad at all. I thoroughly enjoyed “And the Rom-Commie” as well as “And the Sophie Doll”, and even though they weren’t incredible or even the best the show has ever been, their airing one week after the next felt like an encouraging change of pace for the CBS sitcom. It’s unfortunate that in spite of the season’s eighth installment continuing to land successful physical gags and better utilizing their cast neither are enough to prop up a paper-thin plot.

Which doesn’t mean that those two points are unappreciated, by any means. Han is actually the driving force of this episode, and while he’s been the focus in past seasons this week he manages to participate in the joke without necessarily being the butt of it. Also notable is the fact that, besides being POC on ensemble comedies, this is the first connection I’ve ever made between him and Sergeant Terry Jeffords on Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

The clue lies in what he’s holding.

Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S6E7 “And the Sophie Doll”: A TV Review

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So first thing’s first, and just because it’s the first thing you see when you open up one of these reviews, the header image is very clearly of subpar quality. The best I could find as far as promos was this one video on YouTube which, as you can see, isn’t great. I’ll try to to step it up moving forward but I can only really work with what’s available.

Given that this week’s episode actually fell on my birthday I wasn’t sure how to feel about it. Were my expectations made that much lower due to my having to watch and review it when I could be doing almost anything else? Or were they perhaps on the higher end due to last week’s surprisingly decent installment? Regardless of where my expectations actually ended up falling, 2 Broke Girls served up a decent enough episode that more importantly continues to keep things fresh.

The highlight of “And the Rom-Commie” was the decision to pair Oleg and Han together, a coupling that ended up paying off surprising comedic dividends. While I don’t think that Matthew Moy deserves all the credit for how enjoyable the show has been lately, his performance opposite Kat Dennings is what I want to shine a spotlight on this time around. While his cherubic looks and high-pitched voice have more often than not been openly mocked, which in turn helps perpetuate the stereotype of the effete, sexless Asian man, they also end up adding a genuinely funny mischievous quality to his performance in “And the Sophie Doll”.  Continue reading

Bernie and Rebecca and Melissa Kent: On Her Directorial Debut, Its Creation, And More to Come

bernierebeccaposterLast month marked the first screening of Melissa Kent’s directorial debut, Bernie and Rebecca, at the Edinburgh Film Festival. Centred on the first date between the titular characters, the short film is a fascinating look at what so many of us dream about when put into similar situations.

On top of being able to review Bernie and Rebecca for myself, I was also given the opportunity to interview Melissa Kent via email about the process of its creation and her work both past and future.


Like so many things in life, you can only have one directorial debut. With that in mind, what made Bernie and Rebecca the first [of many, I’m sure] story that you wanted to tell?

Bernie and Rebecca is about a couple on a first date who imagine a not-so perfect future life together. It provided an ideal showcase for my skills directing romance, comedy, drama—basically a lifetime of love, laughter and tears—in a short 14 minutes.

Having edited so many feature length films what was it like directing a film that clocks at just shy of 14 minutes?

Actually, the filmmaking process is exactly the same, just with a much abbreviated running time. It was exciting to be making all of the pre-production decisions from casting to design to locations, and then of course being on set directing, which was a 3-day shoot. After that, the film required what they all do: editing, music, color grading, and sound mixing.

What was it like both shooting and editing your own footage? Did you ever find yourself skipping ahead in the process, knowing that certain shots would inevitably be thrown out while you were filming them?

There was only one insert I didn’t love while we were shooting so that got nixed, but everything else got used in one way or another. Being an editor probably helped my shot selection to be very efficient.

Given that so many of your past projects are either dramas or comedies [including a personal favourite of mine, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2] would you say that Bernie and Rebecca falls into a comfortable genre for you? Have you ever considered branching out into any others in the future?

Besides dramas and comedies, I have edited true crime (Captive, An American Crime), science fiction (Supernova) and even a 3D dance movie (Make Your Move). A good story is a good story and as a filmmaker I would not rule out any particular genre. It is more fun to go between genres whenever possible.

A few months ago The Guardian reported that between now and 2018 20th Century Fox and Paramount have no films directed by female directors being released.

Conversely, next year’s Wonder Woman was directed by Patty Jenkins, and Marvel appears to be specifically searching for a female director for their own Captain Marvel the following year.

Do you have any comments about the state of the industry as it stands now in regards to other women in your field?

Much respect to Jenkins and I can’t wait to see Wonder Woman.

Your next project is the upcoming American Pastoral, which both stars and was directed by Ewan McGregor. Is there anything you can tell us about that film, and if you have anything else to watch out for?

The trailer was released a few days ago and can be seen here.

It will be in theaters in October and I hope everyone will check it out!


Bernie and Rebecca is currently screening at the Madrid International Film Festival until July 9th. Watch the trailer at www.bernieandrebecca.com, and learn more about Melissa Kent’s extensive editing career at www.melissakent.com.