About MichaelD

Having written his first full length feature screenplay at the age of 18 and acquiring his first agent by the age of 19, Michael has had a long career filled with the peeks and valleys one often associates with the life of a person struggling to “make it” in show business. Always a strong and prolific writer, he has written numerous screenplays and two TV pilots, one of which was based on his series of children’s books. He received a Focus Award nomination for his feature screenplay “Peripheral Vision” as well as an Achievement Award from the Long Island Film Festival in 1985 for one of his 4 short films, “The Long Way Home,” which he wrote and directed. “The Long Way Home,” after a few theatrical screenings, found a home on cable television for a 5 week run which was unusual at the time for a short film. He eventually founded an independent production company called Barleau Street Films and produced & directed his first full length feature film, “Peripheral Vision,” an Audience Choice Award winner at the 25th Anniversary of the Long Island Film Festival and an official selection of the Zero Film Festival in Los Angeles, the Silk City Flick Fest in Manchester, Connecticut, and the Dark River Film Festival in Louisville, Kentucky. Currently in release having screened from Santa Monica to NY, it has enjoyed international success and is now available on VOD & DVD. Michael is currently developing his 2nd feature film, “Closure,” as well as a pilot for the children’s television show “The Imagine Island.”

Sthar Warths

Thousands of “Star Wars” fans have suddenly developed a lisp after greeting each other on May the 4th.   BTW, the proper response to “May the 4th be with you” s “And altho wif you.”

Shapely Fluids

OK…film commentary #1.

To date, and as of this writing, that’s March 3, 2018…my favorite film, thus far, is “The Shape of Water” by Guillermo del Toro.  Nominated for 13 Oscars, this may be far from an original choice, but for me it goes down as a new favorite of mine because it checks the boxes for me that typically make up my favorite films…primarily, being a story or idea that has no business in succeeding.  As with my favorite film of all-time, “It’s a Wonderful Life” by Frank Capra, if you try describing the plot of the film, either in a concise capsule summary manner or expanding further than that, you’d find yourself hard pressed to make it sound like anything beyond a whimsical little story at best, and something ludicrous and a waste of time at worst.

A love affair between a captive fish/man-like creature and a mute cleaning woman is hardly the idea that would inspire you to run out and see it much less anticipate the emotional depths that it would bring you…yet it does.

Bookended by the narration of a primary character, you travel full circle on this cinematic journey that not only has you accepting the plausibility of this romance but rooting for it.

Mr. del Toro, as he did with “Pan’s Labyrinth,” creates a fairy tale for adults with the most base of characters that work perfectly and are necessary in films of this ilk.  Heroes that you engage with and truly love, villains that you hate from your core and a story that seamlessly carries you along to where you are surprised to find that two hours and three minutes have gone by.

Shot wonderfully in muted tones, scored to match the space and time and acted to perfection by a cast of pros, there is little to dislike about this production and I love that I was using unintended puns like “muted” tones and “emotional depths” when discussing a story of a cleaning woman who can’t speak and a fish-man.  Because ultimately, that is what it is all about.  There is no doubt that it deserves the accolades it has thus far received.

Mr. del Toro reminds us that love is everywhere if you just open your eyes and try to show some tolerance and acceptance and not be frightened and defensive just because someone or something doesn’t look like anything you are used to.  It doesn’t mean it doesn’t belong sharing this planet too.

This film will force debate as to which of his efforts is his masterpiece when measuring it up to “Pan’s Labyrinth” but there is no debating that he has a place as a true master of the cinema and they will be studied by film fans and students for years to come.

 

Film Commentary

OK…I’ve had folks ask for me to add film commentary to this website considering my background and they thought it would be a good companion piece to the goofiness I usually impart.  I don’t want to do film criticism because I think there’s enough of that AND knowing how hard it is to get a film made, I’d rather not piss on their efforts.  So, what I’d rather try is to comment on what impressed me about a particular film and add my two cents on what might have gone right or wrong.  Am I hedging?  Maybe, but that’ll be for you to decide.

My website…my rules.  Heh-heh-heh….