Friday, April 2, 2010

Cold Weather - The Mom's Movie Review

The positive reviews and comments have been pouring in ever since my son Aaron's film Cold Weather premiered to a a sold out crowd at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas a couple of weeks ago. As a mom, it is especially heartening when the reviewers notice the deeper meaning and the beauty of his work:
. . . Katz succeeds because he stays true to his belief that filming the honest reactions of sensitive human beings is as worthwhile a venture as dazzling your audience with explosions and melodramatic confrontations. He believes in the power of intimate moments and creative modesty. Josh Rosenblatt-Texas Observer
. . . striking visual sensibility. . . impressive experiment in genre. . . nobody does unspoken tension and unforced sensuality quite like Aaron Katz. Karin Longworth-LAWeekly
Some directors experiment with various moods before discovering their sweet spots, but Aaron Katz pulls off the impressive trick of experimenting within the boundaries of his sweet spot. Eric Kohn-IndieWire
Cold Weather has just enough of a jolt of conventional plotting to make it a more audience-friendly and, dare one say it, commercial picture. Mark Olsen-LA Times
The last one really got my attention - you mean Aaron could sell this film? That would certainly be better than auctioning off his comic book collection to pay the rent.

After reading all this praise from strangers, I thought maybe it was time for the mom to weigh in with a review.

I couldn't resist sitting in on a few scenes a couple of days ago when my daughter was screening Cold Weather for a friend. I was supposed to be working on taxes, but found myself drawn away from my task as soon as I heard the distinctive music. I stayed on to watch close ups of our former neighbors filling in as parents in the opening dinner scene and came back for the lovely shot of Multnomah Falls gradually consuming the screen with rushing water. Finally when the mystery came into play, I had to sit down and finish it to the end. This time through, I enjoyed the film as pure entertainment with it's humorous situations, intriguing sound track, stunning photography, and quirky mystery story.

From the mom's perspective, I'm pleased to witness Aaron's skill at creating films that can be appreciated as entertainment and at the same time offer a deeper view of humanity. I always find images and thoughts floating through my consciousness days after, never fully realizing the full potential of the film until I've watched it a few times. His movies are about real people in real relationships living ordinary lives who are forced to deal with extraordinary circumstances.

There is always a lot of talk around Aaron's films about the twenty-something, aimless, naval gazing, slacker characters. I disagree with any criticism on this point. Soon approaching my 60th birthday, I can easily connect with these young people. Who hasn't bummed around playing games instead of always being responsible.

I had a unique opportunity to get to know these movie makers last year when they were working on the film and I can tell you without reservation, these young people are NOT slackers. I've baked them cookies, packed them lunches, and watched them from behind the scenes working long tedious hours striving for perfection on a smaller budget than anyone could possibly imagine. You couldn't find a more pleasant, dedicated, or hard working group of young men and women anywhere.

The bottom line is a proud thumbs up from the mom and congratulations for a job well done. On to the San Francisco Film Festival.

1 comment:

  1. Yay! Thankyou for this review. I already feel like film-maker family, a sort of second cousin twice removed kind of relationship, and I am so PROUD of both mom and son!One of my most worthwhile professional experiences has been the years I worked at a university and my favourite group will probably always be 18-25 year olds and those who remain 18-25 years old at heart: the first-flighters, dreamers and idealists who believe and know they can make a difference.