The Vanishing of Sidney Hall (2017): Drama / Mystery / Romance

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A young, talented writer becomes successful immediately after his first publication and inexplicably disappears into thin air.

I don’t know how to begin or even elaborate on my admiration and simultaneously my frustration on “The Vanishing of Sidney Hall”. One feeling at a time I guess…

Shawn Christensen, pens, produces, and directs an ostensibly simple story, which he develops intricately, unfolds beautifully, and delivers didactically. Sabine Hoffman’s editing is stupendous, Daniel Katz’s cinematography is mesmerizing, and Logan Lerman, Margaret Qualley, Elle Fanning, Michelle Monaghan, and Kyle Chandler are shinning in front of the camera.

So, that’s the admiration part. Here comes the frustration… Not even one nomination!!! I guess we have the critics to thank for that who ignorantly saw past it. Whose perceptual inability prevents them from conceptualising Sidney Hall’s depth, magnitude, and complexity. The Vanishing of Sidney Hall is poetry on screen. It is really a shame not to give it the chance it deserves. The chance the critics never gave.

Before I Disappear (2014): Drama

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In 2012, Shawn Christensen writes, edits, directs and stars in his short film “Curfew”. The year after, 2013, one fine day, leaves his house, goes to the Dolby Theatre, collects the Oscar, goes back home and decides to make it a feature. The year after, 2014, he writes, edits, produces, directs, composes, and stars in the feature version of it “Before I Disappear”. Shawn Christensen earned his standing ovations at the film festivals as he did a remarkable job in front and behind the camera.

A grim story where surrealistic antiheroes encounter realistic situations. From bottom-feeders, washed up, and wannabe gangsters, to decadent, self-destructive, hopeless “next door” people… bonding, regret, redemption, oblivion and so much more become the common denominator and compose a virtuoso and hallucinatory piece of work.