Recently, Duane Edwards sent Movieweb his DVD, Chicago Stories. This DVD is a compilation of 4 short films all set against the rich city of the DVD’s name. The movies range in subject matter from a man grappling with issues of faith in The Confession, to a man dealing with a cat falling from a high rise in Imagine This, to a man who likes strip clubs in The Contest Winner and finally Hit and Run, a short film about a nurse who hits someone and leaves them on the windshield of their car. The shorts have all won awards at Various film festivals(Hit and Run was even an official Sundance selection in 2004), but on top of all this, Duane Edwards was a 2005 Project Greenlight Top 10 Director.
What impressed me the most about Edwards’ work is his ability to deal with completely different themes, while making each story uniquely personal and interesting. I am not going to say that I “got” the message of all the films but I really can appreciate Edwards’ style and sense of storytelling. In fact, according to the DVD, he actually posted higher web scores then the current Project Greenlight winner. Having followed every season of Project Greenlight, I cannot help but wonder what Feast(the new movie they are currently making) would be like if Edwards was at the helm. Truthfully, I think the documented filmmaking process would be too easy, and that would have been anti-ethical to the natural tension that a Reality TV show needs to survive. As an aside, something tells me that John Gulager is going to pull things together and really deliver a better Project Greenlight movie then we have previously seen from the show.
I read over Edwards’ bio and it seems he started out wanting to be an actor(he appears in some of the short films here), became an IT person and then started directing. He is currently hoping to make a feature length movie. This guy should get one of those 24p cameras, take a script that he has been laboring on for years(or at least one that he has to make) and just get it over with. I tend to the think that with the wide acceptance of video in today’s film festivals, Duane Edwards could make something that would be recieved really well. In fact, these short films seem to only be short films in length only. They feel like movies and because of this, Duane Edwards is someone we should keep our eyes on.
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