Review: Baby Driver

In the opening credits of Baby Driver, the latest from filmmaker Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim v. the World) there’s a choreographer acknowledged among the various producers and crew. After a spectacular opening heist scene – a three-man bank robbery and a getaway of masterful stunt driving through downtown Atlanta (and nary a tap shoe in sight) – might seem a bit odd. But so carefully crafted is Wright’s original screenplay about a music-obsessed getaway car driver and his attempt to go straight that enlisting the same guy who choreographed Sia’s best videos makes perfect sense.

Immediately after the opening credits, that choreography is beautifully and immediately apparent in an uninterrupted long shot that takes us on a post-heist coffee run with our protagonist, Baby (Ansel Elgort). Just ten minutes in and we’re watching the camera follow Baby seamlessly down the street, into the shop and back to the warehouse where his heist crew and boss split their take from the recent job. Along the way, extras pop in and out of perfectly framed shots, the film’s soundtrack aligns directly with each movement and there’s even a bit of foreshadowing as Baby notices a blonde outside the coffee shop (on a music swell, no less). It’s a dance as skilled as any of Gene Kelly’s, and from the get go, it’s obvious: this is a filmmaker who loves making movies, and he’s not afraid to show off.

Wright started drafting this film back in 1995, but it only made its way into the world earlier this year at SXSW, where it was met with raucous fan-boy adulation, such is Wright’s genre (and one assumes largely male) fan base. As it opens in theaters this week, the positive buzz is sure to continue to the tune of a nice big box office. It’s that rare accomplishment of original filmmaking that checks nearly ever box. Solid, high-stakes story: check. Great soundtrack: check. Impressive action scenes: check. Love story: check. Though it gets a bit muddled by the end as Wright rushes through wrapping up various loose ends, he’s more than made up for it with his meticulous attention to detail and sheer enthusiasm that jumps off the screen.

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Alright, so we’re doin’ this.

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been working on something. Yesterday, I finally put it out into the world. I officially launched 11th Street Lot, my one-woman marketing and publicity agency. It’s scary and thrilling and empowering and daunting, and I know it’s exactly the right next move for me.

For years, I’ve been trying to hitch my wagon to a rocket ship. I’ve been looking for exactly the right professional fit, a job that allows me to do work I love with people who inspire me on a runway long enough to getting a running start towards the cosmos.

And then one day I realized: why do I keep looking elsewhere for that ticket to the stars? Continue reading “Alright, so we’re doin’ this.”

Chicago List: Out of Hibernation

It’s been a while since I drafted a new list of things to do around the city. With summer ramping up, it seemed a perfect time to build out something fresh, a brand new list of what I’m looking forward to doing and seeing and experiencing as the city comes out of hibernation.

The 3 Arts Club Cafe in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood

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