BLAKE HOWARD IS A WRITER, A PODCASTER, AND THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & CO-FOUNDER OF AUSTRALIAN FILM BLOG GRAFFITI WITH PUNCTUATION. BLAKE BEGAN HIS CAREER IN CRITICISM IN AN APPRENTICESHIP AS CO-HOST OF THAT MOVIE SHOW 2UE ALONGSIDE VETERAN CRITIC DALE SINDEN. BLAKE THEN BEGAN LONG RUNNING AND ACCLAIMED MOVIE PODCAST POD SAVE OUR SCREEN WITH MARIA LEWIS.
BLAKE IS A MEMBER OF THE PRESTIGIOUS ONLINE FILM CRITIC SOCIETY, HOST OF THE AACTA FILM FESTIVAL, FILM CRITIC AT FLICKS.COM.AU, A COLUMNIST AT THE AUSTRALIAN ONLINE INSTITUTION DARK HORIZONS AND SWAYS THE TOMATO METER WITH ROTTEN TOMATOES APPROVED REVIEWS.
BLAKE GRADUATED FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE WITH HONOURS AFTER SUBMITTING A THESIS ON AUTHORSHIP AND MASCULINITY TITLED "WHAT MAKES A MANN."
THE INAUGURAL AACTA SHORTS + WEB FEST PRESENTED BY MINI
Inner Western Sydney's Factory Theatre in Marrickville is strangely a lot like a film set. The husk of industrial space, like a large proportion of the former working-class migrant mecca, has been gutted and re-purposed into one of the essential bustling cultural hubs in the country. Different lighting draped from beam to beam; each room and segment is an opportunity to make a new mood. Food trucks line the courtyard and direct you into the entryways to four or five shows at any one time. It's the perfect venue on a cold and rainy winter evening. It's an oasis from the increasingly regimented, warden monitored, and invisible line of locked out Sydney. You're allowed to spend days and nights living and breathing creating, discussing movie-making magic - no matter your experience or chosen form or portal.
Western Wednesday with Blake Howard: There Will Be Blood
Paul Thomas Anderson’s (PTA) There Will Be Blood is a dizzying cinematic embodiment of American hypocrisy. Emboldened by brash aesthetic composition, a grinding instantly vintage soundscape from Jonny Greenwood (of Radiohead fame) and a central performance from Daniel Day-Lewis that stands apart even from his already intimidating body of work. There Will Be Blood blends the pursuits of industry, the burden of conscience, the sleight-of hand religious manipulation and the savage truth of western frontier life to create a film that garners the same feeling as a renaissance fresco, gracing the walls of a holy place.
Western Wednesday With Blake Howard: 3:10 TO YUMA
Damnation, salvation, heartbreak and love: the morality plays of James Mangold
In the final paragraph of Roger Ebert’s review of 3:10 to Yuma – the subject of this column – he writes: “In hard times, Americans have often turned to the Western to reset their compasses. In very hard times, it takes a very good Western.”
Western Wednesday With Blake Howard: No country for old men
In a Texas Gas station, psychopathic bounty hunter Anton Chigurh (played by Javier Bardem in his Oscar winning performance) takes an interest in its proprietor. After a series of exchanges with innocent passers-by in his pursuit for Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin), the cordiality and sheer banality of his existence gives offence. He begins to coil his words, never letting any passive time-killing expression pass, until he decides that he’s going to let this man’s life ride on a coin toss.
Western Wednesday With Blake Howard: The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
Westerns have always done a really good job of telling you as much about the decade they’re in as they do telling you about the decade in which they’re set. Westerns catch something in the air, realising it in the material even if it’s not necessarily the filmmakers’ intent. In the 1950s Westerns exuded or examined the Eisenhower era perceived American exceptionalism. In the ‘60s and ‘70s the genre was draped in the shadow of the Civil Rights Movement, the JFK assassination, the Vietnam War, Watergate and the corresponding zeitgeist of cynicism.
‘Mystery Road’ Is Australia’s Answer To ‘True Detective’
Can a film series transition to television and still be great? More often than not, the answer is ‘no’. But Mystery Road, a new six-part series from the ABC, has proven itself the exception to that rule. Adapted from two different Australian film thrillers, 2013’s Mystery Road and 2016’s Goldstone, Mystery Road: The Series continues to conduct some of Australia’s most vital and racially-charged conversations.