Jeff Nichols, from Little Rock (Arkansas), stands out as one of the promising new deal in American cinema.
A complex hybridization between Malick and Spielberg (without ever limiting himself to these far-reaching elective filiations), he is right at the edge between American independent cinema and Hollywood industrial cinema. [Shotgun Stories] was striking due to its humble mastery of direction, its capacity to revisit America’s myths grasping at the same time both the territory and the landscape. One could see a “folk cinema”, in the tradition of the great American names, from John Ford to Terrence Malick in Badlands. One could also discover a brilliant actor, Michael Shannon, whose marmoreal grace evoked a “redneck” version of Christopher Walken. The same qualities can be found (including Michael Shannon) in Take Shelter; but there, the art of Americana is somehow “disturbed” by the codes of the genre movie, to be more specific those of the supernatural… read more
Having seen all three of his films, I'm definitely excited to see what he comes up with next. I have a feeling he is yet to create his masterpiece (Take Shelter is close). My favorite aspect about his films is just how goddamn American his films feel. There is something so uniquely American about the details in his films and the stories he tells. He has the potential to be a truly great American auteur.