Author: Daniel Clemens

August 25, 2015 / / Main Slate Archive


The trepidation I felt before watching ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA, was akin to the feeling of approaching a Tarkovsky or Kubrick film for the first time. I had never seen a Turkish film, nor am I any kind of ardent fan of police procedurals. Neither of these factors discouraged me from watching Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s sixth feature; in fact, I had been waiting for the right “moment” to view it for the past few years. These factors led to a paradoxical mixture­— excitement for something that seemed exotic to my cinematic tastes, yet fear that I wouldn’t follow the film, or even worse, “get” it.


In 2009, Elizabeth Gilbert, author of “Eat Pray Love”, gave a TED talk about the relationship between artist and artistry. She made reference to a non-corporeal entity that disappears as quickly as it reappears, inspiring creativity and then holding it captive, only to release it later at sporadic intervals. It is a provocateur, a savior, a muse; it is elusive and creative and it is genius. In the life of Simon Grim, Henry Fool is that genius.

February 27, 2015 / / Main Slate Archive

By Daniel Clemens

Looking back now, rural Pennsylvania was not the most exciting place to grow up. In fact, I could think of about a dozen other places I would rather spend eighteen years of my life than where I did. The novelty of tractors driving alongside cars on the backroads of town wore off quickly, as did the lines upon lines of cows and sheep and abandoned farmhouses I passed every day on my way to school. Although occasionally appreciated, I soon grew weary of knowing every mundane detail of the lives of every member of the town’s small citizenship. Even worse was having them know every detail of mine. However, I didn’t know any other kind of life back then; I had nothing else to compare it to. Looking past the seemingly endless monotony of my living, there was an abundance of magic to it all: a simple and wonderful innocence that can’t be found anywhere other than in a small town—at least, I have yet to find it any place else. Fortunately, David Lynch’s THE STRAIGHT STORY captures that exact form of rural magic in spades. 

December 18, 2014 / / Main Slate Archive


In scientific theory, a time loop occurs when a length of time repeats continuously. Cinephiles may experience the sensation of being trapped in some sort of time loop when engaged with the monotony of popular cinema, and that notion is an essential part of what makes the duality of intelligence and entertainment in Harold Ramis’s GROUNDHOG DAY so successful.