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Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of flickminute.com, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews. Sean is also known for his weekly webcasts that provide a fast and informative way to find the perfect movie for any occasion or mood. His special edition e-books and podcasts enjoy a great popularity around the world. They provide in-depth reviews of special genres and subjects such as “Masterpiece Obscure.” Sean is also a sought after speaker at events and conventions offering his knowledge and perspective on a broad variety of current and classic movies. In his public appearances he covers subjects such as Movie History For Actors, Classic Movie Scenes Every Actor Should Know, Inspirational Movies, World Cinema for the World, the Great-Depths Drama of a Realistic Thriller, Modern Film as Symphony and more…
My name is Sean Chavel and I have been a critic since 2002. I reviewed dozens of films that year and can probably remember the earliest ones if I thought hard enough about them. Memorably I was in awe of “The Pianist,” “Minority Report,” “Far From Heaven,” “Spirited Away” and “Punch-Drunk Love.” The greatest of those films have lasted, and it was certainly enough to keep me excited enough to keep reviewing. But I probably feel stronger about “Spirited Away” more now above the rest.
I was born in San Fernando Valley, CA in 1977. Besides building blocks and riding my toddler tricycle, my earliest memories were James Bond’s “Moonraker,” “Superman,” and the “King Kong” version with Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange. At a still young age, I had seen “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “The Wizard of Oz.” At 12 years old, “Born on the 4th of July” (1989) and “Total Recall” (1990) are unlikely but truly the movies that made me feel like a grown-up early. Today, I still retain my early childhood loyalties.
Later that year, following the highs of Schwarzenegger, I wondered why the name Martin Scorsese was such a big deal. “GoodFellas” was hyped months before its release, so I decided to check out “Taxi Driver” (1976) on that archaic device we referred to then as VHS. I suddenly empathized with the pain of New York alienation, how precocious of me. After my eye-opening discovery of Scorsese, I went full-throttle by seeing every movie as humanly possible which meant cable recordings and VHS rentals. Within due time, I discovered revival movie houses in Los Angeles, later to learn that New York is the home to the best revival movie houses.
The ranking, the cataloging, the mood-basing began. “Citizen Kane” (1941) premiered at #16 the first time I saw it at age 14 (today it ranks at #4). Many Stanley Kubrick films were high up on my list. Unmistakable masters, for sure, but I’m glad I discovered who else was out there. I still wasn’t thinking film criticism as a future vocation, per se. I made a series of stop motion animation films throughout high school that were film festival competitive, not bad considering that I had no traditional editing equipment. After that, I wanted to become a screenwriter, though, to capitalize on talent that teachers of mine had been lauding. By college, I knew much about Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, Francis Ford Coppola, Woody Allen, Charlie Chaplin and the very underrated Bob Fosse. But in film classes I discovered Ingmar Bergman, Francois Truffaut and Louis Malle. Before I knew it, I was writing about film in college and afterwards finding ways to professionally guest critic in small publications.
When it comes to film writing I get excited and even exhilarated, but I don’t confuse it with hyperbole. I save my excitement for when it’s validated. When I give a film a rating of 5 stars, it’s because I believe it should still be watched in thirty years from now. Honestly, I do get pumped up by the arrival of a new film by my following 15 favorite directors: Joel & Ethan Coen, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Paul Thomas Anderson, Terrence Malick, Darren Aronofsky, David Cronenberg, Christopher Nolan, Clint Eastwood, Gus Van Sant, David Fincher, Danny Boyle, Richard Linklater, Duncan Jones, Oliver Stone.
What I mostly want to do with FlickMinute is create a new companionable language about film. You should be able to spend a few minutes on your Friday mornings here, and when you got extra time during the week, browse through the archives of time and archives of foreign imports. My life commitment drives me to eventually cover 100 years of film. This will have me to routinely continue to back up the archives with new uploaded material.