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PAPER MOON (1973) ***** classic film capsule by COOP

Posted on August 6th, 2008
Posted on August 6th, 2008


Right after watching “Swing Vote,” I discovered a film on Turner Classic Movies that I had heard about and seen clips of but had yet to experience. “Paper Moon” starring Ryan and Tatum O’Neal is a film old enough to fly under the radar of this generation of movie goers and the black and white cinematography could fool the casual watcher into thinking this was a film from the 1930’s. Like “Swing Vote,” this film features a father/daughter dynamic, yet the result is far superior and genuinely moving.

Ryan O’Neal stars as Moses Pray, a Depression Era drifter and small-time con artist who passes through a small Midwestern town to attend the funeral of a woman he once knew. At the funeral, the attendees beg him to escort the woman’s orphaned 9 year-old daughter Addie (Tatum O’Neal) to Missouri to live with her aunt. “Mo” pockets Addie’s $200 inheritance and tries to put her on a train, but the sharp and obstinate Addie refuses to leave without her money. Mo takes her along on his traveling scam spree to figure out a way to keep her money without a fuss but becomes dependant on her assistance when she turns out to be a shifty con artist herself. The two soon become steadfast partners as they grift, bail each other out of trouble and start to suspect that they may be somehow related.

Tatum won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for this one. Too bad she (and her entire family) went downhill from there. This is a funny, suspenseful and heartwarming film. Just when you think the last scene is going to be a tearjerker, it jolts you with a hilarious and uplifting ending. Even “The Simpsons” devoted an entire episode to lampooning this classic. Be on the lookout for a young Madeline Kahn as carnival stripper/prostitute Trixie Delight who loosens Mo’s pocketbook, but is no match for Addie’s brilliant scheming.

Here’s a great moment from the film. Watch how Tatum commands the scene towards the end. It’s gold…

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Trailer for the award-winning short PRISMA…


A corporate promotional VHS tape from 1984 conceals a brain-altering signal which is said to grant increased health, longevity and psychic powers to those who watch it. View at your own risk...

WINNER: SPECIAL JURY PRIZE, 2017 Oxford Film Festival

WINNER: BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM, 2017 FantaSci Short Film Festival

SEMI-FINALIST: 2017 NanoCon International Science-Fiction Film Festival

NOMINEE: BEST ANIMATION, 2017 End of Days Film Festival

NOMINEE: BEST GRAPHICS, 2017 FantaSci Short Film Festival

OFFICIAL SELECTION:
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2017 A Night of Horror Film Festival
2017 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival
2017 Oxford Film Festival
2017 Crossroads Film Festival
2017 Clarksdale Film Festival
2017 Twisted Dreams Film Festival
2017 Tupelo Film Festival
2017 NanoCon International Sci-Fi Film Festival
2017 FantaSci Short Film Festival
2017 End of Days Film Festival
2017 Grenada Afterglow Film Festival
2017 Shiver International Film Festival

Trailer for the lost short GOD MAKER…


Northern Mississippi 1932:
In a cabin in the woods, a blind blues guitarist will discover his destiny from a lovesick goddess who seeks to corrupt his soul.

GOD MAKER remains unfinished and in limbo for now, but the trailer expresses the mood and imagery intended for the project...

Coop’s award-winning 48 hour short film trailer for REGRESS…


Told in reverse, this experimental made-in-48-hours film begins with a shocking murder then backtracks (like a viewer rewinding a VHS tape) to reveal the chilling origins of this tragedy.

WINNER: BEST SHORT FILM at the 2013 Clarksdale Film Festival...
NOMINATED: BEST DIRECTING by the 2012 48hr. Guerrilla Film Challenge (international contest)...
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2013 Crossroads Film Festival

Watch Coop’s award-winning short film THE BEST DAY…


WINNER: 2012 MAGNOLIA FILM FESTIVAL "Best Homegrown Film"
WINNER: 2012 SEATTLE TRUE INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL "Best Scream"

OFFICIAL SELECTION:
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2012 CLARKSDALE FILM FESTIVAL
2012 CROSSROADS FILM FESTIVAL
2012 NORTHEAST MISSISSIPPI FILM FESTIVAL
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2012 OTHERFEST
2012 MISSISSIPPI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
2012 SUN AND SAND FILM FESTIVAL

Morgan Freeman asks Coop a question at THE BEST DAY premiere! Video below…


My short film THE BEST DAY premiered in October 2011 at the Delta Cinema in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

Little did I know I had a special guest in the audience who was about to ask me a question during the Q&A. Yep, I got a little flustered when I saw who it was.

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