NEWS: SUMMER 2018
This tweet from the N.Y. Times Arts account is more exposure by a factor of 700 galaxies than I received while actively making the films in question. The review itself can be found at the bottom of this page.
My tell-all about teaching college, driving for Uber, Russian mail order brides, Silicon Valley's virulent hypocrisy and my cringe-inducing family tree will be featured in the next issue of Filmmaker Magazine.
To mark the 10th anniversary of the premiere of my first feature film, all four of my completed films are available to stream for free on Amazon Prime Video (for a limited time).
Scroll down to learn more.
THE FIRST ATTEMPT
I had tinkered with documentaries and short films, but with a second baby on the way I was desperate to try my hand at a feature film and get it out of my system, thus clearing the field for proper parenting. I knew I would have to make a "compound film" (one that takes place almost exclusively in a single location, like a prison or hospital) in order to maximize production efficiency. Securing fairly unlimited access to a big ranch-style house with a strikingly picturesque pool and guest house prompted me to adapt a short story I'd shoved in a drawer a few years earlier.
AROUND THE BAY
- A wealthy businessman asks his estranged daughter to live with him temporarily and care for his young son from a failed second marriage.
- "A true find. Beautifully realized. Every single moment of the story rings true, aided by uniformly excellent performances." - IndieWire watch now
SOPHOMORE SLUMP AVERTED
Phillip Lopate of the New York Times was the first person to see AROUND THE BAY. His response was so favorable that I began fearing a sophomore slump before my first film had even screened publicly. Furthermore, I was wary of being pigeonholed in terms of my style or thematic preoccupations. So I began working on my second film, CANARY, before AROUND THE BAY premiered.
CANARY was destined to be...different.
- In the not-so-distant future, commercial brokering of human organs is a major growth industry, and Canary Industries is the leading firm in the business.
- "Very different, period. Fascinating to the point of repeat viewings. This second feature by Alejandro Adams confirms him as an arresting talent." - Variety watch now
THE KALEIDOSCOPE KEEPS TURNING
The praise for my first two films continued until it became overwhelming. My two options were: take a break and luxuriate in the approbation, or keep challenging myself.
How about writing, directing and editing an entire feature film in a language I don't speak? Okay, then let's make it a crime thriller without typical "bad guys," without a fetishistic depiction of firearms, and let's milk suspense from scenes shot in California daylight rather than dark, murky interiors.
"BABNIK" means "ladies' man."
When a sex trafficking ring takes an interest in a destitute young girl, Russian immigrants from various walks of life are sucked into an elaborate plot to abduct her.
- "BABNIK marks Adams as a fresh directing talent. It’s a rousing success." - BoxOffice Magazine
Remember those thematic preoccupations I didn't want to harp on way back when I made AROUND THE BAY? Things like fathers reaching out to estranged daughters? Here we go again...
But it didn't feel like I was repeating myself with AMITY: where AROUND THE BAY is elegant and elliptical, AMITY is blunt and uncinematic.
A divorced Air Force sergeant rents a limousine to surprise his estranged daughter at her high school graduation. Reeling from her rejection, he finds himself bonding with the limo driver until they encounter a group of rowdy women.
- "I was absolutely floored by AMITY. A triumph on every level." - Mark Bomback, screenwriter (WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES, OUTLAW KING)
If you get a chance to watch any of the films, drop me a line and let me know what you think.email
Things people have said about my films.
Poignant and engrossing. A very fine film which stays with me.
An arresting talent. Very different, period. Fascinating to the point of repeat viewings.
Micro in budget, macro in ambition, accomplishment, and scope. Prompts multiple viewings, and deserves them.
Distinctive and provocative. Adams produces work that is too prickly and individual to categorize.
I was absolutely floored by AMITY. I’m not sure I’ve experienced a film quite like it. A triumph on every level.
So much more ambitious and intelligent and accomplished than the films that come out of Sundance every year.
A must see. Wildly ambitious and overwhelming. A fresh-feeling sense of dystopian dread.
Adams is playing on a whole other level.
Richard von Busack
Adams is no longer a local genius but a national contender.
BABNIK marks Adams as a fresh directing talent. It’s a rousing success.
Adams has a deceptive style; initially his films seem loosely shot, but the aggregation of seemingly tossed-off scenes tightens like a noose.
It's a sucker punch of a film, and its creator is a master in the making.
An adventurous filmmaker continuing to push forward. His use of actors, light, editing rhythms, and sound design are all calibrated to the emotions on the screen, and often to the extent of becoming nearly hallucinatory.
A true find. Beautifully realized. Every single moment of the story rings true, aided by uniformly excellent performances.