For bizarre and ever-shifting reasons, my four feature films are spread across multiple streaming platforms, some broadly adopted and others unwieldy.
Scroll down for a description of each film, a brief note about its impetus and production, and links to view it online. Or feel free to browse the critical consensus around my work.
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. Though it has proven distasteful for many viewers and has been banned from various platforms as a result of its controversial themes, AMITY is almost single-handedly responsible for my resurgence among critics and colleagues over the past year, in no small part due to its prescience concerning toxic masculinity.
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, THE WOLVERINE)
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.
A must see. Wildly ambitious and overwhelming. A fresh-feeling sense of dystopian dread.
So much more ambitious and intelligent and accomplished than the films that come out of Sundance every year.
It's a sucker punch of a film, and its creator is a master in the making.
Adams is playing on a whole other level.
A true find. Beautifully realized. Every single moment of the story rings true, aided by uniformly excellent performances.
BABNIK marks Adams as a fresh directing talent. It’s a rousing success.
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.
(WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES)
I was absolutely floored by AMITY. I’m not sure I’ve experienced a film quite like it. A triumph on every level.
Adams has a deceptive style; initially his films seem loosely shot, but the aggregation of seemingly tossed-off scenes tightens like a noose.
Richard von Busack
Adams is no longer a local genius but a national contender. He is someone who understands all the tools of the cinema, such as the importance of the angle of light, the power of sound editing, the direction of a glance, the deft use of a blackout...[and] superb control of his actors.