a selection of quotes and reviews of recent films:
THE EMPYREAN (post-production) - casting director, co-producer
dir. Amiel Courtin-Wilson
DF: You combine two aesthetics that are often seen as being counterposed in the cinema: on the one hand, a kind of quotidian social-realism focusing on the marginalised layers of society, which you capture very strongly in your films, and then on the other hand an openness to lyrical abstraction and visual expressiveness. You’re trying to fuse the two.
ACW: It’s a great point. Even going back to Hail I was interested in there being a mythical or operatic emotional scale in the film, and colliding the mythic with the social-realist. That comes from the sheer sense of scale of the human beings that I’ve met with and befriended. It’s about trying to capture the yearnings of these people, which are immense and know no bounds. Restricting yourself to the cinematic lexicon of observational documentary wouldn’t do justice to the immensity of these characters’ interior lives.
MICKEY AND THE BEAR (2019) - Montana casting
dir. Annabelle Attanasio
“The movie is set in foot-of-the-mountains Anaconda, where it was also shot. A former mining center, it's now home to a large community of military veterans, an aspect that initially drew Attanasio to the locale. For all her research, though, the film never lapses into a treatise or lecture.” -Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter
SOLLERS POINT (2018) - Baltimore casting director
dir. Matthew Porterfield
“A kind of urban pastoral, the well-cast, handsomely shot movie unfolds as a series of encounters, each one an attempt by the central character to find his footing in his hardscrabble working-class community, on the edges of the city near the waterfront . . . Another potent example of regional filmmaking from the Baltimore auteur." -Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter
WHITE BOY RICK (2018) - Baltimore casting scout
dir. Yann Demange
"The standout turn here is Merritt’s, projecting both the streetwise toughness that attracted the authorities and the kind of determination that, under different social circumstances, might have allowed for Rick to find a legitimate path to a better life." -Peter Debruge, Variety