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>>>>>on the topic of CAN'T OR WON'T NOT:
[note: this text is written after a wrap-up of Terrence's favorite films screened at Tromadance] Columbus-native Adam Cooley?s ?Can?t or Won?t Not? was entirely produced, conceived and executed as a visual, computer-generated and modified experiment by the 23-year-old self-taught director. It was, perhaps the most artistically challenging and provocative film shown during TromaDance. [note: this text is written as the first thoughts on Can't or Won't Not] However, it was the next film, ?Can?t or Won?t Not,? which proved itself to be a surprisingly, experimental gem of a film. This digital, computer art themed film was created by a 23-year-old Columbus, Indiana native, Adam Cooley. This, his first movie, was a visually promising , color-filled work that played upon a fusion of pop-culture and computer-generated effects. It was a challenging and interesting exploration of virtual and real life that sadly needed tighter dialogue and a little more variation. All-in-all, Cooley is film-producer that deserves and needs to further continue and refine his heightened visions. - Terrence Aldridge

Adam Cooley's collage film Nothing is More Beautiful than Nothing (2009) possesses a style and energy similar to those made by the likes of Stan Vanderbeek and Jeff Keen in the 1960s. Crucially though, that energy has been translated into something which is ultimately unique to Cooley himself. So while Nothing ... is effective in forging a valuable link with its ancestors, it certainly can't be reduced to them. It remains to be seen where Cooley takes his vision: how he focuses it; what he uses it to 'say'. However, viewed as a sketch or a work in progress or a suggestion, Nothing... indicates the arrival of a filmmaker well worth following in order to find out. - Russell Hedges, University of East London

>>>>>on the topic of NO REASON TO EXIST:
"The most watchable and well-made no-budget film I've probably ever seen, No Reason to Exist by Adam Cooley was conceived with literally $0 but the grainy black and white high-contrasted visuals look like a million bucks in this context. This whole film is mostly a one man show and is very loose and bizarre but has a unique and interesting energy that makes the entire production feel fresh and compelling. Cooley seems to enjoy playing around with genre conventions and cliches and I smelled a Godard reference or two in here (aside from the film actually being dedicated to Mr. French New Wave himself). A compelling, fresh, easy-to-watch film with a perfect length (just under 46 minutes). Cooley is truely gifted and a true original, something most filmmakers can't easily claim, it will be interesting to see what else he does in the future. - Josh Smith, Ink and Dagger zine

Once again Adam Cooley proves he is the best experimental film maker working today. The more I watch his films the more I see. They become like a giant Rorschach painting, as styles and sound change at an almost incomprehensible rate ,he weaves a work of the world of the 21st century. If you are looking to see where the outermost edge of modern film making goes look no further - You are staring right into the heart of it. - suicidepuppet on May 06 2010 16:43:39


The work of zero-budget auteur Adam Cooley is a provocative reminder that the career trajectory of a filmmaker should not necessarily conform to that envisaged by the majority of aspiring media professionals – and, likewise, the psychedelic potpourri of actor-director-editor Cooley’s lo-fi visions, rendered with primitive software and poor equipment, are a rejoinder to the overproduced gloss many seek to emulate. But his work (of which this is perhaps his finest achievement yet) is at once an entirely honest and personal experience, as well as a totally unprepossessing odyssey of unrivaled cinematic genius. Currently Untitled positions itself as a pseudo-documentary, charting the misadventures of a semi-fictional character who’s “making films for absolutely no-one”, and as such, through its hodgepodge of sped-up, slowed-down, pitch-shifted, colour-twisted imagery, mines much the same thematic territory as Jean-Luc Godard’s 1980s output, or even the work of Toshio Matsumoto or Shūji Terayama, both of whom Cooley cites as influences. That the majority of film wannabes dream of becoming the next Christopher Nolan, Steven Soderbergh or even James Cameron is itself not a depressing reality, nor is it a valid cause for argument, but the prohibitive and knee-jerk attitude these same students and hobbyists – and, we must add, their educators and champions – have toward alternative cinematic sensibilities is not only shockingly fascist but socially intolerable. The more exposure given to filmmakers like Cooley by any media outlet helps to break this mindset: contrary to conventional movie wisdom, his work has garnered high praise and genuinely supportive reviews, with limited independent sell-thru releases of this and other films in the US – facts that not only offer encouragement to all alternative filmmakers, but quite rightly suggest Cooley’s films in particular deserve much more than a cursory interest. Unfortunately, modern mainstream attitudes might preclude this, which is an incredible shame, because it should not be inconceivable to see an Adam Cooley original on show in the same arthouse and multiplex theatres that promote Avatar (2009; dir. James Cameron) or Iron Man 2 (2010; dir. Jon Favreau). -