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  1. Today
  2. Mother! (Darren Aronofsky)

    The Heretical Gnosticism of Darren Aronofsky's Most Daring Film Moreover, the love that generates the world is encased in an imperfect vessel, as Lurianic Kabbalah holds. Its spark is contained in a vessel that will inevitably shatter, bringing evil into the world. When Woman ate of the forbidden fruit, it wasn’t an apple or a fig – it was the kli, the vessel of the Divine Light itself. And she shattered it. Darren Aronofsky has thus retold the gnostic myth of the kosmos, with God as Satan. It is not God who creates or maintains the world: it is the Goddess; Her; Isis; Astarte; Asherah. The Male God is the False God, as Gnosticism (and perhaps some echoes of it in Kabbalah) insists. He is the usurper of the power of the true Deity, the Feminine, the Goddess, and while she gives and nourishes, he lives only for himself. Jay Michaelson, Forward, September 20 - - - I want to hear more about this "Lurianic Kabbalah" and its "vessel that will inevitably shatter". All the "heart" imagery in the house -- and the way it is fused with the crystal that serves as an allegorical stand-in for the forbidden fruit -- reminds me of how the forbidden fruit in Noah pulsed like a heart. And there's a close-up of Bardem and Lawrence holding hands in mother! that feels, to me, very reminiscent of a close-up of Adam and Eve holding hands in Noah as they walk towards the trees at the centre of the Garden of Eden.
  3. Yesterday
  4. Mother! (Darren Aronofsky)

    I liked it. *runs and hides*
  5. Mother! (Darren Aronofsky)

    One critic considers it to be a deeply Christian movie, but only if you interpret the title character to be the devil himself.
  6. First Reformed

    After reading a few descriptions of the premise, Winter Light came to mind, and if you're mentioning Tarkovsky with Bergman, my mind goes to The Sacrifice. They end pretty differently though, from each other and Pickpocket... All wonderful films though, so I can't wait to see this one! Thanks for avoiding spoilers and/or clearly marking them. I hate reviews, including one I just read of this film, that seem to assume it's fair game to reveal what seem to me to be major spoilers even if they don't happen toward the end. I don't mind hints and suggestive allusions, but not why start revealing plot points and character developments? This makes sense, now that you say it. I once argued some sort of similar (the only time I've presented on film at an academic conference; literature is my domain), that Schrader's Transcendental Style misreads Dreyer's transcendental style, which is more of an integration of transcendental and immanent. My larger argument was that Schrader's book can be considered an early example of "post-secular" scholarship, which is still pretty "secular." Hardcore is the only Schrader film I've seen, and I thought it was an interesting and even important take on the Midwestern Dutch Reformed world that is very much my background, even if it was rather unfortunately on the nose. (Schrader was at Calvin College at the same time my parents were attending, for instance...I also went there.) It seems like this film foregrounds spiritual elements in a way that one didn't while still including a critique of religious institutions/norms. If the film's examination of environmentalism and corporate irresponsibility is anything like Hardcore's look at pornography and prostitution, I'll be pleased. But I'm just speculating now... I'm looking forward to coming back and seeing how others have already interpreted it.
  7. Movie Calendar

    Experiment In Terror Ticket to ball game at Candlestick Park: Aug 8, 1961
  8. Movie Calendar

    One, Two, Three (1961, Billy Wilder) “On Sunday, August 13, 1961, the eyes of America were on the nation’s capital, where Roger Maris was hitting home runs number 44 and 45 against the Senators. On that same day, without any warning, the East German Communists sealed off the border between East and West Berlin. I only mention this to show the kind of people we’re dealing with—real shifty."
  9. Last week
  10. Downsizing

    Nearly 3 years later, and Damon was able to fit in both THE GREAT WALL, and SUBURBICON to his schedule. At least this one looks like something I'd go see, whereas those other two..... edit: A brilliant casting director would have brought in Rob Brydon as the tiny professor in the box.

    Oops! I forgot to add the link! Haha. Thanks.

    Link to Darryl's piece. It's a good piece.

    I wrote 3,000 words on Twin Peaks: The Return. I'm not sure how coherent any of it is. But I was grateful for the conversation here which helped solidify some of my thoughts.
  14. The Disaster Artist

    Trailer #2
  15. The Impossible (not the 2012 film)

    Got a press release for the book today: - - - THE IMPOSSIBLE BOOK SET TO RELEASE ON NOVEMBER 7 THROUGH HACHETTE BOOK GROUP, 20th CENTURY FOX FILM ADAPTATION TO FOLLOW Miraculous True Story of Mother’s Faith and Child’s Resurrection Defies All History, Experts and Science LOS ANGELES (Sept. 18, 2017) – The inspiring and incredible true story of Joyce Smith and her son John, told through The Impossible- The Miraculous Story of a Mother’s Faith and Her Child’s Resurrection is set to release through Hachette Book Group, Tuesday, November 7. An upcoming film is also in development through 20th Century Fox, by Executive Producer DeVon Franklin (Heaven is for Real, Miracles from Heaven). When Joyce Smith's 14-year-old son John fell through an icy Missouri lake one winter morning, she had seemingly lost everything. At the hospital, John lay lifeless for more than 60 minutes. They asked themselves, “How could God do this to us?” But Joyce was not ready to give up on her son. She mustered all her faith and strength and cried out to God in a loud and desperate plea to save her son. Immediately, her son's heart miraculously started beating again. Through this story, Joyce hopes to touch those who believe in miracles and healing, but also reach those who are seeking bigger answers by representing the true power of prayer and the realness and nearness of God. This story will change how we look at the world and handle our everyday experiences, and reinforce our belief in God and the way we pray. “Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that our family would embark on such a miraculous journey or have the divine honor and privilege to share such an amazing story of God's mighty healing power,” states Joyce Smith. “Each and every day I am eternally grateful for God answering this mother's prayers in such a profound way. Nothing is impossible with God, He always has the final word.” In the days after John’s accident, he would defy every expert, every case history, and every scientific prediction. Sixteen days after falling through the ice and being pronounced clinically dead for an hour, John Smith walked out of the hospital on his own two feet, completely healed. “We have spent the last two years searching around the world to see if there is another case like John’s and we have found one that has some of the same characteristics,” said Dr. Jeremy Garrett, Cardinal Glennon PICU Doctor Area expert on drowning and Hypothermia. Adding, “John is the only person we can find who has survived and come back 100 percent in the world that we know of.” THE IMPOSSIBLE is about a profound truth: prayer really works. God uses it to remind us that He is always with us, and when paired with unwavering faith, nothing is impossible. For more information, please visit: Website: www.theimpossiblebook.com www.hachettebookgroup.com
  16. Mother! (Darren Aronofsky)

    Regarding the yellow powder that Lawrence drinks, see this interview with Anne Thompson: "And what is that yellow potion that Mother drinks when she gets anxious? 'I will never answer what Jen is drinking,' said Aronofsky. 'That secret I will take to the grave.' "
  17. Netflix and Other Home-Video Vendors [was: DVD-by-Mail]

    : As of this month, the streaming platform offers just 43 movies made before 1970, and fewer than 25 from the pre-1950 era (several of which are World War II documentaries). I assume these are the documentaries that Netflix posted in conjunction with the brand-new documentary Five Came Back, which is about the *making* of those documentaries. : It’s the sort of classics selection you’d expect to find in a decrepit video store in 1993, not on a leading entertainment platform that serves some 100 million global subscribers. Netflix’s DVD subscribers enjoy a much wider selection (four million customers still opt to receive discs in the mail) . . . Netflix doesn't have any DVD subscribers outside of the US. And it bears mentioning that Netflix's selection varies from country to country, so it's possible that there are different numbers of pre-1970 and pre-1950 films in each territory.
  18. Uh-oh, another website redesign.

    I want to say that one of the previous boards had several looks. I experimented with a couple, but had trouble reverting back to the original look, which I liked best. .
  19. First Reformed

  20. La Fille Inconnue / The Unknown Girl (2016)

    My interview was posted a couple weeks ago.
  21. First Reformed

    MAJOR SPOILERS (because I want to talk about this with Ken) . . . . . . I have a completely different reading of the end. If you think it's anticipated by Pickpocket, then I assume you think the last image is really happening? I'm 100% sure he has committed suicide and the final moments are him "standing on holy ground." In which case the main point of reference isn't Pickpocket but Through a Glass Darkly, when the father tells his son:
  22. First Reformed

    Per Schrader's own book and video lecture: Bresson, Ozu, and Dreyer. Film very clearly references Tarkovsky (and through him Bergman), though to say which film would verge on spoiler territory. I've argued elsewhere that Schrader's definitions of Transcendental Cinema are much more about Bresson than Ozu or Dreyer in Schrader's mind, and the end here should be anticipated somewhat by anyone who knows how much he loves Pickpocket (and why), though the most obvious comparisons are Diary of a Country Priest (might even be shots that are referential) and The Devil, Probably (particularly in the environmental montage).
  23. Mother! (Darren Aronofsky)

    The allegorical elements of this film are fairly obvious and heavy-handed, but there are a few elements I'm wondering about regarding their symbolism or meaning. SPOILERS all around: So, Lawrence = Mother Nature/Creation and Bardem = God/deity. The house is the created order, or the planet Earth in particular, which Mother Nature cares for and keeps alive (hence the beating heart in the walls) though it is "owned" and controlled by God. Harris and Pfeiffer are Adam and Eve figures. The Gleesons are Cain and Abel. That all seems fairly clear to me. So what do you think the following represent: The toilet monster/heart. Is this the Earth crying out for help? The yellow powder Lawrence drinks throughout the film. I have no idea what to make of this yet. The pictures of Bardem. Are they icons of sorts, or even idols (graven images)? FWIW, here's my review. I'm mostly positive on the film, though I find it difficult to recommend it to anyone.
  24. "Netflix, Streaming Video and the Slow Death of the Classic Film" http://www.newsweek.com/2017/09/22/netflix-streaming-movies-classics-664512.html
  25. Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

    According to a Slashfilm podcast some people have been able to see the film early and have given good reviews of it, saying it is different and even somewhat divisive for Star Wars fans. I'm excited again
  26. First Reformed

    I'm intrigued! Might I ask what you consider, in this case, to be "the best"?

    I've said most of this elsewhere, but I went ahead and put together twelve inconclusive thoughts on The Return.
  28. Blade Runner 2

    The second short-film prequel:
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