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  1. Today
  2. La Fille Inconnue / The Unknown Girl (2016)

    Major plot spoilers! (for all Dardenne movies):
  3. Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

    SPOILER Peter wrote: Of course, the old Yoda, which is the only Yoda Luke knows, was the comical Yoda. Starwars.com (marketing, of course), has a relatively open interview with Johnson on his choices in VII here: http://www.starwars.com/news/we-had-such-a-great-time-rian-johnson-on-the-path-to-star-wars-the-last-jedi. The glove stuff doesn't bother me at all, nor does the recall of Darth Sidious. The Holdo stuff does, because its stupid within the story, even though it pays off with her jump to lightspeed. Moving Snoke out of the way, in a way that plays off ROTJ (with some direct quotes from that film here, e.g. the elevator ride) in an interesting way AND sets up a really tight action sequence and brings Ben Solo's character to a sharp point, even with the echo back to Vader's offer in ESB. The "let the past die" stuff is just a false hope on the character's part, even as the past literally dies. But it just doesn't die; it leaves a tremendous legacy that progresses the story forward in Rey's learning of Luke's lessons, and of course she may find those Jedi treatises more page-turning than Luke did.
  4. Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

    Buckeye Jones wrote: : Saw that SDG and Peter Chattaway both reflected that THE LAST JEDI refutes/replaces many of the THE FORCE AWAKENS themes/directions or "mystery boxes". It's not just the "mystery boxes". I think Luke wears a glove on his hand throughout this film, just like he did in Return of the Jedi, which feels like a rejection of the exposed mechanical hand in The Force Awakens. But yes, if The Force Awakens was a rehash of A New Hope with bits from the other two original-trilogy films tucked in, The Last Jedi is like a squished-together version of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi with many elements recycled from those films (as well as a tracker (sounds like "tractor", as in "tractor beam", right?) deactivation subplot borrowed from A New Hope). Which means Episode IX will be in truly uncharted territory. What, oh what, will JJ Abrams do. : And there's an important leadership lesson in the Holdo/Daemeron dynamic: If you actually have a plan in a stressful situation, its important to share it transparently. Would have saved a lot of headache and heartache. It's amazing to me that Vanity Fair ran an article with a headline about how this film was "the refutation of mansplaining that we need", when one of the big effing *problems* with the film is that the female leaders *don't* explain what they're doing, which leads to a lot of big problems. (Between this film and Rogue One, Disney seems to be really set on portraying the Rebels and/or Resistance as deeply conflicted people with their own power struggles and morally questionable areas.) A Facebook friend of mine, incidentally, wondered why Holdo is dressed up for a dinner party when she's supposed to be leading a military movement. It kind of parallels how I've been wondering why a Jedi Master was still flying around from place to place in an X-wing -- with his robes rather than a pilot's suit, I presume? SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS There is probably a lot more I could say about this film, but I just don't have the time to be that comprehensive right now. I will say this, though: it's a deeply conflicted film on some levels, and not just because it portrays conflicted *characters*. For example, Luke quite rightly complains that the Jedi were deeply flawed and cites the rise of Darth Sidious -- which happened on their watch -- as an example of this. (And oh, how I hated hearing Mark Hamill speak one of the prequel character names.) But then Yoda, of all people, shows up -- and he's supposed to be the voice of wisdom again! Even though he was one of those deeply flawed Jedi! *Even though he lied to Luke and tried to trick him into murdering his father in the original trilogy*, which -- in hindsight, after the prequels came out -- I always took to be a sign of how Yoda and Obi-Wan had failed to learn their lesson following the rise of the Sith! (I did think it was interesting, though, that Yoda was, in this film, once again portrayed as a somewhat comical figure, as in the original trilogy, rather than whatever he was in the prequels.)
  5. Movie Calendar

    Ron Reed wrote: : . . . and we see the imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday, which in 2003 would be February 13. Are you sure about that? I met my wife in 2003 and we went on our second date on February 13 (the "un-Valentine's Day date", as I called it, because it was the day before Valentine's Day). We got married two years later on February 13, which, in 2005, was a Sunday. That would make February 13 a Friday in 2004 (because of the leap year) and a Thursday in 2003, no?
  6. Yesterday
  7. Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

    Saw it last night. Some thoughts. I forget who it was who pointed it out in The Force Awakens thread, but again, John Williams does not contribute any signature score to this film. There is a lot of recovery and insertion of traditional Star Wars music into The Last Jedi, but nothing new. Every time Hux appeared on screen I sighed and whispered to myself, "I miss you, Tarkin."
  8. The Case for Christ (2017)

    It's ironic to me that Peter mentions the treatment of Catholicism here, as one of the main things that I was struck by is the representation of race. Towards the end of my article on "Left Behind as Evangelical Pornography" I tried to respond to one (anonymous) reviewer's assessment that I was doing a "paranoid reading" and asking whether it would be possible to do a reparative reading. I wrote a little about race and Catholicism: I was thinking about this last paragraph a lot during the early scenes of The Case for Christ as we get the trope of the religiously enlightened Black contrasted to the intellectually arrogant white. There is something in the treatment of race in these films (Pure Flix, Sherwood, LB) that genuinely puzzles me. At times I think it is aspirational, but at other times I feel like it it (and I use this word advisedly), politically correct...an indication of something that the writers/creators know should be but when they try to draw it comes out like nothing I've ever seen in real life.
  9. Greetings, I'm Michelle and I work with YaliniDream in spreading messages of healing and hope. From looking at your forum, I thought you would appreciate this video meditation for frightening times that YaliniDream co-created in collaboration with Ganavya Doraiswamy & Illuminatrix Photograpy & Video. YaliniDream conjures Spirit through her unique blend of poetry, theater, song, and dance-- reshaping reality and seeking peace through justice in the lands of earth, psyche, soul, and dream. She is an international touring performing artist who has presented performances and facilitated meetings, workshops, trainings, retreats, and intensives internationally in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America as well as at numerous universities. YaliniDream consults with Vision Change Win working nationally with groups and organizations fighting for justice including the Arab American Association of New York, Borealis Philanthropy, BreakOUT! Youth, Dalit Women Fight, Jewish Voice for Peace, Muslim Arc, the North Star Fund, the Transgender Law Center, Voices for Racial Justice, and more. YaliniDream is also an Arts & Wellness specialist with EM Arts; teaches "Social Justice Pedagogy and the Arts" at University of San Francisco; and tours internationally with her partner Jendog Lonewolf as part of the Hip Hop Storytelling Duo Brooklyn DreamWolf. Wishing you peace & joy, Michelle
  10. Movie Calendar

    MALCOLM X I don't think we've covered this, beyond John noting on on Feb 21, 2015, that the film portrays the assassination, which occurred on Feb 21, 1965. There is likely more we could track down than I've grabbed here, but at least this adds to the list. Oh, and at the very beginning of the thread Darrel cited May 19, which was Malcolm's birth date, but I don't believe that's actually shown in the film. (Oh, I'm wrong! There's a dialogue mention: "May 19 we celebrate Malcolm X's birthday..." ) The film opens with footage of the Rodney King beating, which occurred March 3, 1991. June 18, 1941 is Joe Louis' first victory over Billy Conn, winning the World Light Heavyweight title. April 26, 1957: Johnson Hinton beaten by police, Malcolm X leads a crowd who demand Hinton's transfer to hospital. The transfer to Sydenham Hospital in Harlem occurred on the morning of April 27. There's also a newspaper with a date on it which I'd need BluRay to read. The headline is MALCOLM X FILES MILLION DOLLAR SUIT.
  11. Movie Calendar

    LADY BIRD Takes place in 2002 (which she likes because it's a palindrome). So the Thanksgiving scene would be November 28, and I think we also see the morning after Thanksgiving? There's a poster showing the dates of the play (maybe Dec 5/6/7?), and I presume it's opening night that is shown. We see Christmas morning. There's a dateable TV news report for something in early 2003, and we see the imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday, which in 2003 would be February 13.
  12. Yes, those introductory pieces by Jeremy are phenomenal and really helpful. I don' think they've been posted in this thread, so here they are: http://imagejournal.org/2017/12/11/arts-faith-top-25-films-waking-part-1/ http://imagejournal.org/2017/12/12/arts-faith-top-25-films-waking-part-2/ Two requests for the Image/website people. 1. Could there be links to Jeremy's introductory essays on the page that has the list itself? 2. Could there be a link to the list from the A&F Top 100 page? ( http://artsandfaith.com/t100/) Most of the previous A&F lists are there but the link to the 2016 list on Mercy is missing as is a link to this year's list. I think people are more likely to come across the Top 100 page and then link to the Waking Up or other Top 25 lists than the other way around.
  13. Last week
  14. Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

    Saw that SDG and Peter Chattaway both reflected that THE LAST JEDI refutes/replaces many of the THE FORCE AWAKENS themes/directions or "mystery boxes". Much of the storyline in TLJ is specifically focused on moving on from the past, so thematically you could say TLJ is reacting to the nostalgia bomb that was in TFA. Though, at one of the initial climaxes, a dramatic and not unexpected shift in allegiance quickly blends callbacks to both ROTJ and ESB--it was as if Johnson faced nostalgia head on, and then shook it up. What follows is certainly exciting and interesting as it moves our players to the final acts of this trilogy. Ultimately, I didn't feel that TLJ refuted or rolled its eyes at TFA, even if what was set up as big fan concerns (you'll recall the endless debates over a couple of characters' origins) was rather quickly addressed and forced the characters to move on, or not, as the case may be. Hamill did really good work here, and I found myself wishing that instead of this trilogy, Lucasfilm had picked up the story 15 years earlier in the narrative. I think there was a ton of interesting story to explore with Skywalker's attempts at restoring the Jedi order, and the conflicts that arose in that time period that would have potentially been more dramatically satisfying than the current stories. But perhaps that was ground already covered in Lucas' own prequels, with Anakin's fall and all that. The diverging storylines probably could have used a little bit of tightening, particularly Finn's. And there's an important leadership lesson in the Holdo/Daemeron dynamic: If you actually have a plan in a stressful situation, its important to share it transparently. Would have saved a lot of headache and heartache. It's a good movie, with a lot to like. I tend to think it provides a valuable continuation of what started in TFA in a way that pushes the story forward in interesting ways but without "course correcting". SPOILER Having grown up as a kid seeing the original films came out, I am not a real fan of watching the big three not survive these individual films. I'd have loved to have seen Han, Luke, and Leia share some screen time again, and "pass the baton" if you will through means other than their deaths. I'm very glad Johnson put Luke and Leia together, even for a brief moment.
  15. Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

    Spoilery review. The spoilery section is clearly marked so if you wanna read up to that point cool
  16. Oscars 2018: Best Foreign Language Film

    The Insult is really good and surprisingly accessible. Glad to see it getting noticed.
  17. Oscars 2018: Best Foreign Language Film

    Makala and Faces Places weren't on the original list of contenders, presumably because they are both French and France had already submitted BPM for consideration.
  18. Oscars 2018: Best Foreign Language Film

    I thought BPM (memorable, affecting activist romance) > The Square (bizarre, quite entertaining) > In the Fade (interesting but ultimately slight). Other glaring oversights are Makala (will probably be second on my Best of 2017 list), Faces Places, and Thelma.
  19. Oscars 2018: Best Foreign Language Film

    The nine-movie shortlist: Chile, “A Fantastic Woman,” Sebastián Lelio, director Germany, “In the Fade,” Fatih Akin, director Hungary, “On Body and Soul,” Ildikó Enyedi, director Israel, “Foxtrot,” Samuel Maoz, director Lebanon, “The Insult,” Ziad Doueiri, director Russia, “Loveless,” Andrey Zvyagintsev, director Senegal, “Félicité,” Alain Gomis, director South Africa, “The Wound,” John Trengove, director Sweden, “The Square,” Ruben Östlund, director Two of the more glaring omissions here are BPM (Beats Per Minute) and Angelina Jolie's First They Killed My Father. The only film on this list that I've seen so far is The Square. The final live nominees will be announced January 23.
  20. I'd also second: Logan Lucky War for the Planet of the Apes And would like to nominate "Logan." One of my faves of the year (for various reasons). Wade Bearden captured some wonderful thoughts about logan here: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/march-web-only/logan-is-ragged-intimate-depiction-of-wages-of-sin.html I know earlier in the thread that Disney/Pixar was under consideration for boycotting, but "CoCo" is currently in my Top 15 of the year. It earned one of my highest grades. At it’s heart, it is a film about family, choices, the power of something beyond self, and remembering those who paved the way before us. An absolutely beautiful story that touches on some interesting themes and topics for adults and children alike. The animation is flawless, and in some scenes, I was literally speechless at the intricate detail. It offered truly wonderful and distinct characters, some great cameos, and tributes to real life historical figures. The film kept getting better the further along it went. Some of the scenes were so touching that even grown men were brought to tears – this is an amazing piece of cinema that I’ll revisit a few more times. I'd also like to nominate: "Wonder" - It is a story of perseverance, family devotion, courage, and standing up against oppression. This film is told from multiple character perspectives ( I loved that uniqueness). It is a marvelously wonderful family film, well-acted, topical themes, & great character chemistry.
  21. Sorry to be so late to the dialogue here - My credentials some how got wonky when trying to sign in. Here's an "under the radar" nomination: I'd like to nominate "The Bachelors" with JK Simmons & Josh Wiggins. This film follows a father and son attempting to start a new life after the death of a wife and mother. It is a film ultimately about trying to come to terms with loss, sadness and loneliness. The story question that drives the film - can a father and son move on through the pain to a better place in life - and if they can, will their relationship remain intact? J.K. Simmons is such a strong and authentic actor, His talents are so amazingly natural. Wiggins really impressed me also. This Drama with touches of organic comedy - Written and directed by Kurt Voelker. This picture offers wonderful shot selections and editing; really amazing storytelling through visual and musical montages. I Loved, Loved, loved the original music & the lighting choices for certain key scenes, It was absolutely amazing in helping to tell the story. I was truly impressed with the chemistry between Simmons & Josh Wiggins. It was truly a beautiful father and son relationship story - which is so different from many that we read about in books or see on film today. It was about finding strength to move on in life together and individually as well. One of only a few films I gave an "A+" to this year.
  22. I second Princess Cyd. It's now available to rent via iTunes and Amazon, and would be well worth your time to view it.
  23. Oscars 2018: Best Picture

    Evan C wrote: : Huh. The Post was shut out completely. Was it not screened in time, or did the SAG not care for it? Oh, SAG members had a chance to see it, all right. I went to a press screening in Vancouver a couple weeks ago and got a DVD copy of the film shortly after that. I would be very, very, *very* surprised if SAG members had not had at least as many chances to see it as I did. I also liked the film a lot, but I guess SAG liked these other films (or the performances therein) more. Of these five, Lady Bird is the only one that I don't have as a screener or can't watch on streaming. (Mudbound is on Netflix, The Big Sick is on Amazon, and I have DVDs of the other two. I also have a DVD of Mudbound, which is kind of redundant, not least because I can stream a higher-def version of the film!) So I guess I should watch it soon.
  24. I really enjoyed the introductory essays that tied together thoughts about the entire list. I look forward to seeing the ones on the list that I have not yet had a chance to view. Thanks for letting me contribute, too.
  25. Oscars 2018: Best Picture

    Huh. The Post was shut out completely. Was it not screened in time, or did the SAG not care for it? Of these five, I haven't seen Mudbound yet, but I would guess the race is between Lady Bird and Get Out for the Oscar.
  26. Oscars 2018: Best Picture

    The Screen Actors Guild award nominees for best ensemble cast, which is as close as the SAG gets to a Best Picture category: THE BIG SICK (Amazon Studios/Lionsgate) ADEEL AKHTAR / Naveed HOLLY HUNTER / Beth ZOE KAZAN / Emily ANUPAM KHER / Azmat KUMAIL NANJIANI / Kumail RAY ROMANO / Terry ZENOBIA SHROFF / Sharmeen GET OUT (Universal Pictures) CALEB LANDRY JONES / Jeremy Armitage DANIEL KALUUYA / Chris Washington CATHERINE KEENER / Missy Armitage STEPHEN ROOT / Jim Hudson LAKEITH STANFIELD / Andrew/Logan King BRADLEY WHITFORD / Dean Armitage ALLISON WILLIAMS / Rose Armitage LADY BIRD (A24) TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET / Kyle Scheible BEANIE FELDSTEIN / Julie Steffans LUCAS HEDGES / Danny O’Neill TRACY LETTS / Larry McPherson STEPHEN McKINLEY HENDERSON / Father Leviatch LAURIE METCALF / Marion McPherson JORDAN RODRIGUES / Miguel McPherson SAOIRSE RONAN / Lady Bird McPherson ODEYA RUSH / Jenna Walton MARIELLE SCOTT / Shelly Yuhan LOIS SMITH / Sister Sarah Joan MUDBOUND (Netflix) JONATHAN BANKS / Pappy McAllan MARY J. BLIGE / Florence Jackson JASON CLARKE / Henry McAllan GARRETT HEDLUND / Jamie McAllan JASON MITCHELL / Ronsel Jackson ROB MORGAN / Hap Jackson CAREY MULLIGAN / Laura McAllan THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI (Fox Searchlight) ABBIE CORNISH / Anne PETER DINKLAGE / James WOODY HARRELSON / Willoughby JOHN HAWKES / Charlie LUCAS HEDGES / Robbie ŽELJKO IVANEK / Desk Sgt. CALEB LANDRY JONES / Red Welby FRANCES McDORMAND / Mildred CLARKE PETERS / Abercrombie SAM ROCKWELL / Dixon SAMARA WEAVING / Penelope The winner will be announced January 21.
  27. Oscars 2018: Best Supporting Actress

    The Screen Actors Guild award nominees: MARY J. BLIGE / Florence Jackson – “MUDBOUND” (Netflix) HONG CHAU / Ngoc Lan Tran – “DOWNSIZING” (Paramount Pictures) HOLLY HUNTER / Beth – “THE BIG SICK” (Amazon Studios/Lionsgate) ALLISON JANNEY / LaVona Golden – “I, TONYA” (Neon/30West) LAURIE METCALF / Marion McPherson – “LADY BIRD” (A24) The winner will be announced January 21.
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