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  1. Yesterday
  2. Peter T Chattaway

    Oscars 2019: Best Screenplay (Adapted)

    The USC Scripter nominees (this award is for *adapted* screenplays specifically): Black Panther -- Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole, based on the character created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby Can You Ever Forgive Me? -- Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty and author Lee Israel The Death of Stalin -- Armando Iannucci, Ian Martin, and David Schneider, based on the graphic novel by Fabien Nury and Thierry Robin If Beale Street Could Talk -- Barry Jenkins and author James Baldwin Leave No Trace -- Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini, based on the novel “My Abandonment” by Peter Rock Three Scripter nominees were also nominated by the WGA (said nominees being Black Panther, Can You Ever Forgive Me? and If Beale Street Could Talk). I don't know how the eligibility rules for the two awards compare to each other. The winner will be announced February 9.
  3. Peter T Chattaway


    Anders wrote: : I haven't seen Ant-Man and the Wasp, but I definitely noticed the Black Panther parallels. Especially in how Orm's and Killmonger's motivations kind of mirror each other. I was thinking less of motivations than I was of the ritual combat involved in the fantasy kingdoms' succession rites, but yeah. As for Ant-Man and the Wasp, both films feature a significant -- and strikingly similar, in some ways -- subplot involving a protagonist's mother (and in both cases, she is played by a veteran of the Burton-Schumacher Batman films!).
  4. Peter T Chattaway

    Super Cats

    kenmorefield wrote: : I did not know, for instance, that Panthers allegedly have the strongest jaws of any cat because they ate turtles. And now I find myself hoping that there is a villain in Black Panther's rogues gallery called The Turtle.
  5. Peter T Chattaway

    A Tweak Regarding Polls

    kenmorefield wrote: : . . . if it creates problems (such as a user making frivolous polls cluttering up threads he/she didn't create . . . FWIW, I don't *think* this would be possible. I believe that, to add a poll, you have to edit the first post in any given thread -- and only the person who created that post (and thus the thread) can do that. (Well, administrators can presumably edit introductory posts too.) But it's always possible that someone who *did* create a thread would add a frivolous poll to it! I pledge here and now not to do that.
  6. Christian

    Trashing CDs and DVDs

    I kept my screeners for several years, simply because I thought I might want to eventually watch the ones I didn't get around to watching before annual deadlines, or would revisit the ones I enjoyed. But a couple of years ago, in a purge of "stuff" cluttering our house, I cut up most of those old screeners - yes, with heavy-duty scissors - as I'd been instructed to do. My hand muscles were sore for days afterward! Apologies to the environment, although I can't say that was a major concern of mine when committing the DVD-icide.
  7. Peter T Chattaway

    Oscars 2019: Best Visual Effects

    The Visual Effects Society award nominees: Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature Avengers: Infinity War Christopher Robin Ready Player One Solo: A Star Wars Story Welcome to Marwen Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature 12 Strong Bird Box Bohemian Rhapsody First Man Outlaw King Outstanding Animated Character in a Photoreal Feature Avengers: Infinity War; Thanos Christopher Robin; Tigger Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom; Indoraptor Ready Player One; Art3mis Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature Ant-Man and the Wasp; Journey to the Quantum Realm Aquaman; Atlantis Ready Player One; The Shining, Overlook Hotel Solo: A Star Wars Story; Vandor Planet Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Photoreal Project Aquaman; Third Act Battle Echo; Time Displacement Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom; Gyrosphere Escape Ready Player One; New York Race Welcome to Marwen; Town of Marwen Outstanding Model in a Photoreal or Animated Project Avengers: Infinity War; Nidavellir Forge Megastructure Incredibles 2; Underminer Vehicle Mortal Engines; London Ready Player One; DeLorean DMC-12 Solo: A Star Wars Story; Millennium Falcon Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature Avengers: Infinity War; Titan Avengers: Infinity War; Wakanda Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Venom Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Feature Avengers: Infinity War; Titan First Man Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Welcome to Marwen So: 6 nominations in 5 categories for Avengers: Infinity War; 5 nominations for Ready Player One; 3 nominations apiece for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Solo: A Star Wars Story and Welcome to Marwen; 2 nominations apiece for Aquaman, Christopher Robin and First Man; and 1 nomination apiece for Ant-Man and the Wasp, Bird Box, Bohemian Rhapsody, Echo, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Mortal Engines, Outlaw King, 12 Strong and Venom (and Incredibles 2, the only animated film to be nominated in the 'Outstanding Model' category; it is also one of four films that are nominated in all four of the exclusively-animated categories). Notably, all of the films on the Oscar shortlist are represented here *except* for Black Panther and Mary Poppins Returns. (Strikingly, Black Panther did not get a single nomination, but Avengers: Infinity War is nominated for its depiction of Wakanda!) Aquaman is the only film with multiple VES nominations that is not on the Oscar shortlist (though it was on the longlist). The VES has also nominated two Netflix releases (Bird Box and Outlaw King) and four other films (Bohemian Rhapsody, Echo, 12 Strong and Venom) that were not on the Oscar longlist, much less its shortlist (notably, four of the six films that were not on the longlist are VES nominees for "supporting" effects, i.e. the films in question were not the sort of films in which visual effects played a leading role). Also notable: there are only two films that were nominated by both the VES and the Annie Awards for character animation in a live-action/photoreal movie, said films being Avengers: Infinity War and Christopher Robin. The Annies also nominated Mary Poppins Returns, Paddington 2 and The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, whereas the VES nominated Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Ready Player One. The winners will be announced February 5.
  8. Peter T Chattaway

    Oscars 2019: Best Animated Feature

    The Visual Effects Society award nominees: Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature Dr. Seuss' The Grinch Incredibles 2 Isle of Dogs Ralph Breaks the Internet Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Dr. Seuss' The Grinch; The Grinch Incredibles 2; Helen Parr Ralph Breaks the Internet; Ralphzilla Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse; Miles Morales Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature Dr. Seuss' The Grinch; Whoville Incredibles 2; Parr House Ralph Breaks the Internet; Social Media District Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse; Graphic New York City Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature Dr. Seuss' The Grinch; Snow, Clouds and Smoke Incredibles 2 Ralph Breaks the Internet; Virus Infection & Destruction Smallfoot Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Incredibles 2 is also nominated in "Outstanding Model in a Photoreal or Animated Project", for the Underminer Vehicle; the other nominees are Avengers: Infinity War, Mortal Engines, Ready Player One and Solo: A Star Wars Story. So: 5 nominations for Incredibles 2; 4 nominations apiece for Dr Seuss' The Grinch, Ralph Breaks the Internet and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse; and 1 nomination apiece for Isle of Dogs and Smallfoot. The winners will be announced February 5.
  9. kenmorefield

    Trashing CDs and DVDs

    I used to mail the Magnolia ones back, because they sent 20-30 each year in a bundle. I would be happy to return any screeners with postage, but I don't want to pay for 20-30 separate mailings.
  10. Andrew

    2019 List Preliminary Discussion

    That's a fair question, but looking at the Waking Up list, I don't anticipate a lot of overlap. The only one that I see a strong likelihood of repeating would be This Is Martin Bonner. Looking for instance at the Kurosawa choices for the Waking Up list, I would hope that Red Beard and Ikiru (though a perennial favorite here) would not make the list, since there are much better examples of his work that fit the Growing Older theme better. Other films on the Waking Up list - Spirited Away, The Truman Show, the 3 Malicks, Fearless, Close Encounters, Punch Drunk Love - don't seem a good fit for the Growing Older theme either. Just my two cents...
  11. Darren H

    2019 List Preliminary Discussion

    I pulled Cheever off the shelf on Sunday to read "The Swimmer" and decided it might be fun to read through the entire collection this year. So I read "The Death of Justina" before bed and last night and, yeah, that's quite a story -- certainly more formally strange than my general sense of Cheever.
  12. Andrew

    The "About Image" Forum

    "Literature" sounds like the best fit to me.
  13. Brian D

    2019 List Preliminary Discussion

    The Growing Older topic is great. Forgive me if this was mentioned above, but how much overlap would Growing Older have with our most recent Waking Up top 25? Would it be quite distinct from Waking Up? I'm sure there would be plenty of "waking up" in films we would choose for Growing Older, but even with some overlap I'm sure we didn't exhaust this territory with our Waking Up top 25!
  14. Joel Mayward

    2019 List Preliminary Discussion

    I think this idea is really fantastic, but probably too complicated to make it actually happen. Just the process of narrowing down the life stages to include, then the range of films for each stage/transition...it sounds like it'd take quite a bit of work. But it's not trash. I nearly listed Umbrellas in my above post, but I figured you'd bring it up at some point. It might be worth considering, although the life stage of the couple in that film are adolescence into young adulthood.
  15. Joel Mayward

    Trashing CDs and DVDs

    Good question: how *do* film critics go about destroying screeners? AFAIK, there aren't simple ways to recycle the discs themselves. Do some critics actually mail them back to the studios?
  16. NBooth

    The Predator

  17. kenmorefield

    What board games have you been playing lately?

    Cindy and I got this as an x-mas gift, and despite us being pretty good at Legendary, even on harder levels, we lost like our first six games or something. I think the Masterminds and schemes are on the hard side while the heroes are a bit weaker. (In one game we both had the 4-2 agent/trooper split to start, and in between charging, scheme twists, and villains ascending, we had five masterminds before drawing a single henchman. I do enjoy it, though. We've tried playing the Masterminds/schemes, mixing in Volume I, and we did win, finally (thanks Ultimate Spiderman for defeating the God Emperor of Battleworld with 17 strike....) It's also a kind of issue for me that I don't *know* these heroes...they are apparently specific to this one story line. Captain Britain? Spider Gwen? Silk? Why are X-Men and Guardians of the Galaxy villians? Why the heck does Howard the Duck have level 7 Kung Fu? I think this will be a lot more fun when it gets mixed in with the other expansions than it is as a stand alone.
  18. kenmorefield

    The "About Image" Forum

    I am thinking about moving the "About Image" forum since Image no longer sponsors this board. But I am not sure if it should go under "About You," "Literature and Creative Writing," or "The Arts in General." Any thoughts?
  19. kenmorefield

    2019 List Preliminary Discussion

    I don't mean this to be a pronouncement carrying admin weight, but I tend to skew the opposite -- let me focus on the people who are already here and what they want to do rather than what will bring in new participants. Though, ideally, I hope it's not an either/or. I also have an inclination to weigh voices like Brian, Joel Wilson, and Rob Z. since they were vocal in the previous thread about wanting to do a list and I do kinda feel bad for some people who came to the board after 2011 and have not yet had an opportunity to participate in a Top 100. It looks like we've had two Top 25 that are more thematic (marriage and mercy) and two that are more or less genre driven (horror, comedy). I worry a little that a Top 25 Musicals would not be distinctive in any particular A&F way. (Is the pool large enough to subdivide?) Not sure how I would word it, but I could see something that is Best Use of Music but perhaps that blurs into films about art and artmaking. Continuing on the politics vein, I could see something along the lines of Secrets and Lies being *slighty* broader in scope than films in the age of Trump, which is where my mind goes when I hear the phrase "truth telling." I've taught "The Swimmer" in American Literature II several times, and it has one of the great short-story endings in American Lit. I know that comment doesn't add much to the discussion, but it allows me to interject that Cheever's "The Death of Justina" is also one of the great pieces of mid-to-late 20th century American literature, perfectly capturing the creeping dread that postmodernism and American values (hedonism/commercialism) may be a dead-end.
  20. Evan C

    2019 List Preliminary Discussion

    I think that's certainly worth considering, Darrel. The main question for me is how would we pull it off? We'd need to decide which transition points and how many, and then would we nominate films separately for each category? Might be a bit more work, but if everyone wanted to do it, it would certainly be a unique top 25 list. As to other themes, I like both Crime and Punishment and Schism. I especially like the latter if we could focus on religious/political/familial schism with positive and negative examples of each. I know I joined the board after whatever arguments happened, but I'd like to think we've all been here long enough that there wouldn't be any wounds old or new caused by either topic. Maybe I'm being naive though. I also wonder if current political trends have made more of us agree on politics then would have been the case ten years ago? I don't suppose there'd be any interest for a top 25 musicals list? (After all, how else are we going to get some Jacques Demy films on a list? Although, now that I think about it, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg would be a great choice for a Growing Older list.)
  21. Darrel Manson

    2019 List Preliminary Discussion

    I'll throw out an idea (the rest of you will likely toss it as trash). If we want to talk about getting older in a lifelong context, we might want to consider various points along the way (cf. Gail Sheehy's Passages for example). We could then (depending on how many such point we identify) pick the best 3-5 films for each point. E.g., we might want to look at films that mark a transition to parenthood, empty nesting, retirement, illness, etc.
  22. kenmorefield

    Trashing CDs and DVDs

    Is there any less bad (I can't say "good") way to trash used CDs and DVDs? I realize this is a first world problem, but with awards season over, I've got a 100 or more DVDs that I know I'll never watch again. Because these are watermarked for security, we are supposed to "destroy" them after viewing. That seems so environmentally wasteful. Is there an obvious solution to this problem that I am missing?
  23. Joel Mayward

    2019 List Preliminary Discussion

    While I think there are so many great films which could be included here, the first that popped into my head was Twin Peaks: The Return. Agnes Varda comes to mind too--Andrew mentioned Visages Villages. Other possibilities (these lean towards more recent films): A Serious Man, Lost in Translation, Before Midnight, Synecdoche New York, Moonstruck, Ishtar, This is Martin Bonner, Le Havre, The Lost City of Z, Cameraperson, The Visitor. These aren't all examples of a "well-lived life," but rather characters who wrestle with the question of personal meaning and vocation in that second half of life, whether the trajectory they're on is where they want to be headed, and if meaning, love, and significance part of their story.
  24. Last week
  25. Andrew

    2019 List Preliminary Discussion

    The more I think about this topic, the more enamored I am with exploring it. Politics and truth vs. untruth so dominate the news that I'm withdrawing my earlier suggestion. Considering a subject that isn't mandated by international dread will be rather welcome, personally. Here are some possible films that could go on such a list: - Agnes Varda's late films, including her most recent Visages Villages, have much to do with integrating her youthful memories into her aging self. Her bond with JR shows that she is both forward- and backward-looking in a healthy and utterly charming manner. - While I'm thinking of the French New Wave, this one is cheating a little bit since it's still in the first half of the life cycle, but Truffaut's Antoine Doinel films show an emotionally stunted boy, who by film 5 is coming to terms with his mother's frailties and striving to break out of the repetition compulsion of love-infidelity-new love. - Just about any Ozu film seems ripe for the plucking here, with either healthy or unhealthy ways of aging. Late Spring comes immediately to mind, with Chishu Ryu accepting that he must nudge his daughter into her own separate life, even if he's left sadly peeling an apple in the dark. - Three late Kurosawa works are stellar examples of mature aging: Rhapsody in August, Madadayo, and Dreams - Some Wes Anderson films could work here, too, with the lessons learned by film's ends by Gene Hackman (Royal Tenenbaums), Bill Murray (Life Aquatic maybe, Moonrise Kingdom) and Frances McDormand (Moonrise Kingdom) - The two best films by Paolo Sorrentino, The Great Beauty and Youth, are wonderfully late-stage Eriksonian in their explorations of the tension between generativity and stagnation, ego integrity and despair, with instances of both success and failure. - Probably some biographical documentaries could work here, too, such as the recent docs about Gorbachev (good example), Roger Ailes (bad), Jane Fonda (good), Spielberg (good), Fred Rogers (though he was born an elder and merely seemed to consolidate his strengths as he aged). Errol Morris also seems quite taken with profiling elderly folks reflecting and learning or not learning from their past, especially with regards to his docs about McNamara and Elsa Dorfman.
  26. I intended to watch this on Kanopy during December, but my institution restricted access to Kanopy over our winter break in order to save on costs. I really loved this film. So glad it was recommended. My feeling of watching it was…weird, but in a way that matches the weirdness of the action and subject matter. I thought the theological discussions about the problem of evil, sacrifice, meaninglessness and goodness, God’s existence, etc. to be handled really well, so seamlessly integrated into the rest of the film. I took the thrust of the juxtaposition of theology and insanity to be staging that perceiving a world without God/meaning—whether in war, the emptiness of space, or how those things metaphorically manifest in the human heart—is a form of psychosis, a detachment from reality. I guess I didn’t find the inmates’ obsessive “roles” as redemptive as I think Anders did. Interesting that Cutshaw wears a Fordham jacket and has a St. Christopher medallion, suggesting he’s not just any atheist but has rejected the Catholicism that Kane holds dear. SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS One thing I’m puzzling over in the film is the discussion of Hamlet’s madness, which Anders mentions in his review, and Ken also referred to. It’s not just faking vs. truly mad. The third option is unconsciously acting crazy as a self-defense mechanism from going truly over the edge psychotic. The film suggests this is the men’s unconscious state of mind/behavior. (Though it’s brilliantly confused right away by Reno’s talking with the dog, which suggests he’s truly nuts, followed by Cutshaw and Reno’s exchange which suggests they’re faking.) I’m unsure how this maps on to the film’s posture toward faith. The world is crazy, so... turn to God? There’s “method in the madness” of truly believing in God? Regarding the twists, I didn’t see coming either Kane’s true identity, or Fell and Kane’s true relationship. I found both revelations really affecting, narratively and emotionally, and both were handled really well in the film, but my second, reflective reaction to both was that neither was particularly plausible (even accepting the premise, would the Marines let one brother treat/experiment on his brother? And wouldn’t they have known Gilman (the one who blows Kane’s identity) would have known who he really was? He didn’t act like the other inmates.) But those are quibbles with an otherwise masterful plot. I do have two more substantive concerns with the film, and I’d be interested to hear others’ thoughts: First, I thought the film really blew it in the final moments where Cutshaw finds the medallion in the car, suggesting a sign that Kane is contacting him from the afterlife. It seemed like a real cop-out that indulged in the kind of magical thinking that I find toxic to true faith. I was hoping some “sign” like wouldn’t happen in this way, and I’m not someone who needs cinematic miracles to be sufficiently ambiguous before I can suspend disbelief. This really felt like Blatty hitting the viewer on the nose, which I didn’t feel throughout the entire film, and it’s especially frustrating considering how easy I can imagine this being handled much better. How did others react to this? I did suspect that Kane would somehow sacrifice himself for Cutshaw or all the men. I thought the film was a tad heavy handed in setting up Kane to be a sacrificial Christ-figure. (Though I mostly agree with Anders that the film “lacks subtlety” but has a “light touch” and avoids becoming overblown or overdetermined.) Really only the “he was a lamb” line was a little too much, especially after the juxtaposition of Kane with crosses, the word “Christ,” and other pervasive Christological symbolism. This is just as foregrounded in the book. In Kane’s dream of seeing the astronaut on the moon who sees Christ on the cross, it is his own face on Christ’s body, and that is indeed Stacy Keach in the film. I feel a lot of tension around Kane’s suicide. I guess I am wary of lauding “principled” or "heroic" suicide, done for a reason of the larger good rather than out of despair, but still self-inflicted. Like when monks or ministers self-immolate to protest social injustice. And there are plenty of examples in film of characters heroically killing themselves because they know they are a danger to others, which I’m also wary of. Then there are kamikaze and suicide missions, which are often portrayed as heroic, but I’m again wary of that. This doesn’t include those narratives where someone does something knowing it will cause their death because the thing that kills them would kill someone else otherwise, and these kinds of sacrifice are given as examples in the film. (That kind of altruism is one of those pieces of “evidence” for God that can’t be otherwise explained.) And then there are noble examples of someone simply doing the right thing because they know they must, even knowing they’ll be killed for it, a kind of martyrdom. So: Sacrifice=good. Martyrdom=good. Principled/herioc suicide=ambiguous, grey area, problematic. Despairing suicide=bad (though I’m certainly not of the “blame the individual/they’re going to hell” persuasion). Where does Kane’s suicide fit into this spectrum? It works as a curative for Cutshaw (and in the book most of the other men are “cured” too, and it inspires Major Groper later to himself make a heroic sacrifice in combat.) I guess I feel tension around this because he’s set up as both a cold killer as well as a Christ figure, and there is a lot of tension over how they overlap or don't. Once the (extremely tense) bar scene was going along, I expected Kane to somehow die there in a way that somehow saved Cutshaw, but maybe that would have been too easy and passive, not an affirmative enough of a sacrifice. (That was actually an alternate ending of the film.) I was really on the edge of my seat to see if he’d snap or sacrifice. He sort of did both, but in a way that felt like violence and/or self-violence rather than sacrifice was the answer, which is not Christlike. It’s really made me think, can I accept this as a “good” suicide? If one is going to die (either of the wounds he received in the bar fight or by being put away for being a crazy killer) in a way that won’t heal the inmates, is it better to do something wrong (commit another killing, while in his right mind) that will? This seems comparable to the paradox of interpreting Hamlet’s madness, though I haven’t thought that through. The end also reminded me of the end of Fight Club (Spoiler) where a principled suicide is intended to "kill the killer" inside, and the shock of the attempt is curative. But unlike The Ninth Configuration, that ending is unredemptive and incoherent in trying to have the suicide both ways. The Good Shepherd passage from John is read at the mass in the film. Can a Christ-figure good shepherd like Kane “lay down” his life for the sheep by “taking” his own life instead of by “giving up” his life to be taken by others? Or can it be both simultaneously?
  27. Andrew

    Madeline's Madeline

    Thanks for the feedback, Joel. One of my goals in my film writing lately has been to make my language more accessible when I veer into clinical territory, and it sounds like I succeeded here. That's an interesting question about Evangeline and Regina. Significantly, the film's opening words are something to the effect that Madeline's experiences/emotions are a metaphor. I may be wrong in my interpretation, but I presumed these two women are real; but given the intense subjectivity of the film, that Madeline's perception of them is highly selective. So, Regina may not be the wildly inconsistent mom that Madeline devalues; and Evangeline may not be the idealized leader who constantly lavishes praise and affection on Madeline. Such a rich film...
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