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  1. Today
  2. Loved it.
  3. I stand corrected regarding the conflation of Matthew and Luke when I mentioned the ascension. Yes, it's interesting how some Jesus films enhance Mary's role beyond the gospel accounts. But from the beginning, Christian tradition has also augmented Mary's role beyond the gospel accounts, including before the gospel accounts themselves became canonical, and sometimes in ways that seem (to me) to be at odds with the gospel accounts. But I'd imagine that all that tradition influenced Pasolini's depiction of Mary. None of the gospels say she wasn't there, right? If I remember, in Rossellini's The Messiah, in which Mary also plays a larger role, the resurrection is also very rushed. I think we see some people going to the tomb, led by Mary Jesus' mother, they hear the report of the empty tomb from the women, then Mary runs to the empty tomb, she falls to her knees and raises her hands and eyes heavenward...and that's the end. We never see the resurrected Jesus, which is in line with the film's tell-don't-show approach to miracles, but still a little jarring to have the resurrection itself affirmed without showing Jesus. Rossellini's Mary is played by the same actress throughout the film, so she looks like she could be the adult Jesus' teenage daughter! On the other hand, Pasolini's older Mary (portrayed by his own mother!!!) looks like she could be Jesus' grandmother. There are so many litmus tests in Jesus films--how are miracles portrayed, how is violence portrayed, how are Jews portrayed--and I suppose the portrayal of Mary is another variable that demands interpretation. Actually, a disciple--I can't recall which--is about to strike with the sword but then Jesus says "Put away the sword..." which in the gospel text he says after the ear is cut. But in the film, the disciple listens and doesn't strike.
  4. Yesterday
  5. Ross Butler (Reggie) is leaving the show. This is, to my knowledge, the second re-cast (Dilton is played by different actors in the pilot and in subsequent appearances). It's a shame, because Butler brings a tremendous amount of charm to what could have been a one-note character. Given how good the show has been at casting, I guess we should expect them to find a suitable replacement--but I'm still disappointed. Related: this seems related to the second season of 13 Reasons Why, which I haven't seen but which has had people in my timeline running around in a tizzy. So I guess I should see it.
  6. Mau wrote: : Calling my Faith a "thing" and pretending there is some type of contradiction about it is non charitable for me. . . . This, from the person who said I am probably not a Christian because I had never heard of a tradition that he claimed was "well-known". Who is speaking non-charitably about whose faith here? Evan C wrote: : At the risk of speaking for Peter, it seemed quite clear to me that "thing" referred to the idea there was no meat at the Last Supper, not your faith. That is correct. : As to the film itself, deviations from minute details of the Gospel are valid artistic licenses. They don't make it blasphemous; it would need to profane Jesus and somehow suggest he wasn't the Son of God to be that. I've always loved the fact that the film takes all of its dialogue from Matthew's gospel, *except* for a few extra lines from Isaiah, which Pasolini felt he could get away with because Matthew's gospel quotes Isaiah so often anyway. That's the kind of cinematic deviation that actually *underscores* what the gospel is about! Rob Z wrote: : The resurrection and ascension sequences feel rushed, intentionally so, but rushed nonetheless). Well, there's no ascension in Matthew's gospel, nor is there in this film. (Matthew ends with Jesus appearing to the disciples on a mountain in Galilee. Luke's gospel ends with Jesus ascending from a hill outside Jerusalem. These two passages are *not* describing the same event, though they are often conflated in films and such.) But Matthew's account of the resurrection is pretty rushed to begin with, so it's probably inevitable that a film that sticks to Matthew's account would feel rushed, too. (Though it bears mentioning that Pasolini doesn't *entirely* stick to Matthew's gospel, since he places Jesus' mother Mary at the crucifixion, which only John's gospel does, and he also places her at the empty tomb, which *none* of the gospels do.) (Oh, and does Pasolini show Peter cutting off the ear of the high priest's servant? I can't remember, but if he does, then *that* is also arguably taken from John's gospel. Yes, the synoptics also describe one of Jesus' followers cutting off the servant's ear, but it is only John's gospel that identifies the follower in question as Peter. Pasolini could have shown James or John doing it and still have been making a faithful adaptation of Matthew's gospel, per se.)
  7. Well, I was going to. But then I popped the disc in and discovered that Netflix had sent me a broken one. So it'll be a couple of days.
  8. Last week
  9. Poster and release date
  10. Future not looking good according to I09
  11. That's wonderful! I likely won't take a course, but I do hope to have some in-depth conversations with him, as my PhD research may include some New Testament hermeneutical stuff regarding film and narratives (like, what exactly is a parable anyway? Funny enough, Wright has a brother who also is a theology scholar, Stephen Wright, whose expertise is in parables.) If nothing else, I'll aim to get a book or two signed, as well as read his entire New Testament corpus.
  12. I now have Wright's The New Testament and the People of God on the way to me from Barnes & Noble. It might not be the most accessible starting point, but the one I'm really eager to read is The Resurrection of the Son of God, so I want to start the series it's in. On a completely different note, I just read Orson Scott Card's Xenocide . I thought the setup was equal to any of the previous Ender books, but the payoff was imperfect at best. It was worth reading, but doesn't make me wildly eager to read Children of the Mind, though I'm sure I will eventually.
  13. Joel-- I unexpectedly got a chance to attend a lecture by Tom last night at a local church here in Cincinnati. Totally random event that I learned about due to a friend's post on FB. Wow--I think if you have the opportunity to take a course, you definitely should. Two tidbits: 1) Wright writes out his entire lecture, and while he's not appear to read verbatim, I was close enough to see the notes pages were all text. 2) Apparently, he's a very warm and personable instructor, forming relationships and whatnot with the students. So much so that he gave a lecture at this local Cincy church because he taught the senior pastor as a student twenty years ago. That's an endearing quality.
  14. The finale wasn't too shoddy. I'm going to stick by my assertion that Bates Motel doesn't have the courage of its own perversity, but perhaps that can be a good thing; certainly the closing confrontation was tremendously moving, even without the cosmic-level stuff that made the Hannibal finale (similar in some respects) stand out. Bates Motel, at its best, has always been a much smaller-scale show than Hannibal, anyway. More later, perhaps.
  15. The lies at the end of this didn't bother me so much as the abandonment of its own mythological structure. Its a kind of prometheus story tacked on a Japanese construct but not with internal integrity. 1) The Moon King and the daughters are the moon + stars. 2) Hanso is a mortal, who after many mortal failures preceding him, is about to complete his quest to get magical armor. 3) The magical armor somehow is offensive to the moon & stars. 4) Daughters go off to kill anyone who gets the magical armor. 5) Daughter A falls in love with Hanso (he's different due to adorable combination of samurai + West Texas accent) 6) Moon King unhappy with development uniting eternal "heavenly folk" with mortal man (it's the Lay of Luthien in neo-Japanese clothing). 7) He steals ensuing baby's eye (why? I never got this, or rather, never believed that the explanation for the eye stealing was sufficient.) 8) Sisters find boy; boy goes on quest. 9) Boy finds armor 10) Boy confronted by Moon King--back at the village where the third piece of armor was hidden in plain sight. 11) Boy attacked by Moon King/floating alien from the Avengers, LOSES armor. 12) Boy defeats Moon King anyway, using a THIRD string to play a chord that transforms Avengers alien/Moon King into old duffer. Still no armor. 13) Villagers tell Moon King nice falsehoods to make him feel better. 14) Dead parents show up aglow. 15) While My Guitar Gently Weeps plays. Huh? SDG and others are right--amazing (but still a muddled) initial 90 minutes. Last 15 minutes utter nonsense. From a mythic standpoint--why was there no, zippo, zilch, nada tie back to the celestial part? Why not extend the myth to its mythic conclusions? Why does Grandpa want the eye? What good will that do him? Were the sisters blind? Was he blind himself? No! What's the scoop with the armor? Was it the worst macguffin ever? Why does the moon king turn into an old duffer? Why does he turn into a floating Alien from the Avengers? Where is Loki? What the heck? Still, some of the images and the characterizations and the cinema of it--so beautiful. My kids loved it (11 and 9). I just don't understand how a movie loses its way like this--it must have taken years to make--how do you miss the end? What was originally written? What did they intend to communicate? What could this have been? Ah, well, I probably blinked.
  16. I wasn't sure where to post this. I've started writing a series of blog posts exploring the Daniel Craig Bond films entitled "The Facts of Death" over at my new blog, Caves of Altamira. I'm not at Spectre quite yet, but I'll be getting there.
  17. The first season is fairly strong. Not as good as The Good Wife at its peak, but better than it was at the end. There's a pretty great illustration of the mechanisms of fake news, reminding us of what the show is good at -- illustrating complex modern ideas through narrative. Also, I'll cop to thinking Diane is a more interesting character than Alicia was. "Life has a way of reminding you who you are." Indeed. The best thing, though, is getting away from Lockhart-Gardner, where the in-house politics became a distracting self-parody. The new firm has some politicking, of course, but the racial wrinkle is interesting and it the office politics becomes more about self-definition than the Machiavellian maneuvers themselves. Rose Leslie's thread feels dull. Maybe that's because she's new and we know DIane, but she just feels like she's in a Damages retread. Her character's incidental lesbianism is perhaps relevant in a social/cultural context but doesn't really add much to the story. I'd be happy to stick with S2, but only to the extent they keep Christine Baranski around.
  18. I finished watching this half a week ago and really enjoyed it, although the last season felt very different from the previous three. Even though I didn't like it as much, it contained a couple of my favourite scenes - the one where Daniel, after being called out by his group home roommates for not being social, joins them as they play cards. When they ask if he wants to play too he says he will just observe but then the roommates share a knowing exchange and encourage him to play cards with them. The second scene is
  19. I know Gray's earlier film The Immigrant got lotsa love around here, but I think this is even better:
  20. I am slowly compiling a list of all nominees here:
  21. I am slowly compiling a list of all nominees here:
  22. I finally got my DVD in, so I'll be catching this sometime this weekend.
  23. I nominated Now, Voyager (1942). The Bette Davis character wakes up from an existent bound by a controlling, abusive mother. With the help of a great psychiatrist, she becomes willing to take the risk to go on a vacation by herself through which she wakes up to the bigger world beyond the walls of the house and the mother she's been bound to. On the vacation, she develops a romance with a married man, and the romance is what's most talked about with this movie and it certainly is an important part of her waking up but much more significant is that the romance paves a way for her to facilitate an awakening just like she's had for her lover's daughter.
  24. Title: Now, VoyagerDirector: Irving RapperYear: 1942Language: English IMDB Link: YouTube Link (a clip of/trailer for the film): Link to the A&F thread on the film (if there is one): Couldn't find one.
  25. I nominated two films with very dark portrayals of waking up. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) shows characters awakening from their delusions of patriotism and heroism into the reality and horror of what war really is. Pressure Point (1962) shows us the process of a Neo-Nazi's indoctrination, waking up to his newfound view of self and others while. The Nazi character (played terrifyingly by Bobby Darin) is in prison in the 50s, and his story is told in flashback by his psychiatrist (Sidney Poitier), and we see many times where the the psychiatrist has to deal with his own fears of having his own dark "awakening." The more he learns of the evil his patient is capable of, the more he is tempted to "wake up" to the hatred and evils that he may be more prone to. The trailers that I posted for each of these films on the nominations board shows the dark "awakenings" that I'm talking about very well.
  26. Title: Pressure PointDirector: Hubert CornfieldYear: 1962Language: EnglishIMDB Link: YouTube Link (a clip of/trailer for the film): Link to the A&F thread on the film (if there is one): Couldn't find one
  27. Title: All Quiet on the Western Front Director: Lewis MilestoneYear: 1930Language: English IMDB Link: YouTube Link (a clip of/trailer for the film): Link to the A&F thread on the film (if there is one):
  28. The Lost City of Z February 6, 1911 Percy Fawcett addresses the Royal Geographical Society with his discovery.
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