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  1. Yesterday
  2. THE DRESSER (1983) At the opening of the movie, the title character polishes a silver plate commemorating a performance of Hamlet, 21st March, 1929
  3. Last week
  4. Joyce and Hopper's meanderings could stand to be cut a bit, certainly. I guess that could trim off one episode. I'm still not sure there's enough dead wood in the remainder to cut another. (Again, lots of things could have been better, but the better version wouldn't necessarily be shorter.)
  5. FWIW, Audible has been adding lots of Gore Vidal novels lately--mostly from his Narratives of Empire series, but they've also just added Julian, Myra Breckinridge, and Duluth.
  6. When I have time I will provide an episode by episode rebuttal. All those elements could have been addressed in six episodes, or handled in ways that could have been more dramatically engaging in eight. How many episodes were Joyce and Hopper puttering around vs moving forward? (Six).
  7. For Season 2, yes, I don't disagree. For Season 3, I don't think so. Here are some things that Season 3 did: Introduced several hilarious new characters; Made more interesting use of El's powers, as the first time they really advance the drama, not just the plot (if that distinction makes sense): consider the scene where it's revealed that's she's used it rather unethically, though not with premeditated malice; Made more interesting use of Billy, who at first is a textbook ladykiller, i.e. someone whom we want to die, in accordance with horror tropes, and who then becomes more complex (almost, in a way, the replacement for the abused child El in Season 1); Finally brought the El/Mike ship in - this was in preparation since Season 1, of course, but it would be unsatisfying not to see it; Gave Brett Gelman a few more scenes to steal; Developed the odd couple/buddy cop dynamic of Steve and Dustin (consider the single line "If you die, I die," which hits harder than any number of lengthy speeches in war movies); Made Will more interesting than before, as the boy who, for the first time, is aware of his role as the conservative in the group of adolescents, the one who is pained and bewildered by the changes wrought by all these newfangled hormones (Noah Schnapp is a genuinely talented actor, and this is the first chance the show has really given him to show that); Developed the queer themes that were always latent in the show and would have rankled if not addressed, primarily through a candid, drug-assisted conversation in a later episode between two older teen characters, but prepared by an incredibly cutting line from a younger teen character several episodes before; Gave a certain 80s fantasy film genuine dramatic weight, not just nostalgic value, in a brilliant scene reminiscent of Magnolia; Developed a teenage-reporter storyline featuring a girl reporter and a boy photographer, without which a certain artistic integrity would have been lacking. Not everything in Season 3 was successful, of course, but I think it would have been hard pressed to compress all this further than it already was compressed. it could have been better, but I'm not sure that it could have been shorter.
  8. A report from Allocine via One Big Soul: Mark Rylance will play Satan in The Last Planet, with Géza Röhrig as Jesus and Matthias Schoenaerts as the apostle Peter:
  9. Earlier
  10. kenmorefield

    Indigo Girls

    No thread for Amy and Emily? I guess that surprises me a little. Anyhow, Cindy and I caught their latest concert in Durham last night. I'll leave for more honed music critics to discuss the music. I was struck, not for the first time, by the palpable, powerful positive energy in the center. I would hardly be the first to comment about how the modern rock concert has easily supplanted church (or the evangelical "crusade") as the mass meet-up for a "spiritual" experience. (Nick Hornby includes the sports arena in that equation, and I don't think he's wrong.) The things that are supposed to happen in church but rarely do seem to happen a bit more frequently. People come together with shared purpose and shared experiences to....well, commune. Commune with "what," is a valid question. The answer would take longer than I have at the moment to explore deeply. I just know that when they sang Galileo as part of the encore that the audience cosigned more so than I've ever heard a congregation cosign a hymn. People seemed to come not just to be entertained but because the music expressed something in and about them that wasn't finding expression in other venues. (Emily spoke about this tangentially before introducing a new song for a forthcoming album about growing up gay listening to country radio.) I don't quite have the same emotional pull to the music. For me the IG is a "like" not necessarily "love" relationship. I understand the sentiments of "Closer to Fine" : There's more than one answer to these questions Pointing me in a crooked line And the less I seek my source for some definitive The closer I am to fine, yeah The closer I am to fine, yeah I suppose I've felt something akin to that, though on an emotional level I always *feel* it more authentically when, say, Billy Joel sings "Shades of Grey" Some things were perfectly clear, seen with the vision of youth No doubts and nothing to fear, I claimed the corner on truth These days it's harder to say I know what I'm fighting for My faith is falling away I'm not that sure anymore Shades of grey wherever I go The more I find out the less that I know Black and white is how it should be But shades of grey are the colors I see I suppose on one level, the IG attention to Galileo makes "Closer to Fine" feel more like a repudiation of orthodoxy rather than an embrace of doubt (which is itself a step removed from a reverence for mystery.) There's a difference between saying, "I'm not sure of the truth," and "the truth in unknowable," and "the truth is just a construct created by the church as a social control mechanism." That said, listening to Emily sing about being gay and listening to country radio, a song that felt on-the-nose to me, I couldn't help but observe how many people recognized and felt deeply the emotions she was talking about. They were a deep longing for love and acceptance and a desire to reconcile one's own self to what had been a source of comfort -- spirituality, religion, God. I felt like I understood that *some* bitterness of gays towards Christians wasn't as much about personal rejection (you don't like/approve of me, so I dislike you back) so much as a fierce sense of loss and withholding (you are trying to keep from me something that I need to be whole). There's definitely a sense of envy in the song...I wish I could be like everyone else. But I'm not. Aside from the whole island of misfit toys vibe, there is often something else at such concerts that I too often find missing from church, or really any Christian communion: joy. The joy of musicians playing together, taking pleasure in one another's talents, spurring one-another to do better and go higher. Joy in finally releasing or giving expression to something that has been held in or held in check. Emily mentioned being thankful because the IG had played Durham "not that long ago" and yet "you came back." So it's not just joy in the audience, it was the joy of performing and of being welcome, being wanted. That's a powerful lure, whether you are famous or just a person. Anyhow, it was a delightful show, and I was surprised to find going home that the IG had done a cover of "Romeo & Juliet" from Dire Straits on their fourth album, so I think I need to order that.
  11. Come to think of it, wasn't The Golden Lion another Batman villain in the 60s?
  12. I don't know how the "Way Back" machine works, but in the past when I wanted to access an a Sopranos article I wrote for MHP, Peter found it via that site's archive of past Internet pages.
  13. Just seeing these last few posts, and just... no. I don't care about Rebels, and I don't consider this trilogy "canon," but still, that would be the cheapest storytelling cop-out in any of the films so far.
  14. Scrolling through this thread again, I'm alarmed to rediscover that the old Matthews House Project site is long gone, and I'm wondering: Is there any way to access Stef's review of the live-performance screening that is highlighted in early in this thread?
  15. kenmorefield

    808 (2015)

    I saw this movie four years ago at SXSW and it has kind of grown on me. I did find the last half hour a bit dragging, though I wonder if that is because it corresponds to the time I went to graduate school and stopped being abreast of popular music. Even so, the first hour is crackerjack, and I love the very last scene as well. (The notion of one man having such a profound influence on music and the idea of the accidental reason for the 808's distinctive sound are both examples of small things that have profound ripples.) Mostly though, as someone unfamiliar with music beyond what I like, it was fascinating to see and *hear* the connections between Phil Collins and Marvin Gaye or Usher and the Shannon. I don't think I'll ever be a Hip-hop fan, but this documentary certainly helped me understand and appreciate music, even music that is not my favorite, better.
  16. Matt Zoller Seitz is crowdfunding a book on deadwood, called A Lie Agreed Upon.
  17. I really feel like both Season 2 and S3 could have been much stronger as 6 episode seasons instead of 8. Too much filler in the middle leaving key characters in some kind of narrative stasis.
  18. Yeah, I agree with this. I also think this season was the best-paced they’ve done yet.
  19. Anyone seen Season 3? I agree that Season 2 was a bit of a letdown. Season 3, while not that great as horror, is as good as the show has ever been as 80s-themed teen drama. Some of the writing and acting in the teenagers' scenes (both the older set and the younger set) are superb.
  20. Furman's new album, Twelve Nudes is out and it's really good. AFAIK, Furman still uses he/him pronouns (at least, all the interviews and write-ups I've seen do), so I'll stick with that for now--but the past few albums have really leaned into a sort of queer trans-everything identity, and I think Twelve Nudes is probably Furman's fullest statement in this regard (yes, even more than Transangelic Exodus). It's loud, it's boisterous, it's angry, it's funny. It's just--like I say, really good. And at 45 minutes or so, Twelve Nudes doesn't wear out its welcome.
  21. NBooth

    Boy Erased

    There's a pretty obvious clue as to Sykes' history in one of the early "therapy" sessions; the speaker says something like "What you are struggling with and what your counselors have overcome" and there's a shot with Sykes in the foreground while Jared stares at him from the background. It's not much, but it's certainly there. I finally got around to watching this and it's chilling. Perhaps it's because I'm from a subculture very close to what Jared and his family inhabit. I recognize that kind of humor ("raise your hand if you're worth a dollar"). I recognize the interactions between people. And even though I don't inhabit that world anymore, it's got that same uncomfortable feeling one gets going back to the small town of one's childhood. Which means that the movie plays like a horror movie (to me), and the slow boil from ripped dollar bills to beatings with the Bible seem fairly effective. It's a fine movie. It isn't great, but it's effective at doing what it does.
  22. Nice. Some overlap with our selections, but on different days, alas; so it looks like any encounters we have will be random as usual. I would've loved to see Bacurau, The Whistlers, Ema, Liberte, and State Funeral as well, but so many great choices this year. Happy to report I did get tickets to Springsteen, Almodovar, and Motherless Brooklyn, thanks to the TIFF members' ticket pre-sale - for a regular attender who doesn't have press credentials, a yearly TIFF membership is definitely the way to go.
  23. A hearty 'yes' to all of the above. In my review, I honed in more upon Bernadette's social phobia, but I think you're spot on that there's a strong element of depression (to be clinically precise, dysthymia) to her constellation of feelings and behaviors. And yes, this would not be the ideal film for a teen with a seriously depressed parent to see. Everyone around the depressed person typically harbors rescue fantasies as it is. As a clinician, the segments with the therapist are a somber reminder that when told differing versions of events by patients and their families, we sometimes have to choose which one is most true, and we don't always get it right.
  24. Here's the latest draft of my schedule. I only get to watch films for five days, so I'm cramming in as many as possible. 9/5 - Endless Night (Enciso) or A Hidden Life (Malick) - Atlantics (Diop) - I Was at Home, But (Schanelec) - Zombie Child (Bonello) - Bacarau (Mendonca) 9/6 - INTERVIEW or Guest of Honor (Egoyan) or Short Cuts 1 (including Lanthimos) - Proxima (Winocour) - The Whistlers (Porumboiu) - Three Summers (Kogut) - Wavelengths 1 - Vitalina Varela (Costa) 9/7 - INTERVIEW or Cunningham (Kovgan) - The Traitor (Bellocchio) - Workforce (Zonana) - Seven Years in May (Uchôa) / My Skin, Luminous (Rodríguez, Pereda) - Wavelengths 2 - Krabi, 2562 (Suwichakornpong, Rivers) 9/8 - INTERVIEW or The Burnt Orange Heresy (Capotondi) - Martin Eden (Marcello) - Lina from Lima (González) or The Audition (Weisse) - INTERVIEW? - Liberte (Serra) - Wavelengths 3 9/9 - The Moneychanger (Veiroj) - Ema (Larraín) - State Funeral (Loznitsa) - Wavelengths 4 - Wet Season (Chen)
  25. I admired the film (my favorite Linklater is Me and Orson Welles), though probably a little less than Andrew or Doug. I sorta understand how it divided critics even though I feel they were too stingy towards it. When it hits, which is not infrequently, it is phenomenally good. But every time it skirts with greatness it fumbles a bit. **spoilers I guess** The Good: --Billy Crudup is phenomenal. --The portrayal of father-daughter is, in many ways, more interesting than the mother-daughter relationship that is supposed to be at the center of the family. What impressed me most about this part of the film is that the daughter didn't see all (or even much) of the good that the father did, and he didn't feel the need to tell her all the time. Yes, she had an idealized view of her mother that both bracketed her behavior (and their relationship) but he was somewhat heroic (imo) in the way he owned his mistakes while also being the one who was there when mom disappeared. --I'm not a health-care professional, but the depiction of depression seemed to me to be one of the more honest ones I've seen. The film avoids putting a label on Bernadette, and it is the better for it. (It comes close in her long lunch with Laurence Fishburne and particularly in his reply, but I don't think the film totally supports the idea that his layman's diagnosis is the whole truth even if it is an important part of it.) --The resolution, which I've heard some refer to as a too forced or unearned happy ending actually struck me as much more beautiful for it not being overly simplified. The final coda that love is a choice seemed to me both honor Bernadette and her unique struggles and her husband and the work he has to do. The Less Good: --The mix of comedy with the drama didn't work for me. I appreciated the Kristen Wiig scene in the moment, but I would have been much happier with it elided and just the scene with her and the daughter walking the dog, leaving us to imagine what the living room scene renders too literally. --I hated the opening scene leading to a flashback. I went in spoiler free (not even a trailer) and one of the real pleasures of such films is not really knowing where they are going and that they take their sweet time revealing what they are actually about. The opening added nothing that I can see to the structure and dissipated much of the tension and all of the stakes of the second act. --There is some definite pacing problems in the third act. Stuff like the father-daughter stealing a Zodiac boat and running through some high security area and nobody having a phone or APB when she is presumed missing struck me as needless plotholes that were trying to create tension that wasn't really central to the film's meaning. --While I realize this is somewhat in conflict with "the good," the daughter's speech about how she *knows* mom couldn't have committed suicide struck me as, while perhaps defensible, not something the film really established and, at best, denying her (the daughter) a maturing view of her parents. Given that the film had a happy ending, I worry that such a scene implies to kids that if their depressed parents **do** commit suicide, they could have prevented it if they had had a special enough relationship. Again, this is a a tough call, because the film is coy about whether or to what extent Bernadette is mentally ill...and if so, how severely. I appreciated the attempts to explore the connections between creativity and depression and anxiety, but I worry that the film endorses (though the psychiatrist's intervention) an either-or dichotomy about the roots of Bernadette's behavior. I'm not saying people don't ever alter behaviors without therapy or medication, but the severity of her symptoms causing her distress make it a little hard for me to simply co-sign the implicit, "Hey, sometimes you just need to get away and recharge your batteries." I get that we in our society may over-diagnose and over-medicate...I'm reminded of Love & Mercy and how Brian needed to get away from some of that. But the movie also underscored that Brian was, for all that, sick, and not just a victim of a cruel, dishonest, health-care physician.
  26. I am very keen to be involved with a new top 100 as well. I'm willing to assist in organization at some level if needed.
  27. Looking forward to your report on the new Koreeda. Say hello to Jessica for me!
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