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  1. Yesterday
  2. Kalee-- Welcome. I have deleted the link to your "blog" which was actually an ad for a paid essay writing service. While the line between self-promotion and advertisement is murky on this site, links are usually reserved for content that adds to or prompts discussion, not for services or products for sale. Ken
  3. I like the way that film was shooted. This is amazing how many details were adjusted for further attraction. It was keeping my eyes from the beginning to the end. And that I like the most. It brought me a lot of pleasure and emotions. Usually, after watching the films I like to write a review about them, make it in essay way. It helps me to go through all emotions again and again. Sometimes I found this part even more excited than watching. I used it for my essays at work for my blog. It helps me with my imaginary and creativity.
  4. Last week
  5. Thanks for this reminder, Ken! I do still have the EJ on my to-do list, so perhaps I need to prioritize it this week and get things rolling again. Would publishing the finished list at ArtsandFaith.com be possible this year, like the "Growing Older" list?
  6. Andrew

    By the Grace of God

    I never would've expected a serious film from Francois Ozon about pedophilia in the French Catholic Church, but whaddya know? And Ozon bends over backwards to make it clear he's not attacking the Church, but is attempting to thoughtfully criticize its (ongoing) misconduct. I go into full detail into my longer-than-usual review, which I won't repeat here. But it's not a stretch to state this is France's Spotlight, arguably more relevant in showing that the same criminal violence and neglect are continuing under Pope Francis' watch. I'll end by strongly urging Ecumenical Jury voters to make every effort to see this before year's end. My review: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/2019/11/by-the-grace-of-god-under-pope-francis-unpunished-pedophilia-is-still-business-as-usual/
  7. Andrew

    Harriet (2019)

    Until seeing By the Grace of God yesterday, this had been my favorite film since TIFF, and it's still a near-run thing. This is excellent on damn near every level (with a week's hindsight, I'm less convinced of Leslie Odom's thespian prowess): a high level of historical fidelity, respect but not hagiography of its protagonist, top visuals, and an incredible lead performance by Cynthia Erivo. My full review: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/2019/11/harriet-an-epic-worthy-of-its-hero-relevant-to-our-time/
  8. Andrew

    Parasite (2019)

    This doesn't play in Asheville till next weekend. I'm dying to see it. Up till now, I've hated everything of Bong Joon-ho's that I've seen, so I'm eager to see if this breaks that chain.
  9. This year's Palme d"Or winner has popped up on a few of our festival threads but doesn't yet have its own thread. This really isn't my aesthetic, so I wasn't surprised that I was less thrilled by it than some of the ecstatic buzz its been getting, but I was surprised by how little enthusiasm I could muster at all. Both Cindy and I reference Shoplifters in the car on the way home, and the bulk of our conversation was about why we liked Parasite less than other similarly themed movies. I also reference Jojo Rabbit just as an aside because I am not totally against mixes of serious ideas and over-the-top comedy or violence. But whereas in Waititi's film I felt the comedy was subordinate to the more serious themes and thus used to accentuate them, here I just felt dissonance. It didn't help that about half way through, I was like, "Okay,...I get the message," and the escalations didn't seem to me to enhance, interrogate, or complicate the message so much as just hammer it home. Cindy called it a "train wreck" film, not to slight the productions but to identify the subject matter/genre, and I totally agreed. I suppose there are other films that lead up to people going off a cliff (metaphorically) that are interesting or meaningful to me, but the thing is, once they do, the fall to earth is the least interesting part of such story arcs....and it just goes on and on. I didn't really care about any of these people. My friend Gareth said he thought it was the movie Joker was trying to be, and I guess I can see that. In a weird sort of way, the film it reminded me of was Roma ... another critically lauded auteurist masterpiece about intersections of rich and poor that made me long for Rooney Mara's character to wander in from The Social Network and start telling random characters that sometimes the reasons people don't like you is that your being an a--hole. Anyhow, as Russ used to say, if there is consensus greatness, it's the critic's job to at least *try* to find it. So I promise not to snipe at the first three people who tell me I'm wrong.
  10. Bumping this thread to see if Joel had any sense of a timeline in mind or whether you had changed your mind about coordinating. (I know schedules can be unexpected during late stages of postgraduate study.)
  11. I am on hold for 20 minutes as I type trying to cancel AMC A-List. I really despise products that let you sign up online but deliberately make it difficult for you to cancel/discontinue. The AMC site offers no discontinue option, instead mandating that you call in or use a chat function that requires you to select from an option of why you are contacting them but does not list "cancel my account" as one of the options.
  12. I mentioned on Letterboxd that I spent part of this screening just trying to imagine that no other Terminator films existed -- that this was a stand alone. That didn't make it any better. In some ways I was reminded of whichever Star Wars was essentially the same plot as the first one, and how it left me with a similar, listless, "why bother?" kind of feeling. The Newting of John also illustrates how little the film cares about itself as part of a series even as it sells itself almost exclusively based on nostalgia for the earlier movies. I mean, there was more pathos in the character relationships in fracking Deadpool 2.
  13. My interview with Tom Junod, whose 1998 Esquire magazine article 'Can You Say... Hero?' was the basis for the film (and a fictionalized version of whom is played in the film by Matthew Rhys): https://www.patheos.com/blogs/filmchat/2019/11/exclusive-mister-rogers-chronicler-tom-junod-on-prayer-minutes-of-silence-and-seeing-a-fictionalized-version-of-his-relationship-with-fred-rogers-in-a-beautiful-day-in-the-neighborhood.html
  14. I appreciated some of the visuals, though my recent visit to Northern Ireland made me wonder where they were. The description of Finn McCool and the coast semed farther north, but they mention Wicklow at one point which is south of Dublin. Anyhow, I like how this phone call before he goes to the beach juxtaposes the tower in the background as a symbol. The work of the church is unfinished, and he, as Christ's body "finishes" the work. Or, does it mean the work of the church is ancient but decaying, no longer standing up to the cares and problems of the modern world?
  15. Earlier
  16. This difference seems pretty key to me. I love it when actual board users promote/link their stuff here. I agree with Andrew and Nathaniel, but I also would (find it annoying but) totally understand if it were just a few ads per year and they were clearly labelled as such.
  17. So our class discussion was informed by their having to have just completed an "ideology" paper in which they situate a film left-center-right using Giannetti's descriptors. This scene got a lot of comments, not surprisingly, since the the whole "thou shalt not kill" and "no exceptions" gets the reply "what about self-defense?" In other words, the exchange is about absolutes. Father James is mostly an absolutist but he concedes there are some instances (such as self-defense) that are "tricky." He then apparently goes on to make an exception for Milo, suggesting he move someplace he is more likely to find a loose woman. The question that I think the film invites is whether that exception is because he sees sex outside of marriage as being less important (venial/mortal) than some potential violence, or whether he is making the exception for others but not himself. (For Milo and the abused parishioner, I'll take context into consideration, but for myself and my duties, there are no exceptions.) I almost don't think this is entirely fair. Hear me out. I am with Jeff here, at least as to interpretation of the movie's point, not necessarily if it is correct in where it lands. What I think missing from Steven's article/analysis/defense is the fact that this exchange takes place in a movie that is centrally about and informed by the clergy-sex-abuse scandals. Within that thematic context, Father James's advice/question to Milo sounds a lot like what the church has been condemned for -- passing the buck, trying to send the perpetrator away. (When the inspector comments about arresting a pedophile priest and getting demoted, Father James asks what happened to the priest and the inspector says he was sent away to the third world where he could do whatever he wanted.) There is a difference in that the priest(s) have already sinned whereas Milo is stating his intention, but even buying into Steven's argument, if Milo did harm to someone in London, or Dublin, or New York (whether that harm be spiritual harm of "moral sin" or violent harm of sexual crime), wouldn't those victims feel as though Father James had acted much like the church in pushing the problem away rather than confronting it? Non-related aside--I had forgotten the story of Finn McCool was included here. There is a lot of meaning for me in Father James's comment to Fiona (when she spouts the story back to him) of "not much poetry in that reading." There are two themes that are reinforced here and throughout: 1) Meaning of stories change depending on how you tell them. 2) Father James gets irritated when people reflect back to him the things he has said or that they have heard said already. (Doctor's joke about suicide, Fiona's recitation of his story. Quip to bishop about thinking he read that "in a book"; Fiona's list of "suicides" including Christ, original voice in the confession adding "as they say in the reports", etc. etc.) I think it is telling and touching that when speaking to the French woman after he performs that last rites, he asks her to pray with him rather than asking her if she would like him to pray for her or with her.
  18. Well, it's out...
  19. I'm inclined to agree.
  20. I taught it long ago when I did Victorian Lit class at the Bible college. I was indifferent but have always had a soft spot because one of my best students liked it so much he eventually did his master's thesis on it (which he sent me). I remember a lot of the discussion focusing on the how much and how conscience where the expressions of de-evolution and xenophobia (they're coming to pollute the bloodstream and take our women!). I also remember thinking Harker a bit of a wimp and wondering if that was intentional. Here'a nice photo of first edition from my trip to Ireland last summer!
  21. Long ago I confessed that I had never read this iconic novel. Well, I'm reading it now, because I decided to teach it in my Honors "Heroes and Monsters" class. I have the Oxford World's Classics edition for notes, but the "reading" itself has been primarily via Audible.com audiobook, which is read by a stellar cast: Alan Cumming as Dr. Seward, Simon Vance as Jonathan Harker, Katy Kellgren as Mina Murray/Harker, Susan Duerden as Lucy Westenra, and Tim Curry as Van Helsing (plus additional readers in bit parts). It's too bad that most of Van Helsing's speeches are rendered through other characters' letters and diaries, which means we don't get nearly enough Tim Curry, but otherwise, it's a lot of fun. I can see how it might have been quite frightening, though, back in the day. Students seem to be enjoying it so far--the class is about halfway through it, and the term "vampire" has finally been uttered. Anyone else have thoughts on Dracula--the novel, not the films?
  22. Joel Mayward


    It took 20 years, but I finally got around to seeing this film. And...ouch. I'd heard that this was an uncomfortable film to watch, but I still found myself with mouth agape in horror for the final 20-30 minutes (I had managed to avoid plot details). Still, there's something interesting here, both as a formal exercise and in the ideas being explored here about love, gender, and trauma. Looking up details, this premiered at VIFF in October 1999. Anyone here from BC around to see it back then?
  23. It wouldn't prevent my participation here, but I'd rather keep A&F ad free if possible. A yearly or semi-yearly fund-raising drive would be preferable in my book.
  24. So, buy a website you get a forced education in all sorts of things you didn't know existed. I've recently had to do a crash course in Search Engine Optimization because of periodic requests I get to put sponsored content on A&F (or, for that matter, my blog). According to one site, A&F has a domain authority of 43 (https://www.seoweather.com/domain-authority-checker/) According to another site, the average fee for a sponsored post with a dofollow link at a site with a Domain Authority of 43 is 300-350 pounds (https://www.lifeasabutterfly.com/charge-for-a-do-follow-link/). Price quotes vary wildly, because (if I understand correctly) some sites will charge by the month so that the content will eventually go away. Others charge a one-time fee because the content is permanent. I don't accept such posts at my blog because the majority of them don't want to be labelled as ads and labeling is part of my blog disclosure policy. I'm not sure how I feel about accepting them at A&F since the line between promotion and content has always been blurred (i.e. there are many, many posts at A&F that essentially serve the function of directing readers elsewhere for content). A difference is, of course, that those endorsements are coming from the community members who have established ethos. Plus, while such sponsored posts would be annoying, I might find them less annoying than other ways of generating revenue, especially if doing 3-5 a year could underwrite the entire site. I would be interested in user feedback about attitudes towards "sponsored" content with dofollow links, ranging from: --Okay with it. --Find them annoying but acceptable. --Find them annoying but less onerous than other ways of paying for content. (I.e. I would rather donate to the site so I don't have to see them vs. I'd rather see a few ads so that I don't have to harangued with pledge drives and donation requests). --What is/should be limits to number of these? (I feel like there is probably a huge spectrum between, say 3-5 a year and 3-5 a week). --Okay with it as long as ________________ (they are limited in number, don't link back to certain sites [porn obvious would be out, but would there be other sites that should not be accepting advertising from], identified as paid/sponsored content). --Not okay with them (i.e. would be less likely to frequent or contribute to the site if such content were accepted).
  25. NBooth, I think you say this on Facebook, but my memories reminded me that I posted it last year and thought you would get a kick out of it: Moby-Dick notes from graduate school:
  26. One of the virtues of this movie is that, since I’m in the process of teaching through Moby-Dick, I can use clips to illustrate some of the chapters on whaling.
  27. My students (whom I admire) actually made an interesting connection. We were talking about the mise-en-scene of being closed in (restricted) and one student raised the idea that one of the ways in which he is restricted or confined is through his vows, which another student pointed out include poverty and chastity, and how the other priests don't necessarily live in poverty. That in turn led to an interesting discussion about what is the point of vows of poverty or chastity. I am sure there are many from a Roman Catholic perspective. But one way I think about it is that they are supposed to keep you from be so enmeshed with the world that you are unable to perform the priestly duties (like giving solace). That is -- in the film's language -- they are supposed to help you become (or stay) detached. Yet the father learns to question detachment. People can't likely be solaced if you don't think you care, and detachment is (can come across as? or genuinely is) a form of not caring. [We didn't yet make that connection, but I think it is in line with the film's line about thinking only about sins and not enough about virtues.]
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