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  1. Today
  2. Joel Mayward

    The Good Place

    Thanks! I did present it, and a longer version of the original paper will be published as a chapter in an edited volume from the "Popular Culture and Philosophy" book series. I did create a handout with a list of every single philosophy/theology book mentioned or shown in Seasons 1 and 2, which you can see in the attached PDF. The small detail I enjoyed most was how in Chapter 7 the title of Chidi’s sparkly-boot-wearing colleague’s course on the classroom blackboard is “Eschatology and Notions of the Apocalypse,” with books by prominent Christian theologians listed as assigned reading. It's probably the only time Jurgen Moltmann has ever been included in a TV sitcom. SST 2018 - The Good Place Presentation Handout.pdf
  3. Anders

    TIFF 2018

    I didn't make it. But my brother Aren saw a number of films. His favourite was Sunset. You can read his coverage at 3brothersfilm.com.
  4. A former professor/ current friend of mine actually did some of the talking-head stuff for the Great American Read. It’s Andy Crank. I think he talks about Gone with the Wind and maybe To Kill A Mockingbird. I’m not too into predicting a canon either (and I’m actually convinced that much of what gets to be considered classic is going to be trash fiction of various kinds). Some of the choices seemed solid; most I’m unfamiliar with. Some, such as Franzen, I just don’t care enough about to bother with
  5. BethR

    The Americans

    The final season (6) finally won an Emmy for writing, and Matthew Rhys won an emmy for Lead Actor. Keri Russell deserved one as well. (I know awards don't mean anything, but I found myself watching the Emmys and wondering what was going on--everything seemed to be going to just three shows.)
  6. BethR

    The Good Place

    Joel, I would love to read your paper. Have you presented it yet? Season 3 starts September 27.
  7. Ha. I love Edwin Turner's responses overall. He's absolutely right--nobody knows what literature will be canonized in 50 or 100 years. My own thoughts on scrolling through this list were along the general lines of "If this is going to be the 21st century canon, depression and cynicism will rule." But then, that was more or less the situation with the 20th c. canon, such as it is, when I went to grad school, which is why I ended up a medievalist, despite having spent my MA on a shelf-ful of late-20th century poets. In other canonicity news, "The Great American Read" books are a bizarre hodge-podge of actual great books, books people think should be considered great, and complete dreck. My fear is that somehow 50 Shades of Gray, The Da Vinci Code, or A Confederacy of Dunces (the most overrated novel in 20th century literature) will the voted up to the top. So everyone, go there and vote for some decent books.
  8. Last week
  9. Andrew

    TIFF 2018

    Of the 17 films that Jessica and I saw, only 3 were disappointments. My favorites, in order, were If Beale Street Could Talk, Birds of Passage, and American Dharma. After that, in descending order were Wildlife, Roma, The Load, Transit, Meeting Gorbachev, Beautiful Boy, Styx, The Wedding Guest, The Factory, Museo, and Putin's Witnesses. The biggest disappointment for me (perhaps of the entire cinematic year) was Paolo Sorrentino's Loro - such a letdown since Youth and The Great Beauty are deeply loved by me. I ended up posting 9 reviews this year (my last will go up tomorrow morning), which is the most of the past 4 years that I've attended, so I'm quite happy about that as well. Anders, did you make it to Toronto? And Darren, what were your impressions?
  10. Behold. Edwin Turner at Biblioklept has thoughts.
  11. Peter T Chattaway

    Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

    NBooth wrote: : IMDB lists the character as “Jack,” fwiw Oh, weird. Though it does make sense of the character's age, at least.
  12. NBooth

    Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

    IMDB lists the character as “Jack,” fwiw
  13. Peter T Chattaway

    Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

    Looks like Bert hasn't aged a day either...? (If anything, he got younger. Lin-Manuel Miranda is currently 38, and Dick Van Dyke was 39 when Mary Poppins came out. Emily Blunt, for her part, is 35, while Julie Andrews was 29 when Mary Poppins came out.)
  14. Peter T Chattaway

    Mission: Impossible: Fallout

    Incidentally, this weekend Fallout became the top-grossing Mission: Impossible film in North America, beating the record set 18 years ago by Mission: Impossible 2 (the John Woo movie). But of course, there has been 18 years of inflation since then. Meanwhile, this is also easily Tom Cruise's highest-grossing film overseas and worldwide, ever. (In North America, it still lags behind War of the Worlds.) I don't know how to factor inflation into that when one considers all the various currencies that would have to be converted from all the different time periods.
  15. Peter T Chattaway

    Joker (2019)

  16. NBooth

    Mission: Impossible: Fallout

    Managed to catch Fallout on the bigscreen. I remembered liking the previous movie more than my comments in that thread suggest, and this movie didn't really live up to that memory. Specifically, unlike Rogue Nation, Fallout doesn't really have any especially memorable sequences (there's the jump, which is really good, but it doesn't stick in the mind like the concert scene in the previous movie). And Fallout relies far too much on chase sequences, which would be fine if they weren't so repetitive. But they are; there's really nothing distinguishing them from one another. Still, there were some thrilling sequences and it was difficult not to laugh at several points , which I think was the purpose of the whole thing; Ryan has commented elsewhere on how bland the soundtrack is, and he's correct. The movie is very funny and the soundtrack, somehow, doesn't realize that fact.
  17. Joel Mayward

    The Predator

    This was one of the more incoherent, poorly edited action films I've ever seen, up there with the Transformers films and Suicide Squad. Perhaps it was the theatre I was in, but the night scenes--which are almost all of them--are so poorly lit and blocked that it's quite hard to discern what is happening. I'm a fan of the Predator series, but not a fan of this.
  18. kenmorefield


    I added this as a "track this film" on Roku, which now tells me that it is available on Netflix. (It's kinda ironic that it finally appeared the day I watched Johnnie To's Mad Detective because Blind Detective is now the film that has been on my "track this movie" 'feature the longest without an "available" alert.
  19. Earlier
  20. Anders

    The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

    I'm due for a rewatch, since my last viewing was in 2011. But I still have a major fondness these films and think they are a more significant achievement in sf/fantasy filmmaking than they are given credit for these days. However, Peter well-articulates the few reservations I have about them which are issues of characterization and agency that I see in a lot of fantasy/sf/comic book cinema.
  21. Evan C

    Little Women

    Emma Watson replaces Emma Stone. Watson seems like an obvious choice for Jo, so I'm guessing Ronan's probably going to play Beth.
  22. winter shaker

    The Predator

    I plan on watching it because they filmed it at my old high school.
  23. Joel Mayward

    Congratulations, Joel.

    Another Joel update (on my birthday, no less): I'm a new associate editor at Transpositions, the online journal for ITIA. We publish scholarly-yet-accessible essays and book reviews on just about anything involving the intersection of theology, imagination, and the arts. So if you're interested in writing for Transpositions, do check out the submission guidelines and send me an email. Also, I'll be at AAR/SBL, the big annual academic conference for religion and Bible scholars, this upcoming November 15-20 in Denver, CO. I'm presenting a paper on Black Panther and cinematic parables at SARTS, the Society for the Arts in Religious and Theological Studies, if you're in the Denver are and want to say hello.
  24. Joel

    Continuum Books' 33 1/3 Series

    THEY DID A JESUS FREAK ONE YOU GUYS https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/dc-talks-jesus-freak-9781501331671/ About dc Talk’s Jesus Freak Late in the Reagan years, three young men at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University formed the Christian rap group dc Talk. The trio put out a series of records that quickly secured their place at the forefront of contemporary Christian music. But, with their fourth studio album Jesus Freak (1995), dc Talk staked a powerful claim on the worldly market of alternative music, becoming an evangelical group with secular selling power. This book sets out to study this mid-90s crossover phenomenon-a moment of cultural convergence between Christian and secular music and an era of particular political importance for American evangelicalism. Written by two queer scholars with evangelical pasts, Jesus Freak explores the importance of a multifarious album with complex ideas about race, sexuality, gender, and politics-an album where dc Talk wonders, “What will people do when they hear that I'm a Jesus freak?” and evangelical fans stake a claim for Christ-like coolness in a secular musical world.
  25. Mike_tn

    Top 25 or 100 for 2018-19

    OK I'm just a lurker, but I want this. I speak for the masses.
  26. Joel Mayward

    Other Dardenne Films

    In my PhD research on the Dardenne brothers, I've discovered that the Liege production company, Dérives, which produced the brothers' early documentary films mainly shown on Belgium TV, has a Vimeo page. Nearly all of the Dardennes early work is available here for purchase, including versions with English subtitles (which is a rarity). I don't know how long these will be available, as many of the videos were uploaded November 2017. You'll have to search individually for each film, and they're only available for purchase. But for all you Dardennes purists, this is a fantastic find.
  27. Peter T Chattaway

    At Eternity’s Gate (Schnabel 2018)

    So both Martin Scorsese and Willem Dafoe -- the Last Temptation of Christ duo! -- have played Vincent Van Gogh now. (Scorsese did it in Akira Kurosawa's Dreams.)
  28. NBooth


    Rebecca Ferguson is in talks to play Lady Jessica. We’ll see. In my opinion, Lady Jessica is an even tougher role to cast than Paul. Lynch nailed it with Annis in the role, but the miniseries dropped the ball (though I dig Krige as an older Jessica in the Children of Dune mini)
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