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About kenmorefield

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  • Interests
    Disc Golf, Cards (especially Euchre), Literary Criticism,

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  • Occupation
    Associate Professor of English
  • About my avatar
    Faith and Spirituality in Masters of World Cinema Book Jacket
  • Favorite creative writing
    * George MacDonald * Lord of the Rings (but not the dreadful movies) * Riddley Walker * Wicked * Dune * Emma (anything Austen, really) * The Remains of the Day * Nero Wolfe * Billy Budd Tom Jones (but not the dreadful movie). D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • Favorite visual art
    http://cynthiamorefield.comArtemisia Gentileschi

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  1. This is a beautiful film. I realize that's a weak, generic word these days, but I can't think of a better one. Speaking as someone who hasn't particularly resonated with Miyazaki the way that some of the folks here have, I was surprised by how much the film got to me. (Katabuchi was screenwriter for Miyazaki before doing Princess Arete.) The story is not particularly narrative (which is again, usually a problem for me), but it (re)creates its world with such richness and detail that I was more than happy to just observe these people and their daily rituals. (It takes place in Hiroshima just prior to dropping of atomic bomb.) It's opening in NC in mid-August, so I imagine it will work its way around to major cities. If you are an animation fan, do make an effort to see it.
  2. I am on the yea side, fwiw, though certainly not one who wants to argue with those who didn't like it. Perhaps because the last war movie I saw was Hacksaw Ridge, I found myself appreciating the mournful, resigned tone rather than going the route of sensationalizing the violence to the point of fetishizing it. Typically I like a more traditional narrative, but that didn't bother me here because I didn't really need or want it to be any one person's story...the relative anonymity of the characters felt...appropriate...
  3. This has been getting raves across the interwebs, but I just don't get it:
  4. Today only, you can rent this movie at Vudu for 10 cents as part of its anniversary celebration.
  5. Full reviews are under embargo but publicist said it was okay to chat it up on social media, so I'll just say I thought this was visually rich. I haven't been a particular fan of Lowery's other work, but I thought the shot compositions and editing here was terrific. (Lowery also did film editing for Caruth's Upstream Color.)
  6. FWIW, my review:
  7. I kinda thought the film more than entertained that possibility...that it leaned in that direction. It's certainly true that the audience I saw it with, which wasn't exactly sophisticated, was mostly assuming she was guilty, but I think that had more to do with modern movie expectations than in what the movie was actually doing. Still, I don't feel enough to champion the film...but I enjoyed it.I thought it was interesting how much was made of Rachel's large "appetites" and how even today, that quality stigmatizes women more than men.
  8. I enjoyed the film for what it was, especially in the midst of a sea of superhero carnage. So I'm interested in what set Evan off and/or what I missed.
  9. I thought Tennessee (aka "One Night") asks if he can talk to "my wife" when communicating with those on the planet, right before whatever the main character's name is tells him to go on a private channel. Or words to that effect.
  10. I guested on the InSession podcast, where we discussed Alien: Covenant and (around the 85 minute mark) "movies as prayers" in response to an interview they did with Josh Larsen. Feel free to give a listen here:
  11. I have read the novel and have no idea if it might shed light on any of these questions.
  12. I realize this is set in the future and all, and there are concessions made to the whole notion that we've figured out space travel, but this bugged me (especially from the director of The Martian) just on the level of being profligate with water. Showers on space ships? Are they making water? Recylcing it? I realize this is the least of science concerns, maybe, but it grated. (Was it Bill McKibben or someone else who introduced the axiom that if our technology is sufficient to terraform some other planet, wouldn't it be sufficient to terraform, i.e. save, this one?) EDIT: P.S. -- it is indicative of the issues griped about above that when this shower scene happened (don't want to be too specific for possible spoilers), I had no clue who these two characters were, what their relationship was to each other or the main characters, or whether I was supposed to even know or not.
  13. Major Spoilers for various Alien films, including Covenant.
  14. Thank you for this, Peter. It pretty much articulates all I feel/felt but couldn't rouse myself to articulate beyond the "So, ugh." P.S. I disagree with Kermode in this: I think Scott an exceedingly poor world-builder. At least, if by world-builder we mean something in a mythopoeic sense. He has a great eye for art-design and visual details, which can pass for world building but isn't quite the same thing.
  15. I really disliked this. Well "dislike" is probably not the right word. It is a well executed version of what it is, but that "what it is" is something which I mind increasingly numbing rather than engaging. I suppose, in order, my complaints are: --nothing is ever really at stake, even though everything is always at stake. The escalation of consequences with the lack of any real consequences makes me hyper aware that MCU films are in a fictional universe and whatever damage is done or good things that happen is not happening to anyone or anything "real." Yeah, almost all fiction is imaginary, but much of it is posited in worlds/universe enough like my own that I can relate by analogy. This is just video game stuff. --Philosophically (religiously) this universe sure seems nihilistic to me. I suppose there is a bravura in the face of man's inconsequential meaninglessness, but one can get that in 10 minutes without the $20 price tag by reading Hemingway's "A Clean Well Lighted Place." --The mix of humor and attempts at grave, graver, gravest seriousness just grates on me after awhile. It's like the thing one can most aspire to being in the universe is an emotionally stunted juvenile adolescent. There's a relationship to humor here that goes all the way back to Ghostbusters for me -- when someone I knew said he "wished" something like what happened in the movie would happen in real life? Why? Because the essence of cool is the wisecrack and the end of the universe allows opportunities for great quips. -- The over-reliance on music. Don't get me wrong. I love the music. But isn't film supposed to be a visual medium at least in addition to a soundtrack delivery system? All the real emotion here comes from the music and at some point you realize you'd be better off dusting off that ELO or Cat Stevens album. I make no claims for this being bad. It will probably make a quintazillion gazillion dollars. And judging by Rotten Tomatoes, it's fans are being well serviced. But didn't Michael Todd once say of one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies that it hurt his soul? I get that. I walked out of the movie depressed, not by anything that happened in the movie but by the increasingly desperate feeling that I'm on an endless treadmill of 2 1/2 hour ads for more MCU movies, all bigger, none better, all the same. I have counted out my life in coffee spoons.