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About kenmorefield

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

Previous Fields

  • 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. First Reformed

    It's been years since I've watched Hardcore and one feels arrogant making pronouncements about people (rather than films), but I recall thinking (and suppose I still think) that it reflected the stunted emotional development of someone coming out of a strict fundamentalist community. Granted Schrader was 33 when the film came out, but if he really didn't watch films until he was 18...it just feels like he's working through some of his issues regarding sex and sexuality. When I taught at a fundamentalist Bible college, I really felt like a saw a pattern of more sheltered young adults being overwhelmed by certain topics (especially sexuality) because they were less experienced in thinking about them, more reflexively afraid of them. I think Hardcore (and even Taxi Driver) have some overwrought qualities, perhaps even intentional, of characters isolated from sex being overwhelmed by their own feelings. (Wasn't Taxi Driver the one where Travis obliviously takes his date to a porno movie?) George C. Scott's character is a dad, but like Travis, his conflict is really a projection of a more adolescent one (fascination/fear/push/pull) with the I-have-to-save-my-daughter being more or less a maguffin (imo) to explain why he is forced to expose himself to that which he fears. Again, this is arrogant, I know, but the big surprise for me in First Reformed was not the development of skill as a filmmaker or writer, that's been there, but the deeper reflections on (what are for me) bigger questions of faith.
  2. First Reformed

  3. First Reformed

    Per Schrader's own book and video lecture: Bresson, Ozu, and Dreyer. Film very clearly references Tarkovsky (and through him Bergman), though to say which film would verge on spoiler territory. I've argued elsewhere that Schrader's definitions of Transcendental Cinema are much more about Bresson than Ozu or Dreyer in Schrader's mind, and the end here should be anticipated somewhat by anyone who knows how much he loves Pickpocket (and why), though the most obvious comparisons are Diary of a Country Priest (might even be shots that are referential) and The Devil, Probably (particularly in the environmental montage).
  4. First Reformed

    I went in expecting to be disappointed because Schrader always disappoints, but I thought this was pretty great. Yeah, it does wear its references on its sleeve like a badge of honor, but if you are going to copy, you might as well copy from the best.
  5. TIFF 2017

    My new favorite TIFF moment of all time: I'm supposed to meet Andrew Spitznas and Jessica at Fran's at 4:15 or so, but Andrew says films have been letting out late this year, so as I'm walking up Victoria street I ask one of the TIFF volunteers, "What time does Kings let out?" And she starts yelling at me: "Halle Berry is not here! So there's no point in blocking my exit!"
  6. Congratulations, Joel.

    I thought about starting a thread under "About You" called "All Things Joel," but I figured that would be cheeky.
  7. Congratulations, Joel.

    I suspect this should go in "About You" somewhere, but I couldn't find a Joel specific thread there, so I just thought I'd use this one to congratulate Joel on being accepted into the Online Film Critics Society. Good work, Joel!
  8. The Dark Tower

    To truly loathe a film, it has to do something more than just be formally bad. And I loathed this film. Which surprised me a little since the usual suspects for why I loathe a film -- affinity for subject matter, technical incompetence, moral dishonesty -- aren't really in play here. There's a scenario/idea here but no real story. Lots of people are killed and some kids are tortured and we learn that evil is evil and good is better.
  9. In this Corner of the World

    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.
  10. Dunkirk

    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...
  11. War for the Planet of the Apes

    This has been getting raves across the interwebs, but I just don't get it:
  12. Last Days in the Desert

    Today only, you can rent this movie at Vudu for 10 cents as part of its anniversary celebration.
  13. A Ghost Story

    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.)
  14. The Beguiled

    FWIW, my review: http://1morefilmblog.com/2017/06/27/the-beguiled-coppola-2017/
  15. My Cousin Rachel (2017)

    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.