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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. The first season is fairly strong. Not as good as The Good Wife at its peak, but better than it was at the end. There's a pretty great illustration of the mechanisms of fake news, reminding us of what the show is good at -- illustrating complex modern ideas through narrative. Also, I'll cop to thinking Diane is a more interesting character than Alicia was. "Life has a way of reminding you who you are." Indeed. The best thing, though, is getting away from Lockhart-Gardner, where the in-house politics became a distracting self-parody. The new firm has some politicking, of course, but the racial wrinkle is interesting and it the office politics becomes more about self-definition than the Machiavellian maneuvers themselves. Rose Leslie's thread feels dull. Maybe that's because she's new and we know DIane, but she just feels like she's in a Damages retread. Her character's incidental lesbianism is perhaps relevant in a social/cultural context but doesn't really add much to the story. I'd be happy to stick with S2, but only to the extent they keep Christine Baranski around.
  2. There's nothing quite like revisiting a movie from your teen years and saying, "wow, how did I miss that?"
  3. I've done a 10 Years Later piece on No Country, which debuted (is that a word) at Cannes in 2007.
  4. I will be surprised if 1/2 the reviews of Song to Song don't have a "glass houses" reference and the other half don't include something about "beside still waters."
  5. This surprised in a couple ways. Under embargo for another day or two, and I want to pair it with another film at SXSW depicting atheism, so no time for a full review right now, but I will say it struck me as somewhat cynical about O'Hair and thus wasn't entirely the pro-atheism, anti-Christianity screed I expected. There are some stereotypes to be sure, but it isn't all one sided.
  6. Yeah, they actually told us he was going to be at that panel, but they scheduled it the same time as the American Gods premiere. Sigh. Such is life at a festival. I was talking to a friend yesterday and I said that Malick doesn't seem to me like he conceives of narratives in terms of scenes, so it's like we have the same vocabulary but a different grammar. For me, watching a Malick film is a bit like listening to someone used to speaking another language trying to explain his ideas in English. I can get the gist of it, but it's hard to stay engaged.
  7. So, yeah, that scene with Bilquis is definitely in the pilot. Is it just me or do HBO, Starz, and Cinemax have their own NC-17 style? There's a lot to like here. Gaiman gave a a video message to SXSW saying he loved the adaptation, and Fuller and Greene said they've messed with timeline a little and tried to bulk up female presences. Pablo Schrieber and Betty Gilpin kinda steal the pilot, and I'm wondering if Shadow is going to become overshadowed by the huge cast of more colorful supporting characters. Still thinking about: they moved the funeral home scene to a (I think Roman Catholic) Church. I suppose it is understandable for a TV audience to underline themes, but it seemed wrong for the characters and was the one place the first episode made me scratchy.
  8. Actually the clause as written says Paul Thomas Anderson, but it was amended a few years ago to make the punishment, while still on the books, slightly less severe.
  9. I have done my Christian cinephile duty. Not sure what all to tell you. I'm the least reliable judge of Malick I know. I felt like I at least understood what was going on, plot wise, and I've made some progress in articulating to myself why I'm so not on Team Terence. Fassbender said at intro that it was hard to learn his lines because Malick was constantly rewriting. That surprised me. (He said Malick let him "read" his lines, least that's what I thought he said.) I looked at my watch a dozen times, but I never felt the desperation for it to be over that I did in Tree of Life. I think any random 15 seconds in a TM film is most likely the most beautiful thing you ever saw....and any random 30 minutes feels 20 minutes too long. Still, I made a concentrated effort to not care about plot...or, rather about words...about dialogue as the primary means to advance the plot. It's gorgeous to look at and Portman and Gosling acquit themselves quite well. (I think Mara is great, but I was never convinced she was who the film says she was.) I think fans will probably love least I hope so for their sake.
  10. I found it...numbing. Not in a particularly good way. It's not a bad movie, I suppose, but it just all becomes about action special effects and there is no emotional weight. But I guess that's what people want in the movies. Sort of like Jurassic World only with even less plot, less emotion, less stakes. Brie Larson sure looks pretty, though.
  11. Given that SXSW is doing a retro screening of Alien with Scott, Fassbender, and McBride in attendance, I'm wondering if this will be the advertised "Secret Screening"? P.S. Hmmm...and they just added Franco's Disaster Artist to the Midnigher's Screening, so
  12. Hi Rob, thanks for de-lurking and sharing your thoughts.
  13. You might try following Trump Regrets on Twitter ( ). The retweets are pretty scattershot, but you may see patterns of things that (some) Trump voters recognize as a problem. The most consistent complaints I've heard are about temperament/demeanor (and ironically his use of Twitter). I find the threads depressing in a "what did you think was going to happen?" mode, and I don't interact with it at all, but it is anecdotally helpful at getting a lens into what people think is a problem. Of course there are also the "why isn't Hillary in jail yet?" complaints and the "you should not have accepted Flynn's resignation" complaints that he's not conservative enough....
  14. There are some scene adaptations in The Learning Chanel's GREAT BOOKS series. These are pretty hokey, but the interviews with academics are quite helpful. The series claims that that Wright was offered (20K? 30K?) for the rights in 1930s but only on condition that Bigger be changed to a white protagonist.
  15. On second viewing the film's tendency to underline its points is a bit more noticeable. (As Evan points out, the prayer is said twice, not once.) That means it doesn't benefit from repeat viewings as much as some films typically in my Top 10, but it still packs a lot of emotional punch. I find something a little unsatisfying about the denouement. Erwin's introducing her to friends and pulling her into circle seems to harken back to the party and could appear to be saying that Nadine is still dependent on guy/friend, just substituted one for the other. But the film is really smart about grief and depression, so big points for that. And I continue to think the of the scene in the Mercury as an answer to prayer even though I can't find anything overtly in the film that announces it as such...