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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. 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."
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. Hi Rob, thanks for de-lurking and sharing your thoughts.
  10. 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....
  11. 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.
  12. 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...
  13. I wouldn't. But maybe that's just me. I think you are trying, seemingly in vain, to convince yourself that if you do it right, say it right, whatever that the interactions will be more effective. I think the nature of social media means you need only a small but committed group of trolls to derail any conversation or exhaust any sincere efforts at dialogue. In the wake of the election I've been thinking a lot about the interview I did at SXSW last year with Daryl Davis. As a reminder, he was the subject of Accidental Courtesy, a documentary about how he "befriended" many Ku Klux Klan members and white supremacists, and how dozens of people he had interacted with had eventually left the Klan. I kept circling back to two questions: 1) Can anyone do what you do? 2) Were there people who were non-responsive, and how did you separate them from those who were worth a huge investment of time and energy? In my mind, the film was a sideways look at what many Christians think about when they refer to "friendship evangelism" as opposed to proclamation or contact evangelism. It's hard to condense a three hour interview into one or two bullet points and then apply it to a parallel track, but I would say, based on lessons I learned, that success has less to do with framing the issues or persuasion than it does about: being informed. (Davis said he often knew more about the Klan, its history, and practices than did the white supremacists with whom he talked.) being emotionally diffident. (My word, not his.) Persuasion doesn't work with some people, because persuasion, by its nature is a *rational* appeal, and some positions are not rational nor borne of reason. That's not to say no Trump supporter (or white supremacist in Davis's example) is capable of reason. Just that the origins of their behavior are more often rooted in emotions than rational pragmatism. In my experience, it's usually borne of fear and/or anger. Those emotions trigger lizard brain (amygdala?) and rational persuasion gets drowned by the neural pathways that have been trained to be afraid, constantly afraid. loving and serving people even when they are hateful (or full of hate). That's admittedly hard. And some people try to do it but for tactical reasons ... hey, I'll earn the right to tell you the truth by loving you. Again, this is my observation rather than Davis's, but I think if one is motivated by tactical reasons, one's patience will eventually wear out. Loving people can't be the strategic prelude to a "gotcha" end game. Anyone changing his/her heart or mind about anything is a miracle, and I believe God usually (always?) has a hand in it. For my part, my response to Trump presidency is to try to be more loving. I haven't done as much of this, but I've also been helped by reading about transition of South Africa from Apartheid to post-Apartheid...what were the purposes of truth and reconciliation? How did that work? What new grievances were created? (White liberals who felt they were anti-Apartheid but were not distinguished from more racist counterparts once they became minority...?) Documentaries like The Ruins of Lifta and Peacemaker (violence in Northern Ireland) help me learn about other times in world history where governments/nations have had to deal with entrenched, implacable ideological conflicts that had led to schisms. These admittedly have not helped me tactically (just emulated so-and-so's-policy) but they have helped me better understand that emotions that feed into the people involved in such deeply-rooted conflicts, particularly those who have been exposed to them over time and have, perhaps, become emotionally or psychologically crippled. I guess what I'm saying, summarily, is that I *don't* think we are in a realm right now where our primary problems are rational ones and the way out of them is being being persuasive. I think our (i.e. America's) bigger problems right now are emotional and spiritual, and solving going to involve something different from how we've approached ideological or social conflicts in the pre-social media days.
  14. Per Steven's comment above, I think he's more concerned with trashing Man of Steel than reviewing Lego Batman Movie. Nothing wrong with that, but I certainly sense that he might have entered the theater with some pre-existing animus towards DC that you don't have.
  15. Gonna be in the Episodic program at SXSW. Look forward to seeing pilot.