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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. Oscars 2018: Best Foreign Language Film

    The Insult is really good and surprisingly accessible. Glad to see it getting noticed.
  2. It is still in my Top 10 for the year, but that honestly has more to say about lack of depth this year.
  3. The Breadwinner

    It's emotionally devastating. Didn't quite woo me the way Persepolis did, but I liked it better than Kells or Sea. A brief endorsement here.
  4. Bi-weekly reminder that nobody has seconded The Boss Baby yet....
  5. Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

    I actually turned to Cindy when a certain character is exonerated and said I'm glad to be wrong about that, meaning the film is more than a whodunit. But I wouldn't be shocked to find out there was a version of the script where that incident has more significance.
  6. Hi Joel, I have no particular emotional investment in HG, but in the past we've sort of gone by the first-time festival, theatrical, or dvd release to allow for films that made Oscar qualifyng runs the year before but were not widely accessible to those without screeners. (I'm thinking of Selma, which got traction among the people who saw it but was largely unseen by voters at time of voting.) Not saying you should do it that way, but historically what determined eligibility was whatever the foreperson (in this case you) said was eligible.
  7. Haven't seen the film yet as I had a conflict on the screening date; hope to catch up with it before voting.
  8. I nominate Molly's Game. I waffle on whether this is not typical of our list or exactly typical of it. But I do think about recommending films for faith audiences, and Plus I'm very much in the fan camp when it comes to Sorkin's writing. Aside from the morality issues of the justice system, I think the film evokes several resonant themes: role-models, shame, repentance, socialization vs. free-will. And in the way some people thought about O.J. last year --that race is an issue that should be inherently important to Christians -- I think this film really makes you feel and understand the long-term anger around long-term gender subordination.
  9. I suppose the condemnation of the priest might be viewed as akin to Rockwell character's use of the "n" word or the verbal attacks on gays. It's certainly understandable, and the film depicts actual violence (mostly against women) to really force us to consider ways in which rhetorical and physical violence are related, different, or feed into each other. But the film also sets up Mildred's Catholic-gang comparison by having the priest criticize her without any real attempt to hear her or aid her. We get no sense that Mildred is religious, attends service, has any prior relationship with him, etc. Why is he there except to condemn her and leave the low-hanging fruit of "sez all the pedophiles!" Plus, in a film that is remarkably real and honest about representing the circular nature of violence, he (and the religion he represents) is surprisingly omitted from any growth, awareness, or small steps towards reconciliation. It may well be that the film (especially the back half) contrasts institutions with individuals. It wouldn't be the first to show organized religion as uniformly corrupt and failing when compared to individuals who are still capable of giving and receiving grace, mercy, and forgiveness. But when I think about how careful the film is to represent, say, the police force as being comprised of individuals with different levels of understanding, complicity, guilt, dysfunction--but also genuine caring--and how the violence (actual and rhetorical) against the members of that institution, while understandable, is never justifiable, I think the treatment of the priest is of a different shade/tone. I guess to put it succinctly, in Evan's terms, I think we *are* meant to agree with Mildred's sweeping condemnation of the Catholic priest/church, which is odd given how the rest of the film shows anger (on all sides) raging out of control, leading to more harm, and as something that needs to be overcome with grace and love. Harrelson's letter is the film's coda, is it not? It's hard for me to view the film as one that includes the Catholic priest in the category of those who are capable of growth and/or reconciliation. Don't get me wrong, I loved the film. Definitely a top tenner, especially in a weak year (so far). But like a mishit note in a well-played sonata, that scene sticks out as a clunker because it seems out of tune with the rest of the film. Post-script/random thought. It is a *great* speech. Superbly written and delivered. Just not sure it fits well in this movie. I know many writers/directors capable of falling in love with speeches and having a real hard time cutting them precisely because they are so good.
  10. Nominate: Three Billboards Outside Ebbings, Missouri. Really good. Kinda in the wheelhouse for certain kind of Christian viewer -- complexity, some surprises. More about meaning of life than explicitly religious, and I'll get it if the priest scene puts of SDG or Evan -- it's an angry scene in the way that sometimes Irish Catholicsm can be, but despite that scene I don't think it is anti-religious. Don't want to give away too much of the plot, part of the pleasure is in the way it defies conventions and expectations. But I really recommend.
  11. The Boss Baby is now streaming on Netflix. You know what to do! Don't make me come over to your house and tie you to a chair and watch.
  12. Has anyone else seen The Breadwinner? It's emotionally devastating animated tale set in contemporary Iran. I guess the most obvious point of comparison would be Persepolis. I esteem the film, but I am still not sure if it is something I necessarily recommend for a Christian audience. We've had films that depict World Religion before (Timbuktu; Gett), but some of those have generated discussion about how or why the depiction of another religious community is relevant to Christian audiences.