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About kenmorefield

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

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  • Occupation
    Professor of English
  • About my avatar
    1More Film Blog
  • Favorite movies
    The Godfather, Persepolis, The Man Who Planted Trees, Emma, A Man Escaped
  • Favorite music
    I dunno. My Ipod did once randomize a Meatloaf song and an Amy Grant song back to back.
  • 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
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  1. I think this Netflix limited series is quite good, an interesting contrast/complement to the procedural elements in Mindhunter. (That show illustrates how some procedures develop over time based on research and new knowledge, Unbelievable shows how procedures don't always change with time or keep abreast of new understanding of crimes.) I worried that the first episode was a little too on-the-nose or perhaps exaggerated. (I mean, the male detectives are cringe-worthy in their insensitivity and bullying.) But I suspect there people like that, and it's not like the show portrays all men as being insensitive. (The domestic partners of the detectives vs. the males who work with them vs. the boyfriends of the victims show an array of attitudes.) I had heard this was a Toni Collette vehicle, and she is always fabulous. But I am really impressed by Merritt Wever. The writing doesn't give her a whole lot of interpretive wiggle room -- saintly patient with victim, letting frustration out with male subordinates, struggle to control emotion with domestic partner. But she finds authenticity within it, perhaps because her character is the more self-aware of the two detectives. I am not sure if the series is about anything beyond a horrific examination of a particular case. If it is, for me, it is about how women have to fight to find some middle ground between two poles -- completely empathetic or completely hardened. The reality is that neither pole is individually healthy or professionally effective. (They need some of Collette's bluntness and directness to get things done.) I am also not sure how well the show lets us see the background of the victim who is not believed and the extent to which suspicion of her story would be conditioned by her background. This is particularly a tension in the foster-mom who first floats idea to the police that the story might be fabricated. Is the foster mom just evil? In over her head? Is this about the dangers of non-professionals making diagnoses about things they aren't really qualified to? Or is there something there? I'm not done yet, so I am curious if the series will advocate some sort of reforms or suggestions for how to keep such things from happening again. It is, of course, bitterly ironic that the obstinacy of insisting on a criminal citation for filing a false report (for a rape that actually happened) is what leads to a break in the case since the various jurisdictions aren't always steadfast in reporting unsolved rapes that they thought did happen, making it harder to recognize a pattern.
  2. I think the answer to that question is...eventually. My goal is that these all be in a consistent format and hosted on the site, but I don't know that we have settled on a format yet. Also, while we've been going okay, post-Image, I think things are still touch-and-go traffic wise. I suspect that if we do another Top 100 in 2020, that will either solidify some traffic or be a kind of last hurrah. Perhaps getting an app would/should be part of 2020 list. If so, that could then be used to standardize the format of past lists. That's my gut instinct, anyway. What do others think?
  3. Thanks, Andrew. Thanks also to Joel for his recent donation. It is gratifying to see people willing to share this cost.
  4. Thank you to Evan and Nathaniel for contributions while I had the donation sidebar up.
  5. I turned off the sidebar plugin. Did that help address the issue?
  6. I suspect this is because I turned on the donation box shell temporarily, but I would take a look and see. On my mobile phone it works, but doens't show the donation box.
  7. So Parasite won festival favorite, which made me wonder (not for the first time) about how much these things are on up-and-up. Given the variety of screening times and venue sizes, I'm sure there is a formula that is...malleable. I mean, everyone I've heard that has seen it,loves it, but it's also a bit of a self-selector, isn't it?
  8. I am assuming Tench is the John Douglas character, and I appreciate McCallany (and the writers) for not channeling Scott Glenn (i.e. making him too wise at this point in his career). I actually think the series best moments are in S1 when he calls Holden a great FBI agent, showing he is able to separate his own disgust or disapproval at some of the tactics from his knowledge of the importance of the work itself. I keep looking for a little bit more from Tench of Douglas's having laid the groundwork academically, but the series appears to want to distribute that more evenly than does Douglas in his autobiography.
  9. I was surprised this morning to find the new Kore-eda a bit of a slog. I put that here rather than in its own thread because I wonder if it is just a function of it being 10 am on a Saturday morning, having just seen Frankie (a similarly themed French talkie with an international audience), or some sort of festival burnout like D. talked about in TIFF thread. I do feel my age more and more, and I have a hard time doing 3 movies in a day, much less four.
  10. Spoilers, I guess. I did not like A Marriage Story very much. It was well executed, I guess, but I am not sure it told me anything I didn't already know or feel anything more complicated than that people who are suffering are sad. First, it really should be called A Divorce Story. The couple is separating when the movie begins. One might argue--and I sorta expected--that the story of the marriage would be told in flashback, but....not really. Or at least not in any meaningful, comprehensive way. I've heard more than one person discussing the film at Filmfest 919 agree with my assessment that the film is slanted to the Adam Driver character. It is the wife who physically leaves, going to California and taking the kid, who refuses to engage in (counseling? mediation?) who hires a lawyer (after they agree they wouldn't) and then consults with all the other lawyers so that he *can't* get that she demands he get. Yes, some of this is showing her getting seduced by her lawyer, I guess, and maybe that says something about her inability to stand up for herself. On his side...well, he has an affair. Or rather, had an affair, earlier in the marriage, though he declines continuing it after she leaves. He doesn't listen to her when she says she wants to leave for California and maybe...cares more about his career than hers. Oh, and he says he wishes she were dead. It is, of course, telling that most of the stuff he does to her is related at second hand and is in the *past* while most of the stuff she does to him is depicted on screen. My point is not that none of this could happen or does happen. I did think it odd how many people introducing the film (or guest of honor) use the word "empathetic" to describe it. The film did not engender empathy in me, only sympathy. But it also frustrated me a bit. By calling itself a *Marriage* story, is it implying that this is what marriage *is*? That this is not the dissolution or deterioration of a marriage but the essence of it? The ending, too, seemed to suggest to me that divorce could be (and usually is) a good thing. Painful, yes, but painfully *necessary,* and hence, leading to a kind of independence within interdependence that can never be achieved in marriages, even healthy ones. Driver has never been better (I'm usually not a fan), and Scarlett with two "t"s? She conveys, I guess, in a scary way, the rage some women must feel at not being heard and not being seen while having to live in a world where they are called upon to be happy all the time and subordinate their lives to that of men. The couple is not Christian, of course, nor does religion appear to play much of any part in their courtship, marriage, or divorce. Does that matter? Well it does to me, but only to the extent that it shades my beliefs about what marriage is and, hence, what they are doing when they enter into that marriage, give up on it, and justify their separation. Still, I have this nagging feeling that this will feel...familiar to a lot of people and that familiarity will be mistook for wisdom or truth. I would not be surprised by a host of nominations (for writing and acting and supporting acting), but I sure hope it doesn't win. It's like The Squid & The Whale is rewritten from the dad's perspective. Will we get a third movie about the same thing that's more clearly from the woman's perspective, or is the assumption that this film does that?
  11. I had mixed feelings about this one, but I came out slightly positive. https://1morefilmblog.com/2019/10/10/the-report-filmfest-919/
  12. Congrats! Although I haven't played D&D for several decades, a number of people in my tabletop board game club do; it seems to be experiencing a revival. I also know from a friend who tries to design board games how difficult that process of ushering in an idea, even a well-executed one, to market. So, I hope you are proud. I am sorry to hear about your wife, though. You and she were in my thoughts today.
  13. I went to school in Fredericksburg, which is just down the road from Quantico, so I understand that feeling.
  14. I have very little to say about this film (it was generic but more enjoyable for not being a superhero flick). I did want to say it gained half a star because the first couple of scenes are in Liege, Belgium. (Now if they had had Sandra or Rosetta on the train, I would have upped it to 4 stars.)
  15. I'm glad that you said that. I've tried to be honest and maybe even self-examining about how my investment in parts of the Batman mythology has affected my responses to iterations that mess with parts of it. (https://1morefilmblog.com/2012/07/19/the-dark-knight-rises-nolan-2012/). What is strange about this particular representation of Thomas Wayne is that it ops for cutesy coincidence (the Shrinking World Syndrome) over development. I'm an admirer of Frank Miller's THE DARK NIGHT graphic novels, even if I recognize that they ushered in some problematic trends. But one way in which it has been influential in a less than negative way was in foregrounding the spiritual and moral dilemma of Batman and his struggles with whether or not he could or should simply kill the Joker. (That informs works such as The Killing Joke where Joker rapes Commisioner Gordon and shoots and paralyzes Barbara as well as A Death in The Family where he kills Jason Todd.) In a film that cared more about the its relationship to an overall mythology (whether or not it felt beholden to it), the Joker's origin story might actually have some meaning in the way it contributes to these questions whether Batman knew about the origin or not. (I could see room for instance, in an origin story that casts Joker as a victim as perhaps providing Batman with a Gandalf-like compassion for the object committed to his destruction.) But here, alas, is one of many places where it seems to me that Joker doesn't really know what it wants to say or do beyond just being dark and disturbing or different. It floats a bunch of different ideas but doesn't really interrogate any much less attempt to situate those ideas within a larger dialogue that provides the context for iconic but eternally transforming characters.
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