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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. 2017 Arts & Faith Ecumenical Jury

    Christian, I hope you will participate, though I understand burn out on multiple levels. I am biased in that I know I created this jury initially to replace the Critics Choice poll at CT. I'm fine with it becoming an A&F thing, but that does tend to flirt with groupthink. I think to be truly "ecumenical" in spirit and practice, means balancing voices. I'll also cop to caring (though not overly so) about the professional/amateur distinction, and I think it would certainly look odd if one of the professional critics who has been affiliated with A&F (in varying degrees) did not participate. Joel, I'd be happy to hand over the reins if you feel comfortable taking them on...since I'm still around, I'll be available for questions or help if you need it. Regarding the jury membership, I'm pretty sure Noel would do it again, and I suspect Gareth would too, though I'm less certain. Jeffrey, Steven, and Peter can all speak for themselves. Jessica was added last year in part to address Image's concern of an all-male jury. That might make it worthwhile to reach out to Alissa again, though I'd be surprised if she said yes. Maybe Laura Kenna? Colin Stacy did it two years ago and then dropped out last year (I think he had a kid?) Not sure if he would be interested or is still writing, but he did a lot of work in tracking down screeners and approaching publicists. There's probably no logistical reason to cap the jury, though I confess my personal preference is smaller rather than larger because my experience with Critics Associations is that as they get bigger they tend to get reduced to common denominators and all look alike. The two real selling points for me of this jury is the faith component and the fact that its at least possible to try to discuss/persuade/discover rather than just adjudicating between the same five movies everyone else is voting on.
  2. 2017 Arts & Faith Ecumenical Jury

    I've exchanged messages with Greg and he says he is open to sponsoring jury again provided it doesn't create too much work for staff which has turned over a bit at IMAGE. I don't see why it should. He also expressed a request that whatever our voting dates this be ready to be printed at web site Since that is March 4, 2018, we are talking about early February. So as long as we finish voting by the first week in January or so, we could have a week or two to write blurbs. In order of importance, I'd see the next steps as: 1) Deciding on a jury foreman/point-person. 2) Finalizing the jury. (Do we automatically renew same jury from year before? Invite new people? If new, do we simply expand or do we cap number of participants? Are we okay with jury members who aren't active members of A&F or is this/should this be more limited since it is now officially and A&F labeled project? 3) Finalizing dates to close nominations and to close voting? 4) Creating a nominations and/or discussion page. Of the seven of us who have so far responded -- does anyone actively want to be foreperson? I've done it before, but I'm certainly open to giving someone else an opportunity. Also, last year Joel did the introductory write-up, so that's not a given that the foreperson has to do that. But there should be one person that is a correspondence person and who creates and tabulates the ballots, etc. and who has decision making power if some unforeseen circumstance (like with Silence) arises. On a side note, I wonder if anyone is interested in writing a one-paragraph description of the jury and/or its function? Last few years we've had a broad mission statement -- to expand or challenge what it means to recommend a film specifically to/for Christians. But perhaps it might be better (going into year four) to have something a "bit* more descriptive about who we are and what we are doing? Or maybe not...?
  3. Blade Runner 2

    As long as I'm being heretical in this thread, I'll mention that Cindy said her complaint was that the film was too long and really dragged. She then added, that when we recently watched Blade Runner with our nephew she recalled feeling like it was slower than she remembered. I wondered whether we were watching the Director's Cut and possibly she remembered it differently because of the lack of voice-over. Which is a round about way of asking...is it Gospel truth that the director's cut really is better?
  4. Blade Runner 2

    Not that I need anyone to validate my sincerity, but I really did try to give this a chance. FWIW, I remember thinking about halfway through, "The last time I was this wowed by the cinematography in a movie I hated was Sicario." And then during the credits, I was reminded that it, too, was a Villenueve film shot by Roger Deakins. Not sure if this is one of the plot points that Peter was asked not to discuss, but I also remember thinking at one point, “Are we ever going to get tired of movies where men kill naked women?” I suppose that’s not what the movie is about, but to quote the woman I saw the movie with, that’s never what the movie is about, but that doesn’t keep it from being in there. Guess I’m just not down with the Villenueve aesthetic. (Was the one nay-sayer on the jury last year about Arrival.) 1,000 pretty framed shots, a long, ponderous, inflated story. The visual splendor is there, but the poetry is missing. I thought this a more artful inheritor of The Matrix than Blade Runner. Mood to burn, but I want a story, dammit. I didn't care about any of these characters...and I used to care about at least one of them.
  5. The Magnificent Seven (2016)

    I think it was Andrew Johnson who first pointed out to me that: If I thought that were meaningful rather than just cheeky, I might (have) upgrade(d) the film.
  6. Mother! (Darren Aronofsky)

    One light-bulb moment in my dissertation research was finding a letter from an American woman to C.S. Lewis (don't remember if it was at the Wade center or in a printed collection of his letters) praising him for his creativity and imagination in Out of the Silent Planet. How, she wondered openly, did he ever think of such a new and original idea as fallen angels? I note in passing that his next two books -- Perelandra and Screwtape Letters -- were self-expository, spelling out their own symbolism rather than depending on the readers to understand it. Not saying he was responding to that letter specifically, but surely to a culture becoming increasingly ignorant of any Biblical allusions. When I taught The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe at a state university (circa 1990s), I did have a handful of students (in a class of 40) challenge me on the claim that it was a Christian allegory, insisting that I was reading my Christianity into a simple, charming, children's fable.
  7. Since I got my first handful of FYC screeners in the mail this week, I guess it's time to ask if we want to saddle up for another ride...
  8. First Reformed

    Good stuff. My review is finally live at CT Movies & TV
  9. 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.
  10. First Reformed

  11. 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).
  12. 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.
  13. 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!"
  14. Congratulations, Joel.

    I thought about starting a thread under "About You" called "All Things Joel," but I figured that would be cheeky.
  15. 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!