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Everything posted by kenmorefield

  1. Exciting. I know this is a lot of work just to put together a proposal. I hope you are successful.
  2. kenmorefield

    Corpus Christi

    I esteemed it, but I had a hard time writing why. (That's not too unusual, I've been having a hard time writing much of anything these days.) I was surprised by at least one of the reactions to Daniel being confessing at the end. I guess I see both points from the Andrews. Like Andrew J., I was surprised the end didn't land harder, but like Andrew S., I honestly don't see how it could have ended any other way. In the DVD notes, Komasa says: 1) If Daniel hadn't committed a crime, he probably would not have been drawn to the Church in the first place. 2) Leviathan was "a reference point of sorts" though he "tried to add some lightness to [Zvyagintsev's] pessimism" FWIW, my review.
  3. Marci, how do you take Koreeda in general? I ask to try to contextualize your response, not challenge it.
  4. Not sure if there is a bigger Koreeda man than me on this forum, but I found this one less endearing when I saw it at Filmfest 919 last fall. Perhaps it was the film festival format that forced an early morning screening. (I remember Koreeda personally thanking everyone as they left the Scotiabank one year at TIFF for coming to a 9 am weekday screening). Perhaps a second viewing under better circumstances will help. It does feel to me like post After the Storm that he has moved in a more....commercial direction? I guess a lot of people felt Shoplifters was classic Koreeda, but The Third Murder and The Truth both try to bring in elements of genre or commercial cinema (A-list stars) in ways that felt a bit forced. Still, he's a treasure, and I'm glad this film is finding its way out into the world.
  5. kenmorefield

    Dads (2020)

    This documentary is on Apple TV. It is fine, I guess. The problem I had with it is that it is so committed to not being negative about anything that there are no boundaries or conflicts or ideas to shape it. Dads are good. Yay! My review: http://1morefilmblog.com/2020/06/27/dads-howard-2020/ Edit: Of course, I'm not a father, so it's hard to tell, but then again, I don't think this film is for fathers so much as it is for kids to elicit them to appreciate their fathers, which I'm all for, in principle...
  6. I finished the novel yesterday. It is loooong. One thing I felt more at the end was that maybe Mitchell went once too often to the well of having someone (usually Rhett) explain Scarlett to herself...exposition in the form of dialogue. This is a tricky thing because some people are insightful and do analyze other people, and there are conversations like that. And I feel as I've grown older that people talk more and more "like" movies in real life because they grow up on more videos (or books). So for right now it. is hard for me to pinpoint when this literary device crosses the edge, but the final chapter of GWTW felt that way to me. Granted, I'm reading the book in 2020, but I had a slightly different response than BastiƩn. I didn't feel the characters were complex. They are relentlessly, obstinately static. Now, there are people like that in real life, people who are committed to not changing, ever. (I think of the exchange in Mississippi Burning where where Baldwin's character leaves his wife and she asks, "Are you saying I've changed?" and he replies, "I'm saying you haven't...'). Thus the characters in GWTW, for me, are not that interesting. Particularly in the latter third of the novel, I expected experience to make a mark on somebody, anybody. For somebody to change in a positive way. But it's a book mostly about plot...situations change but characters remain the static. That's a mark of a soap opera, really. Having said that, I do have a begrudging appreciation for the book. The world-building is quite extraordinary.
  7. I had this thought during the Zoom call...it might be interested to try a few video "introductions" to the films. In the app blurb list, there is a place that says "Video" and that can go to any YouTube video.We mostly use it for trailers, but some people really don't like trailers. Might be fun to do a 2 minute intro to the film or appreciation of it. I have a rarely used YouTube channel that can upload them, and that might even draw some traffic from a new source. Any thoughts?
  8. kenmorefield

    Shine (1996)

    I mentioned this film late in Zoom chat. Evan, here is a link to the article in the Chicago Tribune I mentioned that I read after Cindy and I attended the Chicago leg of the "Shine Tour" https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1997-04-06-9704050246-story.html He's not as negative as I remember, but it's funny he actually brings up P.T. Barnum:
  9. Late in chat tonight, Christian asked about responses to the Top 100 and some of my response was that Do The Right Thing prompted some "what's *spiritually significant" about it?" questions. Wondering if anyone who voted for the film might want to add some thoughts on that. I finally got around to the idea that belonging (to a family, a culture, a society) is a universal human aspiration and seeing the consequences of exclusions helps viewers understand that the consequences of exclusion are spiritual and not just economic/political/social (though they are that). Also, I think films that invite you to *identify* with the other are spiritual. But that's two very broad answers. It is also a film that wrestles with morality -- I think about the line in Calvary where Father James says, "Thou shalt not kill...no exceptions" and the conversant asks, "What about self defense?" Then Father James says, "Aye, that's a tricky one...." That answer (the morality of violence) has probably gotten more discussion because of the Malcolm X and MLK quotes.
  10. I was hoping for entirely new blurbs for Top 25. For other films, I was hoping to do those that had no blurb before those that had old blurbs. For those that had old blurbs, my general feeling is: 1) If the person who wrote the previous blurb is still around, he/she has option to revise *or* keep their old blurb. 2) If the person is around but doesn't want to revise blurb and someone else wants to write that blurb, the newer one will replace the older one. 3) If the person who wrote the old blurb is no longer present, anyone can request to write a new blurb and is okay to do so. Here is what is not assigned--an asterisk means there is an old blurb that can stand unless someone else wants to write a new blub: Diary of a Country Priest (1951)* The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964)* Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)* Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (2005)* Monsieur Vincent (1947)* The House is Black (1963)* Heartbeat Detector (2007)* A Moment of Innocence (1996)* Close-Up (1990)* To Sleep With Anger (1990) The Gleaners & I (2000)* The Apostle (1997)* The Tree of Wooden Clogs (1978) Munyurangabo (2007)* Tokyo Story (1953)* Dead Man Walking (1995)* The Burmese Harp (1956)* The Mill and the Cross (2011) Chariots of Fire (1981)* A Serious Man (2009)* In Praise of Love (2001)* Ponette (1996)* Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)* Fiddler on the Roof (1971)* Silent Light (2007)* Schindler's List (1993)* The Ushpizin (2004)* The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2005)* The Immigrant (2013)* Places in the Heart (1984)* Nazarin (1959)* What Time is It There? (2001) Right now, the only films I believe with no blurbs at all are Do the Right Thing, Tree of Wooden Clogs, and What Time is it There? Also, there are a handful of films that people have claimed that I'm sure they would probably give up if someone else actively *wanted* them, so if there is a particular film you have in mind, let me know. I don't feel much like giving anyone a deadline unless there is someone else waiting. Kevin S. said he'd do Do the Right Thing, and I did want a Black voice to do that, but he's understandably had his attention elsewhere the last few weeks. I'd certainly allow someone else to do it if they felt ready to tackle it.
  11. Steven sent me his blurbs for Of Gods and Men and The Miracle Maker.
  12. Brian, Here is a link that worked for me...you may have to scroll down through various episodes: https://tinyurl.com/y8txez4n
  13. My social distancing book club will be discussing Dawn beginning July 7 (via zoom). Send me a PM if you want an invite...the group is centered on Goodreads, but it has developed mostly just as a place to put the Zoom link for weekly discussions.
  14. I've had this sitting on my screener shelf for a year or more, but you know with the pandemic and all.... Anyway, it is quite good, and I was pleased that it had the moral complexity of "real life" and avoided turning all the characters into he flattest versions of themselves or the principles they represent. Might even be worth adding to the "Spiritually Significant...by Women" thread. My one reservation was that I thought the film deliberately glossed over the fact that Sture Lindgren was married (he eventually left his wife to marry Astrid) since that didn't really fit the thematic narratives about family, parental devotion, suffering, etc. That's a shame, I thought, because I thought the film primed the audience to see complexity in decisions where other films might just show things in black and white, so it made me wonder if that part was elided because it didn't trust the audience or because some part of it really ran counter to the themes in the film. I was also unaware that actress Alba August was the daughter of Bille August (Pelle the Conqueror).
  15. Andrew, I don't really want to have this conversation and certainly not here, but you directed a specific question about a specific action to me, so I felt I needed to respond. I am not going to get into what seems to me a very unlikely to be fruitful back and forth about the nuts and bolts of dozens of different hypotheticals. (It seems to me that you've already shifted from a call for some sort of unified action to a call for some sort of non-binding resolution. ) So this will be my last word in this thread. You are, of course, welcome to continue asking for other responses. Given the first sentence, I think the second is overly broad, and thus not one that I would feel comfortable endorsing and certainly not mandating to a membership (which was the form of the question posed to me). Don't get me wrong, some (incalculable number of) people will die because they choose to go see Mulan. Just as some will die because they chose to get a haircut or go back to colleges with face to face classes. Worse, some people (like that pastor in Arkansas whose church became a local epicenter) will indirectly kill other people, perhaps knowingly, perhaps unknowingly, to go see Tenet. There is, however, a fairly large spectrum between least possible risk (everyone shelter at home by law until there is a vaccine that everyone is mandated to take and in the meantime the government pays a living wage to everyone out of work and hazard pay to essential workers who determined by.....) and greatest possible risk (ignoring common sense and proceeding as normal). Given the number of variables and the constantly amassing amount of data, as well as the social and political climate, I see more upside to informing the public than trying to manipulate their choices. No matter what is proposed, it seems evident to me that no proposal will be without any risk and that there will always be some who propose we could do something else that had even less risk. I don't know yet under what circumstances, if any, I would attend a screening. But the day I have to decide, while not far off, isn't here yet. And I'm not willing at this time to commit to saying I won't review "x," (or cover it in any way) if I can do so with the amount of risk that is commensurate to other non-essential activities. EDIT: Given what I've seen already in response to AMC and the mask thing, changes in decisions will be more likely based on people saying they won't attend or actually not attending than critics saying they won't review. I am having a hard time envisaging the sliver of the population that says, "this is unsafe, and normally I woudn't go, but Ken reviewed it, so I'm gonna chance it..."
  16. Short answer is not at this time, but things change pretty fast in this landscape. Couple of reservations: 1) In film social media, this sentiment appears to have been prompted by AMC, but there is a difference between boycotting a particular theater chain and not covering any movie. The target appears to shift from trying to mandate the theater chain to be more responsible to trying to pressure the studio to not release the film or release via streaming. 2) NCFCA (and other organizations) are made up of members in different situations. If someone was close to a local independent theater (like Alamo or that bar in Phoenix that was renting out theaters for groups of 10+, or the drive-in theaters that are being revitalized) the lines don't seem as black and white between safe/unsafe. 3) Most critics are freelancers (at least in NCFCA), but if someone has a job, the consequences of "refusing" to cover might be different for them than others. 4) Critics routinely cover films (such as as festivals) that aren't available to all/most people. I am skeptical of the notion that a critic reviewing a film somehow frees people to go or validates it. 5) For the NCFCA to "make this an "organization action" (as opposed to a recommendation) begs the "or what question." And any punitive action seems unenforceable. I mean, I guess the answer for the "or what" question would be "or you'll be dropped from membership roster" but I'm not sure I want to get in the business of auditing members or telling them what they can and can't review.
  17. kenmorefield

    King Lear

    There will never be a better Lear. Rest in peace, Sir Ian:
  18. kenmorefield

    Da 5 Bloods

    I am not going to be able to make chat tonight probably, but I am following your discussion and look forward to hearing how (if at all) the Zoom helps.
  19. Greetings. Should you feel so inclined, the Introductions thread allows people to get a sense of new participants and allows new participants to indicate some of their interests. Judging another's intent seems more difficult to me than judging a work of art, but I agree (and I think I've heard others here say so as well) that these sorts of discussions often strain at the gnats of language and swallow the camels of violence. It's interesting that you list Pasolini as one of your two "yes" examples. I found Salo nearly impossible to watch all the way through, though I suspect his intent in making the film was to say something about violence and fascism that was true. I'm also not sure how to parse the opening sentence ("...profanity in Christian films...") given the examples you conclude with. By a "Christian" film, I generally mean the product of a Christian production company or a film intentionally participating in the creation of films specifically directed and marketed to Christians. But perhaps you mean the product of Christian auteurs? I'm not sure how Tarantino's films fit either definition.
  20. Prufrock-like, I have counted out my life in mediocre Christian movies: http://1morefilmblog.com/2020/06/16/selfie-dad-silverman-2020/?preview=true&_thumbnail_id=17002
  21. The 2017 list "Waking Up" is now populated on the list page: http://artsandfaith.com/index.php?/films/year/14-2017-top-25-films-on-waking-up/
  22. Sounds good to me. If you want to, go ahead.
  23. kenmorefield

    Michael (1924)

    Looks like we don't have a dedicated thread for Michael, though it's been mentioned in a few places, notably the William Dieterle thread where Doug C. responds to my having watched Dieterle's Sex in Chains by mentioning that Michael was part of the same series from Kino. I think the arguments for it being "gay" or "gay-themed" or "bisexual" are a bit stronger than Doug apparently did (though I'm reading a decade old response to a deleted comment) and certainly more than Dreyer's biographers apparently did. Mostly, though, my review developed into a meditation on critical blind spots, since I found myself not being comfortable at either pole in the forced debate between those who seemingly champion it because it is gay and those who would see the rater latent depiction of homosexuality as stemming from something other than just skirting censorship. http://1morefilmblog.com/2020/06/14/michael-dreyer-1924/
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