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kenmorefield

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Posts posted by kenmorefield

  1. Saw it. Will review it as soon as I can. It's more I, Tonya than Bombshell, and as much as I like Chastain, I was always aware of her as Chastain mimicking Tammy Faye as opposed to inhabiting the character. Perhaps that is inevitable given movies about people who have/had such large media footprints. 

    The script is a little too thin (I think I counted five or six montages), and while I am sure that it will have it's defenders, I didn't think it particularly brave. It was clearly sympathetic to Tammy Faye, but only insofar as she was a victim of greater hypocrisies of those around her. It never deals with her complicity despite insisting that she was more or less aware of what was going on. I think it tries hard to turn her into a Christian Forest Gump, but it always feels like a portrait from outside the subculture rather than from within. (Even Hillbilly Elegy, as much as I disliked it, felt like it was from the perspective of those who lived within that world.

    The closest the film came to getting me on board was when Tammy Faye and Jim have the big blow up after and he speaks of despising her "Betty Boop" voice. When she says, "I thought you liked Betty Boop..." the gestures at the core story it wants to tell (I think) of a Christian subculture that isn't so much (or only just) hypocritical but is blind to the implications of what it SAYS. The former is not practicing what you are preaching. The latter is not recognizing or understanding what you are preaching. There's also a scene later on when Falwell takes over and Tammy Faye points out he is Baptist and not "charasimatic" but in between an altar call where she speaks in tongues as a girl and that later scene, denominational differences are not really understood or mentioned. There are individual scenes or moments that work, but (as the montage comment mentions) I think the script struggles to shape them into a coherent them, mostly because it won't allow itself to be truly empathetic. Perhaps it can't. But then why bother? And I don't even mean empathetic to Tammy Faye (I think it is sympathetic, but not empathetic), I don't think it is truly empathetic to people in the church or Christians who are impacted by the cultural shifts created and sustained by religious media. 

    There is a performative aspect to a lot of Christianity, and I get that if you wear the mask (or make up) long enough, you sort of lose the ability to see or understand yourself. In that sense, perhaps the character Tammy Faye most reminds me of is Matt Damon's Talented Mr. Ripley...only without the talents he had. I'm not even sure the film is empathetic to the inner child of either Tammy or Jim...it gestures at the notion that immature Christians are hurting children thrust into power and privilege before they have ever grown up and how religion can gloss over deep wounds rather than genuinely address them or heal them. 

    Wanted to like it, but I just could convince myself that writers or director were in control of their material and shaping it towards anything specific.

  2. Looking like the "retirement" date to redirect the domain away from this board is January 17, 2022. At least that is when the Invision license runs out. I've stopped installing updates, though, so it is possible that the board could become wonky before then. 

    I'm working on getting some pages for Top 100s up elsewhere to preserve that part of the board history.

  3. Better than it has any right to be, gliding along on the considerable charms of Ryan Reynolds (your non-Deadpool mileage may vary). Some half-hearted attempts to veneer it with a proletariat (there are no special classes of people) or spiritual (intelligent design! SOMEONE created this world and this world is a manifestation of their values/beliefs) theme. 

    I mean it's a Ready Player One, Matrix, Wreck-It-Ralph, Lego Movie retread, but mindless entertainment is mindless entertainment....

  4. 14 hours ago, Rushmore said:

    A question about preserving the site: Is there an easy way to convert the board into a static site where old discussions could still be read? If so, the site could presumably be hosted at a much lower cost in time and money than an active forum. Perhaps InVision offers such a feature?

    I would assume there is since I found correspondence from a previous admin to a previous owner talking about making the board archives a "subreddit." That's a bit beyond my level of expertise, though if someone else wants to investigate alternatives and recommend a proposal, I am willing to consider. 

     

  5. Hey all. 
    I am currently leaning towards retiring the Invision |Discussion board for this site at the end of 2021. This is mostly a time thing rather than a money thing, though money might play a slight part. The Invision software is complicated and involves my paying help every time there is an update. It's also a renewal cost for a subscription cost, which, while minimal, is superflous.

    My current idea is to keep the domain registration and convert the Top 100 lists, blurbs, and intros as well as the Ecumenical Jury lists and blurbs to stand-alone web pages so that they would still be accessible (and could even be expanded for further lists.)

    I mention this for two reasons:

    1) If there is content beyond that you might want to save, think about making whatever back up copies you can in the next final months. 
    2) If there is some argument against retiring the board that I haven't thought of, speak up. I know some people like the idea of preserving the board posts as an archive, and traffic suggests there is some value to that, I just don't know how much people really investigate past threads. 
    3) It's possible that the pandemic and paucity of new movies might have created a slow down, but it's looking like the reverse, actually. As parts of society in North America open back up a little people may be spending even less time glued to their computer screens. Of course this could change too after an initial rush to get back out in the world, but....

    Anyway, just thinking out loud. Nothing imminent, but I'm putting that out there in case there are any obvious arguments I'm missing.

     

  6. This was a truly terrific film; it reminds me of why I miss film-festivals that feature world cinema. The setting is Macedonia and Petrunya is a woman who sets the town on edge by jumping for the cross -- i.e. participating in a local ceremony where the priest throws the cross in the river and the *men* jump in to catch it and earn God's favor.

    Seems like it's getting good but not great reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but I think it might really resonate with exvangelicals or those concerned about misognyny in society and the church who aren't yet ready to throw out the whole thing as being so from the get go. Your mileage may vary, but it's definitely gonna be on my Top 10 list for 2021, probably somewhere near the top.

    http://1morefilmblog.com/2021/06/18/god-exists-her-name-is-petrunya-mitevska-2021/

  7. Liked it a lot. Maybe loved it, though looking back, I see my initial impressions of some Pixar wane quickly. Still, it's gorgeous, and it's been a long time since I've seen movies with moments of genuine joy. It's somewhat manipulative in an emotional way, but boy do it's punches land. 

    Full review: http://1morefilmblog.com/2021/06/16/luca-casarosa-2021/


     

  8. Not sure what this says about me, but I keep feel genuine hesitation to answer or make any suggestions because I feel like we've gotten to a point in cancel culture where calling someone "fat," even in a non-derogatory way, will be construed as fat-shaming or contributing to fat-shaming culture.

    I know that is not what you are doing, just saying that it's really hard for me to answer question because I every time I think of some possible reply, I hear this imaginary reply in my head, "Oh, you think 'x' is FAT? You are part of the problem...."

  9. It's hard not to love an art process documentary that tells you the makers of The Day After showed the entire crew Hiroshima Mon Amour in order to try to get them on the same page about the the devastation of nuclear weapons. 

    This is my favorite documentary of the year so far, not because it champions The Day After (which I don't know if I ever saw) but because it argues that movies can change things, even if the ones that do are always little miracles that somehow defy all the odds as they slouch towards Bethlehem, waiting to be born.

    http://1morefilmblog.com/2021/06/05/television-event-daniels-2020/

  10. I've been mostly striking out at this year's Full Frame, and I wonder if it is because of the films or because the virtual festival doesn't quite replicate the film festival experience. I find myself more critical of the films, making because the director isn't right there doing a Q&A or maybe because I'm watching 1-2 films a day over a longer period rather than slamming through many and only remembering the best.

    Anyhow, this is an engaging film, to be sure, with lots of great anecdotes and generous film clips. I'm not sure that putting the two together does anything that a profile of either wouldn't do better, but...

    http://1morefilmblog.com/2021/06/04/truman-tennessee-an-intimate-conversation-vreeland-2021/

     

  11. I liked the idea of this film -- a focus on the friendship, but the film itself sticks so close to the text and interpretations of Hamlet that it feels as though the angle was a pitch to get it made. 

    I actually liked it...as a rendition of Hamlet. But I don't see how the angle affected the text other than a framing device where Horatio is making the film about Hamlet. So, yeah, he tells Hamlet's story.

    There was a pointed homoerotic bond implied between the two which didn't bother me but which felt less revolutionary than I think the makers thought it would be. 

     

    Gonna try to do a movie a month in June...we'll see if that lasts....
    http://1morefilmblog.com/2021/05/30/hamlet-horatio-warner-2021/

  12. Good point about the release info. From publicist: "Opens exclusively in theaters on Friday, June 18 in New York (Angelika Film Center and Film at Lincoln Center) and Los Angeles (Laemmle’s Royal and Pasadena’s Laemmle Playhouse 7) followed by a national release"

    I haven't seen Double Lover, but I want to. I remember thinking in the first twenty minutes of Summer of 85 how *different* it was from By the Grace of God. For awhile I thought I couldn't really pin Ozon's style but more and more I am wondering if that's by design. He seems to adopt style that fits the material rather than looking for material that suits his predetermined style. But that's conjecture on my part....

  13. I don't know what it is about Ozon's work that appeals to me, but I can't remember But really, since In the House, he's been on a five film run or so that reminds me of when I was first falling hard for Kore-eda. 

    Not meaning to imply the two are similar in style, just reaching for some sort of comparison about being aware of a director, liking him (or her) okay, and then all of a sudden having a run of films that elevates your affinity. 

    I also have a tough time describing Ozon's style or sometimes seeing similarities. Summer of 85 is...i don't know, a mash up between John Hughes, Erich Rohmer and Call Me By Name....

    I guess the gay themes might put off some, but the film did a much better job at making me believe the main character was actually in love in a way that I thought was both appropriate to his age and not particularly tied up in traditional beats of sexual bildungsroman. I sorta liked that it felt like the kid was figuring out who he was as a person and not just what his sexual orientation was. 

    First new to me film from this year that I've really liked and that hasn't felt like a chore (i.e. "watch this and review it to keep movie business alive while we wait for enough people to get vaccinated that we can release Black Widow....")

     

  14. 2 minutes ago, kenmorefield said:

    Cindy and I finished watching this and I don't know quite what to think. 

    It's hard to describe without getting into spoilers, but it was a project I approached with skepticism, gradually relented and accepted on its own terms, and then....

     

    well, the ending. I disliked the ending intently. I felt it was different from the book (and the Cusack film). I guess there were other parts that were different from the book as well, but I think changing the ending changes the MEANING, and either I didn't understand the new ending or, I did understand it and found it deeply pessimistic bordering on nihilistic. 

    I've noted that the last few years I've taught Hornby, student response has shifted a lot towards HF. A lot more students purport to hate Rob and find him a monster. I wonder if they've changed or time and distance from the 90s gives a perspective about what is just normal human condition and what is part of the culture of the moment. 

    EDIT:
    Both the miniseries and the Cusack movie end with Stevie Wonder's "I Believe" (or a cover of it.)

     

    Quote

    Shattered dreams, worthless years,
    Here am I encased inside a hollow shell,
    Life began, then was done,
    Now I stare into a cold and empty well
    The many sounds that meet our ears
    The sights our eyes behold,
    Will open up our merging hearts,
    And feed our empty souls
    I believe when I fall in love with you it will be forever,
    I believe when I fall in love this time it will be forever
    Without despair we will share,
    And the joys of caring will not be replaced,
    What has been must never end
    And with the strength we have won't be erased
    When the truths of love are planted firm,
    They won't be hard to find,
    And the words of love I speak to you
    Will echo in your mind
    I believe when I fall in love with you it will be forever,
    I believe when I fall in love this time it will be forever
    I believe when I fall in love with you it will be forever,
    I believe when I fall in love this time it will be forever
    This time
    I believe when I fall in love with you it will be forever,
    I believe when I fall in love this time it will be forever
    I believe when I fall in love this time it will be forever
    And oh that love will call
    And if I believe you're the only one for me
    I believe, I believe, I believe, when I fall in love, oh
    I believe, I believe, I believe, when I fall in love, oh
    When I fall
    I believe, I believe, I believe, when I fall
    When I fall
    When I fall in love

    There is an element of hope in the lyrics that I find appropriate in the Cusack movie (and the novel) which just comes across as cynicism in the min-series. It's more like Natalie Wood at the end of Miracle on 34th Street -- not really believing but hoping that if one obsessively repeats over and over and over again that one does that it will somehow workout. Also, at the end of the novel, Rob makes .... not a transformation, but some small steps in the direction of self-knowledge and growth that leave room for hope. The end of the miniseries strikes me more as an illustrated AA parable...doing the same thing over and over and expecting next time will be different.

  15. Cindy and I finished watching this and I don't know quite what to think. 

    It's hard to describe without getting into spoilers, but it was a project I approached with skepticism, gradually relented and accepted on its own terms, and then....

     

    well, the ending. I disliked the ending intently. I felt it was different from the book (and the Cusack film). I guess there were other parts that were different from the book as well, but I think changing the ending changes the MEANING, and either I didn't understand the new ending or, I did understand it and found it deeply pessimistic bordering on nihilistic. 

    I've noted that the last few years I've taught Hornby, student response has shifted a lot towards HF. A lot more students purport to hate Rob and find him a monster. I wonder if they've changed or time and distance from the 90s gives a perspective about what is just normal human condition and what is part of the culture of the moment. 

  16. 6 hours ago, winter shaker said:

    Does anyone know anything about the upcoming film of the same title staring Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield? Apparently it's set to release in September 2021 but I haven't seen a trailer for it yet and I am curious to know the film's status.

    I got an e-mail for a publicist saying the film will be available in September and "more information" was coming in May.    Sounds like they are going to do at least some marketing to evangelical press.

  17. Jerry that makes some sense. If the people questioning you are sincere (it sounds like you think they are) than I might personally also try to reframe the practice --

    For example: well, this allows us to include more girls in the ensemble, and research shows that theater helps build self-esteem and confidence, so I think it is important to let as many young women reap these benefits as possible. (Or conversely, to help men become more empathetic and in touch with their feelings.)

     

  18. I may not be the best person to ask, but the fact that you have only recently been challenged on this suggests to me that it's not something that particularly bothers you or the performers -- so that suggests to me someone external to the community/cast is trying to rope you into an issue. 

    Do you (or your community) adhere to every Old Testament law? or just some? It would seem to me that any sincere answer to someone who asked this as a sincere challenge would have to be contextualized within a broader theology of what one's overall relationship was to the Old Testament ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_views_on_the_Old_Covenant )

    As someone who did a lot of drama in high-school (but not as an adult), I think theater helps us become more empathetic and hence moral, since I think empathy is the foundation of most New Testament theology. But that's just one man's opinion....

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