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Everything posted by kenmorefield

  1. I popped Endgame into the DVD player yesterday while doing some chores. I didn't make it all the way through. I used to be able to rewatch movies. I still do. But I haven't felt a particular desire to go see Star Wars again. (I think I watched Return of the Jedi three times on opening day...and enjoyed it.) I know re-watching movies isn't the end all be all, but the modern blockbuster feels so...disposable.
  2. Thank you to those who responded. Listening to your comments helps me better understand the responses to the film from those coming at it from a different emotional place than I did.
  3. Joel, I'm not wanting to step on your perogative as foreman, so please take this as sharing past experience, nothing more. We do have *some* precedent for altering deadline because of the one year that Silence had not opened. In that case, not enough jurors had seen it for it to qualify. One possible compromise might be to hold fast on the deadline and see if that film (1917) has a quorum. If it does, than Evan' might still be able to watch it in time to rank it (should he care to). EDIT: Oops, see Evan beat me to it. Of course, if the voting reveals that not enough have seen it or others who did so did not rate it highly, the results could be ambiguous. DOUBLE EDIT: Ooops, I see you just sent out an e-mail adjustment. That works too. Carry on.
  4. In anticipation of the possibility of doing a new Top 100 in 2020, I've ordered an update on the app that lists our past lists on the forum. Specifically, the photo issue has been addressed. The thumbnail take a portion of the image rather than squeezing it. Also, RAW has updated the app so that the landing page shows the Top Films on each list rather than the most recent entries. Finally, he has update the app so that I/we can add the introductory comments to the head of the list. My goal is to have the last Top 100 and the last Top 25 updated and listed in the forum by January to get a feel for the luck, but that might be ambitious given other professional deadlines.
  5. Is "They Shall Not Grow Old" available anywhere? (My recollection is that this was a Fathom Events screening, which is fine, just not sure if there is any way for those who haven't screened it to do so...
  6. I am typically a Hausner fan (Lourdes, Amour Fou), but Little Joe didn't do it for me. I hope you can talk me into liking it better, if indeed you do. Joel did you not include Young Ahmed because it was a festival viewing or because it didn't make the cut?
  7. Okay, so I found the settings in the dashboard. My question now is: What info form the profile, if any, should be include in the member avatar next to the post. Right now it appears to be: Username Avatar (uploaded or generated by software) Gender: Interests: Post Count: Role (Admin, Moderator, Member)
  8. kenmorefield

    The Two Popes

    Did Steven chime in? (I think I missed that.) He did tell me on FB that he was going to review the film... As far "as drama" I'm a little more forgiving than Christian, but I am surprised that groups (like say NCFCA) nominated McCarten for best screenplay. I mentioned briefly in my write-up for CT that the script, by going into Francis's past more extensively, becomes imbalanced. I didn't have space to mention, but I found the whole talking watch thing ("keep moving") to be on-the-nose and ham-handed. Some of that I forgive for maybe working better in a play setting, but isn't part of adapting the play into a film more than just opening it up? (And I'm not sure how well he does that.) As a total aside, Christian's post reminds me of many academic arguments I've had in 20+ years of holistic scoring for placement tests. I've actually had people say to me, "we're judging the *writing* and there is no category on the rubric for 'factual accuracy.'" I mean, I get that if we are all Sophists in ancient Greece -- there is no truth, only rhetoric. And I get that fiction has certain license to change facts while attempting to highlight some sort of broader or thematic truth. But I guess I'll die on the hill that says if part of what you are selling in your writing is "based on a true story" or "inspired by a true story" that the bar for accuracy should be a little higher.
  9. Hi All, There appears to have been a change in user settings that publishes info from user profile next to avatar. It may be disconcerting to some to have that information published. I am investigating the settings for how to turn that off (if I can). In the meantime, please know that you can edit your profile to remove location if you don't want it shown (or if you want to make it more generic). I did find the setting to remove "birthday" display from profile entirely. Given concerns about data mining and security, I don't think members should be asked to provide their birthdays, period....though I could be persuaded otherwise that such info might help in ways I haven't understood, I don't see that it shoudl be published. I am wondering whether there should be or needs to be a profile slot for gender. (I do see that there is an option for "not telling.") I think that forums such as this work better when we discourage anonymity, but I also think the current settings go to far in neglecting some needs or desires for privacy. (There may be elements of people's lives that they want to share *eventually* if they participate in an Internet forum but shouldn't have to provide as a condition of entry...or am I wrong? Feedback is welcome.
  10. HI Joel. So, full-disclosure, I haven't read the full MUBI piece, but I have seen the pull-quote a couple places. I think this excerpt exemplifies the loose use of the word "Nazi" in the overarching claims about "Nazi" characters or "Nazi" psychology. It is not just Jojo's mom that insists that Jojo is not a Nazi, so does Elsa, so too do the other Nazis. Faux-Hitler-the-Jojo-Projection says that he is, though surely even the film's critics understand that the Hitler of the film is not intended to represent the actual Hitler (he exists even after the actual Hitler is dead) but as the psychological projection of whatever Jojo needs him to be. Rebel Wilson's character seems uncomflicted--or at least irretrievably committed--and in a late scene she turns *children* into suicide bombers. In that kind of insane environment, do I blame a mother (who is risking her life by the what-may-seem-feeble-but-hey-you-try-it gesture of disseminating anti-government literature) for trying to shut down political talk at the table? I do not. (Mom may also be trying to protect her own secrets and Jojo's.) To counter the charge of mom forbidding politics at the dinner table I offer the scene where Jojo tries to look away from the corpses of the executed resisters and mom firmly but insistently turns his head and forces him to look at them. Yes, mom is hoping he'll snap out of it, but she isn't just doing nothing. She is trying to figure out what she can do in an environment where her country has been overrun with craziness and one wrong step can be fatal for her, her child, and the innocent child who will most likely go to the camps if she is discovered. None of that seems "ironic" nor portrayed ironically....and I guess if is (or intended to be) "relatable" to the "average American" then the MUBI writer is postulating that the Average American is an apprehensive Democrat or a begrudgingly conflicted Republican? (More on that in a second. I guess Klenzendorf is a member of the Nazi party (and so too is Jojo's mom, probably?) And surely there were people who were in the party under coercion but not ideological Nazis. (Cue: A Hidden Life.) Are people complaining about Bombshell because McKinnon's character shows there were good and bad people at Fox News, some of whom were only "begrudgingly complicit"? A better (but perhaps more volatile parallel might be The Report. If someone seventy years in the future watched it and complained that the film showed there are good and bad Republicans participating in or aware of the Enhanced Interrogation Program or that some of the participants in the administration or even in the torture program itself were "complicit, but begrudgingly so" would we insist (via a time machine) that, no, every American was a member of that ruling party and every member of that ruling party was unconflicted? I think (if my social media is any indication, even though I try to mute out much political discussion) that some people right now are suspicious and cynical and angry about people like Senators Murkowski, Collins, or Romney or previous senator Flake who express "concern" or misgivings about ideology of the present moment but act in a complicit matter. Hell, The Report extends that retroactively to Democrats and even the Obama Administration to take the position that anyone who is not actively and publicly confronting an evil or wrong is complicit, and their queasiness, motives, or goals to work within the system be damned. So I entertain Josh's notion that this could be the worst possible time for a movie like Jojo. But within the parameters of a comedy I think the film actually wrestles with the potential despair and hopelessness of people who aren't on board with a prevalent ideology or practice but feel as though resistance is futile. (In that sense I lump Jojo together with A Hidden Life; Bombshell; and Dark Waters).
  11. SPOILERS Hey, Joel, thanks for the reply. I think as far as the issues you raise, I keep going back to the exchange where Elsa says "your *not* a Nazi, you're just a boy who likes Swastikas and wanted to join a club." Or words to that effect. Klenzendorf's obvious homosexuality and seeming knowledge of Jojo's mom's activities raises the question of whether he was ever really a Nazi or just passing as one. That is, of course, part of the horror. Everyone starts passing as the thing and then suddenly the thing looks larger and more pervasive than it really is. (Another way in which I think the Nazis are just a cover for talking about fascism today.) I didn't think the dance was shrugging off the whole Holocaust but was a remnant of hope emerging from the rubble. (Regarding shrugging it off, I recall that Elsa slaps him and Jojo acknowledges somethign like "I deserved that," which signals that there is an awareness that there are or should be repercussions for actions done, even under duress. I'm also reminded of how long TW stays with Jojo when he finds his mother's body. The best moment, for me, is when Jojo does try to stab her, and I think the film acknowledges in that moment that the seeds of hate and scapegoating are in all of us, not that the Nazis were'n't all that bad. (The scene of the Americans executing the Germans didn't particularly bother me for that reason.) That said, I totally see how the emphasis on how good (or mixed up) people respond to fascism could alienate people who preferred a film focused on the fascists themselves.
  12. The more I've thought about this, the less this particular criticism of the film persuades me. In part this is because the film is about characters who are almost all knowingly playacting all the time. Rockwell's opening scene shows he is aware of the futility but going through the motions. SJ's discussions with the girl are very different from her interactions with Jojo or her interactions with the command office. I find a great deal of humor and pathos in the way that people respond to absurd situations by constructing incongruous narratives of what is happening or has happened and sticking to them. I suppose Jojo's progression and development is his own attempt to pick a lane, and I am glad he doesn't stay in just one so that the film can be safer, tonally. I suppose my one complaint is that it still feels very on-the-nose to me. Do we really need TW in a message before the film to tell us that intolerance and hatred is happening today? Oh, is that what the film is really about? Never occurred to me, even with the Beatles, that you might be drawing parallels to different kinds of idolatry... I'm okay with anyone not liking the film...and it feels like a vocal minority don't....but I do think sometimes, whether we like a film or not, certain takes get passed around and repeated enough that they begin to be taken as given when they've only been asserted. Maybe that's the way that the Internet works, and fans of Jojo and Green Book or Star Wars Episode Wichever Episode You Don't LIke don't push back (while Tarantino fanboys most certainly do). Of course, it doesn't help matters at all that the whole "stay in your lane" take, whether it's in reference to film criticism or politics,has always struck me as presumptuous and entitled.
  13. I'll second that. I was higher on the film in general than for this list, but the integration and handling of religion in 19th century NE was significant, and not as easy to do as I think it appeared. Dern has been getting a lot of props for her portrayal of Marmee, and her piety comes across as quite sincere...no easy task that.
  14. Traditionally we've had threads to post our Top 10 lists (or links to them) or (if you must) external reviewers' lists that you wish to comment on. Mine's pretty much set: http://1morefilmblog.com/2019/12/24/2019-top-ten/ 10) Toy Story 4 9) Dark Waters 8) Bombshell 7) 1917 6) Knives Out 5) The King 4) Little Women 3) Portrait of a Lady on Fire 2) Jojo Rabbit 1) By the Grace of God
  15. The first episode, on Dirty Dancing, is exactly the sort of fun cultural nostalgia one would expect. Lot of stuff I didn't know about the business side (the whole rise and fall of Vestron; Swayze's mom being a dance instructor) were interesting. I have less than zero invested in the film, but I enjoyed seeing how it all came together. (The more 'making of' things I see about any studio film, the more I marvel that any movie actually ever gets made.)
  16. Well...that's a whole other thread. I disagree slightly that the Bible is "profoundly incoherent and inconsistent" but I think I understand where you are coming from. That said, and I've actually thought about this very, very briefly during TROS, I'd be more tolerant of that explanation by way of analogy if there was a greater sense that it stemmed from ancient history, things they have misinterpreted that have become canonical, etc. I actually think that's a little of what is hinted at with TLJ and Luke questioning whether the Jedi really understand the force...questioning everything he has been taught. But then this one just has him retcon that and say, "Yeah, I was wrong/scared." And the fact that we have these sweeping changes within one generation (Empire, Rebels Win, First Order, Second Order, whatever) runs counter to the idea for me of knowledge being lost or corrupted over time. I guess one might claim that the Emperor's reveal that the Dark Side bring you back from the dead* might hint at depths of knowledge of which they are just scratching the surface, but the idea that the incoherence and inconsistency is thematically purposeful in the series, that it means anything, is one that I don't really buy. *I guess we are passed the stage of the Internet's shelf-life that I can be reasonably waiting for another Chattaway-Godawa master class about what is and isn't Gnosticism?
  17. Has anyone actually seen Non-fiction? Was wondering if it's lack of buzz meant it was not very good or just that the pro-Assayas faciton of A&F has moved on to greener pastures....
  18. I am in this weird place of not particularly defending this film -- I tapped out on Star Wars around Attack of the Clones -- but in being marginally surprised that I did not fine it as irritating as some of my peers. Here's my question -- and I mean it as a sincere question and not a dig. Would someone who didn't like this film (i.e. rated it "Rotten" on RT or would have done so had he/she been able to do so) but did did like one or more of the last six films in the franchise articulate to me one or two specific differences in quality, approach, direction, storytelling, whatever, that matter to you? I am tempted to make my take echo my eye-rolling responses to critics who liked Avengers but trashed Justice League or who liked Wonder Woman but dismissed Captain Marvel. But maybe that's too lazy on my part. I just don't see much to choose from between these movies, so I get the people who enjoy them and I get the people who don't, but I am not sure I yet understand those who like some of them but not others. For the record my own diminishing returns on Star Wars have, I suspect, have mostly been rooted in a cavalier disregard for coherence and continuity that rob the storytelling of any weight or stakes. (If characters and rules can fundamentally change between movies, what's the point of any of it?) It's a living energy field--no it's midi-chlorians--no it's a life force; light sabers vaporize people, no the cut off arms, no they leave a (n oddly changing) flesh wound. Luke rejecting the Jedi way than admitting he was wrong and it was all fear just seems layers of retconning upon retconning to the point where there are just pieces and not any body of core ideas/truth/story to carry it forward from one movie to the next. Heck, that may not be a bad thing for some (including Disney), since continuity, coherence, and development are hard while spectacle is easier. It's all just Mission:Impossible 2 -- let's develop some action set pieces and then slap a story around it because nobody really cares. Was it Darren that liked to quote the line from "Thank You for Smoking"? -- It's an easy fix, just drop in a line saying, "Good thing we invented the 'whatever' device..." Perhaps my deepest disregard for SW at this point is that there are fans or proponents of it who think the film doesn't need the Whatever Device because they think it is all coherent and consistent and tight. When the 7th movie was only one step removed from Gus Van Sant's Psycho project, I lost any hope that the movies would be new stories, new chapters, development. There were one or two moments during this film where I daydreamed for a Chris Nolan Inception/Prestige like ending where the bits and pieces of sameness were explained as us somehow being trapped in someone's head. (I guess that's what the franchise could have been had Lucas preferred Jung to Joseph Campbell.)
  19. Her work is beautiful and very moving. Her biography is fascinating. I've never been much of a travel for travel sake, so having a goal makes me more likely to go to places I wouldn't otherwise. (I probably would not have gone to Detroit if I didn't know that painting was there.) Also, when I was younger (20s/30s) I was around a lot more conservative (religiously and politically) push back against so-called "feminist" attempts to broaden the canon that claimed "the great books/art" tradition was only evidence of sexism in past ages, so I went through a period of trying to learn about discover women artists and authors who were renowned and accomplished in their day and only later excluded from the "canon" (such as it is) when the early 20th century reflected bias against them. Artemesia is a fantastic talent who showed her work in her own day. Yet very few people outside of art enthusiasts know her name.
  20. Joel, We have two entries in the master list, one for Peanut Butter Falcon and one for The Peanut Butter Falcon. One is seconded the other is not.
  21. Stuff I haven't seen yet -- anyone want to nudge me in terms of priorities as tine winds down (I have access to all, it's just a matter of priorities): Little Joe, Diane, Atlantics, Les Miserables, Who Will Write Our History, Apollo 11, Honeyland, Wild Rose,
  22. kenmorefield

    Cats: The Movie

    Evan's comments not withstanding (and he would know way better than I), you do not sign Jennifer Hudson to lay down a sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the 9th.
  23. kenmorefield

    Cats: The Movie

    In which I compare Tom Hooper to J. Montgomery Burns:
  24. Some day I may get around to writing an essay about spouses as first-audience and/or influence on critics. I was really tired when I watched this at Filmfest 919, but I knew it was the type of movie that Cindy would like and want to see to I just filed it away to come back to later. Sure enough, she did like it, and I enjoyed it all the more for having watched it with someone who was enjoying herself and appreciated the film. One thing that struck me on a second viewing is how expressive some of the character's are. I think because a lot of my own tastes or teaching emphases are grounded in neorealist tradition, I too quickly went from "this is slow/quiet" to a host of other associations. These characters are in a situation that calls for them to repress emotions, so the expressions of them are typically more modulated, but they aren't blank slates that we are invited to project our own emotions onto. A typical example would be when Heloise is they have a discussion about things they've noticed the other does when feeling certain emotions. This underscores not just the theme of looking closely/being seen but also just that the emotions are there. It made me think of Doug's talk last year about phenomenology as it pertains to the Dardennes. While the style here is different, I do see a connection to one of their themes -- to be seen is to exist. To not be seen is to not exist. It's a beautiful, sensual film, by which I mean something other than just attempting to be erotic. I know/suspect that the lesbian stuff will alienate some viewers but that is what it is. I liked the film quite a bit.
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