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Everything posted by Anders

  1. I read Moby-Dick around 5-6 years ago, and I agree both with Aren and Ken on two points: to Aren, Moby-Dick is more entertaining, more enjoyable, and more accessible, in the sense that it speaks to things that people might find interesting *if* they allow themselves the time and space to think—than the popular conception of the novel is. So, absolutely. The elitist notion of Moby-Dick is to some degree a construction of distance. To Ken's point, I think what you're getting at is that people are not used to reading complex sentences and to a non-literary culture such as our social media culture (i've been reading a bit about oral psychodynamics and societies of primary orality versus literary, viz. Walter Ong, for my courses) and regardless of the untruth of the popular conception of Moby-Dick, many people will find it a slog. Because they will find even breezy, straightforward literature difficult. It's not a value-judgement, simply a fact, supplemented by anecdote of teaching first year academic communications the last 4 years. But yes, to Ken's recommendation: After watching Beau travail last year I picked up the Penguin edition of "Billy Budd" and other stories and further fell in love with Melville. "Benito Cereno" strikes me as one of the most powerful works on the limits of our own perception in relation to race and slavery that I've ever read.
  2. Honestly, one of the best things I've watched in months and months. Wonderful stuff.
  3. So, has no one else watched this? I was just reminded of it by the Social Dilemma thread. I watched it last spring-summer and I thought it was fantastic. Some of it might be a bit cruder than tastes generally run around here (it *is* Danny McBride, who I've grown to really appreciate between this and Vice Principals), but I think that it's spot-on characterizations of specific evangelical figures is so good that it is well worth a watch. Also, Walton Goggins as Uncle "Baby" Billy is truly one of the greatest grotesqueries on television in ages. I dare you to get the song "Misbehavin'" out of your head afterwards. But ultimately it's the shows' trajectory toward small moments of growth in characters and its understanding that people can be *simultaneously* true believers (in the sense that they're not pure cynical grifters and really do believe in their divine purpose) at the same time they are awful and corrupt is refreshing, in a period where we tend to fall back on easy characterizations. I'll link to Aren's review, because he delves into all of the above in more depth.
  4. I valued this doc in so far as it might inform people who don't know a lot about how all these things function. I found the dramatizations unnecessary, but I suppose some might find them engaging. The "radical centre" made me laugh though. Note: The older sister is from A&F favourite, Moonrise Kingdom. The son is in HBO's The Righteous Gemstones, which I'd be curious for more A&F folks to see (it's about a Falwell-esque family of evangelical mega-pastors and strikes pretty close to the bone). But as I said in my Letterboxd review, I valued this one for:
  5. If anyone is still trying to make their way through the 2011 list 9 years later, a film that I've long had trouble tracking down: 2000's Eureka is now playing on MUBI in Canada. I'm hoping to check it out in the next month. https://mubi.com/films/eureka
  6. So, this news broke today. https://www.theverge.com/2020/12/3/22150605/hbo-max-warner-bros-movies-2021-simultaneous-release-matrix-godzilla-suicide-squad-space-jam So, is theatrical dead? Is this the final blow to attendance that began in 1950 after peaking in the late-40s?
  7. Anders


    That would be great, since we'd definitely run a review at 3 Brothers.
  8. Anders

    Bon Iver - AUATC

    Not sure if there are any Bon Iver fans, but I'm a big fan. This came out during the summer, but it's just so full of good vibes and magic that I thought I'd share it here. Also, some pretty fantastic vocal collaborators here if you pay attention...
  9. Anders


    Definitely my most anticipated film of this fall. I'll echo the praise for The Rider. Did you folks get screeners, or is it getting a streaming release soon?
  10. I have to say Andrew, I enjoyed American Utopia because I enjoy Byrne's music, but even on that level, I felt that the film was good but not deserving the over-the-top raves that it's been receiving. I'm going to write something a little longer for our website, but as I said on Letterboxd, "the one thing I can say is that contrasting this to Stop Making Sense [a masterpiece of concert film] only hammers home the miracle that is Demme's film. Take for instance, "This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody):" the version here pales next to the version in the 1984 film; it's too polished and its treatment so rooted in America’s specific ailments of the moment that it ceases to be the primal cry for connection it was in the original." I will chalk some of this up to being the fact that Talking Heads wasn't *just* Byrne, and we're missing the rest of the band. The reality is that some of these songs are so good, they're going to be showstoppers no matter what. But, I don't think I'm criticizing the audience, but rather the purpose and execution of the idea when I say that "in every instance that Stop Making Sense confounds our assumptions and sense that we have it all figured out, this preaches to an audience certain of the rightness of their perspective." I can imagine an overtly political music film, with roughly the same messages — generally very worthy messages I should add — but that manages to stir more deeply.
  11. I just re-watched it with my kids earlier this year for the first time in ages and ages, and we got a good kick out of it. RIP Diana Rigg.
  12. Anders


    And finally, the full trailer:
  13. Anders

    Beau Travail (1999)

    That Blu-ray will be going on my Christmas list this year. Looks gorgeous!
  14. I watched the film the other night after Ken and Christian mentioned enjoying it on the last Zoom chat. I really liked it. My quick thoughts on Letterboxd.
  15. It was so sparsely attended it wasn’t an issue in this case (my brother and I stayed for about half the credits and were last to leave), but if it were full and you were seated near the side of a row it might be an issue.
  16. So, I saw Tenet last night in a movie theatre. First time in a theatre since the pandemic was declared in March. People can judge the choice for themselves, but given the situation in Canada and my town in Ontario, which I acknowledge is very, very different from the US at this point, I believe it was very low risk. Frankly, most people probably still aren't aware that movie theatres are open, or don't value them if they do. That's fine. There were literally 7 people total in a 400 capacity theatre. We wore masks, there was physical distancing with assigned seating and row by row exit. I did not feel any less safe than I would going to the grocery store.
  17. Anders

    Da 5 Bloods

    I did read it, and I think it's a fair point, even if I ultimately like Lee's film. It echoes my main discomfort with the film, that while it's as you say primarily about the black American experience of the Vietnam War, it still has a tendency to flatten the Vietnamese (or short shrift their experiences when it does gesture at them) and make it about an internal American struggle, with Paul's soul as the site of that battle, rather than fully grapple with why the Americans were there or the legacy of American imperialism. Though, my brother raised a good point in our discussion about how even the Treasure of Sierra Madre plot gestures towards American greed and "soft imperialism," just as the Huston-Bogey film does. Yes, I also didn't encounter anything like that floating market experience when I travelled in Vietnam. Also, i suspect the scene was filmed in the Bangkok floating market, just as the temple scene near the end confirmed my suspicion that it looked more Thai, since it was filmed near Chiang Mai where I used to live. The only scenes shot in Vietnam I believe are the Ho Chi Minh City ones.
  18. Anders

    Da 5 Bloods

    So, on the chat the other night and in his Letterboxd review, Jeffrey suggested that it felt like Lindo's Paul could have been played by Denzel Washington. Well, you're right Jeff! In this interview Giancarlo Esposito says that was the original intent, with John David Washington as David (the Jonathan Majors character) and Giancarlo as Eddie, and Samuel L. Jackson too! As good as Lindo is, I'm kinda bummed we didn't get to see that. https://collider.com/da-5-bloods-original-cast-denzel-washington/
  19. I think she's only talking about the film, so maybe this is a case where the film is better than the book? (I have not read the book).
  20. Yup, this is the case for me too. I would put it in my top 10 at this point. It certainly doesn't hurt that it's so confidently and wonderfully crafted as well. The classical storytelling and wonderful cinematography, the script and its unity of time and place that helps you feel like you are experiencing the day, the wonderful performances across the board, Bill Lee's score, etc.
  21. I read Anglica Jade Bastién's piece on "What Are We to Do With Cinematic Monuments to the Confederacy?" and I thought it was very good.
  22. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives is up.
  23. Slow to these, but I updated the 2001 A Space Odyssey blurb with my new one.
  24. I have not finished mine, but I expect to get to a few this week. Sorry for the delay.
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