Overstreet

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Everything posted by Overstreet

  1. You who watch short films: I want to begin my research-paper course for art students by showing a short film that asks viewers to see the world through the eyes of someone quite unlike themselves. That's the main motif of the feature-length film-viewing for this class: Movies that make us consider how the world looks to those who are unlike us. I'm toying with possible showings of Timbuktu, either A Separation or The Past, Taxi, possibly Munyurangabo, Children of Heaven, and others that take us around the globe. (I'm open to feature-length suggestions, but it'll be a short list that I ask students to watch, because it's a writing class first and a film class second.) I wish I could show Tangerine, but no... that wouldn't fly. Anyway, for the short, I'm thinking of showing "Loin du 16e," the chapter from Paris, Je T'aime in which the young mother of an infant travels across town to work as a nanny for rich white folks. But I'm wondering if you can think of any other shorts that would fit the bill. Do you know any great short films that show us the world through the eyes of someone who is part of a neglected, oppressed, or overlooked community?
  2. I'll write about it on my blog and I'll share the podcasts there. I've already promoted the podcast on my Facebook and Twitter accounts. You might write to Tracy in UC at SPU, Greg, and format it as a Fac/Staff Bulletin announcement. If you write it up as a significant publication of an SPU faculty member, you could also mention in the blurb that the issue features Alissa Wilkinson (a grad of SPU's MFA program), Scott Cairns (director of SPU's MFA program), and any other SPU connections you find in there. You might also pitch it to Tracy as something to feature on the SPU home page.
  3. The Criterion edition is so gorgeous. I gone from admiring the movie to loving it. And as a big Radiohead fan, I'm pretty sure I've discovered the inspiration for the cover art and title of A Moon-Shaped Pool.
  4. I thought I'd seen a reference to this film here, but I can't find a thread about it. Is anybody tracking this film about monks, which stars Richard "Thorin" Armitage and Tom "Spidey" Holland? Summary: Rotten Tomatoes responses don't exactly inspire enthusiasm here, but it might interest some of you.
  5. Just found this IGN report via Hollywood Elsewhere: Abrams. Hmm. That makes me think that Lost's Josh "Sawyer" Holloway just has the right kind of look for the lead....
  6. Sam Van Hallgren makes an observation that I remember thinking about during the movie (but forgot when I wrote my first impressions):
  7. I think that's what I admire most about this film. Next to The Thin Red Line, I'd be hard-pressed to think of a war film that felt so... truthful about war. It never succumbs to the cult of masculinity. Hardy's character is the closest thing to a traditional war hero here, but he's all business. I didn't mind the lack of an emotional center because Nolan's emotional centers tend to feel forced (for me, anyway). For kicks: The Dark Knight > The Prestige > Insomnia > Memento > Batman Begins > Dunkirk > Inception > The Dark Knight Rises > Interstellar. I jotted a bunch of first impressions as Letterboxd.
  8. I found that Crimson Peak improves a second time around.
  9. Note: The first trailer to feature a blurb from Alissa Wilkinstruck. I mean, Alissa Wonderson. I mean...
  10. I love Joel Mayward's note that this is a film about "the male gauze." For what it's worth, here's my review.
  11. Has Tim Chey been approached for a role in the Trump administration? Seriously. He has all the attractive traits.
  12. The ExChorcist.
  13. Hmm. That box isn't checked. I'll talk to my designer about this, though.
  14. Okay, I'm going to flaunt my ignorance about a subject that is probably common knowledge to most of you. LookingCloser.org has tons and tons of archives of my writing going back, well, *decades.* It has all of my film reviews, which are linked at Rotten Tomatoes and elsewhere. It has regular content. It has enough followers that I can hardly keep up with the correspondence, and it is supported by donors, who pay for all of its regular costs. And yet, it doesn't show up on a Google search. I'm not talking about my frustration that it isn't a high-rated search result. I'm saying... IT DOESN'T SHOW UP. For example, I posted my Baby Driver review last week. Search for "Baby Driver" and "Jeffrey Overstreet," or "Baby Driver" and "Looking Closer." Nothing on LookingCloser.org shows up. I'm sitting here with my site designer, and even he is stumped by this. We're working on a redesign of this Wordpress site. And that will be cool. But we want to know — why is this website invisible when it comes to searches? Are we missing something obvious? Or have things changed so much (my blog *used* to show up in searches) that I now need to invest heavily in resources that will make Google consider me worth noticing?
  15. No, I mean, if you do a search on Google for my name and any of my reviews, NOTHING from LookingCloser.org comes up in a result. At all.
  16. Has anyone here seen this yet? I was considering making it my weekend matinee priority, but a trusted friend just warned me that it's really brutal, and that it has one of the harshest rape scenes ever. I thought I should probably post a caution here about that. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eod35rfMFEc
  17. Did anybody here enjoy this? For all of Guadagnino's characteristic sensuality and adoration of Swinton, I found the whole thing tedious.
  18. In its expansive reach, Episode Eight draws in material from a lurid crime thriller, an old-fashioned romance, late-90s-style Nine Inch Nails, The X-Files, Eraserhead, Malick's Tree of Life, Weir's Last Wave, and Kubrick's 2001, while carefully refraining from cutting the cord that keeps us tethered to the story of Laura Palmer. I've never seen cinema like it — and it is cinema. We're not even halfway through this series, and it has already broken the mold that the original series made, and anything can happen now.
  19. Fair enough. Thanks for the clarification, Darren. I admit, I reacted in a "punchy" way when I saw the tweets Peter shared. I hadn't seen the other one.
  20. A review by Susan VanZanten, a Dickinson scholar who works with me here at SPU.
  21. I'd argue that the American Beauty guy is a bad version. He's detached, desperate to find beauty in really troubling things without honestly engaging with the truth of them. "Hey, the dead body of someone close to me! His head's shot open! Cool! How beautiful!"
  22. I've filmed more than one leaf caught by a single strand of spiderweb so that it seems to defy gravity. I love those videos. I guess that makes me a ridiculous American Beauty plastic bag guy who's "desperately clinging for beauty."
  23. It's not mine either. (That'd be Down By Law.) I suspect that viewers' interpretation of Paterson's relationship with Laura, and their perception of Laura, will be very different based on experience. Some find Laura too MPDG-ish. I've met, and call as close friends, several women who remind me of Laure, and they're not behaving like her to get guys' attention or to be liked. They are irrepressibly creative, and constantly throwing themselves with enthusiasm into new kinds of creative pursuits. To the issue of codependency — I don't see it. Paterson seems capable of taking care of himself. He was a Marine, and he still follows some of the rigors of those routines. He is watchful and careful in caring for the passengers on his bus. He listens to, enjoys, and takes action to protect people in the bar. He doesn't need a housekeeper (although he might need a cook). I think he's with Laure because it delights him to support her creativity. And lest we make too much of her "sitting at his feet," hoo, boy. We might remember where she's likely to have come from, and the typical body language and gender-role norms in that culture. We might remember that some couples might interact this way without seeing any of it as hierarchical — it might just be humility and tenderness. Is their relationship perfect? Of course not. It's not hard to imagine what issues they would bring up if they were seeing a therapist. But that's part of why they seem very human to me. I almost always agree with Darren Hughes. But "desperately clinging to beauty in the mundane"? I recognized Paterson more than almost any character I've seen in the movies. He is distracted by, delighted by, beauty in the mundane. And let us remember that, like Alvin in The Straight Story, he has suffered some kind of trauma at war. His response to the near-violence in the bar shows us that. He's walking wounded. I imagine he feels gratitude for even slight experiences of grace. Also, for what it's worth, these poem were written by an accomplished poet to represent the work of an amateur poet. Paterson's poems remind me of poetry by some of my favorite poets, even if they don't remind me of those poets' best poems. They sound like poems by undergraduate poetry students who would make me think "They get it. They're beginners, but they get it." For whatever it's worth: My wife is a published poet who has taught poetry and received endorsements from some of our favorite published and accomplished poets. She likes Paterson. She enjoys his poems too. They're not T.S. Eliot, but they're more complicated than they might seem at first. They demonstrate an awareness of all kinds of "play" between words, their sounds, their meanings, and their possibilities. Paterson is not supposed to be a genius or a great poet. He's supposed to be like the rapper in the laundromat — a guy who, despite the ordinariness of his life, is alive because he is awake to some form of play, and that lets meaning into the incidental. It would seem arrogant and hard-hearted to me to scorn such characters as "not real poets" because they're "not good enough." That would be like condemning James Taylor because Radiohead, or Billy Collins because W.H. Auden. Having said all of this, I do think there is a certain messiness missing in Paterson that I love in other Jarmusch films. There's a "grit" in Down By Law — and even in Only Lovers Left Alive — that I miss here. But they all have a great deal in common — particularly a love of language, of the power of play, and of strangers who speak different languages connecting over a shared love of particularity.
  24. From co-writers of Eagle Eye...
  25. Totalfilm: So... what's your guess?