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Everything posted by Overstreet

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. A review by Susan VanZanten, a Dickinson scholar who works with me here at SPU.
  4. 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!"
  5. 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."
  6. 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.
  7. From co-writers of Eagle Eye...
  8. Totalfilm: So... what's your guess?
  9. The wheels on this project are beginning to turn...
  10. Starring The Rock. Meanwhile, here are my Top Five Best Things about Big Trouble in Little China: 1-5. Kurt Russell.
  11. It was 30 years ago this month... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6bvuhPyq8Q Gotta love Harrison Ford as a trailer narrator.
  12. If indeed there is actually a new U2 album called Sirens on the way, let's have a thread for it, rather than burden it with the mountains of posts related to the dubious Songs of Ascent project.
  13. This question came up in the PFCC discussion list, but I'm curious what you all think. Why do the Oscars and other awards always distinguish between Best Actor and Best Actress, but don't distinguish between the sexes in other categories? Should this be changed? Or is there a good argument for the way this tradition goes?
  14. Ah! I'd missed that. Thanks!
  15. Nicolosi has a seizure when she hears the news.
  16. Finally!
  17. My research-paper students, who are focused on writing about film, are beginning work on their major projects. I've introduced them to Arts & Faith, hoping that some of them might venture into this community with some questions related to their research, to draw upon your expertise. So... as a test case: Let's say I'm writing a research paper about the experience of children raised in a Buddhist tradition. What films would you recommend I watch as preliminary research? Kundun? What else? Have you come across any interviews with filmmakers who discuss portrayals of Buddhism in film? Are there particular texts you would recommend — both about Buddhism on film, and about the experiences of children raised in that tradition?
  18. It's brilliant. SDG — I have a feeling that you, in particular, are going to love this one. Halfway through, it felt like "minor Dardennes," if there is such a thing. By the conclusion, I had changed my mind about that. Here are some notes I posted on Letterboxd:
  19. Easily my favorite of the year so far. My review.
  20. Looks like Aronofsky's Noah movie is still moving forward. Time to give it a thread of its own.
  21. 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....
  22. Just came across this article marking the 30th anniversary of Star Wars, and lo... our own SDG is quoted in it! I'm inviting folks to share their first Star Wars memories at Looking Closer.
  23. I couldn't get through it a second time. So boring, grim, overcrowded, and derivative in ways big and small. This is the first Star Wars film that I'm confident I won't watch a third time.
  24. The first review I've seen for Camille Claudel 1915, the new film starring Juliette Binoche and directed by Bruno Dumont, is somewhat disappointing.
  25. Loved it.