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About Christian

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  • Interests
    Film, religion, jazz.

Previous Fields

  • Favorite movies
    Dardennes brothers, Tarkovsky, Dreyer, Coens, De Palma, some Kubrick
  • Favorite music
    Hard-bop jazz.
  • Favorite creative writing
    Junot Diaz, Matt Labash, Marilynne Robinson

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  1. I mentioned during the most recent A&F Zoom call that I'd started watching Eastwood's Richard Jewell. I've now finished it. I suppose it should have made me angry on this weekend of protests against overzealous law enforcement, but I confess that I didn't think primarily of my skepticism toward law enforcement while watching this film. Instead, I marveled at - no, that's too strong of a word - was impressed by the performances, and found myself wondering why Eastwood can be so good - not all the time, but far from rarely - across different genres. I've read about Eastwood's working me
  2. The beloved Cinema Arts theater near our home opened yesterday. I asked Sarah if she was interested in seeing The Personal History of David Copperfield. "We could refill our popcorn bucket for $1 -- and maybe get COVID-19!" I told her, conflicted. She said she's not comfortable going to the movies yet, and I quickly agreed.
  3. I hope you're still reading, Michael, because of all the things I love about L'Eclisse - I've now seen it three times; it came off some on second viewing (from a very high place) but bounced back on third viewing, which was on Blu-ray - the one thing about it that I find, well, inexplicable, is the blackface sequence. (I was reminded of this when reading Ken's post on Showboat.) I think I've watched all the extras, and have read the jacket essays. I don't recall discussion of the blackface sequence, although maybe it comes up in the audio commentary, which I've yet to listen to. I wo
  4. The Kino DVD and Blu-ray are currently on sale. Blu-ray: https://www.familyvideo.com/young-ahmed-548215 DVD: https://www.familyvideo.com/young-ahmed-548236
  5. I loved your review, Michael, and made a point to rent Underwater last night from Redbox. I tracked with your reasoning, and I share some of your childhood love of monster/creature features. I wanted to like this film - I love genre films that tap into fear of the unknown, especially when they do so in a fun spirit (I'm thinking of Tremors), although I wasn't expecting humor here. I'm reluctant to say that I was let down by this film, and I've been trying to figure out why. I think what you see as a strength - no backstory, dives right into the action - was a drawback here. Often th
  6. Good thread. I've just watched "The Apartment" for the first time (it's on Prime), and after getting over some, well, shock at the premise - how did I not know the premise after all these years?! - I watched with something approaching delight. This is such stellar studio filmmaking. Superb lead performances and strong supporting roles, all making the most of a sterling script. And how 'bout that widescreen B&W cinematography? I was happy to see it, and the lead actors, were all Oscar-nominated, though the film's awards haul didn't include those categories. This is the kind of film tha
  7. Oh boy. The pressure! As with most of my posts on A&F, I ... I ... don't have much to say? Sarah and I finished Season 4 last night, and although we both cried through much of the final episode, my wife claimed that the show grew "more boring" during its final season. I, on the other hand, thought Season 4 coasted for a few episodes before getting more interesting. I've tried across all four seasons to track with the show on its own premises (with which I largely disagree, but I knew I would going in). The characters' outcomes, and how the show accomplished them, was read by my wife a
  8. I'll be watching an Image Journal-sponsored screening of Boys State tonight (along with a discussion with the directors). I also have, umm, Hustlers on DVD. It's due back to the library tomorrow. I was going to watch it tonight before the Boys State screening opportunity presented itself. Probably just as well.
  9. I've said it before, but I think - I think - that Three Colors trilogy is the crown jewel of my DVD/Blu-ray collection, although I wonder how much of that ranking is just my subjective response to the films themselves (and not so much the Criterion presentation, which is, to my eyes, exceptional - although again, that reaction may be colored by my deep love of Blue and Red). I'll be curious to hear if you have a similar reaction. In the Criterion trilogy department, I'll add that I used the final Saturday of the sale to buy the Antonioni "alienation" trilogy that so affected me when I wat
  10. Thanks, Beth! Sarah and I are wrapping up the final season of The Good Place (on DVD) tonight, so we'll be ready for another show. I'll sound her out about watching Rectify.
  11. I've never attended the festival as press, but I talked a couple of times in my early years of attending with festival director Jody Kielbasa, who seemed interested in my feedback on the festival. There's a bus that goes around the campus and can get you to each venue, but that takes a good amount of coordination and planning to ensure you arrive to your screenings in time. In the past, I've parked near the downtown mall and have left my car there all day to avoid in-and-out parking fees, but last year I drove to different venues and discovered the parking garages nearby are free on the w
  12. Of the two Virginia-based festivals I've attended, the Virginia Film Festival, October 21-25, has said it'll be virtual this year. The Middleburg Film Festival, October 15-18, hasn't yet announced a change, but I'll be surprised if the event doesn't go all-digital.
  13. Where/How can I watch Rectify? I did some digging and it seems Netflix has it (I'm not a subscriber). Prime has it, but for a fee. I'd consider blind-buying a Blu-ray, but it looks as though there are no Region 1 Blus, at least not for all seasons? I don't have access to Kanopy. If I'm missing other opportunities, let me know.
  14. Now that I have a library copy of Criterion's La Notte - I considered blind-buying the Blu during the current B&N Criterion sale, but my DVD hold came through just as the sale was starting; so I bought the Antonioni Red Desert Blu instead - I plan to prioritize it. Also, I turned off Ready or Not a couple of nights ago halfway through. I then read the spoilers in Alissa Wilkinson's review and considered watching the back half, but I just don't care about anything or anyone in the movie. I wonder why some horror movies with admittedly thin premises are enjoyable, while many more seem pointl
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