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About Christian

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Fairfax, VA
  • Interests
    Film, religion, jazz.

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  • Occupation
    Publications Manager
  • 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. Doug! Great to see you! Hey, I did a little tweet storm about this film, and how watching it with my 12- and, yes, 10-year-old boys was close to magical. I watched the film but also watched my boys watching the film, and saw the effect it was having on them. I don't see a lot of movies with my kids, and when I do, the movies aren't always good. So this was a very special experience. I'm indebted to Joe Cornish.
  2. Just to clarify, Ken: These are your notes about what was happening on-screen? Or are they excerpted quotes from character dialogue? Maybe a mix of both?
  3. I'm now listening to the audiobook of Pollan's How to Change Your Mind, and while I'm only on disc 3 (of 14), I'm calling it: This is the book of the year (or last year, as it were). Unless the book becomes dreary or takes a turn, I don't see how it's not a paradigm-shifting work for a lot of folks. I'm enjoying the mind-blowing descriptions of people's trips (they're very funny, although they're not intended to be; they just are what they are, and people recount them matter-of-factly, in ways that made me giggle, even though I probably wasn't supposed to and even though I know there's no denying, and certainly should be no mocking, of the individuals' experiences). But the biggest surprise so far? It's not the description of the trips so much as it is the admission of those who come from a more secular humanist / materialist perspective of how the use of psychedelics convinced them of the divine. (Pollan has alluded in the book to his own journey along the same trajectory, although he hasn't yet gone into detail about his own experiences.) Are these recollections orthodox? Of course not. But as one who approached this book wary that it might enjoy needling those of us who subscribe to more traditional religious notions, I've found it fascinating to hear of the way it's challenged people on the other end of the belief/unbelief spectrum to rethink their own views of nature and spirituality. Again, I'm relatively early in the book, and maybe I'll regret gushing about what I've read so far. But I'm excited enough about it that I wanted to come in and post here. Has anyone else read Pollan's book? If so, does my experience reading it match your own?
  4. Finally, a major victory for this very fine film. I've seen it twice, and it only got better on second viewing.
  5. I've nominated All That Jazz after re-reading in the discussion thread on this topic this thought from Andrew, who interpreted our list as possibly encompassing: "Growing Older and (Hopefully) Wiser," the latter giving room for films that are illustrative of instances of aging poorly." I don't know if that thought was ever pushed aside or otherwise deemed not relevant to our nominations. As long as we're thinking of nominees in that light, I believe the protagonist's physical and emotional deterioration in All About Jazz qualifies the film for our list.
  6. Title: All That Jazz Director: Bob Fosse Year: 1979 Language: English IMDB Link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078754/?ref_=nv_sr_1 YouTube link to the opening of the film Couldn't find a dedicate thread on this film
  7. I nominated Things to Come, which had already been seconded by the time I realized this review excerpt from the Guardian should be in this thread. So I'm moving it here. From Henry Barnes' review: It’s a summer of revolution for Nathalie. The high school philosophy teacher has just found out her husband of 25 years is leaving her. In a few weeks her mother will be dead. Then she’ll know freedom for the first time. Suddenly, in her 60s, she’ll be alone and unmoored, with no more excuses for not putting the theories she’s been teaching for years into practice. The way is wide open, but the journey seems terrifying. Mia Hansen-Løve has flicked from Eden – her drama about youthful uncertainty in the creative arts - to a pension-age version of the same. Nathalie, played by Isabelle Huppert, is no more certain of herself or her future than Paul, the restless, twenty-something house DJ at the centre of Hansen-Løve’s last film. The philosopher has intellectualised herself into a corner. Her cosy affluent existence - two grown-up kids, book-lined pad - has become less about living her philosophy than the escape into the study of it. ... Mostly, Things to Come is a smart, earnest undertaking: an exploration of the insecurity that can hit any of us, at any age, when we start to question the life we’ve built. “I’m coping very well,” Nathalie tells a student, forgetting the assessment is not up to her. The more frank declaration comes from a priest, speaking about her – based on Nathalie’s instructions – at her mother’s funeral: “Doubt and questioning are built into faith. You have made them your life.”
  8. Title: Things to Come Director: Mia Hansen-Love Year: 2016 Language: French IMDB Link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4120176/?ref_=nv_sr_1 YouTube Trailer: Can't find a dedicated thread for this film, although I thought I remembered discussing it here. Advertisement
  9. I didn't love Only Lovers Left Alive when I saw it, but it's stuck with me since in the way good movies stick with you. The aging angle is, if memory serves, part of the film's potency. If you nominated the movie, I'd second it - and would watch it again.
  10. I think this topic is finally starting to click for me after several days of struggling with it (which explains why I haven't posted any nominations ... yet). I'll start with a couple of seconds: The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp and Limelight
  11. Ken, I was just lamenting, again, how my exposure to, and interest in, new music has, at last, not just declined - age will do that - but fallen off a cliff. I'm 48 years old now and have sensed this coming for years, but somehow, between NPR and the Music section at A&F, I'd managed to keep up with enough recordings and bands to feel like I wasn't completely lost to the appeal of new artists and new sounds, even as the old familiar sounds and artists came to dominate my play lists. All of which is to say that I miss the activity that once characterized the Music forum here. I don't know that it'll ever be recovered or, if it is, that the bands/songs mentioned will stoke the music-appreciation fires the way they once did for me, but if nothing else, I do have some good memories of conversation and recommendations from this area of the site. I bring this up now because I was just thinking of Andy Whitman. I loved reading his stuff here for many years. Eventually he referred to me - twice, if I'm remembering right - in unkind ways, but that was part of his personality. I didn't follow him on social media, but I just pulled up his Facebook page to discover he logged off the site for good at the end of 2018. (This won't come as a surprise to many here, who I saw listed among his friends on FB.) He said he'd grown angry at the current state of American politics. He did say he loved his church, although I couldn't tell if he still attended the Catholic church that he was trying the last time I remember reading his stuff, or if he'd moved on again. Anyway, the anger: That's what got me thinking about Pink. I, too, really like Pink, and can't figure out why the stuff I find off-putting - I'm still very prudish when it comes to foul language, and she seems to relish using the stuff - works for her songs and persona. In fact, yesterday I tweeted out that my favorite song of 2018 was "Beautiful Trauma," which I then Googled so I could figure out what lyrics had been edited out of the radio version I'm familiar with. (I don't own any Pink albums.) I had to blush a bit - I mean, whoa! I'd been troubled by what I thought, from hearing the song on the radio (I'm terrible with understanding lyrics), was suggestive of, perhaps, an abusive relationship. It sounded like a woman making excuses for her lover's very bad behavior. And I guess the songwriter might not disagree. Still, while I can't say I love the lyrics, I do love that tune, which goes in unexpected (to me) places musically, especially for a Top 40 single. I'm afraid I don't have more to say about the album as a whole. I know only the singles. But as with the singles from Pink's previous albums, I'm mostly a fan. I do love her voice.
  12. Joel, I was going to DM you but figured others might be interested in the answer to this question: Doesn't your local library system have to provide access to Kanopy? I know New York City offers it - that was widely reported last year or the year before - but I thought that was only for people with NYC library cards. I've asked my local library - the one with the nicely curated DVD collection - if it offers Kanopy, and it doesn't. So I figured I was out of luck. Are you saying I could stream Kanopy via the New York library system, or directly via Kanopy, as long as I have a valid library card as part of any U.S. library system? If so, that's (great) news to me.
  13. I kept my screeners for several years, simply because I thought I might want to eventually watch the ones I didn't get around to watching before annual deadlines, or would revisit the ones I enjoyed. But a couple of years ago, in a purge of "stuff" cluttering our house, I cut up most of those old screeners - yes, with heavy-duty scissors - as I'd been instructed to do. My hand muscles were sore for days afterward! Apologies to the environment, although I can't say that was a major concern of mine when committing the DVD-icide.
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