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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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5,150 profile views
  1. Thanks for posting, Anders. I watched I'm Thinking of Ending Things a second time last night, after telling folks on one of the A&F calls a couple of months ago that the film, which lost me in its home stretch if not earlier, had stuck with me for reasons that eluded me. I had hoped a second viewing would clarify the film's lingering impact. I'm afraid the film still loses me, not only in its final stretch, but about at its halfway mark, if not sooner. I had speculated earlier that the reason for the film's dropoff may have to do with the disappearance, or close to it, of the Collette
  2. Christian

    Dear Comrades!

    It's been a long time since I've launched a thread at A&F, but I've just watched Dear Comrades! and feel compelled to do just that. You may know that this is Russia's official entry for Best International Feature Film at the Academy Awards, and that its director, Andrei Konchalovskiy, directed The Inner Circle and Runaway Train. (Oh, and Tango & Cash, which I never bothered to see.) His anti-communist bonafides are well established, and I expected I'd like the film mainly because such films are in my wheelhouse. What I didn't expect is that the film would be so religious. Thi
  3. You’re bumming me out! My daughter’s up to Season 3 - Sarah and I are five episodes into Season 1 and are enjoying it immensely - but I keep hearing Season 3 is a letdown. I wish knowing that didn’t lessen my current enthusiasm for the show; we all know that great shows don’t stay great beyond a couple (or few) seasons. I was hoping “Cobra Kai” would be a rare exception.
  4. Christian


    During a recent A&F monthly call, I mentioned my admiration of Miranda July. I had the DVD of her second feature, The Future, in hand that week, and I held it up during the call as an example of a filmmaker who ... well, I don't remember what the question on the table was at that moment during our Zoom discussion, but I know I ran to where we store our DVDs and brought my copy of The Future back to the laptop, where I displayed it for those on the call. As I explained then, I'm fan of July's, but my memory of her work, at that point, was a bit hazy. I'd seen Me, You and Everyone We K
  5. Christian

    The Game

    I watched my Criterion Blu-ray last night with the audio commentary turned on, and felt pleasantly affirmed when one of the screenwriters referred to the Christian imagery "all the way through" the film. I tweeted about how the film has always struck me as redemptive, but that my Christian critic friends never really talk about it. I should've checked this board first! I even participated in this thread.
  6. Ken: I don’t know if an A&F Zoom call happened this month - dates proposed have now passed, and it’s possible I never received final word of a call because I never confirmed my participation - but the future of the board might be a good subject for discussion during such a call. I realize the call is a small sample size, but I imagine the feedback might be useful.
  7. Christian

    Classical Music

    By “previous book,” I meant Ross’ “The Rest Is Noise” - he released another book before the Wagner volume - and while I didn’t engage much with it, I struck today when I saw that the ebook is just $2.99 (for Nook - haven’t checked Kindle). I don’t re-read often, but seeing the kind comments here about “Noise” made me think it’s worth at least one more shot.
  8. Christian

    Classical Music

    To my surprise, while at Barnes & Noble tonight scarfing up Blu-rays with birthday money, I saw this book and bought a copy! It’s expensive, but I had just enough money to get it (after returning two Blu-rays to the shelf; both were upgrades of Chaplin films I love but already own on laserdisc). That Dirda review really had me thinking I might enjoy this book, even though Ross’ previous book, which was widely acclaimed, was a swing-and-a-miss for me. Still, about every 10 years, I decide that it’s time to Give Classical Music Another Try and see if it takes. I’m at that point now, and I’m
  9. Christian

    Classical Music

    I don’t know much about Wagner beyond a couple of his best known compositions, but I’m aware of how divisive a figure he is. Now Alex Ross has published a book about Wagner, and Michael Dirda gives it a rave review in today’s Washington Post. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/if-ever-there-was-a-moment-for-richard-wagner-it-is-2020/2020/11/03/0ecd5664-1d23-11eb-ba21-f2f001f0554b_story.html%3foutputType=amp
  10. This reflection from Lethem on moviegoing, the pandemic and film criticism over at the Criterion site is lovely. Section “3” resonated strongly with me and might be of particular interest to those of you who write regularly about film. But the whole thing is worth reading: https://www.criterion.com/current/posts/7109-empty-theaters
  11. 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
  12. 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.
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
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