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Christian

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  1. Christian

    Top 25: Discussion for Nominations on Growing Older

    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.
  2. 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
  3. Christian

    Top 25: Discussion for Nominations on Growing Older

    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.”
  4. 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
  5. Second Only Lovers Left Alive.
  6. Christian

    Top 25: Discussion for Nominations on Growing Older

    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.
  7. 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
  8. Christian

    Beautiful Trauma -- P!nk

    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.
  9. Christian

    Oscars 2019 - nominations!

    Thanks, Joel.
  10. Christian

    Oscars 2019 - nominations!

    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.
  11. Christian

    Trashing CDs and DVDs

    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.
  12. Christian

    2019 List Preliminary Discussion

    Funny, when you used "schism" my first thought was about Catholic friends who use that to describe Protestants - something I think would be unwise to invite as part of the topic choice - and then you cited the 500th anniversary of the Reformation! I like that idea, but the Catholic/Orthodox tilt of the board's remaining participants - something that I'm convinced has had a hand in diminished participation here over the years, although that's a broader topic for another time/thread - makes me think it wouldn't work (even though a previous list choice was driven by advocacy for a certain Catholic anniversary/landmark, if memory serves).
  13. Christian

    2019 List Preliminary Discussion

    All good concerns. I'm not looking to open old wounds. But I figure current events are going to work their way into whatever list we do - such events seem to work their way into all sorts of conversations these days - so I thought maybe C&P would provide an outlet of sorts for thinking through our political moment - if not providing a point for resolution. I confess that attracting new participants is always in the background of these topic choices for me, but your concern about trolls/bots is wise. I hadn't really envisioned outsiders coming in and stomping all over our discussion. I was more thinking about how current participants might respond/react, hoping that we were mature enough to allude to the current moment without alienating each other, much less outsiders. But maybe that's a pipe dream.
  14. Christian

    2019 List Preliminary Discussion

    Growing Older lends itself to introspective, reflective personalities - the kind of traits that characterize writer types. I think such a list could be interesting. But while I'm loath to get political, I think much of the country is intensely focused on the coming Mueller Report, which, as long as it's anything short of a complete exoneration, could lend timeliness to a Crime and Punishment list. I'll probably regret advocating for such a list, at least on those terms, but I wanted us to do Crime and Punishment earlier, when the Mueller Report wasn't on anyone's radar. I still do.
  15. Christian

    Oscars 2019: Best Picture

    At least she didn't ask about Green Room!
  16. Christian

    Oscars 2019: Best Picture

    Oh, I've thought since the second my Green Book screening ended that it was a shoo-in - not just a favorite, but a shoo-in - for Best Picture. Subsequent events gave me doubts about that initial reaction, but I feel like the Globes win is the beginning of the film's awards-chances rebirth (or a continuation of such if the film's campaign bottomed out a little while ago, which it may have). To reiterate/underline what I've been saying since seeing the film, that doesn't mean I think Green Book is the year's best film, but it seems like the year's most slam-dunk Oscars film. I know there's controversy around the film and its portrayal of Don Shirley, but do you know any non-critic who has seen Green Book and who has had less than glowing things to say about it? I don't. Yes, this is strictly anecdotal, but the over-the-moon enthusiasm of the film's proponents is what makes me think it'll win Best Picture. Feel free to laugh at this post when Green Book loses the big prize at this year's Oscars.
  17. Christian

    2018 Arts & Faith Ecumenical Jury: Screeners?

    I watched JEANNETTE a couple weeks ago on Amazon Prime in the U.S. Don't know about Canada.
  18. I've seen two of the films Jeffrey mentions - Border and Wildlife - and have not nominated them here. Rather than give reasons for why I didn't include them among my nominations - one of them appears on my Top 20 of 2018 list, the other just missed the cut - I'll just reassert what I've stated earlier in this thread: My criteria for what merit inclusion for this particular list are different from the criteria I use for my broader Top 20 list, so while I find aspects of the two movies excellent, I just didn't think of the films as excellent for this list. That said, I'm often susceptible to arguments in favor of inclusion for our list. For instance, Evan mentions The Death of Stalin, which I know I considered (it was my top film of 2018 for a time, and remains high up in my final ranking) but decided not to nominate for our list. But reading his comments, it seems sensible - even a slam-dunk - for a nomination. So I second it! (Speaking of great comedies, how many have we had on our lists over the years? Not many, I'm thinking. That's not reason enough to include it here, but it's a not insignificant factor when the other reasons for inclusion that Evan mentions are taken into account.)
  19. Seconding Paul, Apostle of Christ, which will make an appearance on my Top 20 Films of 2018.
  20. Christian

    The Nutcracker and The Four Realms (2018)

    Do I hear an objection? If so, I'm sure it's fine - and probably well-earned/deserved. Ya know, I watched The Red Shoes on Blu-ray last night - I'd bought it during a recent Criterion sale - and was surprised to discover that I'd forgotten long stretches of the film (which I've owned on laserdisc for decades, but haven't seen in probably 9 or 10 years) and that, lo and behold, the stuff I'd forgotten kind of dragged the film down a bit. It's still gorgeous, but I find myself, in my dotage, gravitating to the pure expressionism of the dance/performance sequences here (and not much else) and, more broadly, in The Tales of Hoffman, which I think I'd now say I prefer to The Red Shoes - an admission that would've shocked my 20-something self upon first watching both films (and much preferring The Red Shoes at that time).
  21. Christian

    The Nutcracker and The Four Realms (2018)

    I took my boys to see this at the second-run theater tonight - they were interested in it, my older girls weren't - and had a much better time than I'd anticipated. Ken's review had interested me, but not enough to take a chance on a first-run 3D presentation during a screenings lull at the Virginia Film Festival last month. I now regret that choice. The film's production design is one of its stronger points, but it's the supporting actors who bring the film to vivid life. From my just-posted comment on Facebook: "The main actress isn't great, but the supporting characters are often lively. And Keira Knightley slays in this. I'm admittedly a fan of hers, but she was on-screen for 10 minutes before I even recognized her! I was thinking she'd turn up as another character who kept being mentioned, and then I realized, no, *that's* her! Lots of visually impressive moments. I hesitate to even utter great films in the same breath, but I thought of Powell and Pressburger more than once, and 'Fantasia' and ... well, I'm overselling the movie now. Plenty of stuff to criticize, but I'm inclined to praise what I liked. So few films offer anything in that regard. I regret not seeing this in 3D; I had a chance, but reviews convinced me not to take the risk. Oh well. Glad I got to it on the big screen."
  22. Christian

    What do you subscribe to?

    Popping back in to observe today's official demise of the Weekly Standard. As noted above, I subscribed from sometime in the 1990s to around 2010, if memory serves. I read the online site for years, and endured endless come-ons to get me to sign up again, both through the U.S. mail and online offers that seemed to think a free flag pin was the key to getting me to re-up. Nope. I just found the magazine, which I'd liked for its good humor as well as some of its positions, had grown dour during the second Bush term (for obvious reasons) and the early Obama administration, and I didn't need to keep reading stuff that fed my disdain/anger. The magazine was known for its neocon orientation, which means a lot more than pro-war, although that's what came to define the term during the Bush administration. But nearly all my links on A&F (I just searched "Weekly Standard" in this forum and saw a number of hits across various threads in which I linked to WS articls) were to the magazine's culture writing. I was inevitably positive. Nathanael often pushed back and mocked some of the essays, if memory serves. I wish the magazine was still around so its pieces could continue to be read and debated, but alas, that's no longer the case. I've been touched by the outpouring on Twitter observing the magazine's demise, even from people who, in the words of one writer, "revile" the magazine's politics but still see its demise as a bad thing. Of course, some people are dancing on the magazine's grave, and that's to be expected. But I feel like its shuttering marks the end of something that I cared about, and that there's no sign that it'll be replaced. If you're looking for me, you know where to find me: In the ashbin of history, right next to this magazine.
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