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Everything posted by Christian

  1. This reflection from Lethem on moviegoing, the pandemic and film criticism over at the Criterion site is lovely. Section ā€œ3ā€ 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
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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
  16. Christian

    63 Up

    I almost made a trip into D.C. to catch it - I've seen the entire series, although I didn't start the series until five or six years ago - but it came and went pretty quickly. Plus, I figured the library, which carried all the other titles (that's how I'd seen the Up series), would get this one. And then everything shut down. Now that the library's reopened, I'll go give a look and see if this title is available. [looks] Nope. And it's not available on Prime either. Sigh.
  17. Christian


    I've just finished watching Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets. It's a film that I can already tell gets more intriguing the more you learn about it - and I'm basing that mostly on the post-feature interviews that come with the stream/rental. Simply listening to the actors be clear that they were giving performances and that the film isn't a documentary was interesting, although you may come to the film with that knowlege already if you've read reviews of it. Still, what sells the extras - which despite a few good insights aren't exactly gripping - is the finale, which, for me, came out of nowhere.The
  18. Great! Iā€™m hoping to watch it tonight unless Sarah has other plans.
  19. A few weeks ago the cheap-audiobook site Chirp sent me its daily-deals email, and I was surprised to see on it Ron Hansen's The Kid - a book I'd not heard of. As some of this thread documents, I'd lost my fervor for Hansen's books around the time of Exiles, and I was content to remain a fan of his earlier works and to move on to other writers. But this recent book, about Billy the Kid, sounded intriguing enough (I've been increasingly drawn to Westerns in my 40s, though I've not read nearly as many as I've watched) that I figured it'd be worth the $1.99 the site was charging. I'm only abo
  20. Yeah, I followed the link to participating theaters at the end of Alissa's review, but haven't followed through. Elsewhere I'd read that Film at Lincoln Ceter was playing it in its virtual cinema, which looks like it might be exclusive?
  21. Were you on last month's A&F Zoom call when we talked about Shirley, Andrew? I wasn't much of a fan, but have tried to keep an open mind about the movie. Jeffrey's review, which I read only after seeing the movie, got me thinking I might give Shirley another look - an effect that, say, Richard Brody's rave didn't have on me. We talked about the film again during this past week's A&F Zoom call. Also on that call, I brought up the movie I'm hoping to get to this weekend, Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets, by the Ross brothers. Alissa Wilkinson raved about the film last week, but my link is to V
  22. But that's what people want, right? More Liz! I did see a clip of her, in character, fighting with a man on the sidewalk, and I laughed. (This bit apparently opened last night's show.) But oof, I just came across this Slate review of the reunion, and it's even more damning than the Washington Post review. Part of my interest in the reunion is that 30 Rock was one of the last shows I watched regularly. Today I linked to an article via an Alissa Wilkinson tweet about something called The Bold Life - I see now that that's how I ended up on Slate, where I then saw the 30 Rock review - and wa
  23. Maybe I didn't miss much? Hank Stuever was not a fan.
  24. There's a 30 Rock live reunion show airing tonight on NBC. My younger daughter turned 16 today, so there's a movie planned tonight during the broadcast. The NBC site tells me the show will be available on the Peacock app, but I'm app-resistant. Plus, my experience with free broadcast networks is that anytime you want to watch one of their programs online, you're required to enter your paid-TV provider. I still don't have one of those, so I lose.
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