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Andrew

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About Andrew

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    And a good day to you, sir!

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    https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/
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    psychiatrist

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  1. Andrew

    Nomadland

    That ambiguity is a nice touch, isn't it? Freud himself said that human behavior is multfactorial in its motivations. Zhao's script and direction are refreshingly nonjudgmental.
  2. Andrew

    Nomadland

    I miss Joel Mayward's presence on the board, as one of the strongest Malick partisans and immense admirer of Zhao's previous film The Rider. I'm guessing he'd have plenty to say about Nomadland. Anywho, this is presently my favorite fiction feature of 2020, as I delighted in its love for its characters, its visual beauty, its humanism. When discussing David Byrne's American Utopia earlier this week, I expressed skepticism that much cinema succeeds in a persuasive function these days. Off the top of my head, I can think of two films in 2020 that changed my mind on a subject (Crazy Not I
  3. Andrew

    Claravox

    As I commented on FB, I LOVE this, and it's very cool to hear the backstory behind this song/video. I'll be looking forward to the Kickstarter info and will happily contribute to your endeavor.
  4. I would hope this is so self-evident that it wouldn't need to be spelled out. See Bill Maher's "comedy." Sure, he's preaching to his choir, but he stopped being edgy or funny long ago. Or the film I watched last night, Uncle Frank. I've loved much of Alan Ball's output (Six Feet Under is one of my all-time favorite TV shows), but while I'm sympathetic to the straits of his main character in his latest (a gay man trying to outrace his homophobic, Bible Belt upbringing), it felt like lazy, cliched filmmaking and storytelling on almost every level. Again, maybe some of this speaks to t
  5. I was probably too broad and nihilistic in my statement, in hindsight. My criticism here is not about the art itself, but about the audience, in 2020. At least in the United States, I perceive such a degree of polarization that opposing sides are talking past each other, with little to no meaningful engagement or persuasion taking place. This isn't to say individuals can't be changed by art, events, or political debate - I'm not the same person I was since reading Baldwin, Coates, and Kendi; one of my family members who voted for Trump in 2016 voted for Biden in 2020 - but it seems like les
  6. But how many people in 2020 are walking away with new convictions from any artistic engagement these days? Hopefully, some - maybe some of the folks here who earlier this year voiced their lack of knowledge on transgender issues have watched one or more of the excellent docs that I've reviewed this year, and come away enlightened. But overall, Republicans have Fox News, OAN, Parler, the Federalist Society, Clint Eastwood, and the legendary auteur Dinesh D'Souza; reality-based individuals get everything else. Maybe this is a sign of the US/Canada difference, but when we've had a Gaslighter-i
  7. Andrew

    Organ Music

    Bravo! I appreciated your introduction to each piece, too - I love knowing the history behind compositions. It staggers the imagination that Demessieux could carry that many pieces around in her working memory; I think she has Rostropovich beaten, who required his students to memorize the concerti assigned to them (as well as all of the orchestral accompaniment). So, do you think Vierne found some peace of mind? Comparing the last two movements to the first two, I'm inclined to say yes.
  8. Haven't read this one - I've read a handful of Millet's novels, and she tells good, spiky, surprising tales.
  9. Nice review - I appreciated your commentary on double-consciousness that runs through the film. I watched this as part of my subscription to the Chicago online film fest, and found it to be a mostly satisfying film, even if it still felt like a stage play with some filmic elements thrown in. I hope both Odom and Ben-Adir get Oscar noms - both actors gave their characters layers of complexity - perhaps even more challenging for Ben-Adir, following as he is in Denzel's footsteps.
  10. That seems reasonable. I still pop in every morning, but the film section has been crickets for quite a while. I suspect you're right, that with COVID our attention has been too divided, with no single movie to home in on since the Dardennes' latest.
  11. I'm jealous even of that level of proficiency! My wife and I are talking of buying a piano once we make our hoped-for move in the first half of 2021: she played as a child and misses it, whereas I would just love the chance to try my hands at it, hoping to gain some pleasure from simple music-making but also to achieve some pragmatic understanding of chord and key relations. We'll see...
  12. Andrew

    Classical Music

    Please let us know your thoughts on Ross' Wagner book; I could easily be persuaded into giving it a read. This thread has definitely inspired me as well. I gave a Mahler symphony (#4) a close listen and actually loved it; tastes really do evolve and shift over time, so I'm now curious to work through his symphonies. Likewise, I listened to a number of Schoenberg pieces for the first time ever (his chamber symphonies, Transfigured Night, and especially Pierrot Lunaire) and was captivated, enough that I purchased a boxed set of his works conducted by Pierre Boulez (a steal at $13 for 11 C
  13. Andrew

    Classical Music

    I loved Ross' book on the multifarious directions of 20th C classical music, The Rest Is Noise. There's simply nothing else like it. However, t I don't enjoy Wagner's music and find the man abhorrent, which I know Ross addresses in his newest. Nonetheless, I'll probably be giving this book a miss.
  14. Happy to report that was the only dud in the entire boxed set of 12 (I think) CDs. It's been a delight making my way through LvB's oeuvre (and a great counterbalance to stressing inordinately over US politics). Even listening again to Beethoven's 9th with Swafford's book for context made it a novel experience - for the first time as well, I listened to the final movement with the vocal score in front of me, thanks to German Wikipedia. I guess it's just the times we're living in, but Beethoven's kiss for all the world, and hearing the use of 'Turkish' music to symbolize universal brotherhood
  15. Hearkening back to our earlier discussion of transgender women directors, I can't recommend the French documentary Little Girl highly enough. It's the best and most empathic consideration of gender dysphoria that I've seen on film, period. Here's my full review: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/2020/10/diy-virtual-film-fest-part-7-little-girl/
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