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About Andrew

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    And a good day to you, sir!
  • Birthday 06/12/1968

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    Eastern Tennessee

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  1. I'm sorry it was a disappointing year at TIFF for you. I half- or three-quarters expect you'll find that wow experience you're craving with Synonyms - it definitely blew Jessica's and my socks off, and the audience seemed fully onboard with the director's project. It only added to our fascination to learn that it is largely autobiographical. I would've loved to see Portrait of a Lady, but I couldn't fit it in our schedule; same with Serra's latest, since I loved Death of Louis XIV.
  2. So, how was TIFF for you, Darren? And Anders, were you able to catch any films? Aside from Jessica having the gall to come down with walking pneumonia - and thus we got our first taste of Canadian healthcare - we had a splendid festival. We missed Koreeda's latest, due to spending an afternoon in a walk-in clinic, but we still managed to see 21 films in 10 days. My favorite films were Lapid's Synonyms (second 5-star review of the year), The Cave, Zombi Child, Pain and Glory, and La Belle Epoque; but I also highly recommend Hearts and Bones, Les Miserables, and Beanpole. The two disappointments were Wet Season (a big letdown after Ilo Ilo) and Atlantics (which I pretty much hated). Take home lessons after 6 years of TIFF: - no more premieres at Roy Thompson - totally shitty movie venue - cram in more films for the first half, before all the directors and actors go home (I should've figured this out after 2-3 years, but I'm a slow learner) - TIFF membership is totally worth it, for earlier access to tix in general, as well as premiere tickets specifically
  3. Nice. Some overlap with our selections, but on different days, alas; so it looks like any encounters we have will be random as usual. I would've loved to see Bacurau, The Whistlers, Ema, Liberte, and State Funeral as well, but so many great choices this year. Happy to report I did get tickets to Springsteen, Almodovar, and Motherless Brooklyn, thanks to the TIFF members' ticket pre-sale - for a regular attender who doesn't have press credentials, a yearly TIFF membership is definitely the way to go.
  4. A hearty 'yes' to all of the above. In my review, I honed in more upon Bernadette's social phobia, but I think you're spot on that there's a strong element of depression (to be clinically precise, dysthymia) to her constellation of feelings and behaviors. And yes, this would not be the ideal film for a teen with a seriously depressed parent to see. Everyone around the depressed person typically harbors rescue fantasies as it is. As a clinician, the segments with the therapist are a somber reminder that when told differing versions of events by patients and their families, we sometimes have to choose which one is most true, and we don't always get it right.
  5. Here's my schedule for TIFF, with 3 premieres that I'm going to try for in parentheses: Thurs 9/5: - The Climb (Covino) - The Personal History of David Copperfield (Iannucci) Fri 9/6: - Varda by Agnes (Varda) (Pain and Glory - Almodovar) Sat 9/7 - How to Build a Girl (Giedroyc) - Citizen K (Gibney) Sun 9/8 - The Perfect Candidate (al-Mansour) - While at War (Amenabar) Mon 9/9 - La Belle Epoque (Bedos) - The Truth (Kore-eda) Tues 9/10 - Synonyms (Lapid) - (Motherless Brooklyn - Norton) Wed 9/11 - Sanctuary (Longoria) - Zombi Child (Bonello) Thurs 9/12 - Les Miserables (Ly) - The Cordillera of Dreams (Guzman) (Western Stars - Zimny and Springsteen) Fri 9/13 - The Cave (Fayyad) - Wet Season (Chen) Sat 9/14 - Atlantics (Diop) - Beanpole (Balagov) I'm quite pleased with the selection of films this year: a nice mix of new films from beloved directors, actors I enjoy seeing in most anything, films with good buzz from other festivals, and subject matter that stoked my curiosity. Anders and Darren, I hope our paths can cross at some point.
  6. Andrew

    The Nightingale

    Yes, I thought this was very well done. As I was watching, I mentally compared it to Tarantino as well; unlike almost any recent Tarantino film, Clare doesn't relish the prospect of violence but is striking out as a cornered creature out of options. (In this sense, Nightingale picks up the thread of traumatic grief from Babadook.) My full review: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/2019/08/the-nightingale-rape-and-extermination-in-the-british-colonies/
  7. So, has anyone else besides Doug C. and me seen this? I'm so glad that Doug praised Linklater's newest on FB, because I was planning to wait till screener season to watch it, after the critical thumping it received. It's not Linklater's best - that would be the Before trilogy and Boyhood, IMO - but it's still a strong film. I thought Blanchett gave a nuanced performance as usual, and also as usual, Linklater's script rang with authenticity in an eloquent Ericksonian way about the struggles of middle age and parenthood. As a social phobic/introvert/closet misanthrope, I also found Blanchett's character highly relatable. My full review: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/2019/08/the-affecting-wisdom-of-whered-you-go-bernadette/
  8. Andrew

    Blinded by the Light

    I guess a Billy Joel biopic can't be far behind, but this story inspired by Springsteen's music, about its effects on a British-Pakistani teen in Maggie Thatcher's England, was a delight. And it's my favorite among the recent crop of movies inspired by pop/rock music of the 60s-80s (no competition next to Bohemian Rhapsody and Yesterday, a tougher call with Rocketman). Writer/director Gurinder Chadha explores similar themes as she did in 2002's Bend It Like Beckham, but this film shows that she's matured greatly as a storyteller. Here's my full review: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/2019/08/let-yourself-be-blinded-by-the-light/
  9. Though an observer and not a participant, I hope y'all continue with this. I always enjoy the thoughtfully composed finished product.
  10. Andrew

    Them That Follow

    Maybe...I looked on my panel and didn't see it as an option, but as Jessica and my kids will attest, I'm not always the most observant chap.
  11. Andrew

    Them That Follow

    ...and the title is Them That Follow. Ken, when you have a moment, would you mind amending the title of this thread?
  12. Andrew

    Them That Follow

    So, when I saw snake handling and Walton Goggins together, I didn't expect nuance. So color me surprised. Aside from a major implausibility, this is a respectable directing/feature writing debut. And it transcends its sensational setting to offer some layered considerations on patriarchy and parenthood within a fundamentalist setting. Olivia Colman is splendid as usual, but Walton Goggins dials down the Southern Gothic here to deliver an understated performance that humanizes what could've been a unidimensional, villainous character. Here's my full review: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/2019/08/them-that-follow-snake-handling-patriarchy-and-parenthood-in-fundamentalist-appalachia/
  13. I won't be the mind-changer. I was underwhelmed and disappointed, too, giving the film 3 out of 5 stars. Awkwafina, at least in this role, seems to lack the subtlety needed to convincingly carry a dramatic film. And stylistically, some of Wang's choices were puzzlers to me. My full review: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/2019/08/a-passable-farewell/
  14. Thanks for sharing that, Beth. Juzwiak provides some helpful context, and it's nice to know that I'm not the only critic who saw misogyny writ large in this film.
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