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About Andrew

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    And a good day to you, sir!

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  1. Awesome! I guess I'd better watch it again then (no hardship there).
  2. I was struck by this in my own list-making, too. My list has two films by a woman filmmaker and one by a black Caribbean-born filmmaker. In hindsight, I wish I'd gone back and rewatched Moonlight for possible inclusion, and considered one of the docs that has emerged from Syria in the past few years. I won't be surprised if future film studies classes esteem those works as humanist treasures on a par with the Italian neo-realist classics. Perhaps this'll be an exercise worth doing again in 3-5 years, with a stronger thrust towards inclusion of perspectives of people of color, woman, and the LGBT community.
  3. Andrew

    Corpus Christi

    Great interview, Darrel, far better than the three "mainstream" interviews I read before writing my review. The details Komasa got into with you about the Polish Catholic Church, being outside of Communism but now inside current right-wing politics, is fascinating. From what I understand, it's quite similar to events in Russia, with the Orthodox Church there. I dunno, in hindsight I think it was the best of all possible endings, narratively speaking (though certainly not what I'd for these characters). SPOILERS AHEAD The fact that only a handful of townspeople peeled off from the hateful majority seems a whole lot more plausible than a God's Not Dead sort of mass revival. And Daniel's fate is alluded to at the very start of the film, when Father Tomasz told him that Polish seminaries don't accept convicts. Daniel has changed, and even his convict associate recognizes this. Escaping juvie, but not going back to a fake priesthood, seems the best possible ending we could expect.
  4. I'm planning to do that as well, and would be delighted if everyone did the same.
  5. Andrew

    Corpus Christi

    Has anyone else seen this? It scored a Best Foreign Language Feature nomination this year, which is prompting its release in arthouse cinemas stateside. Jessica and I watched it last night and enjoyed it considerably. I think its themes would resonate quite strongly for a lot of folks here, and visually, I thought it was quite accomplished. Anywho, here's my full review: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/2020/03/corpus-christi-it-takes-a-fake-priest-to-uncover-real-secrets/
  6. So I'm thinking of writing a column about ways to enjoy art in general while stuck at home. To that end, and for my own personal nourishment, I thought I'd ask folks here what their favorites have been. Personally, I'm grateful that a couple of Asheville arthouse cinemas - the Fine Arts Theatre and the Grail Moviehouse are offering ways to enjoy streaming films that they'd have otherwise been screening. I'm also aware that Yo-Yo Ma is posting short solo performances on social media, while the Metropolitan Opera is allowing free viewings of performances online.
  7. Good idea! Over this past 1+ month, I've been nourished by watching or re-watching candidates for my Top 25 list. Not all of these made my list, but highlights have included A Man Escaped, lots of Dardennes, 2001, The Searchers, Haxan, The Passion of Joan of Arc, The Seventh Seal, and Day of Wrath. Now it's on to current films to stream at home and potentially review. Since sheltering in place, I've been keeping a running list of candidates. Last night, it was Corpus Christi; tonight, Platform. Oh, and Jessica and I just finished the first season of Star Trek: Picard last night. What a delight!
  8. I'd vote for best, considering I'm reading Stephen King's The Stand for the first time since my adolescence, because 1) it's about all my attention span can manage, and 2) there's something cathartic about sublimating fears into an even worse-case scenario. I don't say any of this to get into a political dispute, but the facts that Trump's approval rating reportedly stands at about 52%, and that the Dems are leaning towards Biden over Bernie (as the New York Times put it, restoration over revolution) suggest a more pessimistic short-term view.
  9. Just sent my list. The breakdown by decade for me: 1920s - 1 1940s - 1 1950s - 4 1960s - 4 1970s - 1 1980s - 2 1990s - 1 2000s - 4 2010 - 7 I'm eagerly looking forward to April 2nd...
  10. I don't use AllMusic as regularly as you do, but I still go there periodically to review discographies. Like you, I've noticed more albums are lacking reviews; for instance, Kanye's latest got a review, but Bruce Cockburn's last two albums get nada. (And on Wikipedia, I learned that all Bryan Adams' references were removed from the site in 2012, at the request of the artist [I use that term loosely]. Who knew?)
  11. Andrew

    Things to Come

    I regret I haven't seen this since I first viewed it at TIFF. Re-reading my review from there, I suspect it would hold up. Thanks for mentioning it; I'll add to my list of films (4 to go!) to see before submitting my Top 25. (And selfishly, I've been wanting to check it out anyway, since visiting Chateaubriand's grave in St. Malo on vacation in 2018, just as Huppert's character does at the start of the film.) By the way, have you seen any of Hansen-Love's other films? I made a point of seeing her next film (Maya) at TIFF 2018 and was utterly disappointed by its cliches of May-October love (or a creepy August, anyway) with an exotic other.
  12. Andrew

    Heartbeat Detector

    I just re-watched this in preparation for making my Top 25 list. I feel that our Top 100 ought to include a Holocaust-themed film, as the rise of Nazism and Hitler's Final Solution strike me as the seminal event of the 20th Century, in the West at least. Of the three films I've watched - this, Schindler's List, and Son of Saul - this is the strongest of the bunch. Heartbeat Detector strikes me as far more audacious, and persuasive, in connecting the dehumanizing language of the Final Solution to contemporary corporate-speak. (And of course, looking at how our current admin is viewing COVID-19 as primarily a business and electability issue, rather than an issue of saving lives and alleviating suffering, we see how this dehumanizing has poisoned all social discourse.) With Klotz's allusions to Ozu's pillow shots and Tati's Playtime, I feel there's richness to be found in this film, no matter how many times I view it. I'm not as convinced the same can be said for the other two films.
  13. What a curious film. Honestly, I find it hard to get a toehold on this one, since the main characters all struck me as so shallow and repugnant. Mija seems like a tourist in her own life; it seems she joined the poetry class in order to find a self that doesn't really exist. She alternately nags or neglects her rapist grandson, her shallowness made evident by her banal comments to him ("grandma is happiest if you're eating" and "clean body, clean mind'). I'd like to think the widespread conspiracy by the parental figures and the school to cover up the repeated gang rape of the schoolgirl who suicided is an exception to the norm, but in the era of #metoo, Harvey Weinstein, Louis CK, and Penn State, sadly the opposite seems true. This is only the second film of Chang-dong Lee's that I've seen, besides Burning. Are wispy, insubstantial, drifting characters abandoned by their mothers the norm in his films?
  14. Andrew

    By the Grace of God

    A real-life update: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/16/world/europe/bernard-preynat-france-abuse.html?action=click&module=Latest&pgtype=Homepage
  15. This is also one of a handful of films that measurably changed my life. When I first watched it, I was just emerging from a toxic romantic entanglement and was still in an emotional funk (all right, depression). The Way provided a jolt of shock therapy, telling me I still had three magnificent kids, and I needed to make damn sure I was creating memories with them (not regrets like Tom's missed chances with his son). It wasn't long after that my younger son and I took a trip to SF and Yosemite together, then Liz and I departed to Belize and Guatemala the following year (we still laugh about how lime juice obsessed she became, and her freakout over the howler monkey sounds during our first night in the jungle). Anyone who looks at my Facebook feed (I know, not the most reliable measure of reality) can bring up my photos and see the subsequent adventures that Jessica, Jon, Liz, and Josh have taken together (Cardiff's Doctor Who Experience, neolithic sites, CERN, castles, cave paintings, etc.), to see that the lesson of The Way stuck. Now, with all of my kids in young adulthood - one about to graduate and go wherever the military orders him, another a committed Francophile and travel junkie - I'm so glad we created those memories.
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