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About Andrew

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    And a good day to you, sir!

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  1. This makes sense to me. Very much enjoying the discussion here. I appreciate the inclusive definition of spirituality being utilized (and from Steven's 2011 comments, it's been a part of things for 9 years). Even as an atheist who doesn't accept the presence of a human or divine spirit, I don't think we've found a better word than "spirituality" to encompass everything we're talking about. And at least one of the surviving "Four Horsemen" of atheism, Sam Harris, has repeatedly said as much, too.
  2. Andrew


    Plenty of inspirations along the way, and still: - As an adolescent: the punchy, catchy, opinionated, informative writing style of Stephen Hunter and Harlan Ellison. - As a younger adult and into my 40s: the elegant, open-to-all-genres approach of Roger Ebert, exemplified in his reviews and his autobiography. In addition, I noted that after his first brush with cancer, his reviews increasingly accentuated the positive and became way less mean-spirited, an example I strive to imitate. - Writing my first academic analyses in my late 30s-early 40s: the intellectual rigor and clarity of Stephen Prince's Kurosawa writings - As an evangelical, then post-evangelical wanting to break out of the fundamentalist 'pop culture' is evil' mindset: the worldviews and film analyses at Hollywood Jesus, and Jeffrey Overstreet's film criticism - Mentors to me (whether they've been conscious of it or intentional about it or not), from the mid-2000s to the present day: Doug Cummings, Ken Morefield, Darren Hughes - Critics who participate here, whose clarity, critical discernment, and open bringing of their worldviews to their writing is admirable: Joel Mayward, Evan Cogswell
  3. This part certainly meshes with the reality (in the US, at least) that daughters tend to stay closer to their parents than sons, exemplified by the reality that they're normally the heavy lifters when it comes to caring for older parents.
  4. I'm for fully democratizing the process, with a poll to determine whether former films are grandfathered in; the inclusion criteria for short films, TV films, etc.; weighting of votes; what percentage of voters need to have seen the film. But then again, I'm not the one organizing this shindig, so I want to be respectful of the organizers' time and will certainly understand if they prefer to bypass this step. FWIW, I see nothing to quibble with, re: Darren's inclusion criteria.
  5. Andrew

    Life of Brian

    And admirable to the last - as a mental health professional, I found it commendable that he, his family, and his friends in the Python troupe were open about his suffering from dementia. The more people who are honest about this - instead of vague obits stating they 'died after a long illness' - the less stigma there will be over a disease that a person has no control over.
  6. That timeline works for me. Clicking on a few random titles in our Top 100s from 2010 and 2011, the same blurbs were used. But since it's been nine years since the last Top 100, I think if the person is no longer active on the board and can't be tracked down for permission to use their blurb, a new one should be solicited. Speaking for myself, I'd welcome the chance to edit something I wrote nine years ago, so maybe current participants should be given that opportunity as well.
  7. Ah, I see. Yeah, it isn't clearly a link, since the font wasn't a different color or underlined, etc. Would something like "Results and full article were originally published at..." be more accurate and comprehensive? And I'll second Joel: thank you, Ken, for doing this.
  8. So, at the top of the list, would you have something to the effect of "The introduction to the list can be found here," with a link to the intro in the word 'here'? I would think something like that would be necessary.
  9. Andrew


    I'll bet you get as many answers to this as there would be respondents. If your goal is to write film criticism/reviews, I think the best thing is simply to start doing it. I would write, write, and write some more, whether on discussion boards like this and/or starting your own blog.
  10. Andrew


    Welcome, Byron! And props to you for wanting to make the steps away from movie consumer to critical thinker about cinema (you're more than a decade younger than I was, in taking that step). To add to Ken's comments: - After all this time, inarticulation hasn't completely gone away. There are still films that feel quite opaque to me, where I feel a relief that I'm not writing a review of it. Repeat viewings absolutely help; for me, the first viewing is largely about grasping plot, while subsequent viewings allow appreciation of exposition, allusions, music, cinematography, mise en scene, etc. - Like you and Ken, I don't read about a film ahead of time, but happily do so afterward. There are reviewers that I'll read afterwards (here, I especially appreciate Ken, Joel, and Evan's writing; in the larger world, I'll read critics from Variety and RogerEbert.com), and I'll also google search director interviews. - A step that helped me immensely to view more thoughtfully was doing chronological views of the works of particular directors I love, and reading a relevant chapter of a good book on that director after each film. My 'gateway drug' to this experience was The Warrior's Camera on Kurosawa, but I've also enjoyed this with Seitz's book on Wes Anderson, Schickel on Scorsese, a couple of books on Ozu, Truffaut on Hitchcock, etc. - I also enjoy reading thoughtful books on arts criticism, period, such as Emily Nussbaum's I Like to Watch, Brett Martin's Difficult Men, the recent oral history of The Wire, and Julian Barnes' analyses of 19th and 20th Century paintings. Even though these aren't directly related to cinema, they have certainly enhanced my ways of looking and reflecting on what I've seen.
  11. I seem to be in the minority among critics, but as one who is unfamiliar with the source material, I found the flashback structure disorienting; it definitely lessened my enjoyment of the film.
  12. Andrew

    The Two Popes

    I have the discussion here to thank: in my review of Richard Jewell, I cite the "Two Popes Dilemma" in how to review a film that is well dramatized and has solid performances but is profoundly flawed factually.
  13. Yeah, I was shocked that this won 'best special effects' in our film critics association. I guess I have different criteria, but I think a film should be non-disposable to win in any category.
  14. Yep, Ep 9 prompted me to go back and rewatch Ep 3. The acting is stilted, but the storyline and visuals are so much stronger in the earlier film.
  15. I did my list a little differently this year, since I couldn't for the life of me rank my favorites beyond 1-3. So I got alphabetical: Cream of the crop: A Hidden Life, Never Look Away, Synonyms The Best of the Rest: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, By the Grace of God, The Cave and For Sama, Deadwood: The Movie, Hail Satan?, Honeyland, Pain and Glory, Zombi Child Honorable Mention: American Factory, Beanpole, Dark Waters, Hearts and Bones, Kifaru, La Belle Epoque, Les Miserables, Parasite, Us (Transit would've made my Best of 2019 if I hadn't been lucky enough to see it in Toronto in 2018; I think I put it at #3 that year.) Here's my full write-up: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/2020/01/the-best-films-of-2019/
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